Nightmares and Vivid Dreams

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asyouwish

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Nightmares and Vivid Dreams
« on: June 19, 2017, 02:51:57 PM »
Hey everyone,

One of my biggest problems is having really terrible, vivid nightmares, more nights than not. Sometimes the dreams are not frightening, just very vivid, but many times they are very scary, disturbing dreams. Many of them have to do with my FOO. I experienced very little physical abuse relative to someone who might have had it ongoing. More just threats and some physical every now and then, and mostly from my older brother. So, sometimes the dreams involve physical violence, but mostly it's "just" emotional abuse, flashback-y type stuff. If it's not FOO stuff, it's pretty straightforward horror type things I won't mention 'cause probably triggers.

I've gone to a sleep doctor, one who is actually a psychiatric sleep specialist. He says I have mild-moderate sleep apnea, and it would help if I lost my extra weight. Well, I went on the CPAP machine to no help at all. (And, I've lost about 45 pounds, to no avail.) I've had terrible dreams since I was a very little kid and would go to my parent's room a lot. Last time I remember doing it, I was 12 (and kicked out, too old!). Also, I was not overweight then. However, he did mention, somewhat offhandedly, that my sleep profile resembled some of the combat vets he treats with PTSD. He says many have sleep apnea and it's not so much that "we" have more nightmares than other people, rather we wake up more and remember them more than an average person.

Does anyone else struggle with really terrible dreams? What do you do about them?

They wake me up all the time, and I'm always exhausted. I find I never get a restful night's sleep. Also, when they wake me up, I will fall right back into the dream if I fall back asleep. I have to physically get up and do something else -- so essentially wake up completely -- and then see if I can even fall back asleep, praying I don't go back into the nightmare again.

I've also been getting Old Hag Syndrome a lot more in recent months, though that seems to happen more when I'm sleeping in an unfamiliar bed. But still! It's terrifying!

I'm desperate for solutions. Anyone?

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Fictionalizer

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Re: Nightmares and Vivid Dreams
« Reply #1 on: July 06, 2017, 09:47:20 PM »
Hi asyouwish,
Yes, I've got the nightmares. I had one this morning triggered by my birthday. With this one I had a racing heart and breathlessness.

What I do is look for signs that would tell me this is a memory nightmare rather than a nightmare. I've learned the differences after many years of experience. Everybody is different when it comes to deciphering the difference between them. Then I write the nightmares down in my journal and that makes things make sense. It also gets it out of my mind and frees it, somewhat.

Old Hag Syndrome? Sleep paralysis?

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silentrhino

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Re: Nightmares and Vivid Dreams
« Reply #2 on: July 08, 2017, 12:00:03 AM »
I have chronic nightmares, the kind that wake you up sick and screaming.  The only thing that helps is not sleeping, not going to lie, I keep myself going 20-23 hours a day at full power, then collapse and set alarm for two hours later.  I don't allow myself to sleep much, it's too awful to contemplate descending to that * daily.  I know I'm sleep deprived, maybe one day I'll not be, but I don't know when. 

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sanmagic7

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Re: Nightmares and Vivid Dreams
« Reply #3 on: July 08, 2017, 02:42:29 AM »
more often than not, i have those continuation nightmares, too.  i usually go to the computer, play on it for a few hours before i dare lay back down again.  those are the worst.

had a dream about dreaming last night.  that doesn't usually happen.  must be layers of stuff i'm dealing with that my subconscious is still dealing with at a distance.  i just remember waking up screaming from a dream in my dream, in bed w/ my sister, who's npd to my mind.  she didn't give me much comfort, as i recall.

silentrhino, i can't imagine going without sleep like that.  sounds like you've got one foot in 2 different hells.  how horrible for you.  warm, hopeful energy coming your way that you can get restful sleep sooner rather than later. 

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asyouwish

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Re: Nightmares and Vivid Dreams
« Reply #4 on: July 09, 2017, 02:15:53 PM »
Hey everyone,

Thanks for your responses. It's good and terrible to know I'm not alone.

I talked to my psychiatrist about this and, even though it's not the first time I've talked about it, he decided this time to recommend a medication that's been proven in combat vets to reduce nightmares and day-time flashbacks. Very skeptical, but decided to try it. I haven't had a nightmare since. Not the waking up terrified kind, anyway. Part of me suspects this is more placebo effect than anything, but I'll take it!

I've also had fewer ruminations about the past. I actually find it hard to sit and remember the past now. I don't know if this is a good thing, or the medication, but it's something.

Still having bad dreams, though. Not nightmares, but FOO stuff that's upsetting.

And, yeah. Old Hag Syndrome is sleep paralysis. You "wake up" but can't move. Sometimes (every time with me) it feels like someone is in the room with you, usually an old woman, and you can't DO anything about it. It's terrifying. Some people describe her sitting on their chest, but I just have her behind me, where I can't see her, but I feel her. And I can't move. I haven't had that since the medication, either.

Anyway, I'm sleeping much better, but still kind of tired. I guess I have to catch up.

I'm so sorry to hear some of your stories about difficulties sleeping. Sleep is so important and I hope you can find some relief!

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sanmagic7

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Re: Nightmares and Vivid Dreams
« Reply #5 on: July 09, 2017, 10:45:34 PM »
so glad to hear you're sleeping better, asyouwish.  that's the best.  never heard of old hag syndrome before.  very interesting.  i think i'll look it up, see if there's other info on it.

here's to sleeping refreshing, glorious sleeping.  i'm still working on it.   big hug.

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blues_cruise

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Re: Nightmares and Vivid Dreams
« Reply #6 on: July 17, 2017, 09:10:46 AM »
Asyouwish :hug: I've always had bad dreams too. I get quite a few nowadays where I go back in time and I'm stuck in my old situation trying to make myself feel better using old, unhealthy methods, or planning an escape. I only went no contact with my N father a few months ago so I think it's my brain just trying to come to terms with it all.

So glad that you've been prescribed a medication that is working for you.  :hug:

Re: Nightmares and Vivid Dreams
« Reply #7 on: September 03, 2017, 01:56:35 AM »
Sorry to bring up an old thread but I didn't want to create a new one and thus have two different threads related to the one topic. ^^"

I've always dreamt a lot, always remembered my dreams when I woke up. In the past few years however it's now like, 50% nightmares, 50% dreams. >.>
Nightmares are usually really uncomfortable but I have a terrible tolerance to lack of energy so I'll still manage to fall back asleep. Sometimes though I may get a more intense nightmare that will have me completely shaken and I'll have to go find something to do that will keep my mind off of what I saw.

Majority of my nightmares are related to past trauma and what not, either I'm lacking control, being trapped with no escape, or I find I have no contact with the people who care about me. Occasionally though I get an unrelated but terribly gory nightmare, the stuff of horror movies, the kind where you wake up and check to make sure all your limbs are still there.

Last night I had 5 different nightmares in one go, I could have gotten up after the first one but I needed my sleep. lol
Trigger Warning - Family
One of the nightmares was my father finding out about my c-ptsd diagnosis and getting mad, telling me how I'm an idiot for believing such a thing and saying over and over how "I'm not the bad guy" like he would IRL
Trigger Warning - End
It's all a bit mentally exhausting. But I don't think I can really avoid it. My psych said the more I talked and opened up about my trauma, the more I 'open doors in my memory' - the more likely it will be to have nightmares of it.

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sanmagic7

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Re: Nightmares and Vivid Dreams
« Reply #8 on: September 03, 2017, 02:16:52 AM »
a.a., hopefully these terrible nightmares are the efforts of your subconscious to bring everything horrible into the light so that you are able to finally process and resolve all that happened.  i used to get quite a few, but they've diminished over the years as i've kept working at recovery.  wishing the same for you..   big hug.

Re: Nightmares and Vivid Dreams
« Reply #9 on: September 03, 2017, 12:53:28 PM »
a.a., hopefully these terrible nightmares are the efforts of your subconscious to bring everything horrible into the light so that you are able to finally process and resolve all that happened.  i used to get quite a few, but they've diminished over the years as i've kept working at recovery.  wishing the same for you..   big hug.
Glad to know they eventually diminished. :) Gives me a bit of hope, thank you. Would be nice to finally go a week without waking up every few hours!

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Candid

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Re: Nightmares and Vivid Dreams
« Reply #10 on: September 03, 2017, 01:30:13 PM »
Certainly would!  It's tough to be woken and afraid to go back to sleep.  Several times a night must be awful.

I'm another one who's outgrown it.  Still living with parents obviously doesn't help.  I hope you can get away soon.   :hug:




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Andyman73

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Re: Nightmares and Vivid Dreams
« Reply #11 on: September 23, 2017, 03:09:46 AM »
I think my nightmares started when I was 4? That's the earliest age I can remember being woken up by mommy...screaming in sheer terror! I do have some totally bizarre memories of mommy sedating me at 3 yrs old to get me to sleep through nightmares without screaming. But don't remember the nightmares from those memories .
I had the screaming nightmares from age 3-9. Something changed, screaming stopped but nightmares continued unabated. Hmmm, we moved a few weeks before the screaming stopped.

That series of nightmares persisted well into my young 20s. They pretty much dropped off to just a few times a year By 1995. Of course multiple sui attempts may have something to do with it.  Or the 4 Adult SA,  r who knows what. To this day Instill havenifhtmares

Re: Nightmares and Vivid Dreams
« Reply #12 on: September 23, 2017, 05:32:30 AM »
Certainly would!  It's tough to be woken and afraid to go back to sleep.  Several times a night must be awful.

I'm another one who's outgrown it.  Still living with parents obviously doesn't help.  I hope you can get away soon.   :hug:
Thank you Candid. ^^

I think my nightmares started when I was 4? That's the earliest age I can remember being woken up by mommy...screaming in sheer terror! I do have some totally bizarre memories of mommy sedating me at 3 yrs old to get me to sleep through nightmares without screaming. But don't remember the nightmares from those memories .
I had the screaming nightmares from age 3-9. Something changed, screaming stopped but nightmares continued unabated. Hmmm, we moved a few weeks before the screaming stopped.

That series of nightmares persisted well into my young 20s. They pretty much dropped off to just a few times a year By 1995. Of course multiple sui attempts may have something to do with it.  Or the 4 Adult SA,  r who knows what. To this day Instill havenifhtmares
That sounds terrible Andy! I'm so sorry to hear... I hope the nightmares aren't as frequent for you currently.


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JayDubs

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Re: Nightmares and Vivid Dreams
« Reply #13 on: September 23, 2017, 10:55:56 AM »
I am so sorry for all of you that have nightmares.   I have them on rare occasions.  Usually my dreams are just the opposite and very peaceful, supplying me with what I think I am missing in life.  Not sure.   They can be very detailed too.  Had a spectacular one this morning that I wish I had someone to share it with.

I wonder if one area of our personality is our dream writer more than other areas?   My inner critic seems to have the best of me throughout the day so maybe it takes a break when I sleep.  Just random thoughts here.   When I was in the military and detached from the rest of the world a good dream was almost vital to escape.   Some of us would even openly state that they hope they would have a good dream...kind of a quick vacation.  At times a matter of survival.

Don't mean to hijack this thread.  My apologies.  I feel for all of you that have bad dreams and wish that did not happen to you or anyone else. 

* Edit *

Looking back, I have had nightmares in regards to life events while an adult.  Such as tornados, wars, etc.  Those have subsided.
« Last Edit: September 23, 2017, 11:22:31 AM by JayDubs »

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Andyman73

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Re: Nightmares and Vivid Dreams
« Reply #14 on: October 03, 2017, 01:17:43 PM »
Sunrise,

I know what one of the scream inducing nightmares was...and I can tell you in intricate detail too. It's not rated R scary, maybe PG. After I moved and screaming stopped, even though that nightmare didn't. I began having another one...this one rated R for sure. But involves dinosaurs instead of people. I used to imagine I was a dinosaur, T-rex, so people and my parents couldn't hurt me anymore. In those nightmares...I was repeatedly attacked by bigger and stronger dinos...with their claws and teeth....
These two reoccuring nightmares lasted well into my early adult years...I still have them on occaision...like a reminder of what they signify.

Night terrors, sleep paralysis, yeah....

Never even knew about keeping a sleep diary. Wouldn't have mattered...I know those nightmares inside and out...and others....more scary for other reasons....