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Vivid Night Terrors All My Life - 28 y/o

by Marie

I’m a 28 year old female and have been suffering from night terrors and nightmares since as long as I can remember. This might get a little winded so bare with me.

When I was little I used to see frogs (phobic) everywhere when I woke up, it would take hours to actually fall asleep. My nightmares consisted of animals like wolves and bears opening doors and windows which were quite disturbing, all trying to "get me". Sleepwalking was here and there, that I know of. As I got older my night terrors evolved into demons, people, and animals trying to attack me.

After high school is when they really started to get worse. One particular instance I woke up to a nasty looking demon in the corner of my room and a gigantic anaconda snake slithering out from under my bed. This prompted me to try to go out of my 2nd story window. Fortunately I was unsuccessful at getting the notoriously “sticky” window open. Waking up to feeling like something was crawling under me or touching me was/is quite frequent. Most of the time I wake up jumping out of bed from something terrifying and running out of my room, into or over anything in the way. Strange bruises from running into walls and objects aren’t uncommon.

My nightmares are always in color and very vivid. I’ve been shot, bitten, stabbed etc, bled, and felt pain. Night terror wise, either one a night about an
hour into sleeping or several all night least once a week or so, sometimes in clusters that really wear me down physically and emotionally.

As I get older they are definitely getting more unsettling, trying to go out my window because I woke up and saw the ceiling come down on me; staying awake all night because it seemed like a better idea than seeing what I’d see next because they just wouldn’t stop happening, running to the kitchen for a knife to defend myself. I don’t think I really need to keep going. My point is these are the ones I remember. My boyfriend will tell me stories about me jumping up to standing on the bed fighting something. He’s gotten pretty used to telling me it’s all alright so I’ll calm back down and resume a "sleeping" position.

After reading the other comments on here I get really confused about which sleep disorder I fall into. RBD sounds about right but at this point I’m kind of done trying to diagnose myself, I just want to sleep normally, get rid of these bags under my eyes and stop seeing all these horrifying things at night...especially the times I feel the need to defend myself.

Any suggestions would help. I’ve set up a consultation with a sleep specialist next week but am pretty freaked about a possible sleep study. Sleeping in an unknown room usually never goes over very well if you know what I mean.

Comments for Vivid Night Terrors All My Life - 28 y/o

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Jan 21, 2012
Sounds like me NEW
by: Sarah

I'm 22, female, and what you discribe is unsettlingly like me. The taking forever to go to sleep. The wolves and bears opening doors and windows. The large snakes. The demons. I've had this for as long as I can remember. As child I had night terrors, me screaming and terrified and my parents unable to wake me. I slept walking nightly, I've woken up in my basement, hang ing off of lofts and windows, out in the snow, and even in a tree. I attacked bedmates, kicking, biting, punching. My sister even woke up to me pointing a gun at her. Unlike you, while my dreams did progress to demons, because I dream so much I am not "afraid" anymore. Yes, I still, kick and yell, grunt, and give speeches, but the terror is not there anymore. I can't find any research on similar case and can't afford to see a sleep secialist. I would be very willing to be a study subject. I just want help.

Apr 16, 2012
25 y/o female also suffering NEW
by: Chelle

I myself thought that I was having night terrors, but today I found out that I actually suffer from REM behaviour disorder.

I had regular night terrors as a child. Theybeventually went away When I was around 17 I began having them again. Well, thought it was night terrors until today. I regularly wake and see giant bugs, especially spiders, coming at me. I see people standing in my room. I have hurt myself trying to get away from things that aren't there. I always try to save my boyfriend from things that are falling on him, when really there is nothing falling on him. I scream my lungs out for help when people come toward me. I tried to jump off our balcony one night until I woke up in time.

I finally went to my GP and was referred to a sleep specialist who told me that with night terrors you won't remember anything of what you are dreaming about. That REM behaviour disorder is very similar but you actually remember everything that you see. I am being put on a small doseage of medication and have to attend a sleep study in a few months. I strongly suggest that you seek help. I am now 25 so thats 8 years I suffered and now I am hoping I can finally get a good nights sleep without being frightened!!

Mar 03, 2013
48 year old praying for a cure NEW
by: Anonymous

Not sure it matters whether it's REM disorder or Night terrors as most of the symptoms are the same. I for instance have both and the medication is the same for both too. Having been on medication for over twenty years I can tell you that I still have these conditions and I'm fearful I will have it forever which is a "nightmare" I'd like to avoid. It's bad enough that my husband and kids have lived through this if my conditions continue when I have grandkids in my home that is something I just cannot handle.
BTW..I have PTSD and have been in counseling on and on for many years trying to overcome these horrible night terrors.

This site has been helpful in knowing there are others going through the same thing...I feel your pain.

Nov 15, 2013
28 y/o F with same symptoms NEW
by: Anonymous

I suffered from night terrors as a child, but, according to my parents, I was inconsolable during these episodes and never remembered them (typical to night terrors). Then, the issue re-emerged when I was about 19, except, this time, the episodes were accompanied by vivid dream-like, terrifying "hallucinations" and I am always aware they are occurring and remember them. They have happened sporadically ever since. I see spiders, frogs, bugs, rats, and scary, ghostly figures in my room and bed. I try to wake up my husband, move frantically in bed away from them, or run out of bed to turn on the light. Thankfully, nothing more serious has occurred.

Does anyone have an update from their sleep study to confirm that this is REM Sleep Behavior Disorder rather than Night Terrors? I have an appointment with a neurologist a month from now.

Aug 21, 2015
Ditto NEW
by: CJ

All above comments could easily be my own. I am scared to go to sleep at this point. This can't be good. I hate pills and refuse to take them for this. I wake up crying with loss of breath, tonight I felt my heart racing and it took a bit to calm down and make my chest stop hurting. Tonight I was shot with a shotgun. Can I have a heart attack over this? I assume so. I cry, I wake people up freaking out. I have hurt my husband in his sleep grabbing him for help.. that night I was raped. I assume I need to speak to a professional at this point. I do not think I could deal with this if it got much worse. This happens on a weekly basis at minimum sometimes more than once a week. The odd thing is I am a normal person. I do not take medications on a regular basis, I do not feel I have a lot of stress in my life other than when I sleep.

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