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How do you cope with PTSD related nightmares?

I struggle with nightmares, I feel like I get them at least 2-5 times a week. This is my biggest symptom that I struggle with. In my everyday life I have been able to deal with triggers, and I've learned to journal about my feelings, I even went to counseling for this issue for about 6 months (which is where I was first diagnosed with PTSD) but had to stop because I could no longer afford it.
If you get nightmares, how do you cope?

Background: My PTSD is from both childhood molestation and domestic abuse from an ex.
6 Responses
Avatar universal
I would seek a psychiatrist so you can be placed on the best medication.
675718 tn?1530033033
meds are the way to go it helped me just not right away you are not alone I was surprised when I was DXed with PTSD + Schizophrenia I was numb then my sister turned me on to medhelp .com
Avatar universal
Having been sexual abused as a child, my relationships as an adult were also unhealthy as I never told anyone and never dealt with it until I found myself in a deadly domestic. I was diagnosed with night terrors resulting from PTSD.  It's horrible that it is too expensive for people to get professional psychological help for such a serious problem.  Some general practitioners are in the health field because they truly care and want to help people who are suffering and in need - if you can find one they may be willing to prescribe medication for your diagnosis that have little to no risk for abuse (I'm on prazosin). Also go online and see if there are any organizations that provide survivors groups, they are usually free services. At the very least, know you are not alone!
Avatar universal
Hi there, Firstly I am so very sorry that you have had to deal with this. I am not sure where you are living but if at all possible I really think it would be useful to think about trauma- focussed cognitive behavioural therapy or EMDR. I am not entirely sure what sort of counselling you received but national guidelines and the evidence base point towards the therapies I have listed for PTSD as opposed to generic counselling (although I understand that this may not be an option if you have to pay for your own therapy- I'm not sure if there are services that can offer this kind of support for free where you live). I think it's also important to point out that guidelines suggest a combination of therapy and medication as opposed to medication alone.

Some of the things you can do to support yourself through nightmares involve developing strategies to 'ground' yourself if you wake from a nightmare where you have re-experienced trauma. You can do generic things like naming 5 things you can see, feel, smell and hear. You could also have a grounding statement to repeat out loud if you wake feeling scared. This generally can involve something like ' I am feeling scared right now. I am in my bedroom and I am safe. Nobody can hurt me here'. If there is particularly nice and soothing candle smell that you like you can also use that to bring yourself back to calm.

Ultimately nighmares related to trauma are your minds way of trying to make sense of what happened. When we experience trauma our emotions take over and we are not usually able to process what is happening fully. Our minds then try to 'fill in the gaps' but in doing so can keep repeating this process on a loop. Whilst we can often cope day to day it keeps popping back up again because it has not been properly processed. EMDR/TF-CBT are what will help come to terms with what happened.

I also agree that local support groups would be helpful to meet other people with similar experiences.

I hope you find a way of managing the nightmares.
Avatar universal
My Therapist taught me how to write down the ending I want to happen. and then when i have the hideous dream, then back up and try to finish it the way i want it to end. It takes some time getting down to master it, but it does happen practice practice practice
Avatar universal
I simply have accepted what has happened to me. I still go through the nightmares but since i have accepted that it wasnt my fault in any way and that they were deserving of the pits of hell i no longer resented them.
But as for getting rid of the nightmares, do a sleep hypnosis. play it either out of your phone or mp3 player and i know for a fact you will sleep without nightmares. works for me. but everyone is diffenrent
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