I see bad dreams all the time: What to Do?
11 Sep 2016
You are running in the forest while a person runs after you with a knife. You try to dodge him but can still hear his footprints behind you.
Your heart is pounding, your breathing is shallow, and perspiration runs down your entire body.
He is drawing closer and you can see the cliff ahead. You won’t be able to escape. He is closing in on you…..
You wake up with a startle!
Your heart is beating loudly and you are drenched in sweat but you feel better to know that it was a nightmare rather than a reality.
As an adult, you find yourself wondering why do I still have nightmares, these are for kids. You can’t be farther from being wrong.
Although nightmares are more common among children, 50% of adults have nightmares occasionally while 2-8% of adults have them more frequently.
Nightmares can be vivid, often seemingly realistic, disturbing and frightening which leave us in panic and fear after we wake up.
The content of nightmares varies from one adult to another.
However, some of the common ones are not being able to run fast enough to escape or falling from a height.
In adults, the presence of nightmares is usually precipitated by anxiety, stress, certain sleep disorders or drugs.
Why do you see Nightmares?
Stress in daily forms at work, school, parenting & relationship issues has an overall impact on our sleep.They may, in general, lead to poor sleep and at times, even trigger a nightmare.
Having gone through othere traumatic experience in real life increases the probability of having it recur as a nightmare.
People prone to anxitety or with anxiety disorders are very prone to seeing bad dreams and nightmares
Negative Impact of seeing Nightmares
Nightmares are terrifying, sacrificing sleep and leading to an overall negative mood. They are also linked to disorders like depression and anxiety. The earlier they are treated, the better is the prognosis
Why is counseling necessary?
Having nightmares takes its toll on our daily life. Not only do they cause anxiety or depression but they impact the overall quality of life. They cause sleep deprivation resulting in not feeling fresh the next day as well as impact our mood.
Nightmares can be easily tackled with counseling. A psychologist will work with you to-
1) Assess the nature of nightmares
2) Assess the possible causes behind the nightmares
3) Assess your lifestyle habits (sleep, eating etc)
4)Assess your stressors
5) Work on your overall sleep hygiene
6) Make required lifestyle changes
7) Treat using imagery rehearsal and cognitive behavior therapy
The sessions needed range from 3 to 6 sessions.
You don’t have to suffer through nightmares, they are treatable.
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Tags: sleep disorders, nightmares, dreams, treatment, anxiety, stress