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Nightmare help....

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ga yankee

I've read all the previous stuff about nightmares vs night terrors vs flashbacks but here's my question?? Are yours so realistic? I mean, mine are like I'm right there. Like my pregnancy dreams were...so realistic I hear and smell and can feel what's going on. Not just feel fear and stuff but touch things. They put me on meds to stop them but they don't stop...they just help me forget them when I wake up. The other question is- they happen so quick in my sleep...I can take a 2 hour nap and have a nightmare that feels like it's lasting most of that time. Epic, long, drawn-out tragedy. I won't get into specifics since that won't help anyone here but they do have a common story-line but they are NOT flashbacks. They are sooo involved and real I can never stand back in them and say "ok...this is a nightmare...wake up dummy". I can even feel my hyper-vigilence in them. Anyone else??
response to nightmare

I too have them. I awake up and still have the intense emotions and these emotions hang on most of the day. I have themevery night. I too can't stop in the middle of them and make them stop or change the story.
I'd suggest you discuss this with your medical professional that prescribed you the medication, as the current one does not seem to be doing the job. There are other medications out there that may offer better results for these types of symptoms. If this is a major symptom, it should be considered when they choose a medication for you.
have you tried Clonidine ? ... this med has worked great for me regarding nightmares and night terrors.
clonidine helped me also. i had to stop taking it because i had low blood pressure to begin with so it was REALLY low while on clonidine.
ga yankee,

I feel your pain. I seem to go through cycles with my nightmares - and right now I'm in one of those cycles. My nightmares give me no rest, it's as if I'm not sleeping, that I'm simply awake in some Hitchcock like dream-scape reality when I'm sleeping and I never quite feel rested because my mind just won't shut down right now.

I'm equating it currently to some stress going on in my life - like being away from home for a week and the days preceding my leaving were stressful because I knew I was going away. I've always had extremely vivid dreams and they can ruin an entire day or days for me because they affect me like any other traumatizing event can, because they feel so real. I'm not taking anything special for the nightmares, just benzos for a sleep aid.

I hope you can find some relief, but just wanted to let you know that you are not alone. BTW- if you're interested, there is a group on here for analyzing dreams - Seeking Nirvana (Tammy) is a very good dream interpreter, and maybe you will find some peace by posting some of these nightmares for her to analyze for you. I've found some peace by doing this. She's a great resource.

Yeah, have very low bp so when i tried it in the hospital it was too much.

as for dream interpretation....i'm torn. i know why i have the dreams i do...they hall have the same theme. as for sharing them...i feel hesitant to air them on this board because they are sooo graphic and probably not helpful to anyone who has had trauma or even if they haven't. kinda like posting a car wreck picture here. they all have dead children in them...either me being helpless to save them or already dead. many times it's my son. the story is always different but it's the same idea of i'm helpless to save them and i have to sit and watch the gory details. That's more than enough info. I have a appt with my psychiatrist in 2 weeks and he's wonderful at helping me work this stuff out (meds-wise) so if they increase,,,i will call him.

thanks all
I've experienced some relief from Trazadone, but I do still have horrible nightmares and wake up with a "PTSD hangover".
I used to get nightmares every night. I could limit them a bit by what I exposed myself to in the media. Other than that the only thing that has worked has been working on the trauma itself. The nightmares are purely a way of your mind telling you its still wounded.

I know this isn't much comfort and I know what nightmares and the horrible feeling all day the day after is like. The only thing to relieve it at the time was my therapist suggested I buy a cuddly toy. It worked and I still sleep with it. It give comfort after but does nothing to stop them.
my nightmares are terrible i yell in them and i grind my teeth. so i have to wear a nightquard in my mouth. they are so real i am back in nam. i am on meds they help some but don't stop them. i go thou a rough peorid in june and july i were in a battle in those two months that earn me the combat action ribbon. i wake up skaking and sweating and don't want to go back to sleep.
If they didn't have kids/my son in them I could probably cope better. I work in the media and there is a MAJOR link to what I see at work and how bad the nightmares are. I don't watch tv at home and limit all other news intake. They just switched me to Ambien and it was horrible...I just went back to Lunesta and the difference is amazing. It doesn't help the nightmares but it does help me get "better" sleep in the long run.

Nam--- I wanted to tell you I feel your crap. When I was a child, I remember my dad having nightmares after he returned. Unbelieveable stuff....jumping out of bed thinking he was being attacked, screaming and yelling and walking in his sleep. And then he'd be up the rest of the night smoking and pacing and drinking. Just as the drinking never stopped...I don't think his nightmares ever did either. But he never talked about it or looked for help or anything. So you're way ahead of the game!
OMG, ga_yankee ... YES!!!

I have walked around for whole days thinking a good friend of mine is dead, because the nightmare in which I saw or learned about her dying was so real, I was sure it had happened.

For about 18 months I had a terrible time identifying what was dream and what was reality. And I felt entirely embarrassed and ashamed to admit that because it sounds so stupid! Like, I am a full-grown adult, should I not be able to tell dream from reality?! Sheesh. But it's not that kind of thing. The nightmares are so real, they have the detail and feel of reality... the smells, the sounds, the heat, and yes I can feel objects in them ... they are full-sensory experiences.

Mine also always follow the same theme. I know what they mean, I don't need them analyzed. :) I know exactly what my hang-ups and problems are, and my nightmares are just expressions of them.

I have never taken medications for the nightmares specifically. I worked on my core issues with my therapist, which helped a lot. I only get the really bad nightmares a couple times a month right now (100% dependent upon stressors and my regular meds). The rest of the nights I "just" have what healthy people would classify as bad or unsettling dreams.

But yeah, been there, doing that, riding the wave through it.

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