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Disconnected Ideas, A Horrifying Madness
Diphenhydramine
by clomipramine9999999
Citation:   clomipramine9999999. "Disconnected Ideas, A Horrifying Madness: An Experience with Diphenhydramine (exp112330)". Erowid.org. Sep 21, 2018. erowid.org/exp/112330

 
DOSE:
  repeated oral Diphenhydramine (pill / tablet)

BODY WEIGHT: 190 lb


[Erowid Note: The doses described in this report are potentially life threatening. The amount taken is beyond a heavy dose and could pose serious health risks or result in unwanted, extreme effects. Doses such as this have been known to cause hospitalizations and/or deaths. Sometimes extremely high doses reported are errors rather than actual doses used.]

I had just returned home to live with my parents from my independent life with my own apartment and my own job. I had to quit my job because I was mentally unstable, had severe anxiety and had been abusing alcohol. During only my first week back, I was itching for a fix, as I was in no way ready to commit to sobriety. I had no more marijuana connects and I was still too young to buy alcohol, so I chose Benadryl as my alternative. I wanted to go on an all-out trip, although I knew it would be risky - I insisted that I get FUCKED THE FUCK UP.

I bought 2 or 3 boxes of the 25mg benadryls, each containing around 25, and I ended up taking 50 of them, perhaps even a few more. It was early in the evening and I decided to get started dosing - gradually so I could ease into noticing the effects. I'd read that it could take up to an hour or so for a decent dose to really set in. So I started off by taking 6, let's say at around 6:00pm. I went down to the basement to play my keyboard for a while. After 45 minutes, I didn't notice much at all, so I took 4 more. I continued to play, and after 30 more minutes, I was feeling pleasant, nicely relaxed but nowhere near fucked up. So I took 4 more, which would bring us to 7:15pm with a total of 14 benadryls taken.

I played for another half hour or so, at this point, a little disappointed that I was still not hallucinating or feeling weird. But then I stood up, and that's when I knew shit was happening. It felt like gravity was 3 or 4 times stronger, like the world was trying to squish me down, or I was trying to walk just after waking up from anaesthesia, or something like that. I definitely felt intoxicated and I was happy that the effects were finally kicking in. I was no longer nervous about getting poisoned or fucking up my life at this point, because I was relaxed comparatively to a nice heavy dose of clonazepam. I felt eased and super mellow, but definitely not tired. That's when I started to get reckless.
I felt eased and super mellow, but definitely not tired. That's when I started to get reckless.


I took 6 more at that point, deciding that if I wanted to feel twice as looped out an hour from now, I'd have to start kicking it up. I went upstairs to the living room where my parents were and stepped outside onto the deck to sit and watch TV shows on my laptop. I figured I'd be really twisted after watching a couple episodes of, whatever I was watching. I started losing track of time, not really caring anymore, thinking that, well, I was still conscious, still able to act cool around my parents, so I could just keep popping 4-6 of them every 30 minutes or so until I finally felt ready to go to bed.

By 8:30 I had probably taken around 28 benadryls - I took 2 more doses of 4 when I was outside on the deck. I went into get a soda, having to put a whole lot more force into the way I moved in order to still look cool walking past my mom, which didn't matter much - she was dozing on the couch and my dad had gone up to bed. So I really had nothing to worry about. Opening and closing the sliding door was really hard - it took a lot of concentration, plus I had to stop several times because I forgot if I was trying to open the sliding door, and if so why I was trying to open it. I would open it a little but then hesitate and think, 'wait, I think I'm supposed to stay out here... what am I supposed to do? What time is it?' So after 5 minutes of confusion, changing my mind over whether or not to go in, and finally remembering that I wanted a soda, I went in and got the soda, trying very hard not to forget that I was just going to the fridge and back.

I came back outside with a soda and sat back down with my laptop. Sitting down felt so good, like I could just get sucked into the cushions and be buried in them for a permanent, very soothing sleep, or a departure from consciousness, into no-man's land, as I might describe it. I could not remember my password to log back onto my computer. It had been automatic knowledge for me for years, but I sat there and tried about 30 different password combos. Lord knows how it finally came to me. I decided to celebrate by popping 4 more benadryls, intending on heading up to my room in just a few minutes, after one more episode, or one more whatever I was doing. It took me another 5-10 minutes to open my soda though - my fingers were nearly paralyzed. And I could hardly open or close my lips. Good thing I wouldn't have to talk to my mom for the rest of the evening, because using my mouth to annunciate words was pretty much impossible. So I think I just sat out there, smoked a few cigarettes, hoping that I would finally start hallucinating or hearing voices. That was my goal I guess - psychosis. I hated reality and I just wanted to lose my mind, even if it meant permanently retarding my brain and being a vegetable forever. I went upstairs for complete privacy and so the madness began.

I spent the rest of the trip going back and forth between my room and my bathroom. Let's say it was 9:30 by now, and I was up to 32 benadryls or so. Time to get drilled into a sad world of separation. I went into the bathroom to check myself out and try things in the mirror. I took out my boxes of benadryl and tried to figure out how many I had taken so far and how many more I planned to take. Doing the math was tricky given my cognitive disorganization but I think I figured it out more or less. My heart was still beating, I was still breathing, and I wasn't nauseous or throwing up, so I took 6 more. 15 minutes later I took 4 more. I figured I could handle another 10-12 throughout the night, planning to stop only if I started throwing up or if my heart started feeling iffy.

Next thing I knew, it was 10:30 or so, still earlier than I thought it should be, but I was happy that I still had so much time to get lost. I was just sitting around on my floor in my room, looking at the walls closeup and talking to the corner of the room. I was nowhere near actually falling asleep, but my consciousness had shifted into what I guess you could say was a kind of hypnotized state, and I was starting to get a few life scenarios mixed up.
I was starting to get a few life scenarios mixed up.
It's like I knew I was in my room, but at the same time I thought I was talking to my friend on the phone. I didn't hear him talking back to me but I knew in my head that he or some other version of me was responding to my thoughts and was a part of the conversation. I was talking with him about meeting up with him in town the next day, and I truly intended on going there. In fact a couple of moments I believed it was already the next day, and I started getting dressed and got ready to head out and meet him, until I would realize it was still dark outside and my alarm clock said it was only 10:45pm. I don't even think I recognized where my alarm clock was - I mean it was where it always was, but it seemed like it didn't belong there. I didn't know what day it was or if my parents were home or at work. I was just sitting in some random chair in the middle of my room mumbling to myself. I would later learn that my dad had woken up and heard me from his room, and he thought I was on the phone, because that's what it must have sounded like, a legitimate conversation.

Practically paralyzed, I got up, crawled, rolled, kneed, stumbled, walked and whatever else over to the bathroom to check my stash of benadryl once more. I took another 4 which finished the second box, and I decided that I really wanted to just go to sleep at this point, and was frustrated by the massive dose of benadryl not helping me go to sleep. I took another sheet of 4 into my room with me and probably took them 15 minutes later or so. It was still only 11:00 or something, but it felt like 2 or 3 days had passed, and I was wondering why it still wasn't light out. So the rest of the night I just stood around in my room, walking to different corners, looking at stuff but not really seeing any of it because I was dreaming with my eyes open, thinking I was somewhere else on some other day interacting with other people.

So there were no visual hallucinations and no auditory hallucinations, to my disappointment
there were no visual hallucinations and no auditory hallucinations, to my disappointment
, rather, the hallucination was a hallucination of ideas. It's like I couldn't match a thought to what was really happening. I couldn't apply my ideas to the real world. There was a mirror in my room and when I looked into it, I looked bloody mad. My face was all oily and sweaty, perhaps with a greenish-jaundiced tinge, and my pupils were ENORMOUS. Waaay bigger than they'd get if I was coming off of meth. The whole colored part of my eye (I don't know what all the parts are called) was basically all black. I looked like I was never coming back from this dysphoric realm I was in. So after 11:30pm or so, I had taken 50-56 benadryl, totaling 1250-1400mg. I probably just had more wide-awake dreams for the rest of the night, sitting on the floor or wherever, watching the walls, losing the connection with the items in my room, as if I didn't remember that they were mine or why they were in there, like they belonged somewhere else, during some other period of time.

At 4:30am I was still awake and more confused than I thought I was. I actually thought I was put-together enough to go downstairs and have my mom make me a cup of coffee. She was surprised that I was up but made me some coffee and sat on the couch in the living room while I sat behind her at the dining room table. I didn't realize how unsafe it still was to be around her as I was, but I did realize that I better not speak, and if she spoke to me, to keep my replies very short, until I finished my coffee and then would leave. I still had a hard time moving my lips so I tried to avoid using words which were more difficult to pronounce. She talked to me a few times, and after a few verbal exchanges she started becoming suspicious that something was wrong. We got into a more extended dialogue and I totally fell off, unable to keep track of the subject or respond appropriately. She would ask me something like, 'So why did you decide to get up so early, did you sleep alright?' and I would say, 'No, actually I caught a taxi outside of Subway; I told it to come to the pizza restaurant.' She would keep repeating her questions, saying, 'That's not what I'm asking... why do you keep talking about this pizza restaurant? Do you realize that has nothing to do with what I'm talking about?' I was frustrated because I thought my mom wasn't listening to me correctly and it was her fault for misunderstanding me. Then I would say, 'I told you. This is all about Kanye West and how he gave me those jeans. That's how I ended up downstairs at Macy's.' I kept trying and trying to clarify my ideas and express them clearly and thoroughly, thinking that I was doing well enough, but my mom was baffled. She then started getting really upset, came up to me and said something like, 'What is going on with you? What did you do? Are you on drugs?' I kept talking about Subway and Kanye West some more until I finally had it in me to tell her that I had been taking Benadryl all night. I felt uncertain saying the word 'Benadryl' because to me it didn't really sound like the name of anything anymore. It was hard for me to believe that that was actually the name of the drug I was taking.

She totally freaked out, was yelling at me and I just wanted to get through it, trying to tell her I would be okay and that I just wanted to go to my room and come down. I told her I had taken about 2 boxes, to which she was flabbergasted and very panicked. She asked me if I was trying to kill myself, and I assured her that no, I was just trying to get high, because I read about interesting psychoactive effects of large doses of Benadryl. When I finally was able to go back to my room, she was emotionally torn to shreds, and even called off of work to look after me, I think. At around 5:30-6:00am, I started to feel the very unpleasant comedown effects. I became horribly nauseous but did not throw up. I kneeled in front of the toilet, scared to death by what I had done, under the impression that I might die or never fully recover from this. I was most worried about my heart - at times it felt like it wasn't beating or it was just fluttering in some other part high in my chest. It was frequently arrhythmic and I was worried about going into cardiac arrest. I kneeled on the bathroom floor and prayed to get past this. All I wanted was for my body to return to well-functioning condition and for the nausea to cease. I was able to make it back to my room but I had to remain completely still in my bed propped up in a certain position. I was terribly terribly anxious and sound really agitated me - I requested that my mom turn off the TVs around the house and to please not make too much noise. Noise made me feel unbalanced and panicked and the arrhythmia would return.

That about wraps it up - for the next 2 weeks I still experienced a lot of cognitive disorganization, it took me a while to remember how to do certain things and I was a little slow at verbally interacting. The comedown effects subsided by the next morning though and tension slowly was eased between my parents and I. Though it was a horrifying, wicked experience that I did not by any means wish to relive, I was proud to have endured it and to now have it as a memory, as I was proud of all the other reckless things I had been doing during my young adult life. Meth was the only other (hard) drug I had experimented with, most notably on a 6-day sleepless binge which lead to a dysphoric near-psychosis, which scared me at the time, but not in any way compared to Benadryl. Benadryl was the new damning-madness, whereas meth in comparison was just like extreme(ly addicting) caffeine.

Exp Year: 2013ExpID: 112330
Gender: Male 
Age at time of experience: 20 
Published: Sep 21, 2018Views: 5,952
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Diphenhydramine (109) : Alone (16), Hangover / Days After (46), Families (41), Health Problems (27), Difficult Experiences (5), First Times (2), General (1)

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Experience Reports are the writings and opinions of the individual authors who submit them.
Some of the activities described are dangerous and/or illegal and none are recommended by Erowid Center.


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