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Forums / Welcome and orientation / About Me & What I Struggle With

Topic: About Me & What I Struggle With

11 posts, 0 answered
  1. venus-
    venus- avatar
    4 posts
    5 September 2021

    Hi, I’m Ace and it’s lovely to meet you all.

    For some background information about myself, I use any pronouns (he/she/they) with no preference. I also like cats, baking and listening to rock music.

    I have rarely talked about what issues plague me but I feel like this is the time.

    For as long as I can remember, I have had nightmares. I have rarely had a good dream in my entire life. Recently (since about a year ago), the nightmares have become even worse. They are more graphic, more terrifying and feel more real.

    These nightmares I have range from everything from r*pe to violence. Sometimes I am the one committing acts of violence against others but majority of the time I am the victim of this violence.

    I am making this post now as two nights ago I had the worst nightmare I’ve ever had. I won’t go into detail of what it was about as it is too graphic but simply put it was just more graphic violence. Sometimes when I wake up from these dreams I am too afraid to go back to sleep, but recently I have started becoming afraid of sleeping.

    Last night I cried thinking about the IDEA of going to sleep because that’s how much these nightmares bother me now. I was so afraid of going to sleep that even though I was incredibly tired, I forced myself to stay awake and pull an all nighter. However, I eventually went to sleep and I didn’t dream. Still, as I am typing this I am dreading the idea of sleeping when it is hours away. I feel like my fear of sleeping is impacting my ability to live my day to day life. I know that these dreams are just it, dreams but when I’m asleep they feel so real that even after I awake, they still haunt me.

    I would really like to know if anyone else has the problem and how they cope with it. I have additional stress from PTSD which I was diagnosed with last year and exams coming up so I would really like to get 8 hours of sleep a night without dreading it or being haunted by my nightmares.

    Thank you for reading this lengthy post and I hope you have a wonderful day :).

    1 person found this helpful
  2. smallwolf
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    smallwolf avatar
    5749 posts
    5 September 2021 in reply to venus-

    hello and welcome to the forums.

    I don't really know anything about dreams, dreaming etc.Yet I know they are an effect of our brain processing things that happened or happen to us. So my thoughts are these are that our body is telling us something and perhaps not literally. The nightmare then may be a result of stress etc.

    While I cannot help you to cope, I can give you a couple of suggestions that worked for me. The first relates to "sleep hygiene" - best to google that term and have a look at a couple of pages. And for myself, emptying my mind before going to sleep helps me to stay asleep. The other thing is a book called "why we sleep" that was recommended to me by my psychologist. Good ideas there also.

    I assume from your PSTD you have getting professional help? If so, perhaps you can (if you have not already) mentioned your sleep problem, especially if the nightmares are becoming more frequent. Talking about it can be helpful.

    For me, insufficient sleep meant being tired, more irritable, leading to more stress, and the cycle starts over. At the same time, I also tell myself thoughts are just that. That do not define you. So when you wake you can could say to yourself, "I had a bad dream and I am alive and safe".

    Hope some of this made sense. Listening to you.

  3. Ggrand
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    5 September 2021 in reply to venus-

    Hello Dear Venus..

    A very warm and caring welcome to our forums...

    Im really so sorry that you’re having nightmares when you’re asleep....I can relate to being scared to sleep because of nightmares...There was a time I also fought sleep to avoid the nightmares...

    I think that the more we fear sleeping to avoid the nightmares, that when we eventually do fall asleep our mind is still in a fear state due to our last thoughts before sleep...

    I tried a lot of things to get my mind quiet and calm before I fell asleep...meditation, music, etc,,,The didn’t work for me..then I tried listening to a sleep story while I was in bed trying to sleep...I listened intently...and I will say that my mind kept wandering away from the story..,so I pulled myself up and started listening to the story again....The stories are softly spoken and they are all about peaceful places that I can visit in my mind while the storyteller is reading....

    This might not work for you..but I always say that everything is worth a try for some peaceful sleep...If you want to give it a try for a few nights...go to YouTube and search sleep stories..their are many readers and stories that you can select from..,,My favourite reader is a hypnotist by the name of Dan Jones...maybe just give it a try and see what happens...

    I always do believe that we must go to sleep with a calm mind...to have a peaceful sleep....

    My kindest thoughts lovely venus,,,

    Grandy.,

  4. venus-
    venus- avatar
    4 posts
    5 September 2021 in reply to smallwolf

    Hello friend and thank you so much for responding to me, it means a lot.

    Yes I am indeed seeking professional help for my PTSD. I currently see a psychologist and have prescribed medication. While I know it would be best to tell them about these dreams, it feels stupid to. It feels like a childish fear to be afraid of sleeping and I haven’t talked about it to anyone I know because I ashamed of it.

    Thank you so much for your tips and I will check out the book you recommended.

    Wishing you all the best on your journey,

    Ace.

  5. venus-
    venus- avatar
    4 posts
    5 September 2021 in reply to Ggrand

    Hello Grandy and thank you so much for your lovely welcome.

    I’m so sorry to hear that you also struggle with sleep, I hope you know you are not alone in this.

    I have also tried meditation and listening to music before I sleep but I find meditation doesn’t work and listening to music just makes me more awake. I will definitely consider your recommendation of listening to sleep stories and I will let you know how it goes.

    Thank you so much for your kind words and advice, and thank you especially for taking the time to read my post. I hope things get better for you soon and I’m wishing you all the best.

    Ace :)

    1 person found this helpful
  6. therising
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    therising avatar
    2177 posts
    5 September 2021 in reply to venus-

    Hi venus-

    While sleep is such a relief to most, I can only imagine how horrible and stressful it must feel to fear going to sleep. I feel so deeply for you as you struggle with exhaustion on top of everything else.

    I think what naturally comes to mind for you, regarding wondering about whether to mention the nightmares to your psychologist, has perhaps come to mind for good reason. Do you think revealing the nightmares might help make some difference in moving forward?

    While some nightmares/dreams can be based on stuff like what we've watched on tv before going to bed, other times I've found they can prove to be significant and somewhat revealing. The mind's a tricky thing at times, the way it can generate metaphorical meaning in relation to certain things. Can recall many years ago when I used to have this one reoccurring nightmare where I'd be in an underground car park filled with people. All of sudden everyone would start running for the exits, pulling down these roller doors, locking me into that car park. Then, all these demon like creatures would appear, determined to harm me. My best friend would always show up in his brown Holden Kingswood stationwagon and save me and the nightmare would suddenly end. It was only in recent times that I was led to think about this particular nightmare. When I look back at my life during that time, I would say the nightmare pretty much summed up how I felt back then. Being a gal in her 20s then, struggling with depression and somewhat of a drinking problem, it felt like although I was surrounded by people, they'd tend to kind of look after themselves and 'run for the exits' when I felt I really needed them, when I felt seriously lost and therefor acted poorly in certain ways. Then, alone, I'd feel myself facing my (inner) demons. In the worst of depression, it felt like hell on earth. My best friend at the time was the only person I felt I could trust to show up for me. It's kinda bizarre how the mind works at times, how it can work with our imagination to show us things.

    Perhaps the nightmares aren't tied into anything, such as the PTSD related issues but perhaps they are in some way. Do you wonder to what extent they are?

    Sometimes, I can't help but wonder whether our mind is actually trying to reveal something to us through our dreams at times. Do those dreams suddenly stop once we get the message?

    Take care and know that my wish for you is that you find freedom in your dreams and in your waking life :)

  7. Petal22
    Community Champion
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    Petal22 avatar
    1324 posts
    5 September 2021 in reply to venus-

    Hi Venus - s,

    Wellcome to our forums!

    Sorry you have been feeling this way…. It must be difficult for you….

    I understand your nightmares must be terrifying for you…….

    I understand how you may feel ashamed to talk about your nightmares with people you know or your psychologist BUT I think you really need to open up to your psychologist and tell them exactly what is terrifying you in regards to your nightmares……… by doing this your psychologist will be able to get to bottom of what s really troubling you and give you the BEST treatment to help you to recover! Your psychologist won’t judge you your psychologist will want to help you to move forward……….

    I have experience in seeing a psychologist/ psychiatrist for the condition I was suffering with…. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder this disorder plagued me with horrible intrusive distressing thoughts….. they consumed me……. I was highly anxious…….. when I went to my appointment with my clinical psychologist I didn’t know what was wrong with me……. as I sat there talking to my psychologist about my intrusive thoughts I knew I had to open up and tell them everything that was going on inside my head…. Yes it took courage but it was the best thing I could have ever done it gave my clinical psychologist a clear knowledge of what was going on with me and also my psychiatrist who diagnosed me with OCD….. I was given the best treatment moving forward for my condition…. I have now recovered and have been recovered for 4 years going strong.

    Please open up …….. your psychologist will understand and will be able to help you to manage what is troubling you…..

    I have written two threads you may be interested in reading….

    Someone who has recovered from OCD

    and

    Effective treatment for OCD Metacognitive Therapy

    I understand yours are nightmares and mine were intrusive thoughts

    Im here to chat to you anytime 😊

  8. Metal kitty
    Metal kitty avatar
    13 posts
    5 September 2021 in reply to venus-
    Hi Venus-
    I love your background info. Mine is exactly the same.

    PTSD and nightmares, wow, I must say I have no idea about that.

    I've only ever had strange dreams.

    So I am no help at all here.

    I am new. I want to show my support. I'm not sure how all this works. I've never found a community that welcomes and supports me.

    I hope others here can help you with these things.

    I am suffering with insomnia again. I am desperate for sleep. Can't remember the last time I slept a whole night through no matter what I do or take.

    I hope you are ok and find the support you need.

    Thanks so much for sharing. It's very inspirational to read and see people talk openly.

  9. Ggrand
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    Ggrand avatar
    9058 posts
    6 September 2021 in reply to venus-

    Hello Dear Venus...

    I’m just popping in to ask you how you’re feeling today..and hope so much that you had a dream free night....

    No pressure to answer lovely lady....always here for you..

    kind thoughts dear Venus..

    Grandy..

  10. smallwolf
    Community Champion
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    smallwolf avatar
    5749 posts
    6 September 2021 in reply to venus-

    hello again. there have been times when I have had to have that embarrassing conversation with either my psychologist or psychiatrist or with a (female) priest. At the time these conversations are hard to start. But then, and perhaps more so near the end, there is also a feeling of relief, of being able to get something off my chest and associated lightness as a result.

    With my psychologist or psychiatrist I also think they have heard similar things before and I will not be the first or the last person with some sort of confession.

    Now...it did take some time to get to a position where I did feel comfortable even to be able to consider talking about certain things. So if you are not ready yet... that's OK... but it is also to talk. I also found out they do not make fun of me or what we might expect or get in the real world. After all, they are the one taking this journey with us, or that is what I find and hope.

  11. TruBlue
    TruBlue avatar
    7 posts
    8 September 2021 in reply to venus-

    Hi all. I may have a positive method or tool to contribute here. 

    I also suffer anxiety, PTSD and depression, as well as horrific PTSD related dreams or nightmares. Some time ago, these bad dreams escalated to the point where the only time I could sleep was from complete exhaustion and even then, I could only sleep during daylight hours. I'd regularly go 3 or even 4 days with little or no sleep. Then I would sleep like a zombie for a day and the cycle would repeat. This went on for months and I spoke with my psychologist about it several times. In the end, he told me that he'd done some research on bad dreams and asked me to try the following.

    I should say here that I was 100%, incredibly sceptical and had zero belief that this would/could work.

    He asked me to repeat a simple affirmation or mantra to myself before going to sleep each night. The affirmation is "Tonight I can control my dreams. Tonight I can control my dreams."  Say it over and over and try to believe it.

    This worked for me, instantly, the very first night I tried it, and it continues to work for me any and every time the bad dreams begin to return. Just repeat the words over and over to yourself last thing before you go to sleep and I hope my be as effective for you as they have been for me. For me, this has been beyond magic. All the best.

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