PTSD....I need help...What can I do to get rid of Night Terrors and have a peaceful night of sleep?
I'm exhausted. I sleep only when I cant go anymore. I don't sleep because I'm afraid of what I will do next. The therapists don't work. I don't want to talk about it with them because they just sit there and judge me. I did what I did for my country, I just want to be able to move on and get a good night's sleep again.
I do not know the extent of you disorder. I myself suffer from chronic PTSD. I don't know if you use any alcohol at this stage. I used alcohol for close to 18years as a crutch.
I hear what you say about the therapists. I felt the same. What I found was that talking to someone who have been there, helps a little more than a therapist. I was fortunate in the fact that my wife did a lot of research into the problem to better understand my condition. It helps if you have somebody that is very supportive.
Getting back to the Night Terrors. I used to get them bad. There were a time that I did not sleep for six months. With the cocktail of Valium, Anafaril and Stemitil, I used to sleep at most 1hr a day.
What I had to learn the hard way, and through the years, will hopefully benefit you. I learnt what triggers these attacks. The two things that triggered it the most was my finances and secondly, what if I could not afford a drink the next day.
It is crucial to identify the triggers. I still have my anxiety attacks and terror attacks, but it gets easier to deal with it in time. It is just to learn to identify what triggered it, try and make peace with it, and it will start getting better. I myself sleep like a baby nowadays, though every so often, there is a little relapse.
You should realize that it something that never heals. But like an amputee learns to cope with it, we have to learn new coping skills.
Please do get back to me on this. There are so much more that I can share with you. I have been suffering from PTSD since 1992. It took me close to 18years to find a solution, but I had nobody to help, except my wife as support.
I do not know you, but I carry a prayer for you. Get back to me with a few honest answers on what you use. You can read my Hub on how I recovered from alcohol abuse. That was my journey with alcohol and PTSD.
Take care and may God be with you...
I'm sorry that you're having such a bad time. If you have therapists who are judging you - you are seeing bad therapists. That shouldnt be part of their role. The problem is that if you don't find an outlet for all the things you've been through, you will continue to internalise them and something has to give (and at the moment thats your sleep).
A few things that you can think about.
1) Are you sleeping in a place of safety. ie - even if you have a terror are you going to harm yourself or someone else.
(My husband has them and tries to strangle me - fortunately I get a warning and I am stronger than him - so its not an issue) If necessary - sleep by yourself for a bit in a room where there aren't things you can hurt yourself.
2) What are you doing to keep yourself awake?
Are you just keeping yourself terribly busy? That means your brain is going to be very hyper before you go to sleep. Exercise if you can late in the day - then sit and watch something gentle on the television and wind down. Although everyone advocates darkened bedrooms - no tv etc - I find my night terrors lessen if I fall asleep with the television or music on and it's comforting when I come out of a terror (Yes I suffer from them too!)
3) Stop beating yourself up. I know you are doing this by your remark 'I did what I did for my country?' Yes you did and you now have to let it go. Part of the night terrors is your own mind working through what has happened. From experience I actually slept better when I accepted that I wouldn't. Now I no that sounds mad. In over thirty years I have rarely slept more than 4 hrs a night and I never sleep for more than about an hour without it being interrupted. All I can say is though that because I don't worry about it and think 8hrs is the norm - it has become much easier to deal with.
4) Look for triggers
You may be having night terrors every night. For a fortnight - keep a diary just monitoring what you do. You may find that particular things may trigger them to be worse. It's not always what you might think. It doesnt have to be violence on tv- it can be something you've eaten, smelt or heard. If you can see a pattern you can try and avoid those things.
I've said all this - but we are individuals. I really hope that things start to get better for you.
In order to heal you have to talk about the problem and bring that out or else it will be there like a ticking time bomb and you won't be able to get anywhere. You may feel okay for a while but then you will go back. Seek the help of a good psychiatrist and through therapy you will be able to move on.
I agree with the other posts.
I have been through some very painful experiences in my life, different than yours, but scary nonetheless. I have night terrors too. Sometimes they scare me, but usually they are innocuous.
The better I deal with my issues, which is HARD, the less my hallucinations scare me. Different things trigger my pain, and when I succumb and cry and grieve, I feel much better after. I'm at a rebuilding phase, so I can focus on all this pain that I've supressed for years. I'm not dating and my job isn't very emotionally difficult. I'm dedicated to this regrowth period of my life, so I can shed these problems I've had to overcome. Denial got me into worse situations (like an abusive relationship).
The correlation is that in some way my demons are haunting me. If they are just misfirings in my brain, due to stress hormones, or actual energy from another dimension (spirits), I do not know. I'm not sure I ever will. My mother thinks I see spirits. If they are spirits, I"m happy they are in the form of insects and simple things.
I've had a sleep study and the Doctor said that it just happens for unknown reasons to some people. (Wasted $4k)
But I've come to more peace with my affliction. When I wake up and see things now, I usually assume it's not real and either go back to sleep or stare at it and others hanging out in the room for a minute waiting for them to disappear. My acceptance of myself and my situation has decreased the stress level.
And don't worry about people who judge - stay away from them. My first Doctor looked at me like I was insane, when I said I see things in my sleep. When I moved back to Houston, I saw a counselor one time who seemed very judgmental (and unhappy herself). I'm still searching for a good one here. In NM, I had found the best therapist, I could imagine. She is so bright and intelligent and perceptive that even when I subconsciously am duping myself, she sees right through it and holds me accountable. But she's loving and empathetic. She does it in a scientific why to just describe the way IT IS, not to lay blame. Your self progression is YOUR journey, but find the right people/books/tools to help you.
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