February 26, 2013 6:43 AM   Subscribe

I have a job interview this afternoon and I'm more nervous than is healthy. Is taking a Klonopin a good idea?

I have a prescription at home for a very low dose (I think 15 mg? I don't have access to it right this minute.) I've had it for over a year and only taken it a couple of times, and don't remember much about its effect on me one way or another, except that it made me incredibly tired and depressed the next day. I'm fine with that in this case, but am also worried that it will make me even more spacey than I feel at the moment. I didn't sleep well last night, so am a lovely combo right now of jittery and foggy-brained.

The times that I took it before were for lower-key social events such as a family member's wedding, rather than for situations where I'm supposed to be intellectually "on."

Does anyone have any experience with this? Thanks.
posted by silly me to Health & Fitness (10 answers total)
I do. Take a half. You'll be fine.
posted by josher71 at 6:48 AM on February 26, 2013

I'm fine with that in this case, but am also worried that it will make me even more spacey than I feel at the moment.

If you're already concerned about feeling "even more spacey" and you don't have time for a dry run (not even same-day--klonopin sticks around much longer and doesn't clear as fast as other benzos, from what I've been told), I....wouldn't.

I was on an as-needed micro dose (.25 mg) briefly related to a thyroid issue and used to joke it was like a vodka shot, in terms of loosening one up conversation wise. This.....may not be the effect you're going for. A friend was on beta blockers, not benzos, for academia-related performance pressure (conference presentations, interviews) and if you had had more lead time, this might have been the way to go instead, to have avoided any cognitive blowback.
posted by availablelight at 6:54 AM on February 26, 2013

I dunno. I have a history of anxiety and while I think taking your medicine might help with the jittery feeling, it will probably exacerbate the foggy brain problem. Not too big a deal if you're just trying to muddle through, but I doubt it will help you feel sharp or alert. It will also most definitely make you sleepier.

An alternative might be a brisk walk and some stretching pre-interview, with Klonopin if still needed post-interview. Good luck, I know how hard it is to be worn out and anxious when you have a big day ahead.
posted by little mouth at 6:57 AM on February 26, 2013

I would not do this without some experience behind you. This is high-stakes and if you're not really sure if it will help, particularly if you are feeling foggy, I don't think this is the answer. With the sleep deprivation it might make you sleepy which would be ungood. Go for a brisk walk or something and eat and apple and good luck on the interview.
posted by jessamyn at 7:00 AM on February 26, 2013 [6 favorites]

First, congrats on landing an interview.

Second, it's pretty normal to feel nervous before an interview. And in my experience, those kinds of nerves never feel healthy. They're the worst.

I would avoid taking a drug that might make you foggy. If still possible, try hitting the gym and doing some light cardio for a short amount of time (15-20 minutes). It will force your breath to regulate itself, release some feel good endorphins and provide some relief for the nerves.

Finally, try to visualize yourself at the interview, smiling at your interviewer.s (which is likely the first thing you'll do anyway). Imagining myself in front of a public, smiling, somehow always helps me calm down a little because it reminds me that I do have some control over how I present myself.

And as we say in my field (which is very public): nerves are a good sign. It shows you care and that you want to do well.

Best of luck on the interview!
posted by Milau at 7:06 AM on February 26, 2013

I wouldn't take it. For me personally, I don't know if I am an especially anxious person or what, but klonopin has a fantastic effect on me on an as-needed basis. It zaps my anxiety and makes me feel relaxed and normal. I have never felt the slightest bit sluggish or down on it. I know other people do get this quite often though. If you're not sure which of these two options you'll end up with, don't take it.

Try visualizations as mentioned above and/or breathing exercises.
posted by sweetkid at 7:13 AM on February 26, 2013

I learned early on, when hung over for an interview for a very good job, that feeling slightly meh and ambivalent about being there helped my interviewing skills tremendously. No nervousness at all, and an attitude that had a little bit of "what's in this job for me?" ... and I've almost always gotten the job I wanted. YMMV, but with or without the pill, try to go in there open to the idea that you haven't chosen them yet, just as they haven't chosen you yet. You're interviewing each other. Good luck.
posted by headnsouth at 7:13 AM on February 26, 2013 [1 favorite]

Could you get your hands on some Rescue Remedy?
posted by Riverine at 7:29 AM on February 26, 2013

As long as you are ready as can be for the interview I think exercise + distraction is the best path here.
posted by edgeways at 8:23 AM on February 26, 2013

I wouldn't, given that you're not certain of how you'll react. It's not something that you can undo once it's taken. Even if you perform well at the interview, just imagine your horror if they really like you and call you to follow up or schedule a 2nd interview again tomorrow during your hazy, depressed, post-Klonopin recovery... (not likely, but who knows)

If it were me, I would try some breathing and positive visualization exercises, or meditation instead.

I usually find that the nervousness is more of an anticipatory thing, and while my voice may be slightly shaky and my pulse elevated during the interview or public speaking event, I try to embrace the physiological "rush" that my body is giving me rather than to attempt to stave it off through a battle of internal wills.

Also, I would 100% prefer to muck up an interview due to who I really am, learn from it, and take positive steps for future similar scenarios, than beat myself up for weeks afterwards for being too chemically altered to perform properly and/or gave them a "wasted" or "burned out" vibe.
posted by Debaser626 at 8:36 AM on February 26, 2013

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