Citation: Solotort. "Long-Term Abuse: An Experience with Diphenhydramine (ID 33947)". Erowid.org. Jun 5, 2007. erowid.org/exp/33947
For the last couple of years, initially to sleep, and then later perhaps to escape, I have been taking much more than the recommended dosage of Benadryl. I have tried to find literature about the long term consequences of this might be, but so far I am getting conflicting advice. Some say heart damage from the elevated heart rate such high dosages bring. Some say liver damage as my body tries to flush the excess antihistamines out of me. Maybe the seizures that happen occasionally will result in a bad outcome... time will do the talking, I fear.
Originally, I started taking Benadryl to help in sleeping. I was in therapy and not wanting to be dependent on prescription meds to live, so 4 at bedtime and I was ok, I slept. One day I came home from work feeling really overworked and tired, and I could not stop thinking about the projects or the cases or the calls, and I took my 4 pills and then laid down, couldn't sleep, and took 4 more, still couldn't sleep, 4 more... and suddenly.
If you have read any of the Anne Rice Vampire series of books, you might have a clue about the way my vision was altered by the extra bene in me. I call it vampiric vision because her description really fits. Everything seems so much sharper, even at faraway distances. Its like I can see with a sharpness only available through binoculars, or strong magnification. I was enthralled by the details of the world I saw in such a different way. And with this change in state of concentration, I left the cares of my labors behind.
I describe that as going away, there is a distance that seems to set itself between me and the rest of the world. You might say reality becomes laggy, only itís me that is lagging outside of it. At high dosages, its hard to talk, to concentrate on making words out of thoughts that are gossamer webs blown in wind. Short term memory is heavily affected, I find myself standing in a room knowing there is some reason I am there, but not now remembering what that was, until I am in another room, and it comes back to me.
That can be frustrating, can make me mad, but I have personified the drug enough to where I am telling myself almost like a mantra, to relax, don't fight it, fighting it leads to the seizures, relaxing through it nothing matters, and I am just gone, which is a place I wanted to be I guess... gone.
Benedryl abuse got easier when they released the small white bottles of 100 tabs per. I can feel and manage 12 now easily, almost to the point where the resulting effect is like only having four. And so, because I have built up a tolerance I either have to stop taking for a while or up the dosage.
My worst night was when I did 50 tabs all at once. That's 1250 mg taken with alcohol (wine). There was that oh shit moment, when the pills were in me, and I knew I had about 30 minutes max left of lucidity. 50 grabbed me like I was a dog on a leash and yanked me into its grasp hard. Walking from one room to another became like a dance on a heaving ship in a storm. I grabbed onto anything solid and still ended up on the floor. My body was clenching into itself, or so it felt, and the tenser I became the worse the seizure hit me. I can feel my heart beating so hard, and much energy focused on relaxing my muscles, and breathing normally. Hallucinations at this level were damn scary, stuff that I thought was solid, wasn't even there. Things I don't think are there suddenly are very solid. And I can't rest, or sleep. I could hardly speak at all to tell a friend what was happening to me. I was gone.
Well, I survived that night and have not approached that many Benadryl at once in a long time. So part of me is trying to survive I guess. Why do I still do any? That's a question I keep asking myself. Itís early in the day right now, I am at work, should be working, but I am at my most lucid right now. The strong me wanting to live like this always and not take the pills, but as the day wears on, as my home time approaches, as I get tired, the part of me that craves the forests of screaming trees, the land of no thought of my own, will begin to assert itself, and there is wine in the fridge, and bene for the rolling... I pick up the bottle, take the top off and roll out the number I will take at any one time. The usual spillage is between 8 and 18. Usually, thatís enough, sometimes, I don't know what would ever be enough.
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