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#153475 - 04/30/07 11:52 AM When do the nightmares stop???
pain4ever Offline


Registered: 04/05/01
Posts: 1032
I have been in the recovery process for two years, I even did a stint "hospitalized" but I have one question for you all going through the recovery process.

When do the damned nightmares stop?????

As much progress as I have made I still am haunted on a nightly basis, seemingly doomed to relive one incident or another in my sleep.

Has anyone had this problem, has it ever stopped?

_________________________
Peace and Tranquility all depends on your frame of reference.

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#153479 - 04/30/07 12:16 PM Re: When do the nightmares stop??? [Re: pain4ever]
Hauser Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/12/05
Posts: 2962
Loc: United States
I wish I had some advice to impart to you on this matter, but since I never had to deal with them, I can't.

But others here HAVE dealt with nightmares (and flashbacks). They will surely respond to your post with some practical feedback/advice.


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#153481 - 04/30/07 12:24 PM Re: When do the nightmares stop??? [Re: Hauser]
Still Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/16/07
Posts: 6367
Loc: 2 NATO Nations
Sorry you are in this state Brian. I'm there too.

They were really bad in my teens, then really bad off-and-on in my twenties....and occasionally bad in my thirties...but now that I'm "dealing with it"...well...Mr. Nighmare-Generator is fully open for business and has been each and every night.

The flashbacks like to devour my days too in most unpleasant ways.

I know this does not answer your question...but I'm standing here next to you waiting to hear it from someone.

_________________________
Jesus Loves The Hell Outta Me!

Still's Globs

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#153484 - 04/30/07 12:34 PM Re: When do the nightmares stop??? [Re: Still]
pain4ever Offline


Registered: 04/05/01
Posts: 1032
It just is so hard when I have worked so hard to get over all of this. It makes me just want to erase everything from 16 and earlier. The bad thing is i have turned to using sleeping pills to put me out hard enough so I don't dream or don't remember them. However last night I found a drawback of doing that, sometimes they don't knock you out far enough to get rid of the dreams. The pills just keep me far enough under so I CAN'T wake up. I woke up this morning and my pillow was soaked with tears.

Also smells trigger me to flashbacks. Its like I am in hell either when I am awake or asleep.



Edited by pain4ever (04/30/07 12:35 PM)
_________________________
Peace and Tranquility all depends on your frame of reference.

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#153532 - 04/30/07 04:14 PM Re: When do the nightmares stop??? [Re: pain4ever]
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 22045
Loc: Carlisle, PA
I have posted about this before, but who knows where. There are various strategies you can use to deal with both flashbacks and nightmares, but of course we're all different and what works for one guy will be useless to another.

For flashbacks I found I was often triggered by being in a quiet room alone, so I took care of that by playing music when I was alone in a room or in the house. Having a 100-pound underloved german shepherd around helps too. \:D

My T and some guys here also helped me find strategies to cope with a flashback when one came. The trick is to try to keep present and focus on things that are real. Put your feet flat on the floor and feel that - THAT's real. Or put your hands on the chair and feel that - again, THAT's real. I also found out that if I snapped myself lightly with the CSA wristband I have, that would help me keep present. For me, collapsing into dread as a flashback washed over me made things so much worse; if I could cope with the dread that helped a lot.

Maybe this is just me, but the only way I could cope with nightmares was face them head-on. If I got a nightmare I would just get up, go downstairs and have a cup of herb tea, try to relax, and if I got comfortable, sleep wherever I happened to be. I also kept a photo album of cool things I liked, mainly expensive old guitars \:\) and wild natural scenes.

I also heard one guy talking about something that I tried, but maybe I was already getting over the nightmares anyway by then. The idea is that if a repeating nightmare hits you, then when you wake up finish it with a good ending. Keep doing that as the nightmare recurs; the idea is that as your ending takes hold the nightmare will fade.

Lastly, it helped me a lot to remind myself that these things didn't mean I was going nuts or failing in my recovery. This is just our minds trying to cope with incredibly extreme trauma.

Brian, do be careful with the sleeping pills. Talk to your T or doctor and see what they have to say about this. As you've already found out, they doesn't necessarily help.

And I almost forgot!!!!!!!!!!!! Do you guys have stuffed animals? You would be surprised how many of the guys on the site have furry pals. Mine is a stuffed dog - very fluffy and hugable! Little Larry still loves him to bits.

Much love,
Larry

_________________________
Nobody living can ever stop me
As I go walking my freedom highway.
Nobody living can make me turn back:
This land was made for you and me.
(Woody Guthrie)

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#153542 - 04/30/07 04:43 PM Re: When do the nightmares stop??? [Re: pain4ever]
Logan Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 04/05/03
Posts: 1205
Loc: NY
Brian,

I too suffer from unbelivably terrorfic nightmares.


Here's a few things that help me and some suggested by other survivors here that I practice,
1. I take a medication that is for an "off labeled use" (bacially not what the med was intended for originally, but works really well for) like ASA, or aspirin-oringinally for headaches- but can be used to delay a cardiac emergency.--get my drift.

So the first med is Prazoson (Ken Singer wrote a huge article abouth this in the Health and Wellbeing Forum). It is a BP (blood Pressure) med, But many sudies have bin done by giving it to War Vets, that suffer from PTSD, and suffer from nightmares, with fairly good results-AKA it helped alot of them!

Another mediication that is also used to control high BP, is Inderol or Propanolol (generic vs. brand name, but both the same med. It has been known for many years to aid with situational anxiety--but it also reduce the nightmares for me, not to mention my OR rotations at the hospital for intubation training surrounded by 2 surgeos and an anathesiologist beathing down my neck Durring Paramedic Training.
But that a different matter.

You must get this med prescibed to you by an MD doctor, it can be dangerous because They are BP meds, they can drop your BP to the point where you get very light headed or even faint. Basically, make sure thyat yu descuss all the posible side effects, contraindications, etc.


2. Understanding what a nightmare is, is important. I could write a paper on this subject alone, but to keep it simple, it is basically your unconcious mind trying to make sence of and piece together what it can not make sence of. the dream may include subject matter from: what you saw and experienced that day, week. It may include the same emotion and sensation that your have once experienced.

Just remember to always remined yourself that is only a dream and can not hurt you physicaly.

Trust me I know how painful they can be and frightful and disturbing.


One thing that You and Larry recently suggest I do is express these very unplessant, disturbing, ragefull, PAINFULL emotions. I have been doing that a lot lately, just releasing the emotions as they come up instead of trying to cover them up and forget about them, almost in a way to purge myself from theses horrible memories and the emotions that I carry with them and this has helped the MOST for me. If I feel sad, I allow myself to feel sad instead of bottling it up inside and then having to deal with it durring the night time!!!!!

feel free to PM me.

Logan

_________________________
"Terrible thing to live in Fear"-Shawshank Redemption
WOR Alumnus Hope Springs 2009
"Quite a thing to live in fear, this is what is means to be a slave"
-Blade Runner

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#153547 - 04/30/07 04:51 PM Re: When do the nightmares stop??? [Re: Logan]
Nate Offline
Guest

Registered: 04/30/07
Posts: 94
Loc: Philadelphia, PA
Hey man,

Yeah I've definitely had that problem. Those are quite intense and suck - sorry to hear you are having them. THEY DO STOP!! I promise. I haven't had one in a while. I had them for about a year straight - not every night, but were pretty consistent. I think mine were linked to repression, but once I started facing it and accepting the fact I was abused they started diminishing... allow yourself to go through the emotions.. that's the only advice I have. Hang in there - you'll make it!

_________________________
"Love the moment. Flowers grow out of dark moments. Therefore, each moment is vital. It affects the whole. Life is a succession of such moments and to live each, is to succeed."

- Corita Kent

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#153620 - 04/30/07 10:41 PM Re: When do the nightmares stop??? [Re: pain4ever]
thecoopstah Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/19/04
Posts: 589
Loc: massachusetts
I read your post and i could not reply fast enough.I,too have had nightmares( many many of them ) for well over 2 years and i hated life.If my memory serves me correctly you mentioned something about recovery.I'm in recovery from alcoholism (over 4 1/2 years a day at a time ) and since i got sober in 2002 i was ultimately put on meds and therapy since 2004 i have attended.We all have a process we must go through however YOU will get through the emotional pain and fear of the nightmares unfortuantely though only when the time is right.I can tell you it's not easy and very scarey having to deal with them although the more you(we) have the better off you'll be because they're a sign of your sub-concious ridding itself of the horrible past you(I were subjected to as a child.I'm not sure whether or not you are in therapy but if you're not i strongly suggest you persue this so you wcan be guided gently in the direction of healing the wounds and essentially moving on with your life.The nightmares have stopped for the time being and it's so amzing i have been able to sleep through most nights.I hope i helped you and answered some questions therefore let you know YOU"RE NOT ALONE.

God bless you.

Rich "Coopstah" C

_________________________
" You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have "

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#153636 - 05/01/07 01:11 AM Re: When do the nightmares stop??? [Re: thecoopstah]
Malidin41 Offline
Member

Registered: 07/01/04
Posts: 140
Loc: Utah
Finishing the dream with an ending is one of the best things for me to do. I think that is the best advice. Also having stuffed animals near by is awsome as well. I do hope some of these suggestions are helpful. Good luck my friend.

_________________________
Mother of the kingdom of silence I have obeyed you long enough!!!

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#153669 - 05/01/07 07:28 AM Re: When do the nightmares stop??? [Re: Logan]
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 22045
Loc: Carlisle, PA
Originally Posted By: Logan
One thing that You and Larry recently suggest I do is express these very unplessant, disturbing, ragefull, PAINFULL emotions. I have been doing that a lot lately, just releasing the emotions as they come up instead of trying to cover them up and forget about them, almost in a way to purge myself from theses horrible memories and the emotions that I carry with them and this has helped the MOST for me. If I feel sad, I allow myself to feel sad instead of bottling it up inside and then having to deal with it durring the night time!!!!!


I think one of the hardest things for a survivor to accept is that his old strategy of stuffing back the feelings just doesn't work. Sure, we can repress how we feel, and sometimes for years, but what happens is that these old bad feelings just fester, lead us into unhappiness and difficulty, sometimes without us even seeing what the cause is, and then finally explode out in ways that can really cause us harm.

As the example of nightmares shows, it's much better to just face how we feel as soon as we possibly can. Not with regret at all the years we have lost, but with hope for all the years we can save.

Much love,
Larry

_________________________
Nobody living can ever stop me
As I go walking my freedom highway.
Nobody living can make me turn back:
This land was made for you and me.
(Woody Guthrie)

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