Still Crazy , after all these years

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Alex Bull

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I am nearly 60 now. I was abused intermittently by my father from a very early age - maybe 4 or 5 - up until I told him to stop at the age of 14. By that time he was an alcoholic as well, and was a manipulative and controlling man. My poor mom couldn't cope - I was the youngest in a big family - and she simply ignored the issues and me, so there was a lot of neglect involved as well. I have had therapy over the years, mostly to cope with the guilt I felt about my reactions to the abuse. My siblings lived in fear and neglect, but were not sexually abused. Three suffer serious depression issues, one took his own life. OK - it sounds awful, like all these things do. I know all the stuff about it, and I do not waste my time in the futile search for a better past. However, at the moment, I am suffering severe nightmares again - I had them in my 20s and 30s and in phases at other times. These are proper night horrors, from which I struggle to wake. My wife is very understanding, but it puts a strain on us, especially as we both have stressful jobs as well - we're both teachers. I can do no more to 'come to terms' with the damage that man did, but what can I do about the nightmares? I need to sleep.
I dont know if recommending medication is allowed, but if it is, I would suggest looking into Phenergan. It's an antihistamine that has a drowsy affect. It helps me to sleep much deeper and I have less nightmares. Its available over the counter and doesn't have any dependency/withdrawal issues like sleeping tablets can do.

This is of course just a band aid over the wound, but has offered me some relief. I would assume that if you are having night terrors, that there could still be useful work to be done with a therapist. Perhaps a different kind to what you've tried before. I saw 12-15 different therapists, counsellors, psychiatrists etc before finally finding someone who was trained by modern trauma standards and I have learned more with her than with all of the previous ones put together.

There's nothing quite like waking up from a horrible nightmare, you don't feel rested and you begin your day stressed and upset. I hope you find some relief soon, whatever you choose to do.
Considered by most doctors to be the nuclear option, benzo’s are at the end of the trail of the many many other drugs to try first.
I am a little older and i assume have been trying to find resources longer than you, I ended up using the benzos after trying many drugs first.

They are addictive. For some the side effects are too much. For me the overall loss of energy was not acceptable so I stopped using them. It was very difficult. At the end of a year of lost sleep and the return of the night terrors I made a pretty easy decision to go back on.

If you go to a prescriber and say you want to try benzos they most likely will refuse to prescribe and tell you to try any of a number of other drugs first. Thats good advice.

I post this primarily to give you hope that there is a way to get normal sleep out there. I know the hopelessness that sets in after nights of lost sleep and the depth of self doubt that sets in after the adrenaline of a night terror wears off.

welcome to the forum, there is help here.
hello alex. welcome to the forum. sorry for what brings you here, but glad you are here.

i'm nearly 70 now and learning how to say, "still crazy" like it is a good thing. it worked for paul simon, didn't it? the radical acceptance of my psycho-ticks has lead me to making peace with them and learning how to use my crazy to better ends, including the end of those gnarly nightmares that kept me sleep deprived crazy. i am knocking wood as i report that it has been over a decade since i've suffered those nightmares.

but that is me and every case is unique. . .

steadying support while you find what works for you. welcome aboard.
I know the hopelessness that sets in after nights of lost sleep and the depth of self doubt that sets in after the adrenaline of a night terror wears off.
This is really a pivotal part of the impact on me. ^^

Hope you find relief as it is very tiring. Welcome to you @Alex Bull .
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