I usually post in the depression forum but I have been struggling lately with strong violent nightmares that do not want to go away. I have had these nightmares for a very long time and they sometimes go away for awhile. Right now I am up to five nights a week where I wake up sideways in the bed, sheets and blankets each and every way. I wake up in a cold sweat and the nightmares play in my mind for most of the following day.
How do I make them stop for good? Is it possible?
thanks for reading
Major Depressive Disorder With Psychotic Features
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
Borderline Personality Disorder
Generalized Anxiety Disorder
I think the nightmares are one of the worst problems with PTSD. I wake up sometimes in the middle of the night drenched in a cold sweat and very dissociated. I have tried everything I could think of to little if any avail. What I finally decided to do was just admit that I will probably always experience sleep difficulties, that I should just accept that, and sleep when I can sleep. Iknw that doesn't sound very helpful, but I really did find that once I stopped worrying about, obsessing over, and above all else trying to fix the problem it did seem to become less stressful. Harry
My psychologist says that the dreams are our subconscious's way of trying to work out the problems in our minds. I have suffered from terrible nightmaries. Only until I have finally started talking to him have the nightmares gotten better. As I would try to deal with some aspect of my trauma the nightmares related to that aspect would get better. I'm not saying the nightmares were "reliving" the trauma, they were mostly so wild and unrelated to anything I was thinking about that I truly was confused (although they were violent and horrid), but when I analyzed it, I understood how they related. My psych hasa way of analyzing the dreams to try to make sense of them. A lot of times it feels really silly but most of the time after doing it,I could see the connection to my dreams. He tells me to become the things in my dream, like if I dream about an elevator (which I did for along time), I become the elevator and he asks questions like, How do you feel?, What is your purpose? What do you do? Why do you want to hurt people? Why did you do _________ in the dream?" He's much better at the questions than I am, but those are examples. So, even though my trauma had nothing to do with elevators I was able to find a connection by thinking about what the purpose of hte elevator wasin the dream, etc.
Okay...that is probably more than you wanted to know. Sorry...but I"ve only really started talking to him the past two months (after almost four years) and finally dealing with the past has finally started to help the dreams. I haven't awakened with the night terrors in several weeks.
Good luck. There is help. They may never go away totally, but I can finally say that after 30 years of nightmares that they have finally started to et some better.
I understand what you are going through. Up to five years after my accident I was having terrible nightmares where I would basically relive everything every night. I would wake up crying, drenched, and on most nights, wet the bed. I was always mortified. I later found out basically the same thing as the poster above me. It is your minds way of trying to deal with it. I was blocking out things and refusing to let myself think about the details. When they would creep in, I would physically shake my head no. I was just repressing everything. That is never the way to heal.
I suffered for years also with dreams, nightmares, and wide awake dreams also. I finally found a therapist who actually helped me overcome them. He explained that the nightmares, dreams ect was my mind playing out the fear that I had over the abuse I had suffered years ago. That fear is the real abuser now. Fear is just an emotion, not a real issue. He taught me how to ground myself in the here and now, and after awhile it worked. Don't let fear rule your world. Take charge of it and it will go away.
I empathize with your disturbance over the nightmares. I haven't looked forward to going to bed for a long time because of mine. Many times, the nightmares aren't just a moving collage of horrific images, they're memories. Disturbing memories that come alive in my sleep beat the scariest horror movies any day.
However, after an evening of addressing some aspect of my trauma with my best friend, or posting here, I seem to rest better, sometimes without nightmares. Getting out painful issues is like a needed release. I go to bed sort of relieved, without a weight I had been carrying.
I can't pre-determine what will whirl in my head after I go to sleep, but getting your concerns out in the open with a trusted friend and/or therapist, definitely helps. I even tell my therapist when my nightmares worsen. Sometimes it's a telling sign that leads to a beneficial discussion.