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Taking Zopiclone for extreme emotional distress

  • Anxiety and phobias
  • Zopiclone
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
  • Sleep problems
Naomi detail

I’m now 21 years old, and started taking zopiclone when I was 19.

I have periods of extreme emotional distress where I can’t manage my emotions and suffer extreme anxiety and intense thoughts.

When I first discussed taking zopiclone with my support worker it was a case of try that or be admitted involuntarily, so we decided it was worth a go and see how I felt in the morning. I was so desperate for sleep, that the relief and much-needed break the medication gave me was amazing.

At first they just gave me a few tablets to see how it went, but at that time I needed to take it every day for a week to get out of my crisis.

I did worry how I would react to it, and about getting addicted, but it was fine.

Now I take zopiclone as and when I need to, generally only one every 2-3 months, when I am in a real crisis, and so distressed I don’t know what else to do and have exhausted all my other usual coping mechanisms – going for a walk, having a bath, doing art work, reading…

I use it as a last resort – it helps me switch off and sleep. Just getting sleep helps me overall to cope better. It’s like that switch that people sometimes wish they had in their brain to turn off their thoughts – that’s what zopiclone does for me. It allows me to wake up feeling rested, refreshed, rational, and more able to cope. I can then get in touch with my support worker if I need to.

It’s so reassuring to know that I have it as back-up, and that it will alleviate my distress, help me sleep and prevent me needing to be admitted.

The main side effect which wasn’t on the pack was that when I wake up after having taken zopiclone, I have a really strong metallic taste in my mouth, like I’ve slept with a bunch of keys in my mouth! I now always take a glass of orange juice to bed so I can have it in the morning as soon as I wake up to get rid of the horrible taste. 

Other side effects – of course I wake up feeling groggy as it’s a heavy sedative, and feeling like a bit of a zombie did make me anxious at first, worrying that maybe I’d taken too much, but this is normal and does fade. In a way it’s kind of calming and I feel my thoughts less intensely. You get used to it and learn to deal with it, and once I’m up, showered, dressed, and have had something to eat and drink, it fades away, and because I feel rested after getting some sleep, I feel more able to cope with it anyway. A good sleep gives me so much more get up and go!

Also, I wasn’t made aware of how fast-acting it is! It doesn’t say this on the pack either. It works really quickly so don’t take it when you’re downstairs or you won’t make it upstairs to your bed!

It can be addictive so you have to be careful not to rely on it too heavily and only use it in extreme situations. No one should take it without being monitored by their support worker.

Zopiclone has drastically reduced my need for crisis support which is amazing, and I really like that I can self-manage my condition. I now have more independence and confidence as I know I can manage myself better and have control over my mental health, and don’t have to rely so much on others.

HeadMeds is great as there are things you don’t want to ask your pharmacist, or support worker. It’s young people-friendly and the videos are great – it’s so good to know you aren’t alone and other people are in similar situations.