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Re: Ambien or Ativan?

Posted by Bela on August 31, 2004, at 12:48:31

In reply to Re: Ambien or Ativan? Bela, posted by owensmar on August 31, 2004, at 11:27:24

> > Dear Marsha and Minnie-Haha,
> > I just returned from being away the weekend and picked on the conversation between the two of you. I can sympathesize with everything both of you have experienced because it sounds so much like my own experiences since about 1997. I, too, have an addictive tendency, whether it be alcohol or prescription drugs. Fortunately, I never allowed myself to get into the illegal stuff or I would probably be dead by now.
> Me too. AT least we have *some* sense, right?
Yeah, I am a fairly disciplined person in most respects but addiction to prescription drugs has me by the nose.

> > In my original post (8/24/04)I asked for help breaking the Ambien addiction. I have taken 5-20 mg of Ambien every night for years, only going off of it when I was on a AD (Serzone, Remeron) that helped insomnia. I wake up EVERY night between 1:30 and 4 a.m., my mind-body telling me it's "Ambien Time." I hate it, but when I try to taper slowly off, my daytimes turn into zombie states and my work productivity falls to a level where I wonder why my boss hasn't replaced me with a sea slug. As one commenter (Bill LL, 8/25/04)said, "Ambien is far better than going sleep deprived." I would agree unless you find that you have to keep increasing the dose and your sleeps still aren't fulfilling.
> Do you have to take the Ambien to fall asleep to start with at night? Or just after you wake up in the 1 - 4 a.m. time period? I've always thought it was awful lying in bed for hours waiting to fall asleep but I can see how it would be worse to wake up so early and not be able to go back to sleep.
No, I rarely have trouble falling asleep. When I take Ambien before bedtime in hopes of sleeping through the night, I always wake up at "Ambien Time." Basically, my biological clock has been reprogrammed to wake me up after about 3-4 hours of sleep. Now, granted I have not tried mega-doses of Ambien at bedtime, but the thought of having to become unconscious to sleep 7 hours isn't particularly enticing.

> How have you avoided tolerance and increasing the dosage?

Actually, I haven't really avoided tolerance and dosage escalation but I put limits on how high I will go (usually) and that ceiling is about 20 mg.

I would have to think Ambien would be better than Ativan. I was told the Ativan was contributing to my depression and that an A/D wouldn't help much as long as I continued with the ATivan. I don't know if that's true but all benzos now do have a noticeable depressant effect on me. In any case, that was the only way I managed to get off the ATivan. I was so miserable that I was willing to go through hell to feel better. And that's exactly what it turned out to be.

Marsha, I am actually beginnning to think that the Ambien encourages depression, too. I realize that may come as bad news, and until recently, I thought the opposite, but now I am not sure. Yes, I get a reasonably good sleep from it, but frequently I wake up very depressed and often remain so all day or at least until the effects of the Ambien wear off. I don't know if there is a relationship there or not;it is confusing to me. All I know is that prior to gettng hooked on Ambien in 1997, I was a morning person, and loved the early morning. I rarely had a problem getting up. Of course I was a little younger then, too, but the difference now is profound; I loathe many mornings now days.

Perhaps someone else can comment on whether they think that Ambien can actually enhance depression.

> Marsha
> p.s. I had a bad night last night. No Neurontin at bedtime and it took me three hours to fall asleep. Rebound insomnia. I'm hoping it will only last a couple of days, though.
> >
> >




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