Nightmares

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    Community Voices

    Alone overnight, help?

    This isn't the first time I've been alone overnight, but it will be the longest stretch of time (9 days). I'm perfectly fine until it's time to go to bed. Being completely alone in the fully dark house spikes my #Anxiety until I fall asleep. And a lifetime of nightmares about people breaking in, doesn't exactly help matters. With sensory processing disorder, I need it as dark and quiet as possible to sleep, and wouldn't want to leave too many lights on for that long. Anybody have anything else that helps?

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    Community Voices

    Easily Startled/Emotional Reactivity

    I know that they are both symptoms of #PTSD but they seem to be getting in the way recently. It's little things that startle me not to mention lesser known things like people being upset with me. When triggered I tend to react strongly (and sometimes hurt someone in the process). In DBT therapy I am learning to regulate my emotions but I feel like that goes out the window when I'm triggered. I was diagnosed with #PTSD in 2019 and I take meds for the nightmares but I don't think that does much for being easily startled and reacting strongly. Does anyone else struggle like this?

    #Trauma #PTSD #Abuse #AbuseSurvivors

    *Not to mention the paranoia that comes on sometimes if I'm really anxious. That just makes things worse. #Anxiety #Paranoia

    5 people are talking about this
    Community Voices

    BPD-BIPOLAR-THE JOURNEY-THE FEAR

    I travelled 18 hours back and forth. With holdall bags larger than me on overflowing trains, sleeping and awaking from startling nightmares whilst aboard. I travelled a lot whilst in Wales. Yet none of it was beneficial.

    Picture it. I was 18, confused, trying my best, doing what I was supposed to do.

    This was the second coming of my internal struggles.

    I have a vivid memory of when I was 11 years old, making myself sick after eating. Staying up after midnight and watching shows like The Villa?! I watched these young, clueless attractive people live out misogynistic nonsense and instead of questioning it I did 200 sit ups wishing I was attractive.

    I remember my neighbour who was a few years younger commenting that my body looked weird because I had lumps on my nipples as my breasts were forming and that I stood oddly like my hips were too far forward.

    I can remember a family friend making a comment along the lines of, ‘she’s grown into her looks’ when I was 15 years old. I have always had an intrinsic need to be liked and desired as I was under the impression that was my worth.

    It wasn’t until I was almost 19 when I had my first near death crisis.

    I can vaguely remember friends in my student halls of residence, using pint glasses to put my black vomit from the tiny sink in my room to the shared toilet. There were also a lot of things and actions I don't remember but my flatmates thought it was funny to spell out something along the lines of “Linny and x are lesbains, humping on the kitchen floor.”

    I remember being told no one wanted to socialise with me and x cause we always fought (like a married couple).

    It could be argued I wasn’t ready to be away from home but it could also be argued that it is what started the slow and painful process to where I am now.

    I know what you’re thinking. Where were your parents? They were being spectacular. Working for the then semi functional NHS, saving lives, making a difference whilst also raising three girls. I could make assumptions about them, I could chastise them for decisions but I won’t because I know in my soul they did their best and luckily they’re still around and continue to support me albeit at an arm's length.

    I would talk about my sisters more but I feel I have already burdened them with so much. They didn't’ ask to have a Bi-Polar, Borderline Personality Disorder, queer mess as a sister. What I will say however, is I truly regret the trauma I have probably caused them.

    I did therapy. I continue to take medication. I am what is considered “stable”.

    The fear though.

    It never leaves. It is always there. The only time I’m not aware of it is when I am manic and being vivacious and what some consider ‘silly’.

    #Bipolar #BPD #Depression #Anxiety #BorderlinePersonalityDisorder #Old #help #Broken #Recovery #Masking #Relateable

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    Community Voices

    Bipolar, PTSD, Yoga, and Me

    Part 1 of 2 My Yoga Practice as a Trauma Survivor with PTSD and Bipolar Depression – The Lowest of the Lows

    My alarm goes off, screeching into the quiet, still world of the early morning. Fumbling around for my phone, I scramble to scan the bar code of my box of tea I keep on the kitchen counter to prevent the wretched app from making more noise. It’s the only way I can get out of bed. I’ve been in a bad depressive episode for weeks, and it’s only getting worse.

    I had nightmares last night. Like every night. Often more than one, and always vivid, tactile, and usually reliving some form of my past, experiencing the same emotions with similar but not-quite-the-same events. I am exhausted the minute my alarm wrenches me from sleep.

    Fighting the urge to crawl back under the covers and avoid the world, I brew some coffee and, if I’m lucky and have the energy, make some breakfast. As I wake up, I try to avoid things that will put a damper on my already low mood – social media, mostly. It’s far too tempting to mindlessly scroll while trying to wake up. Some days I succeed at avoiding social media; most days I fail.

    I go about my day with building anxiety and irritability. The effects of constant nights of poor sleep combined with the exhaustion of PTSD flashbacks, while damped a bit by my prescription that supposedly helps prevent nightmares (it doesn’t), are sometimes subtle on my mood. Until I get a rare good night of sleep, and then I realize those effects are actually quite loud.

    Right now, all I can manage is part time work. I struggle a lot with feelings of guilt and despair – all I want is to be the traditional definition of “successful”; to have a career that allows me to live comfortably, something that I enjoy well enough to do long term. It’s all I can do to scrape by. I work part time from home, and pursue freelance work on the side, dreaming of one day setting my own schedule, being my own boss, and being able to work as much or as little as I can handle at any given moment. Because some days, managing my mental health is a full time job on its own. And some days, I have nothing left in me.

    If I’m lucky, I eat lunch. Sometimes, lunch is a couple of spoonfuls of peanut butter. It’s all I can do. I work in the early afternoon, until about 6pm, and as it gets closer to the start of my shift, my anxiety builds. I consider taking one of my fast acting anxiety medications, and risk being spaced out and unable to function at work. I consider toughing it out and going to work like normal. I desperately think of calling in sick. I just can’t handle it today. The nightmares were too real, the emotions too raw, my energy is too low. There isn’t enough of me to go around and complete even the tasks for survival, let alone sit on the phone all day with customers fixing their problems. The mere idea of doing so causes a deep rooted panic in me. I can’t handle this today.

    The depression tends to settle in the later it gets in the day. Weird, right? I start to get incredibly emotional. The drain that work causes – being an actor, pretending life is sunshine and rainbows, monitoring every tone and inflection in my voice for hours on end, because it’s the only representation of myself that my customers get – settles in hard.

    I force myself to eat something for dinner. My medication requires a minimum amount of calories to be absorbed properly, so often, the only time of day I get a reliable meal is dinner time. I already can’t wait to go back to sleep. The thought of trying to fill up the empty hours between now and my strict bedtime fills me with even more anxiety.

    At the insistence of my husband – bless him and his patience and understanding – I roll out my yoga mat, internally kicking and screaming the whole way. I want to zone out online, or on Netflix or Hulu. I don’t want to be more connected to my body, alone with my mind. I need to casually dissociate for a while before braving going to sleep again, knowing the nightmares are waiting for me.

    I throw on some calming music, or pull up a YouTube video of someone’s yoga routine to follow, take a few deep breaths, and the world falls into place. Nothing in those moments on the mat matter other than my breath, and movement. It is precious minutes of freedom from my mind’s chaos that I so desperately need. I’m in my zone. My own little space where my world makes sense, if only for a brief time.

    Eventually, the end of my session comes. I feel peaceful. Calm. Whole. The inner chatter, anxiety and depression has quieted. I keep my eyes closed, savoring these moments. They’re so desperately needed. These are the moments that I realize I need to commit to regul

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    Community Voices

    Was wondering if anyone who takes Prazosin for #PTSD nightmares also experiences bouts of lightheadedness. I am also on Lamictal for #BipolarDisorder as a mood stabilizer but have been experiencing more manic episodes. I am also on Remeron for insomnia and Abilify as an antipsychotic. I also have #BorderlinePersonalityDisorder and none of those medications seem to help with the emotional outburst. Is anyone else on any of these medications? What was your experience?

    8 people are talking about this
    Community Voices

    Narcissistic Abuse Nightmares

    I didn’t know that this was a real thing until I looked it up, I just thought this was something that would just happen to me periodically whenever something happened. It’s literally been a few months since the last nightmare I’ve had and this was a little different from the last ones. The landscape was different, but the subject matter was the same. I think that the big difference was that I was able to fully and completely speak my mind. But, I still felt this anxiety and this tightness in my chest. It honestly sucks. And the first thing that comes to mind after having these dreams about my childhood around the stepparent is “Janie’s Got a Gun” by Aerosmith. I usually delve into some art projects to process all of this, but I I’m just hating everything right now. #MentalHealth #Depression #BorderlinePersonalityDisorder #CPTSD #Nightmares #Anxiety

    5 people are talking about this
    Community Voices

    Living with Bipolar II, GAD and ADHD, really struggling with getting out of this depressive rut. Can anyone relate/give feedback and support please?

    Hi! I am new to this site. I am struggling with self motivation to basically function as a human being. I have been dealing with high functioning depression and anxiety for a long time and I am now in my late twenties.

    I was diagnosed Bipolar II, ADHD and OCD more recently, maybe even a couple of years ago. It is hard to take care of myself and do basic daily living activities. I've struggled with those things since I was very young and I lack self discipline since I grew up with parents who gave me porous boundaries...

    On top of that, I have a somewhat "nocturnal" sleep schedule where I stay up into the wee hours of the night and then wake up in the afternoon. This worked okay when I worked swing shift at my last job but I still struggled a lot to feel "okay" or motivated. I am a night owl but I feel better when I can get to sleep earlier (for me that could even mean midnight) and wake up earlier (before 2 PM lol). It's hard when my meds make me groggy though but I am so reliant on them to knock me out since I've had nighttime anxiety since I was less than 10 years of age.

    I have been "self-medicating" for a long time and chasing dopamine highs. My dopamine bucket (as my old psychiatrist called it) is deeper than most people's I guess so I am constantly chasing highs from everything I do so moderation is hard but again I'm very lucky and fortunate that I've had the sense not to dabble with any super hard drugs. Anything that I've felt super addicted to I stopped right away, mainly pills, so I have some will power in that regard. Chasing highs all day and night is kind of exhausting though and I learned that saying "addictive personality" is incorrect but I absolutely know I'm more genetically inclined to have addictive tendencies. I used to use OTC meds to sleep and feel okay and to help me sleep such as Benadryl and NyQuill and to help me relax. I have cut back on OTC since being on psychiatric meds especially because OTC gives me nightmares and RLS but I still worry about long term side effects of the meds I'm on too... I am so grateful I've never gotten into any seriously hard drugs but for self-medicating I do lean on caffeine (using the internet pretty much all day every day for multiple purposes) and have been dabbling with pot again on and off for the last decade (currently I'm off pot but I want to use it again so I'm starting with CBD) Alcoholism runs in my family, I feel like every time I drink alcohol it's like building up pressure in a volcano that will someday erupt, aka alcoholism will take its grip on me and won't let go until I have to go to rehab or get alcohol poisoning. Alcohol generally scares me but I have been drinking on and off again this year (I started drinking when I was 14) so I've been kinda testing the waters after not drinking for over 2 years straight and each time I drank I wanted more and it was just so strong.... That's another post I could make sometime but yeah I am currently not drinking so I'm less worried about using alcohol, I'd much rather get stoned from thc... I am on psychiatric meds for bipolar disorder but my anxiety and depression feel out of whack.

    I lack consistency, I can work out if I'm feeling more hypomanic and when I'm not I definitely am a couch potato so that's the majority of the time, my diet and exercise need to be improved but when you are in a depression rut it's so hard to do anything at all!!! I'm fighting with myself, part of me wants to have a consistent and healthy routine. Another part of me likes being how I am now but I'm not happy and I don't feel good a lot of the time.

    I just moved to a new state as well so I won't be able to see a Psychiatrist for possibly a month and that is freaking me out. I might run out of my current meds (depakote and seroquel to be exact) so I'm needing to figure that out. I'm meeting with a new therapist today and I'm going to talk to her about what I'm writing in this post. I'm sure she can help with some stuff and I haven't been put on an anti-depressant because my old psychiatrist was super cautious and I never seem to be in a balanced mood so she didn't want to risk hypomania. But I cycle on and off with hypomania every week it feels like. Being hypomanic increases my desire to get high and makes me feel out of control with impulsive spending and random creativity.

    I have a lot of goals I want to accomplish creativity wise but being so inconsistent with severe ADHD symptoms and other problems (including being a perfectionist) really stops me from completing projects and following through with my goals.

    To give some more perspective also, I grew up as a spoiled only child and I've always gotten everything I've ever wanted/needed without having to work hard for those things really. I'm fighting against the "conformist lifestyle" of like having a structured schedule and just doing what most people do which is to work full time and adhere to a routine/schedule and live in moderation. I think I feel more "free" when I can at least feel like I am living against the grain of society even though I know this is just an illusion. Telling myself I'm not "normal" has probably been one of the worst things ever and I hate that concept of normal anyways. But to feel like I don't fit in anywhere is a really lonely and sad feeling and it's totally not true!

    I'm working on healing and moving forward and growing as a person. I'm my biggest obstacle though and I want to be my own best friend. But my old habits are so ingrained in me and I feel they are a huge handicap for me to be healthy, happy and successful. I'm also pretty codependent so this makes my relationships with most people unhealthy. I've come to the realization that I find a man or friend to focus on their problems instead of my own and I want to fix them, hence my codependency.## I got into a situation earlier this year with someone and it's take me 7 months to have multiple realizations. That's another post that I'll probably make though. So anyways I'm sensitive and an empath too so life is super overwhelming always no matter what. I'm proud of what I've accomplished though like getting a Bachelor's degree and I've reached out for help which has helped give me hope. I don't feel totally hopeless but I want to know what kind of career/job/lifestyle I can have to support myself financially and to give me more contentment. I want to give myself validation first and foremost but this is SO hard when I've always relied on other people so much for everything, especially my parents.

    Anyways, I just wanted to see if anyone else can relate to my situation or parts of it at all, some support and feedback would be very appreciated, thank you!

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    Community Voices

    Taking Back The Night

    I was sitting here for a couple of days, toiling over a post from one of the people here, struggling with getting to peaceful sleep, after being assaulted, or at minimum having their life turned upside down in a way that they felt powerless to deal with their nightmares of the person who had attacked them.

    I am not going to try to explain that I know how anyone feels, or that one way is better to deal with night terrors and nightmares is a cure, or a solution, for your pain and your struggles with sleeping; all I can do is share my experiences, and what worked for me.

    I can only hope that in my words, you can find peace enough to get some sense of peaceful sleep and take back the Night.

    As a Male, who suffered Sexual and violent assault, at the hands of four men during my time in the Military the struggles were enormous, to say the least.

    Not to mention having to return to the scene of the attack and try to find peace enough to sleep in my own bed; where I was gang raped, beaten, and then left for dead at the hands of other military members for over a year until I left the military.

    To compound what had occurred during my time in the military, my own father attempted to murder me whilst I was sleeping in my own bed, in my own room, three months after I returned home from the military.

    These are only two Traumatic events in my life, among over a dozen that would come after my father's attempt to murder me in my sleep; thankfully, the remaining traumas occurred away from my home, my own bedroom, in my own bed; but these two will suffice for discussion's sake here.

    For over 32 years I have struggled with sleep, feeling safe in my own home, and more specifically in my own bed; in fact, for years, I was forced to sleep on the floor if I were to get any sense of rest or sleep at all.

    Forgiveness was the hardest thing for me to find, but a year ago I found forgiveness to be my ally and not my enemy. I want to share with you that forgiveness is not absolution, and it's not for the person who wronged me, but its a point where I was able to move forward in my therapy and my life.

    I realized that what happened to me, both while I was in the military and when I returned home, was an act by which someone who was powerless, had to find some sense of power over something as they had their power stolen from them and was left to struggle with their own journey in life.

    My forgiveness was not for the people who assaulted me, raped me, and for those who left me for dead; instead, it turns out that it was my way of coming to terms with the idea that I did not have the resources to respond to the attacks; that I was disarmed and I had not ever been taught how to deal with the situations because I had never experienced them before.

    In my journey, I found out that I also had to give both myself and my attackers' grace, in trying to find forgiveness; but most of all, I had to forgive myself for not being experienced enough in life as to not have the tools to deal with such attacks on myself.

    My life had not prepared me for the idea of being raped by four men; much less being raped at all, as men were not supposed to fall victim to rape. My life did not prepare me for dealing with the assault and rape by the four military members, no more than it prepared me to know that people I trusted the most, could also inflict such damage upon me.

    My nights were filled with nightmares, night terrors, and dreams that lasted to this very day; despite my forgiveness and grace; I hold firm with my forgiveness and Grace for both myself and for my attackers.

    The Dreams may never go away. The instant reactions to the triggers may last me the remainder of my life. But it gives me more power over my nights. It has taken the power away from my attackers and allowed me to regain the power over my life, that my attackers tried to rob me of.

    Taking my nights back does not mean that I will ever forget what my body was subjected to, what my psyche suffered, and it will not give me back the lost years of my life; thinking that I was powerless, but it gives me strength.

    When I wake up from a nightmare, I remember that the reason I was attacked was that my attackers were trying to regain the power they had lost some time prior to my time with them. I am not absolving them of their actions but understanding them a bit more and finding pity for them, that they felt so helpless that they had to lash out to find some sense of control over their lives.

    I give myself forgiveness in that I was ill-prepared for such an attack, and that I could not respond proportionately to protect myself from the assaults on my body, and life.

    I give myself the grace to know that I could never have been prepared for the events that I have described here; there was no way for me to have known that I was in danger, while I was sleeping in my own bed(s); where I was supposed to be the safest.

    Taking back the night, for me, is as unique as my experiences of trauma; each of us as individuals will experience the same things, in vastly diverse ways; depending upon how we are equipped in life.

    Taking back the night will mean something different for each of us, as different as our experiences of our traumatic events.

    Taking back the Nights means to me, that I have retaken my power away from my attackers.

    My finding self-empowerment allows me to feel sorry for my attackers; that they had to suffer at the hands of someone else, in such a way that they felt powerless enough to need to strike out against someone who was vulnerable to find their power.

    I will never forget the scars that are covering my body, my mind, my memories, and my life as I see those scars daily. I will never forget the lessons that my traumas have taught me, but I can give grace to my attackers and most importantly myself in my recovery.

    If I accomplish nothing more here, I hope that my words will help you find your path to finding grace and forgiveness for yourself and your attackers.

    I hope my words help you down the path to retaking your power and Taking Back your Nights so you can rest in peace.

    Community Voices

    Depression, Guilt, Numb

    My depression is so heavy.. I can’t get my ass out of the bed before noon. Every step feels like I’m full of cement. I just daze through the day, dissociating. I feel nothing but angry at myself and guilty. I hate myself. I can’t do anything right. Everything I say is stupid and wrong so I don’t say anything at all. I’m a failure because I’ve let my family down. I’ve been chronically depressed for 12 years. I have 2 therapists, but I can’t be seen as much as I need to. I’ve been on 13 antidepressants and they don’t really help. I have one friend. All I do is sleep because I’m exhausted from not sleeping. I oversleep and wake up feeling like shit anyway. Yesterday I slept from 10pm to 4pm. I sleep because i don’t have to face the day and pretend I’m happy. I have no interest in anything anymore. I impulsive shop and eat fast food because I don’t have energy to learn how to cook. I’m numb. Empty. What’s wrong with me? #Depression #Anxiety #Selfhate #lonely #Antidepressant #MentalHealth #ChronicDepression #PTSD #angry #oversleep #Sleep #Insomnia #Nightmares

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    Community Voices

    Depression. Guilt. Angry. Scared. Cancer.

    I feel horrible. I haven’t visited my gram who’s dying of cancer. Reason is I’m too depressed to get out of bed before noon. But I just want to be with her. I lie awake at night thinking about her sleeping at the nursing home. How lonely she feels, angry and depressed. When I leave her I feel so guilty. I feel even more guilty that I don’t see her more than once a week. When I think about these things about myself, I spiral into dark thoughts. How I’m a worthless asshole, piece of shit, who doesn’t even visit his gram. How I disappointed her. How I’ve let her down. I think that I should be punished for not visiting her. She’s suffering so much so I have to suffer too. I’ve thought about really bad thoughts when I think of her and I’m not there. I just am a burden and a disappointment. I won’t hurt myself, I just have these thoughts and feelings. I have nightmares where she dies. My heart just aches. I’m scared of her dying. But I also want her to not be in pain anymore. Her cancer is spreading. When she dies I don’t know what I’ll do.. mental breakdown. #Grief #Depression #lonely #ihatemyself #MentalHealth #Cancer #Anxiety #Badthoughts #Selfhate #lonely #alone

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