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Nightmares and injuring myself
Hi, I suffer from recurrent nightmares in connection to a sexual assault when I was a child. They frequently leave me tired and irritable as well as very emotional and I can easily begin crying at every little thing!
More seriously I have clawed at my wrists several times whilst asleep and scratched myself quite badly, leaving scars! I really am at my wits end as to what to do about it! I've spoken to my GP who suggested counselling but that just seemed to make it worse...
Any advice or similar experiences?
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First I'd suggest trying to protect your wrists.  Here's  try, get a couple of the ACE Bandages such as are used to wrap a sprain.  It would take some effort to take them off, and maybe if you try while in a nighmare you'll wake up fist, and waking up is part of the cute too, I think.

Is there anything during the day you can practice on for waking yourself up?  I had nightmares as a child driving only by my imagination, but these dreams generally took place in familiar places:  the alley behind my home, a basement or cellar, or just dark.. I started trying to open my eyes wide whenever I encountered these places and it wasn't long before that translated to me doing the same when a nightmare was starting up, it worked so well that after a few episodes of spoiling my unconscious efforts to create a nightmare I stopped having nightmares.  

I still have a scary dream once or twice a year, but as a senior now and a large adult male my imagination usually confronts with something that in itself makes me wake up.

I have become a troublemare person in my senior years, and would like to stop that too.  I have read a little on LUCID DREAMING, see on the web. I read a short book/aucioCD by Stephen LaBerges of Stanford U.  It encourages getting involved in ones dreams by recognizing one is dreaming and thus at no risk and thus able to face the problem right in the "eye".  As dreams are creations in our own head, this confrontation and learning may lead to a better self understanding and a more peaceful life in general.

I have not achieved Lucid Dreaming myself, but my dreams are not bad enough to encourage me to make a big effort.  

Good luck, and counseling my be the best path forward.  I have not tried it myself.
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Thanks for the tips :) I've tried the bandage thing previously but it's the whole thing about feeling like someone is holding on to my wrists that freaks me out! I'm definitely going to have a crack at waking myself up though :)
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