What is Ambien?

Ambien is a sedative prescribed to people having trouble sleeping or who have been diagnosed with insomnia.

Ambien is very popular, ranking one of the 15 most commonly prescribed medications in the United States today.

But despite its popularity, it is not without risks.

This medication has a high risk of causing depression, even in people who have not had problems with depression before.



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Understanding Ambien Depression

Many people who have issues sleeping turn to prescriptions like Ambien to treat this problem. However, because insomnia can be a side effect of depression, this medication is not always the right choice for everyone.

Studies on this medication’s effects have found Ambien and depression to be one of the most common side effects. For people who have a history of depression, Ambien can make their symptoms worse. It can also cause or worsen anxiety.

People who experience these issues while on this medication are far more likely to abuse it and become addicted.

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Effects and Abuse of Ambien

In the 1990s, Ambien was developed as an alternative to benzodiazepines. While Ambien is not as risky as benzodiazepines, it can still cause problems with your body.

Some of the side effects of this medication include:

  • Stomach and digestive issues
  • Chronic fatigue and drowsiness
  • Frequent headaches
  • Dry mouth
  • Muscle pain
  • Poor motor coordination
  • Sleepwalking

Ambien can also cause complications for people with existing liver or kidney problems. It is supposed to be used for a short time, usually no more than six weeks. However, people who use this substance can become dependent on it to sleep, leading them to take it longer. The longer you take it, the higher the chances of developing side effects.

How Are Ambien and Depression Linked? Emerald Isle Health and Recovery - A group of individuals struggling with the use of Ambien and depression is discussing ways to cope healthily instead of abusing substances, like Ambien.


Mental Illness and Ambien

Ambien and depression are not the only linked mental disorder that this medication can cause. This medication works in the areas of your brain areas that control sleep cycles and emotions.

Some of the negative mental health symptoms you may experience can include:

  • Short-term memory loss
  • Problems concentrating
  • Hallucinations
  • Problems remembering where you are or what time it is
  • Loss of pleasure in daily life
  • Anxiety
  • Confusion
  • Nightmares

One of the lesser-known side effects of Ambien and depression is suicidal thoughts. While few studies have been done to find out how common this side effect is, it is an issue for a fair number of Ambien users. It is especially true for people who already had problems with depression before taking this medication, as well as for people that experience depression after taking this medication.


What is an Ambien Blackout?

An Ambien blackout is when you do things while on this medication that you cannot remember afterward, such as sleepwalking, eating, driving, having conversations, and even having sex. Some people even find themselves leaving their home and waking up outside. It can be a very confusing and scary side effect of this medication. People who drink alcohol while taking Ambien are more likely to experience parasomnia.

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Risk of Ambien Intoxication

If you are wondering about how Ambien and depression are linked, you may not realize that Ambien intoxication is a risk.

For some people, this medication can stay in their system at high levels for as long as 16 hours. This causes issues for people who must drive to work, as driving while intoxicating levels of this medication are in your system is just as dangerous as drunk driving.

Ambien and depression can also lead to you taking more of the drug than you are supposed to in order to sleep for longer periods of time.

While it is rare to overdose on Ambien, it is possible. Taking too much Ambien, or mixing it with other drugs or alcohol, increases your risk of ending up in the emergency room. An overdose can cause slowed breathing, extreme drowsiness, slowed heart rate, confusion, and psychosis. An overdose can be reversed if you seek help as soon as you notice these symptoms. However, if left untreated, it can lead to a coma and even death.

How Are Ambien and Depression Linked? Emerald Isle Health and Recovery - An individual is meeting with an addiction counselor to discuss her use of Ambien and depression that she is experiencing and how to go about treatment for this issue.



Ambien and depression are the results of prolonged Ambien use and addiction. This means people who experience depression symptoms while taking this medication have a co-occuring disorder, also called a dual diagnosis. In order to get relief from these symptoms, it is important to get help at a rehab facility, like Emerald Isle, that is equipped to treat a dual diagnosis.

The first step in your recovery journey will be to detox. This allows us to help you get all of the medication out of your system. We have treatments available that lessen the side effects of withdrawal so that you can detox more comfortably.

After you are done with detox, we can move onto behavioral therapy. We find a lot of success with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). CBT helps to address both mental health issues and addiction. Your therapist will help find the thoughts and feelings that led to the abuse of this medication, as well as ways to better cope with them and to better manage stress.

Receiving treatment for both your Ambien and depression helps to reduce the chances of you relapsing after completing treatment.


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Do you want treatment but are worried about how you can pay for it?

We have a team of financial professionals who provide free insurance verification.

We work with you to determine how to move forward with a treatment in a way that works for you and your financial situation.

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How to Get Help

Are you or a loved one suffering from addiction?

At Emerald Isle Health & Recovery, we understand how difficult it can be to give up an addiction because, with long-term use, the mind is continuously remembering the euphoric feelings.

Our dedicated team will help customize a treatment plan to rediscover natural euphoria.

Our goal is for you to leave Emerald Isle Health & Recovery with mental fortitude and coping skills to maintain lifelong sobriety.

Call Emerald Isle Health & Recovery to schedule an appointment.

We challenge you to make a fresh start with us today.