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night terrors?
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night terrors?

i am 22 years old and have suffered from what i think are night terrors since i was 16 or 17. they have become more consistent in the past 4 years. when i experience these supposed night terrors, it usually happens when i first wake up, i see an image the moment i open my eyes and it terrifies me, my heart rate goes up and i start screaming. it doesnt always look like anything i can describe and i usually run out of bed to turn on the lights to get a better look or to get out the room away from what ive just seen. i spoke to a psychologist about this a year ago because i was depressed at the time and told her i thought i was going crazy which made her laugh, i would have liked some advice but she told me i was fine. since then i have experienced frequent episodes and i noticed it happens more often when i am under a lot of stress. one night i had 3 episodes and i would really like to know what this is and if there is something i can do to control it or even stop it all together.
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Avatar_n_tn
Maybe there's different ways night terrors present themselves, but most I've read about them says the person is asleep when while they crying or screaming. Maybe someone more knowledgeable will post and say if what you describe could happen  upon awakening from a night terror. Is there anyone who sees you sleep who tell you if you act distressed before awakening? Are your dreams themselves bad?

Do keep in mind that some people with sleep apnea report disturbing dreams, and those who awaken after a prolonged period of not breathing can hallucinate due to low oxygen levels.

A sleep doctor should be able to listen to your descriptions and tell you if you're having night terrors and if there's a treatment.

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Avatar_m_tn
Hi imkindacrazy, how are you? Hope you are doing well? I do understand how difficult it is to cope up with the sleep deprevation and daily activities especially with such long history. Do you remember the event which had triggered the terrors episodes and had you initially got evaluated for it? Usually a horrifying incedent when withnessed and keeping on recollecting does affect, and increasing stress worsens it. "Sleep terror is a parasomnia sleep disorder characterized by extreme terror and a temporary inability to regain full consciousness. The subject wakes abruptly from slow-wave sleep, with waking usually accompanied by gasping, moaning, or screaming. It is often impossible to fully awaken the person, and after the episode the subject normally settles back to sleep without waking". Following link gives more information: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Night_terror
Do relaxation by yoga and meditation. Massage and warm bath before sleep is helpful.
It is better you consult a sleep specialist and a neurologist and get evaulated. Take care and update.
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Avatar_f_tn
thank you so much for responding, both kateyes and suri123. the advice is greatly appreciated. until now, it was never brought to my attention nor did it ever cross my mind that i could speak with a sleep specialist or a neurologist about this problem, i was under the impression it was a mental illness of some kind that i was unaware of. i was doing some research online and i read somewhere that these supposed "night terrors" can be a symptom of hypoglycemia, so i am not sure what to think. i will speak with my doctor about a referel asap. thank you.
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Avatar_f_tn
i do not believe that i witnessed a horrifying experience... but i grew up in a stressful home environment, my father had an alcohol problem and he seemed to focus all his anger and verbal abuse on me. after i moved out with my boyfriend, although it didnt happen that often, the episodes stopped for a while but started up again: im guessing a year or so into my relationship. after i had my daughter, i can recall having an episode once or twice every other week. it became quite common, nobody has been around to see me sleep, but my boyfriend has tried to calm me down after it has happened.
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Avatar_m_tn
Hi imikindacrazy, thanks for your reply and updating the details. Yes, I do think that you are going through a lot of stress and worry which needs to be overcome. Try to do morning-evening walks, regular stretches and have lot of water. Avoid late night sleep cycle and it is good to have a daytime nap. I do understand it might be diffucult with the baby but need to manage a bit. Sleep deprivation itself can cause these sleep terrors. It is good to consult a neurologist and also a sleep doctor to get evaluated. Alprazolam at night time can be helpful. Do not worry and be relaxed. Take care and update.
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