Published on 14 September 2022

Does Ambien Cause Depression?

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Depression is the most common but serious medical disease that adversely affects how you feel, thinks, and acts. It causes a loss of interest or sadness in activities you once enjoyed. Depression affects an estimated 1 in 6 people (16.6%)  at some point in life and 1 in 15 adults (6.7%) annually. It might lead to various emotional and physical problems and decrease your ability to function at work and home.

The signs and symptoms of depression vary from mild to severe and include the following:

  • Changes in appetite, i.e., weight gain or loss related to dieting
  • Loss of interest in activities once enjoyed
  • Having a depressed mood
  • Trouble sleeping or sleeping too much
  • Increase in meaningless physical activity (e.g., pacing, inability to sit still, handwringing) or slowed movements
  • Loss of energy or increased fatigue
  • Thoughts of death or suicide
  • Feeling worthless or guilty
  • Difficulty thinking, concentrating or making decisions

For the diagnosis of depression, the symptoms mentioned above should last for a minimum of 2 weeks and represent a change in the previous level of functioning.

Depression can happen anytime, but it first appears during the late teens to mid-20s, and women are likely to experience it more than men. Some studies state that 1/3 of women will share a major depressive episode in their lifetime. Also, medical conditions such as brain tumors, thyroid problems, or vitamin deficiency can mimic the symptoms of depression. Thus, it becomes essential to rule out the general medical causes.

What Is Ambien?

Ambien is a non-barbiturate, non-benzodiazepine sedative-hypnotic drug used to treat insomnia. If Ambien is taken correctly, it makes you feel comfortable, relaxed, and sleepy. No one can possess this drug without a prescription from a healthcare professional, as The United States Drug Enforcement Agency has mentioned it as a Schedule IV drug.

The reason that the Drug Enforcement Agency regulates this drug is that it's potentially dangerous. Misuse of Ambien can cause dependence and other side effects.

Those with severe insomnia are the only ones who should take Ambien, and those patients must visit a doctor to obtain a prescription. Ambien is only indicated for insomnia relief for up to 35 days.

Does Ambien Cause Depression?

Despite being an effective drug, Ambien does have risks, including the potential for next-day drowsiness, misuse, and dependence. Ambien use can cause several side effects, some of which are relatively benign, while others can lead to severe injury or even fatal. Additionally, using Ambien with other drugs, especially opioids or CNS depressants like benzodiazepines and alcohol, can be dangerous and life-threatening.

Research states that using Ambien and other sedative drugs might worsen depression or suicidal thoughts and behaviors in primarily depressed individuals. Thus, FDA warns that individuals with depression should be prescribed the lowest effective dose to avoid intentional overdose.

It's important to note that, in general, behavioral therapy is the mainstay of treatment for insomnia, and pharmacotherapy should be considered only when necessary.

Frequently Asked Questions

In studies, researchers say that ambien is a hypnotic sedative drug that makes you tired; if you are consuming it for a more extended period, the most expected side effects are depression and changes in behavior; thus, ambien is related to depression.
Using ambien for a long time can develop symptoms like Anxiety, mood swing, depression, confusion, hallucinations, etc. Ambien will help treat insomnia, relieve your brain's chemical activity, and leads to severe adverse reactions.
Persons with antidepressant disorders suffering from insomnia and suicidal thoughts may use ambien and get benefits to overcome the depression episodes.

What Is The Connection Between Insomnia And Depression?

Some estimates suggest that about 30% of Americans will, at some point, experience clinical depression. Nearly 40% of adults in the United States also complain about sleep disturbances, including trouble falling asleep, waking up several times, or not feeling rested.

These conditions feed into each other because of how sleep works on the central nervous system.

  • Slow-wave sleep or deep sleep helps to produce growth hormones. This stage is also critical for decision-making and memory formation. Consistent loss of deep sleep for several nights impairs its proper functioning, causing mental fogginess, increasing frustration, and difficulty making neurotransmitters.
  • Depression changes how rapid eye movement (REM) sleep is experienced, making it more fragmented, and affecting hormone production, memory, sleep quality, and learning.
  • Waking up several times, or experiencing fragmented sleep, can be as detrimental as not sleeping enough. 

Ambien And Antidepressants

Suppose a person experiences insomnia and depressive disorder simultaneously. In that case, he might benefit from taking a prescription sleep medication like Ambien when you start using a selective serotonin uptake inhibitor (SSRI) like Prozac or Zoloft. Some doctors think targeting insomnia symptoms can reduce the risk of suicide in some individuals. 

The changes in insomnia symptoms occur before suicidal ideation in someone with supreme depressive disorder. A person with insomnia and other survivors of suicide attempts, compared to those who have not attempted suicide, performs poorly on tests to measure their ability to solve interpersonal issues. Impaired problem-solving caused by insomnia could play a role in suicide.

While taking medication for any disorder is less than ideal, the combination of Ambien and antidepressants could restore your quality of life. No one can function on no sleep, let alone feel depressed all the time. If you're battling depression or insomnia, talk to your doctor about the options available.

Treatment For Ambien Abuse And Depression

Many people suffering from Ambien Abuse and depression simultaneously as co-occurring disorders improve their symptoms through rehabilitation procedures. 

Cognitive behavioral therapy is one treatment method with the psychotherapy approach that help people with a mental disorder suffering from substance abuse or addiction learn better ways to manage symptoms effectively and taper off Ambien.

It should be noted that the co-occurring disorders (in this case, Ambien abuse and depression) should be treated simultaneously, as the treatment of Ambien addiction without addressing depression might result in the recurrence of substance use. This happens because an affected person might be tempted to use sedatives to cope with the adverse feelings. Receiving treatment for both disorders can increase a person's chances of sustaining temperance after rehab.

Bottom Line From Practical Anxiety Solutions

Several pieces of research state that there is an association between the use of Ambien and the presence of suicidal thoughts. Ambien can cause Anxiety and depression, and its Abuse can increase the person's risk of developing an addiction. 

Timely management of symptoms and treatment of Ambien Abuse and depression can help people to overcome these symptoms.

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