Advice for nightmares leading to waking up in survival mode & having flashbacks

BIgLittle

Confident
I know I’m really stressed when I start having nightmares again. My BF had to wake me up twice last night. Someone was trying to kill me. They were hurting me. Scaring me. I was offering them money to stop.

Then I thought I saw my cat and started saying “kitty kitty” in a little kids voice in the dream. I thought I was saying it out loud but I guess I was just making loud noises. Either way saying that seemed to shift things.

IWhen I am alone my cat wakes me from bad deans by meowing in my face until I wake up. I felt like “kitty kitty” was the safe word for wake up.
A few days ago I had also a nightmare where everybody was trying to kill me... When I finally woke up I was in total survivalmode and having flashbacks. If anyone can give me some advice or something on this issue? Because I've been having nightmares as long as I can remember. Next week my first EMDR session is plannen and I am looking forward to it, because I hope it will help with my CPTSD & PTSD. Thank you for this website and all the supporters. I feel not alone anymore, healing through this.
 

arfie

MyPTSD Pro
a dream journal was the primary tool to help me break this vicious loop. when i started psychotherapy in 1972, i suffered sleep deprivation levels of nightmares and insomnia. at the suggestion of several members of my therapy support network, both pro and peer, i kept a notebook and pen next to my bed so that i could record my dreams, both good and bad, before i got out of bed. when i wasn't able to remember my dreams, i recorded the general senses i woke with. this helped me find the patterns to my sleep anxiety and process the emotions attached.

in addition, journaling before i went to bed helped me get an inventory on my anxieties of the day before they had a chance to wander freely through my dreams.

gentle empathy and support while you find what works for you, biglittle. daily restorative rest makes a huge diff in functioning levels.
 

Freddyt

MyPTSD Pro
You need to set up another safe space to retreat to. After nightmares I had a place with a couple blankets a pillow and dry clothes.

My deal is, get dry and stop shivering, move to a different place with my blankies and pillow waiting, get grounded as I can (first on the list is it was a nightmare, something my brain made up), find something boring or that I have seen a hundred times before on TV. Curl up and relax. No stressing about sleep. Either I sleep or I don't.
 

Shanydacub

New Here
A few days ago I had also a nightmare where everybody was trying to kill me... When I finally woke up I was in total survivalmode and having flashbacks. If anyone can give me some advice or something on this issue? Because I've been having nightmares as long as I can remember. Next week my first EMDR session is plannen and I am looking forward to it, because I hope it will help with my CPTSD & PTSD. Thank you for this website and all the supporters. I feel not alone anymore, healing through this.
Yeah, that’s similar to what I experience. What happens in the night was so terrifying - starting 30 years after events happened to me that traumatized me. I believe prozasin helps, EMDR helped somewhat. But wherever I learned that dreams, and memories, and intense fear cannot hurt me, was the time and place of my biggest step in recovery. I still have just as many episodes, but now I’m just more frustrated by them. And knowing that if none of this happened to me, I wouldn’t be able to pass these few words on. D
 

enough

MyPTSD Pro
nightmares that leave me adrenaline laden and sweating and having tremors are the norm. Maybe two or three times a month now, often all in a row. I have a soft light, a radio, and I try to keep my routine of having dry clothes ready and some water to drink and then trying to distract by listening to a podcast or just the news and using some biofeedback techniques.
Benzo's are the only long term fix for me, but it just means i sleep through them if I have early ones, after sleeeping 5-6 hours the drug has left me vulnerable to standing next to the bed shaking with adrenalin.
It really sucks, and I cannot make it stop. All the tools I use during a day to stay on a good thought arc and not go deeper into the abyss of trying to sort it all out are useless when I am asleep, my mind is going to find an episode of trauma and we are going to explore it again, and some nights we relive it all or worse, just an abstract of traumatic events and sounds and aftermath.
Pretty common, our brains want to solve the problems and move on, and it is going to get rehashed like it or not. My sub c is relentless on this, no rest.
 

Defaultxlove

MyPTSD Pro
I had one last night. woke up in a panic attack.
I feel beat.

I took a shower, I am under the blankets I have that freezing muscle armor feeling/ feel like ill throw up.
I have positive goals for the day so far.

what helps me a lot is to write the dream down (with as many details as possible) and then read it when I am feeling better.
until then its just rest. and talking to people here.

just reading this whole thread which I see I have been here before haha
helped a lot.
 
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shimmerz

MyPTSD Pro
Every night before I go to sleep I build a safe place. I build it like an awake dream. Most times it is on an island so nobody can get to me. Many times it is without anybody around - just animals. Sometimes I bring in my spirit animals - if I am really feeling a mess. This helped a lot but didn't quite do the job.

CBD oil micro dosing combined with the above seemed to take care of it. I still get freaked out - I usually go into a panic just as I am falling asleep. It is such a terrifying feeling, whatever it is.

Also, I work very hard at having plans in place to get my resting anxiety level down. I keep my gas tank always above 1/4 tank, mindfulness in my food choices. Bed early. Awake early. Shower everyday to reset myself. Lots of water. I find if my resting anxiety level is down my whole world get so much better. For me it is worth the effort.
 

Bigmess

Learning
nightmares that leave me adrenaline laden and sweating and having tremors are the norm. Maybe two or three times a month now, often all in a row. I have a soft light, a radio, and I try to keep my routine of having dry clothes ready and some water to drink and then trying to distract by listening to a podcast or just the news and using some biofeedback techniques.
Benzo's are the only long term fix for me, but it just means i sleep through them if I have early ones, after sleeeping 5-6 hours the drug has left me vulnerable to standing next to the bed shaking with adrenalin.
It really sucks, and I cannot make it stop. All the tools I use during a day to stay on a good thought arc and not go deeper into the abyss of trying to sort it all out are useless when I am asleep, my mind is going to find an episode of trauma and we are going to explore it again, and some nights we relive it all or worse, just an abstract of traumatic events and sounds and aftermath.
Pretty common, our brains want to solve the problems and move on, and it is going to get rehashed like it or not. My sub c is relentless on this, no rest.
Exactly my dreams are alsways even if not complete flash backs always have the background of dread and intense sorrow. I have to wake up every few hours to take my medicine anyways and actually wake at 6 AM currently but I still get them. Often before I fall into a deeper sleep what will happen is vivid auditory hallucinations and visuals that will include the specific people stomping around outside my door and yelling, getting violent. It will feel so real, I actually woke up from it a handful of times before thinking there actually was about to be another fight but nothing was there. The worst thing that triggers me besides that is this weird whispery, creepy voice this specific person does talking to themselves when they're getting a bit more unhinged with a hint of aggression to it. I will also hear that with all the stomping around and hearing things being hit. The only thing that seems to stop this from happening is taking melatonin before bed and being focused on something else before it that completely takes my mind off it subconsciously. I like to often before bed just watch a show I enjoy while talking to some friends online because sometimes that does the trick but sometimes it still doesn't. when I'm about to go to bed and I have this weird feeling like everything is extra dark and silent (very hard to describe, everything is just very heavy and negative) I know it's about to happen again and something triggered it. It's amazing how I don't even need the people up and doing anything for my brain to suddenly start recreating it.
 

Magnolia

New Here
A few days ago I had also a nightmare where everybody was trying to kill me... When I finally woke up I was in total survivalmode and having flashbacks. If anyone can give me some advice or something on this issue? Because I've been having nightmares as long as I can remember. Next week my first EMDR session is plannen and I am looking forward to it, because I hope it will help with my CPTSD & PTSD. Thank you for this website and all the supporters. I feel not alone anymore, healing through this.
I often journal as soon as I wake up. It sometimes takes an hour or more to process the dream and get myself right enough to face the day. It has become my norm... dream of monsters after me, wake up in a panic, take deep breaths, write in my journal, take a shower, have a cup of coffee in my favorite chair, then go get ready for the day. This morning ritual keeps me focused on the day, and keeps me out of panic mode.
 
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