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Hunter

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I have had many traumatic things happen to me, and I have PTSD. For the past year I've had horrible nightmares of all that has happened to me. And I've had sleep deprivation I issues since I was molested at age 11. I'm plagued with nightmares of what I've lived thr... The rapes, the beatings. But I'm having nightmares of a badger ripping my body apart, nightmare of being horribly beaten up, having a baby cry during my abortion.
How do I make these nightmares go away. I know I need to tell my therapist but just want some advice now.
Thanks
 

Daniel

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https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-aftermath-trauma/201407/what-dreams-may-come-treating-the-nightmares-ptsd


As a psychiatrist, there is a certain amount of dread associated with learning that your patient is experiencing nightmares, for the very simple fact that nightmares related to PTSD can be very hard to treat.

The first approach is to treat the underlying condition, i.e. the PTSD. I offer the patient evidence-based psychotherapies and, if necessary, medications that I know work for PTSD and hope that, with time, the frequency and intensity of the nightmares will start to decrease as the underlying PTSD is treated.
 

Daniel

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Of course, there is also "sleep hygiene" such as not napping during the day and limiting caffeine and alcohol consumption. Exercising/moving more during the day can help too with underlying anxiety and PTSD.

What has helped you in the past, Hunter? One thing I learned in therapy is that sometimes we just need a lot of little things like positive routines to help us instead of some big thing.

(There are a lot of things that help me with anxiety if I remember to do them, haha. For example, listening to something -- such as audiobooks, music, or a TED Talk -- while lying down helps me relax in order to fall asleep at night. Listening to music during the day is another thing that I often don't do enough -- even though it helps with anxiety and helps keep me focused. Some of these things can help just by having them as part of a meaningful routine.)

Regarding alcohol and nightmares:

Why You Should Limit Alcohol Before Bed for Better Sleep -- Cleveland Clinic

With alcohol in your system you're more likely to have intense, colorful dreams and nightmares as you sleep patterns ebb and flow. You may or may not remember them, but they can be lucid or give you a feeling that you are half awake and half asleep. Because at some point, you might actually be.
 
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