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Diphenhydramine addiction!?!
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Diphenhydramine addiction!?!

Anyone else has been or still addicted to diphenhydramine? Im psychologically addicted to this stuff since 4 years now. it seems to be an incredibly rare addiction...
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Avatar_m_tn
It is very rare. I would think that you technically mean that you are habituated to a good nights sleep with the assistance of a sleeping aid. Picky, I know. Maybe you should try and develop that attitude though. By using "addicted" we tend to legitimize our problem. Diphenhy isnt really addicting in itself. But neither is cocaine. So maybe you can find a replacement aid to help you get a few nights sleep and then ditch it before it becomes a problem for you? Good luck in your effort - - - - many fight these problems and virtually all approach a type of resolution.............
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617347_tn?1331296681
oh la lá...i've just seen that you are risking priapism...with this stuff.

hummm, maybe you'd better find another way in bed for sleeping, unisom !
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176495_tn?1301284012
I used to take a couple every night for sleep..for 3-4 years if not more...helped me sleep..but also left me with tinnitus which I'm now stuck with.


Jim
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Avatar_m_tn
I feel pretty ashamed of it, but actually it take this (diphenhydramine)
not to sleep, but for the "buzz". I can start in afternoon  after my job and I spend the rest of the day taking pills (up to 1000-1500 mg or more EVERY DAY!!). If I don t take this, I feel extremely depressed.I don`t know what this can do to my system...
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Avatar_m_tn
Laurel, what is priapism?
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176495_tn?1301284012
I'm not Laurel453 but priaprism is the condition we hear about on TV where men have erections lasting 4 hours or longer.



Jim
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Avatar_m_tn
You are finding out what it can do to your system...........you will be extremely depressed if you do not stop it.............beargiz is correct about the priapism also.............
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617347_tn?1331296681
sorry, unisom, i didn't see your question..

and yeah, beargiz is right and  it's not fun  but quite painful ( not that i know it..) but when we study history here there is the story of one king , philip the 2nd some centuries ago and when he died he had been in that manner for several days...poor man,.
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Avatar_n_tn
Unisome, I am in a similiar situation with my diph usage (its been a little over a year now).  It's a bear to fight against, but for what its worth, here's the cycle I go round and round.

1.  Resolve to quit
2.  2-3 days of severe depression, suicidal thoughts, and terrible nightmares
3.  A normal, productive week for me will go by
4.  I will want to "reward" myself with a night of heavy tripping on it.

I have an addictive personality and there's a family history of alcoholism, which helps me make sense of my struggle with the drug.  Interestingly, in the weeks I don't dose, I find that my mild synesthesia is much more pronounced.  I actually like what the drug does to me-- but at the price of falling into some brain crevasse.

My point is, though, if you can just slam through those first 3 days, the depression will start to wane.  Also, weening yourself off the drug is worth a shot-- as in, over the course of a week stepping down to 200mg/night, 100 the next night, 50 the next night, and then maybe just 4 or 5 days of 25mg.  

Addiction is a horribly difficult thing, but I still have faith in life to keep fighting.  Relapses happen, and they suck, but just fight.  The first 3 days are profoundly painful and scary, but it can be done.  Just don't give up.

If the severe depression is the only thing keeping you
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Avatar_n_tn
I have been taking dph for a little over two years, I started cuz i was depressed and had trouble sleeping but soon I found myself over-dosing more and more every night (i take seven 50mg pills per night) and starting to take pills during the day as well.  Now if I go more than 24 hours without some I get violently sick and i can't sleep at all. I have gone through cycles of trying to quit and wheening myself off slowly but I never follow through. I'm worried about the long-term side effects this could have. does anyone know what they are?
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Avatar_f_tn
I totally understand.  I actually started taking a couple Benadryl each nite to cancel out the nausea and itchiing caused by my pain pills ( used for Rheumatoid arthritis).  But now I find myself taking 5-6 Benadryl each night. I actually find the sedation and relaxation caused by the diphenhydramine much better than my actual pain medication.  
Pretty weird, hunh ?  Most people become addicted to the pain meds.  I have since read diphenhydramine does have many psychoactive effects at higher dosages, which may account for this phenomena. Just not everyone responds the same way, as with all drugs the effects can vary widely.
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Avatar_f_tn
I totally understand.  I actually started taking a couple Benadryl each nite to cancel out the nausea and itchiing caused by my pain pills ( used for Rheumatoid arthritis).  But now I find myself taking 5-6 Benadryl each night. I actually find the sedation and relaxation caused by the diphenhydramine much better than my actual pain medication.  
Pretty weird, hunh ?  Most people become addicted to the pain meds.  I have since read diphenhydramine does have many psychoactive effects at higher dosages, which may account for this phenomena. Just not everyone responds the same way, as with all drugs the effects can vary widely.
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Avatar_m_tn
I've taken diphenhydramine for a couple years now. Mostly to help with anxiety at night to help me fall asleep, but I started taking it during the day for anxiety as well. I found I could take 20 of the 25mg pills throughout the day and not feel sleepy, just quite relaxed. Then I would take another 8 to 10 at night to help me fall asleep. After a while though, I started to develop side effects that weren't too severe, just quite annoying. At higher doses I would have blurred vision and had trouble focusing my eyes on things, and also a sore jaw from constantly grinding my teeth and rubbing my tongue against my teeth. (I didn't realize how much I was doing at first, and I also wasn't sure if it was more prevalent when I didn't take the medication or if it was when I took too much) I didn't really crave it when wouldn't take any, I would just experience uncomfortable physical symptoms. I'd feel this kind of hazy disconnected feeling, and slightly dysphoric. And it was nearly impossible to sleep. Even after staying up for about 36 hours, I'd feel tired but couldn't sleep. I could close my eyes and almost sleep, but I'd start to mildly shake, my heart would race, and I'd feel extremely nervous and anxious.
I didn't particularly love the feeling diphenhydramine gave me, it was just much more preferable to feeling nervous and anxious. And fighting through the sleeplessness didn't feel worth it when I knew I'd still have anxiety when it was over.
Eventually I got sick of being dependent on it, and was also worried about the long term effects of taking high doses for an extended period of time. I slowly lowered my daily dose, and was able to eventually stop taking it all together. Surprisingly, my anxiety wasn't nearly as bad as what I remember. (I don't think this had anything to do with taking the diphenhydramine, I just learned other ways to help it without taking pills)
I've never met anyone that had a similar experience to mine, I've only heard people mention they were psychologically dependent on it to help them sleep. I didn't feel as if I psychologically needed it, (at least in the end few months of taking high doses) I just didn't want to have to go through the uncomfortable physical symptoms of stopping. I've never read anything saying it is physically addictive, but I know that I did feel very uncomfortable physical symptoms if I didn't take it. I've heard though, that even drugs that are not know to be physically addictive, can have physical side effects when you stop taking them if you're psychologically dependent. So this might be what I was experiencing, even though I didn't feel as though I had a psychological dependency.
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1658140_tn?1311446335
Hello I also am hooked on unisom max strengh sleep gels. I'm totally hooked on the super drowsy/buzzed feeling they give me. I take about 10 to 12 pills at once at 50mgs
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1721809_tn?1309389757
Thanks - very helpful.  Actually being addicted to diphendramine is common for people like myself who are bipolar as it works as a mild antidepressant plus mild mood stabilizer - cuts down on the bipolar rage and mania -- took 1-2 25mg every 4-6 hours or whenever I needed to "chill" for about 10 years until my psychologist told me I was a substance abuser.  I never really thought about it -- if i didn't take it I would get uptight and edgy - started taking it for my allergies and then found out I could take it to "chill".  Whenever I went off it cold turkey I went suicidal and severe depression, did totally manic things like try to call the police on loved ones, etc.   My doctor put my on Klonopin .5 mg 2x a day and now I am weaning myself off Benedryl as my digestion is awful as it slowed it down after so many years my stomach literally stopped digesting almost anything that wasn't blending.  I am down to 2 25 mg Benedryl a day - one a night and one at the day -- I wait until I absolutely have to take it as I start shaking.  Thanks for sharing your story.  Benedryl stops the Bipolar BUZZ and racing thoughts and kept me from having to go to a psychiatrist for almost 20 years but I wouldn't recommend it as a habit as I couldn't hold a job on it.  (but couldn't before)
*****
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1736399_tn?1310567049
unisom, you're not alone; i too am addicted to diphenhydramine and have been for 10 years. i love the way they make me feel. i used to pop 100 mg of it every 2 hours during the night AND during the day, even though i had no intention of sleeping during the day. i have cut back and no longer take diphenhydramine during the day but i do pop 100 mg every 2 hours or so at nighttime and i'll stay up all night popping them. now i am trying to stop but it's difficult. the effects of diphenhydramine are no longer enjoyable to me; they give me severe anxiety
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Avatar_n_tn
listen this is a serious drug. I  did diphenhydramine in similar doses sometimes dangerous ones, ended up in the hospital also smoked weed daily, did acid once...this stuff will seriously mess you up, possibly for good. I am still recovering from heavy usage for a bout 8-9 months. I just did it for the buzz. my advice quit now tell someone maybe you have some underlying anxiety issue, etc but the ONLY WAY to find that out is to quit using the diphen. trust me I have been down this road/ and am currently on it. STOP now if you can reach out to someone.
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Avatar_f_tn
I take a combo of diphenhydramine and diazepam to try to sleep. It used to be zolpidem and diazepam but the zolpidem stopped working and because of my depression/self-harm/suicidal tendencies I would knock myself out day and night for days sometimes till I felt safe to get out of bed and I was taking way too much of both. Now it's the diphenhydramine/diazepam combo. I'm taking less diazepam than I used to with the zolpidem but more and more diphenhydramine and it's worrying me. My psychologist asked today if I felt I was becoming addicted to the diazepam and I said I was more worried about the over-the-counter sleeping pills. She says it sounds like a psychological addiction because I use it to escape all the **** but it's still an addiction. My docs said they'd prefer to help me deal with addiction if it happened than have me trying to kill myself but how much harm am I doing to myself? What's worse is I'm posting this but I don't really care if it's harmful at least that's how I feel just now. Half the time I don't even sleep well on it.
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Avatar_f_tn
i just started..the 50mg's...the dosage is increasing..i felt i was having a heart attack one night i was paralysed. all i could do was jerk around my room for about 20minutes.escrutiating pain in my chest. still self medicating. I am an alocoholic , trying to stop drinking. I take antebuse. what about that combination huh?..  sometimes I huff dusters..(after near accidents, had to slow/stop that stuff..not diagnosed with anxiety but im sure i have it. outside of that I think i am a totally functional person. I attend college and work fulltime.i am my mother's caregiver..i have a very busy life..stressfilled  ...point is, i dont want to stop. I like the buzz..the tolerance is getting high though.. Ive stopped these past few days (2). the most ive taken at once is 8..(nothing compared to what Ive read) I fear for my health and i dont care..is that suicidal??
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Avatar_m_tn
I was hooked on diphenadrimine for 5yrs and my doctor put me on a med called benztropine. It works immediately. It is a tablet for Parkinson. It was my only solution. Spread the word because I've heard no one mention it.

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