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20795582 tn?1509746016

Please help...nightmares every night

I've had nightmares almost every night since i was 13....i'm 23 now. I was molested by two grown men when i was 6. Then my mom's best friend's son was constantly touching me till i was 11 and he was a year younger than me, which i didnt consider molestation until recently because i thought molesting only happened by adults...what is worse is that my mom and her friend would get drunk and laugh when it would happen and say "Awww You have a boyfriennnnnd"
Then at age 17 i was raped by an abusive boyfriend and at age 20 i got raped by my best friend at a Frat party. I was constantly physically and mentally abused my whole life basically. Thats why i dont think the nightmares are that bad. I've had nightmares about dying, about killing other people, about horrible things. But lately i been getting a few nightmares here and there that are scaring me and i'm so panicked.
I recently had nightmares where i'm the rapist, i'm the child molester....and i wake up crying and screaming. Sometimes i'm the victim...but the ones about being the monster has me terrified. I would NEVER do that to anyone. I wake up so disgusted with myself that i throw up. I would never hurt anyone like the people that hurt me. I asked a friend about it and they said anyone is capable of turning into a monster with my past and it has me devastated because i seriously am not attracted to kids (I have my own child for god's sake) and i could never rape someone...
I was diagnosed with PTSD last year and i always thought that nightmares were because of that but what my friend said and the way he said it made it sound like that the nightmares are my desires...and i need actual opinions because my friend was being a jerk about it because i woke him up. I just need help. I refuse to sleep because i cant stand to have nightmares about being like those monsters. I just cant
1 Responses
3060903 tn?1398568723
First of all, no real friend would ever say that to you. They would be consoling to you, not adding inflammatory statements , the worst inflammatory statement possible. Please consider cutting that person from your life, and finding friends that always treat you with love and respect. There is a group called ACOA or Adult Children of Alcoholics or Dysfunctional Family's in every city where you could find folks to talk to that would understand what you're going through. I went for a time when i had no one to talk to, it was a pleasant experience being able to be around people that related to how i was feeling, and how i was suffering. After the group, we would all go out and socialize over coffee and dessert and i really appreciated having those people in my life. Maybe it would help you too? Please consider giving it a shot. Please know that you can private message me on my profile page, or anyone here - if you feel like talking to someone who will be kind and thoughtful. I'd be happy to help you through these hard times. My name is Liz. :) You're in my thoughts and prayers.

You've been diagnosed with PTSD last year, so what treatment has been given to you as a result of that diagnosis? You haven't mentioned treatment so i wonder if you need a new therapist to move forward toward treatment options.

Here are examples of Treatment for PTSD that i found.

Recommended Treatments: Treatments with the Most Research Support
Trauma-focused Psychotherapies

Trauma-focused psychotherapies are the most highly recommended type of treatment for PTSD. "Trauma-focused" means that the treatment focuses on the memory of the traumatic event or its meaning. These treatments use different techniques to help you process your traumatic experience. Some involve visualizing, talking, or thinking about the traumatic memory. Others focus on changing unhelpful beliefs about the trauma. They usually last about 8-16 sessions. The trauma-focused psychotherapies with the strongest evidence are:

    Prolonged Exposure (PE)
    Teaches you how to gain control by facing your negative feelings. It involves talking about your trauma with a provider and doing some of the things you have avoided since the trauma.
    Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT)
    Teaches you to reframe negative thoughts about the trauma. It involves talking with your provider about your negative thoughts and doing short writing assignments.
    Eye-Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
    Helps you process and make sense of your trauma. It involves calling the trauma to mind while paying attention to a back-and-forth movement or sound (like a finger waving side to side, a light, or a tone).

There are other types of trauma-focused psychotherapy that are also recommended for people with PTSD. These include:

    Brief Eclectic Psychotherapy (BEP)
    A therapy in which you practice relaxation skills, recall details of the traumatic memory, reframe negative thoughts about the trauma, write a letter about the traumatic event, and hold a farewell ritual to leave trauma in the past.
    Narrative Exposure Therapy (NET)
    Developed for people who have experienced trauma from ongoing war, conflict, and organized violence. You talk through stressful life events in order (from birth to the present day) and put them together into a story.
    Written Narrative Exposure
    Involves writing about the trauma during sessions. Your provider gives instructions on the writing assignment, allows you to complete the writing alone, and then returns at the end of the session to briefly discuss any reactions to the writing assignment.
    Specific cognitive behavioral therapies (CBTs) for PTSD
    Include a limited number of psychotherapies shown to work for PTSD where the provider helps you learn how to change unhelpful behaviors or thoughts.

Antidepressants (SSRIs and SNRIs)

Medications that have been shown to be helpful in treating PTSD symptoms are some of the same medications also used for symptoms of depression and anxiety. These are antidepressant medications called SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) and SNRIs (serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors). SSRIs and SNRIs affect the level of naturally occurring chemicals in the brain called serotonin and/or norepinephrine. These chemicals play a role in brain cell communication and affect how you feel.

There are four antidepressant medications that are recommended for PTSD:

    Sertraline (Zoloft)
    Paroxetine (Paxil)
    Fluoxetine (Prozac)
    Venlafaxine (Effexor)

Note: Medications have two names: a brand name (for example, Zoloft) and a generic name (for example, Sertraline)

There are other types of antidepressant medications, but these four medications listed above are the ones that are most effective for PTSD.

If you decide try one of these medications, your provider will give you a prescription. Once you fill your prescription, you will begin taking a pill at regular time(s) each day. You will meet with your provider every few months or so. Your provider will monitor your response to the medication (including side effects) and change your dose, if needed.
Suggested Treatments: Treatments with Some Research Support

Some psychotherapies do not focus on the traumatic event, but do help you process your reactions to the trauma and manage symptoms related to PTSD. The research behind these treatments is not as strong as the research supporting trauma-focused psychotherapies (listed above). However, these psychotherapies may be a good option if you are not interested in trauma-focused psychotherapy, or if it is not available:

    Stress Inoculation Training (SIT)
    A cognitive-behavioral therapy that teaches skills and techniques to manage stress and reduce anxiety.
    Present-Centered Therapy (PCT)
    Focuses on current life problems that are related to PTSD.
    Interpersonal Psychotherapy (IPT)
    Focuses on the impact of trauma on interpersonal relationships.

There are also other medications that may be helpful, although the evidence behind them is not as strong as for SSRIs and SNRIs (listed above). These include:

    Nefazodone (Serzone)
    A serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SRI) that works by changing the levels and activity of naturally occurring chemical signals in the brain.
    Imipramine (Tofranil)
    A tricyclic antidepressant (TCA) which acts by altering naturally occurring chemicals which help brain cells communicate and can lift mood.
    Phenelzine (Nardil)
    A monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) which inactivates a naturally-occurring enzyme which breaks down the neurotransmitters serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine.

Other Treatments: Treatments That Do Not Yet Have Research Support
There may be other options available such as certain complementary and integrative medicine approaches (like yoga, meditation, or acupuncture), biological treatments (like hyperbaric oxygen therapy or transcranial magnetic stimulation), or online treatment programs. These treatments do not have strong research behind them at this time, but you and your doctor can discuss the benefits and risks of these options to determine whether or not they are right for you.
Choosing a Treatment

No one treatment is right for everyone. You can discuss treatment options with your health care provider, and determine which ones are best for you based on the benefits, risks, and side effects of each treatment. Some people are uncomfortable with the idea of seeking treatment because of concerns with stigma or worries about having to talk about difficult life experiences. However, treatment provides the opportunity to improve symptoms, personal and professional relationships, and quality of life.

To learn about evidence-based treatments, take a look at Understanding PTSD
and PTSD Treatment (PDF) or compare treatments using the PTSD Treatment Decision Aid.
There is also the option of going into a hospital Psychiatric ward. There you would receive immediate help for all that has happened to you. My husband took advantage of a Psychiatric Ward when we first met, where he had one on one with Psychologists, and Psychiatrists, also group therapy. Sometimes it helps to take the time that you need to fully embrace treatment. There are also options for medication, that might help you sleep more soundly.
Talking to a therapist about how to handle your friends statement would be helpful. You need to know first that their statement was completely out of line and be able to tell them so.
Thank you so much, i cant express how thankful i am for the suggestions and information. To be honest, i couldnt get treatment. My health insurance was up and i've been fighting to get it back so i can be treated. When i got diagnosed they explained quite a bit, but i was going through such a hard time that i barely remember much about what treatments i could get. I been trying to self treat by writing things down, talking about it with my boyfriend, crying it out in the shower if it comes to the front of my mind, small stuff like that.

I been doing fine the past few years about not thinking about it too closely, but then i started having issues with hallucinations here and there, hearing things, and having panic attacks, paranoia, and more...it made no sense because i was holding it together for a while there, but the lady who diagnosed me explained that keeping all these things secret and bottling it up (even when i am not conscious about it) can cause these problems. I just feel afraid to go to the hospital...i'm afraid that i will go in debt, i'm afraid they'll do more harm than good, i'm afraid my family will take advantage of this by trying to take my son from me, i'm mostly afraid of rejection. I am good at keeping a straight face when my mind is screaming, i know how to maneuver myself away from people and hide a panic attack, i've learned how to keep it quiet because i've had it ingrained in my head since i was little that you have to "save face" and deal with it, that mental pain is just that, its mental and can be fixed with happy thoughts.

I'm just so tired of being tired...tired of adding layers and layers of stress and fear in the back of my head to worry about later. Its adding up. I made an attempt at helping myself by confronting one of my molesters a few months ago, it felt good at the time but now its heavier than ever on my shoulders.
I'm sorry, i'm rambling. I feel like i can only talk about this with my boyfriend, and even then i'm afraid if i talk too much about it that he'll get annoyed.
As for my friend, i tried my best in handling that...i explained how it was wrong and that if they cannot be positive or helpful that they dont belong in my life. I have enough toxic people in my life right now that i dont need another one in the hoard.
But i think my mental state might get better here soon...the first step i'm taking is getting insurance, next step is moving out and away from some of my family who are the most toxic of all, and then i'll hopefully start treatments. I just...wish there was a way to help the nightmares subside. Nothing is scarier than having nightmares about nothing but horror and gore, things that should drive a sane person bonkers.

But i mean it, thank you so much. I found your input very helpful. I might look into some of those treatments and maybe even the medication.

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