Hipstercrite Life

When Ambien Causes You to See Double-Headed Clown Monsters


via Toothpaste for Dinner

So, last Saturday I tried Ambien for the first time, or as what I like to call the “HOLY SHIT! AM I DYING?!?!” pill.

The Ambien was not prescribed to me, but rather to my boyfriend who is in the process of convalescing from arm surgery (hey, don’t judge- you probably would have taken it too if it was in front of you and you had no clue that it is the tears of the Devil). Last weekend he was out of town and due to my anxiety of living in a neighborhood where you often call 911 because someone dressed like a ninja is sitting on your front lawn at 4:30AM, I thought it would be helpful if I took the sleeping aid to prevent any “Is there a ninja currently on my front lawn?!” panic attacks.

I had never taken Ambien before, but some friends are frequent users and I figured, “Hey! What’s the worst that can happen?”

If seeing double-headed clown monsters is the worst than can happen, then I experienced the worst.

Imagine my surprise when I discovered that Ambien is not a blissful little pill that rocks you off to sleep, but rather EVIL-NESS that causes you to hallucinate, see double, want to throw up, have difficulty understanding formulaic Hollywood movies and hear angelic voices of a prepubescent boys’ choir.

Walking to the bathroom felt like walking through The House of Mirrors and I neither recall peeing nor later talking to my boyfriend about how I ate his Ambien.

Though I was out like a light for six hours, I woke up early and felt like the inside of Lindsay Lohan’s nose for the rest of the day.

I posted about my experiences on Facebook and I received a slew of similar stories. I’ve since been told of Ambien escapades where the user slept-walked, cut their hair, drove, and died. In fact, deaths caused by Ambien is on the rise, and not just in abusers (please excuse The View-esque soapbox tirade right now).

Question: why the hell does this pill exist?

Did I have a bad reaction? I know that the pill was not prescribed to me, but it very easily could be. I have sleeping issues and Ambien is taken by millions of people of all ages who have difficulty sleeping. Why are we giving pills to people that cause hallucinations and dangerous behavior?

Anyhoo, I’m never taking Ambien again. Next time I’ll go see if the front lawn ninja wants any.

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  • Reply Jeramy September 18, 2013 at 1:10 pm

    I heard a story last year of a woman who followed her, suspected to be cheating, husband as he got out of bed in the middle of the night, got into his car, and did a cruise around the block only to arrive back at home and get right back into bed. Turned out he was on Ambien and had no idea what he was doing.

    My grandmother woke up one morning and thought someone broke into her home and emptied a box of cheerios onto her kitchen floor… Turned out she was on Ambien and did it in her sleep…

  • Reply Melzor September 18, 2013 at 1:26 pm

    This post on xoJane from earlier this month details sleep-eating while on Ambien. The author emphasizes that if you take ambien, then you are supposed to go straight to bed. Like, take the pill while sitting in bed and lie right down. No movie watching, no strolls to the bathroom, just go to bed.


  • Reply Leigh Ann September 19, 2013 at 12:01 am

    I’d only previously heard of people eating in their Ambien induced stupors. Your experience is pretty freaky. I took it while on bed rest in the hospital (because sleeping is impossible with monitors strapped to your enormous belly and nurses coming in every hour) and loved it. I’ve heard if you take it and then try to stay awake instead of going right to bed, that’s when weird stuff can happen. Me, I just tried to make out with my husband, in my sexy, bloated 7 month pregnant state.

    Now melatonin? That’s some freaky stuff. Gave me the weirdest dreams.

  • Reply Chelle September 19, 2013 at 9:59 am

    That sucks pretty hard. I heart Ambien until the day I die…or seeing two-headed monsters, whichever comes first.

  • Reply nikkiana September 20, 2013 at 8:35 pm

    I’ve heard so many Ambien horror stories that I don’t think I’d ever want to take it.

  • Reply Ambien Makes News Again February 26, 2014 at 9:01 am

    […] Anna David is the New York Times-bestselling author of the novels Party Girl and Bought and the non-fiction books Reality Matters, Falling For Me, By Some Miracle I Made It Out of There and True Tales of Lust and Love. She speaks across the country and on TV about addiction and recovery. Ambien cartoon picture courtesy of Hipstercrite. […]

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