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Disturbing dreams

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I have ptsd. I don't really know if you can call them nightmares, but I do have dreams that drain me emotionally. I wake up and I feel so drained, with things on my mind! I often remember them in some detail afterwards. The imagery is usually abstract--a little confusing and emotional.

Whenever I have a loss of some kind or I'm wounded by something, that's when I have a barrage of these dreams.

I would like to hear from other people who can relate!
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replied February 3rd, 2009
I can definitely relate to what you are going through. I've heard from a psychologist that bad dreams or vivid dreams about traumatic events are our bodies way of de-sensitizing ourselves to the traumatic event. Of course that doesn't make them stop, but it helped me to know that some good was coming out of them.

I understand that awful feeling you get when you wake up from one of those dreams and it just feels like something horrible has happened, it's not fun, and it can making going back to sleep difficult... for me anyways.

I'm sure you know this, but just remind yourself that it was only a dream, the second you wake up. I've also found that naps really help me.

I really feel for you, I hope i've been of some help. Smile
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replied February 20th, 2009
ptsd
I have ptsd and have vivid dreams. I become so exhausted from them, I will wake up in tears and then the whole next day be in the worst mood, I hate them and it seems the more I go to my therapist the more often the dreams occur. I have stopped going b/c therapy was too painful any advice
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replied September 2nd, 2010
I've been having crzy violent dreams for the past month. Either I have a dream where someone's trying to kill me and I kill them or I can't remember the dream at all. I know that it's commonly thought that if you can't remember the dream when you wake up that you didn't dream at all, but I'm pretty sure this is false and that everyone has dreams. To get into detail of a very vivid dream that i had a few nights ago... I was on some country road out in the middle of no where with my ex girlfriend (who i still am deeply in love with) and some crazy guy was throwing hatchets at us through the darkness. I could not see him but i kept catching the hatchet and throwing it back in that general direction. Finally i thought of the well-being of my ex and we decided to make a run for it, but when we turned to run there was this huge dude with a machete in our way. Can't really remember how i got the hatchet in my hand becuase I know i didn't have it when we turned to run but i ended up hacking this big dudes head off. Then the crazy guy with the hatchets came out of the shadows screaming, at this point my ex disappeared and I had no idea where she went. I can't remember how i killed the hatchet man but I did then I heard my ex scream and i looked to my left and saw her over some guys shoulder, like how a fireman would carry someone, runnin off with her. I tried to run after him but ended up waking up before i could catch him. Is that disturbing or what? I haven't been watchin any horror films or nothin like that and the only thing I'm really scared of is not being able to protect my loved-ones. death doesn't frighten me the least. Anyone got any advice?
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replied September 29th, 2012
i know how you feel, i also have dreams similar to yours. it just seems crazy that as i also do not drink or do drugs that normal people can dream stuff so crazy. i have dreams that i kill people even though i am mild tempered. i have had dreams of cutting off heads and the dream seems so real, at night i tend to spasm and twitch for hours nd do not know why. i have woke up from dreams and cn not go back to sleep not just for the night but for days at a time, for instnce i just got 2 hors sleep in 2 days. this is very difficult to deal with and i feel tht it is also affecting my home life, i am married with 3 children. many times i do not want to go home or even b with them at all. dying is the least of my worries it is the well being of my family, i know how you feel notthingtolose
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replied September 2nd, 2010
Also I do not do drugs, and am not a violent person.
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replied October 5th, 2011
draining
i can relate i,ve been going through this for quite a while and having these and they drain you it feels like i,ve worked a 16 hr day already and im ready for bedand i just got up. and got to get ready for the day.
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replied October 29th, 2010
Experienced User
Hey there nothingtolose,

This maybe a simple interpretation of your dream (as I am no professional at dream interpretation). First it seems that the happy part of your dream, were thoughts of the countryside and being with your ex-girlfriend, which is likely what you have good feelings about.

Perhaps, because in reality you are no longer together, this brought up thoughts & feelings of somebody getting between you and your ex . Therefore there were adversaries within your dream, which you needed to fend off in order to protect your peace of mind (ie:thoughts of being in the countryside with your ex).

The violent nature in which you met the adversaries within the dream, could be anger from underlying hurt that you've experienced as a result of your breakup. Anger generally always stems from hurt.

Also just in general (and I do not like to stereotype, so note I say "in general") men are fixers/solvers of problems tending to protect what they care about, which can include physically having to protect. Your fighting with someone in the dream could be a reflection of your natural instincts to protect one whom you care for, which were portrayed as necessary acts of physical defense.

Bottom line, I think you care about your ex and have happy thoughts of her with some substantial hurt feelings about the breakup. I'm not sure what steps you should take to resolve your feelings, but know that love is a proverbial double-edge sword, on the one side it can feel so wonderful and on the other it can leave us with heart-ache.

Take care of your health (including emotional health) and thanks for posting.
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replied December 16th, 2010
disturbing dreams
ok i am having some extemely disturbing dreams myself. when i have a nightmare, it usually is very morbid, vivid, and very scary. this does not concern me as much as the nightmare i had last night. it was sick, and has been bothering me all day. it had to do with my good friend who died four months ago.not the fact that he died, but strange things he did before he died, and the evidence of it. i dont want to go into detail, but it bothers me that my mind can think of these types of things. I am not a violent or disturbing person and i find it hard to deal with dreams this emotionally draining. any advice?
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replied February 8th, 2011
@kmass - please don't discontinue your therapy for that reason. I did before and it only proved to set me back in learning about my ptsd and finding a way to move past it. I recommend you let your therapist know what is happening and that the pace is too much for you, or the treatment style isn't right for you. If you don't feel comfortable communicating this with your therapist, perhaps finding one you do feel very comfortable with will help. Smile

@PS39 - I have abstract, anxiety inducing dreams as well. They come and go, and I feel so vulnerable when I wake up from them. I feel so afraid and it's awful that everyone is asleep too. I don't have any plan or tools to ease the symptoms so far either.

I hope you all the best! We will get through this.
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replied March 13th, 2011
wow, i finally feel like i'm not alone. i have ptsd and have been struggling with these dreams for about a year now. sometimes i wake up screaming, crying, or really emotional after these dreams. it is totally draining and will affect my days too. i'm not a voilent person and i'm not on any drugs that would cause vivid dreams either, but i've had dreams where i've been shot to death, kidnapped, raped, chased and eaten by monsters, or killed whole tribes of people (gruesome body parts and limbs scattered everywhere).

if i'm not having voilent dreams, i often dream that everyone hates me, is verbally abusing me, accusing me for things i didn't do, disowning me, or i end up verbally fighting with each character.

sometimes it's not so easy as telling yourself that it was only a dream. i often have had extreme panic attacks after my dreams, and there's a significant period of time that my irrational mind/ aching body can't tell if it has happened or not. the thing with vivid dreams is it's like looking in a mirror, watching a movie, or actually living in your dreams. you can remember every detail because it is as clear as day. my body feels hurt when someone cuts me, or i feel the weight of a friend's arm that is hugging me.

i hope anyone who is struggling with dreams and is having so much trouble that is affecting their day to day life will consider taking Prazosin. i'm currently on this. my psychiatrist says it's not habbit forming and is not a sleeping drug, but medicine that specifically goes after the dreams themselves (like during the sleeping cycle when the dreams come it mutes them alil')

it's been working a little so far. i haven't had really violent dreams in a while, but i just had a really emotional dream, and was looking for people that understood.

the best advice i can give... is to try to take it one day at a time. every minute you live is a victory. it helps some people to write them down. i like to talk about them because sometimes i can understand what's bothering me better, it doesn't give the dreams so much power, and people support me if i'm feeling shook up. just keep trying. enjoy breaks while you can and try to be strong/ get help when you need it. *laugh* lucid dreams are very powerful when it comes to ptsd vivid dreams. if you can train yourself to help write the narrative that helps. i've often been raped and murdered at gun point (although this hasn't happened to me), and i've come back as a ghost to haunt my attacker (and trust me i don't watch stuff like this either, the mind and body is just looking to release the tormant inside/ work through it).

hope this helps. helped me calm down. i've never done this before...so, i hope other people will read this and feel better too.
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replied October 25th, 2011
my self centered post
i just googled somthing im worried about and got directed here,
i dont understand much of the terminology. however the dreams i have definatly affect my day, even tho there only as traumatic as events i have actualy lived through. im worried because the dreams compound other issues i face. all the dreams seem to be tests of my morality.. i.e being put in situations where i can only survive by doing things i know to be very wrong
its probably worth mentioning i consider suicide often, and if the dreams are a morality check on this issue, why do i always do the right thing in the dreams at my own expense, the dreams seem to support my will to not live.
i am a morale and rational man, of some slight inteligence.
i would really appreciate any insight.. "hang on in there"
is somewhat detrimental to my mind set.
Smile
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replied October 25th, 2011
i have dreams about really bad past experiences. i hateee them and it drives me crazy. i have a hard enough time preventing the thoughts of my painful past experiences when im awake....i wish i could sleep without these thoughts haunting me in my sleep. sometimes these dreams even wake me up in the middle of the night and i cant even go back to sleep because my mind is racing so hard. i know its is said dreams relate to your life and can be a way of dealing with stress and other bad things. but is there anyway i can make them stop? people say you can control your dreams....i have yet to figure out how to do that. advice pleasee !!!!!
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replied November 27th, 2011
I suffer from PTSD since my wife passed away almost suddenly 9 years ago.My doctor gave me Imovane 5mg to take on those nights after ive had a stressful day at work or with my kids.Hope this is of help
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replied January 24th, 2013
I've had the same experience. I have woken up sweaty in the middle of the night or woken up in the morning feeling awful or just started crying when I woke up. I stopped taking my sleeping medication because of this because it felt like it only made me not be able to wake up from the dream as easily and just be caught in it instead. I go to psychologist and he said that writing your dreams and trying to understand them may help. and also that the dreams make you deal with part of what you are going through in the beginning of the therapy the dreams were worse but now it has gotten better, sometime it gets worse ofc.
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Tags: abstract, ptsd, loss, hear
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