Dreams in Trauma Locations

fern

Confident
I have recurring dreams that I am back in the city / locations I was in when trauma took place. Almost every night for the past few months. Some nights it's not necessarily bad, just roaming the streets. Some nights are worse, and I dream of fighting off rapists/people trying to assault me, or see murderers or someone torturing someone else.

I had recurring nightmares/flashbacks most intensely the first year after I left the traumatic environment. It's been 4 years and I've seen a lot of improvement overall, but in the past few months it seems to have come back every night. I bet my SSRI medication, which can make some crazy vivid dreams, has an impact on this.

But the underlying issue that is a big factor is that I have been really stressed out and having a lot more triggers and anxiety/panic attacks in the last 6-7 months.

Sometimes I take a prescribed benzo before bed to help me. But I am running low on those and want to try to save them for when I'm really triggered.

I find it hard to let myself go to sleep. It feels vulnerable and I tend to just distract myself until I am about to pass out.

I want to hear what helps other people. Just please dont say melatonin lol
 

osiris

MyPTSD Pro
Sorry to hear things are bad for you @fern

I got great advice when I first came to this forum about exercise.
My sleep and nightmares fluctuate and are never brilliant, but when I’ve done some decent exercise to wear myself out I function better and nights are generally more bearable.

I hope you get some respite soon.
 

Movingforward10

MyPTSD Pro
But the underlying issue that is a big factor is that I have been really stressed out and having a lot more triggers and anxiety/panic attacks in the last 6-7 months.
Makes sense that if you are more stressed at the moment that this will increase the nightmares.
Is there something you can do to lessen whatever has been impacting your stress levels? If not, is there a way of trying to break it down a little?

It's awful not being able to sleep and/or having nightmares like that.
Would having a relaxing evening ritual help?
I go through phases with sleep from : good, to intermittent sleeping and waking X amount of times, to waking up super early and not being able to go back to sleep, with nightmares thrown in too, to then being so exhausted I then sleep.

When I'm really low, I fall asleep listening to music as I like to think about playing it and that makes my mind focused on the sounds rather than anything else.
 

fern

Confident
The exercise thing helps. On days I have biked to and from work, I am ready to sleep and sleep well- not the constant waking up, tossing and turning that I do otherwise.

This past week I did not bike to work- and I have noticed more fight/flight dreams. I think I am also in some emotional flashbacks and realizing the extent of my ptsd.

I have recurring dreams about fighting off someone who is assaulting me- either with my bare hands, or with a stun gun, or an actual gun (usually the first two).
Or otherwise dreams of running away.
 
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