Sunday, January 26, 2014

NIGHT TERRORS or NIGHTMARES

When you wake up in the morning and the blankets on your bed look like there has been a war and you feel drained, can you assume you had a bad night? 

“Night terrors are most common in boys ages 5 - 7, although they also can occur in girls. They are fairly common in children ages 3 - 7, and much less common after that. Night terrors may run in families. They can occur in adults, especially when there is emotional tension or the use of alcohol.”
(from http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000809.htm) So am I having “night terrors” which is more common in children or something else? 

calls the horrible events of the night by a different name if you have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.  The VA says they are nightmares.  People I know experiencing them call them night terrors.  Whatever you call them they usually consist of reliving past traumatic events and leave your bed a mess and your body and mind in the same condition as your bed.

I know people who have gone to their graves still having these night terrors/nightmares.  Some I have known received mental health care a good portion of their lives.  It doesn’t seem so easy to get rid of the things that come forth in the night and mess up your bed.

The more stress a person faces each day the worse that night will be.  That may not be a rule set in stone, but it is a pretty good bet.  I am told there are good treatments, but I personally don’t know anyone who has totally gotten rid of their night visits of past events. 

We seem to have a good understanding of what causes them, but we don’t seem to have found a good way to reach or to help people who have been the victims of long term sexual or violent abuse or veterans of war who develop severe PTSD who also have other complicating issues.

Why am I writing this?  My hope is that someone will email me at edcooper@projectdreamagain.com
and say Ed you are dead wrong.  I won this battle and I am free of night terrors/nightmares and have been for ______.  You don’t have to put your name.  I just want to be able to share some hope.  I can’t say it.  I want to find someone who can.

*My wife pointed out that these night terrors/nightmares are re-traumatizing.

**You can read a poem dedicated to returning Veterans by clicking on “The Soldier Who Came Home” at the right on this page.


© Ed Cooper, January 25, 2014, Stoney Creek, Tennessee

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