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  1. #1

    Whats worse; being awake or having nightmares?

    I suffer from exteme nightmares. I wake my household up regularily with screams and cries. I avoid sleep. I can't control what goes on while I am sleeping, so I would rather be awake.

    I dream about the past. I dream about violence, death, hurt. I dream about me being a child and hiding in my closet in fear of acts of harm. I dream about my husband yelling and shoving and choking me. I am sick of nightmares. How do you deal with this when you are asleep? I remember almost every little detail when I awaken. My face is wet, my eyes are swollen. The little 3 hours of sleep I do get, can this really be the kind of sleep that gives you rest? I am fatigued, truly drained.

    Do you ever feel like hiding so far away that nobody would ever find you? Thats how I feel. I want to run, just disappear.

    Haunting

  2. #2

    Whats worse; being awake or having nightmares?

    Have you ever been treated for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Haunting?

    Some people have found a technique called EMDR helpful -- you might see if you can find a therapist who is trained in this technique.

  3. #3

    Whats worse; being awake or having nightmares?

    I remember almost every little detail when I awaken.
    Which is worse...the nightmare itself in deep sleep or the semi-awake or fully awake recollection of it? I guess with extreme nightmares the former is true and with regular nightmares the latter is true. Maybe with extreme nightmares one is more lucid while dreaming in deep REM sleep (as in "lucid dreaming") but not lucid enough to end the nightmare?

    I only have occasional, mild nightmares like most people, and I don't have the kind of nightmares my brother used to have with PTSD. However, when I do have nightmares, the worst part seems to be the transition from sleep to waking up from the dream. This transition seems to "incubate" some of the dream into semi-awake consciousness before one realizes the dream isn't real.
    "What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

  4. #4

    ?

    No Dr. Baxter, I have never been treated for PTSD. It seems as though this is something that others are reluctant in diagnosing, but I do feel this is the case with me. I have thought about hypnosis, but am afraid of this.

    My nightmares affect me the entire day following. This is why I would rather be awake. I had to force myself to calm down and try to sleep last night. But as always, the dreams took over and I awoke with the feeling of once again, wanting to die.

    I dream often about when I was a child. I used to hide in my closet, away from my dad, the alcohol, the parties, the fighting...... it was my safe place. I took all of my stuffed animals in with me. (I know, how pathetic). I had a long closet; lol. I crawled in to that place of darkness where I never wanted to leave, and found myself still there when I woke up. I have the dreams of when my father drank himself into this evil demon, who was so violent. I dream about how my husband grabbed our son by the neck and dragging him screaming up the stairs. Of course I would step in, I would rather see him hurt me then my baby boy. I may be divorced, but he will never let me go. I see that man in my face, yelling, taunting, hurting all of us. I hate this.

    Anything that goes on in my day, I guarentee, I will dream about it that night. Then it seems to drag on to the past. My dreams are a jumbled mess. So like I say, what is worse? Being awake, or being asleep? I would choose the sleep deprivation anytime.

    Haunting

  5. #5

    Whats worse; being awake or having nightmares?

    I doubt that hypnosis would do much good anyway, Haunting, but as I said there have been reports of good results with EMDR (which is not related to hypnosis). It might be well worth your while to explore this since when it works it seems to do so relatively quickly and the results can be quite dramatic.

  6. #6

    Whats worse; being awake or having nightmares?

    If you don't like EMDR, there is always CBT (cognitive behavior therapy). According to EMDR critics, EMDR may simply be a more friendly version of CBT/desensitization for some people.

    My nightmares affect me the entire day following. This is why I would rather be awake.
    Of course, in waking consciousness, the memory of the dream is not as much of an issue as the emotions surrounding it. From the little I know about PTSD, one goal is to lessen the emotional reaction of emotionally engrained memories. On the positive side, it is interesting that the brain forms memories like jello with the emotional reaction of the hypothalamus determining how well the "jello" will form. Of course, this is how "emotional scars" are formed.
    "What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

  7. #7

    Whats worse; being awake or having nightmares?

    I don't think it is simply CBT. To be honest, I don't know how it works, or why it does when it does and doesn't when it doesn't. I am not an EMDR therapist. But I have seen it used with quite remarkable effects on a couple of clients...

    The theory, by the way, is that it isn't the eye movements or other repetitive movements or sensory stimuli themselves but rather the stimulation of various areas of the brain caused by those repetitive experiences.

  8. #8

    Whats worse; being awake or having nightmares?

    Another positive aspect of EMDR is that it is said to require less sessions than CBT.
    "What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

  9. #9

    Whats worse; being awake or having nightmares?

    Yes. When it works, often one sees results in as little as 1 to 3 sessions.

  10. #10

    Whats worse; being awake or having nightmares?

    Sorry for my ignorence. I don't understand what this means. What is EMDR and CBT. Kind of lost here. Could you explain what this is?

    Thanks,

    Haunting

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