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Can nightmares alone cause the development of PTSD?

Hello there,
Ever since I was a little girl, I've had nightmares about what I have classified as women-molesters, which are "mature" women who have sexual intentions toward underage girls. These women would have a certain look and a certain scent. I used to think that it was normal, but I am now a teenager and have been learning more about psychology and trauma. So I was wondering, could my nightmares possible cause me to develop some stress or anxiety disorder? I cannot recall ever actually experiencing a 'woman-molester' in real life. I've heard before though, that the brain shuts out bad memories, so I thought that maybe that was why I couldn't remember anything. However, my parents say that nothing bad had ever happened to me. It's really confusing.

Some symptoms that I have when I smell the scent (the scent has more effect than appearance):
Anxiety
Mood change
Numbness in the tips of fingers
Shaking
Nausea

I can't go to see a professional because I am a minor and my parents swear that I am fine. If I am ever in a bad mood because I have smelled the certain scent, my parents tell me that I will get over it. It's really hard to go through sometimes because they don't understand what this pain is like. Lately, though, I've been wondering if it's just my imagination because I have never heard of anyone developing a disorder from their nightmares.

Help?
4 Responses
675718 tn?1530033033
if you have a nightmare every night i would think so :)
Avatar universal
I don't have nightmares every night. They happen randomly with large intervals in between.
Avatar universal
I have had nightmares everyday or mostly 5 to 6 times a week, where I am fighting for my life. I actually have flashbacks about them and think about what actions I took to survive. I remember my nightmares too, long after they happen. I would wake up sweating and my heart racing. Later in the day, weeks, months, and years later I can still remember those especially traumatizing nightmares. I have had rape nightmares and remember them. I remember giving birth multiple times and having the child taken away. I never gave birth in real life. But I think about the child. My second one comes and goes in my dream world. I try to protect him or her when she appears. I remember battles, wars, zombies, demons, witches, spirits, and all kinds of enemies trying to kill me and having to fight to survive. The nightmares were never real, but I remember them and can't forget them. I wonder if I have ptsd but not to the extent that it affects completely my life. I feel like if I took a polygraph exam and was asked did I kill anybody, I would fail because I think about the zombie and demon attacks I fought against. I hope more answer this question as I wonder if anyone is like us.
1 Comments
I also have nightmares like that. Same as you, I would probably hesitate if someone ever asked if I had fatally hurt someone because my dreams are so real.
Avatar universal
I have had PTSD symptoms for years now, and I think that it is possible that dreams can cause PTSD because physical interactions are registered through our brain, as are nightmares, so, really the only difference is one situation is real and the other you simply think is real. They still have the same effect.
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675718 tn?1530033033
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