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Question Night Terrors - January 20th 2010, 08:24 AM

When I was little I had a lot of night terrors, where I would wake up in the middle of the night mid panic attack: heart racing, trouble breathing, feeling like i was dying and so scared I couldn't even move. I had two tonight, and now I'm scared to go to sleep. The first one I woke up feeling like I had just heard a loud crash, and felt as if someone was holding a knife to my throat. When I calmed down enough to get up, I went on an eating binge to self soothe, went back in my room and crocheted for a little bit, and fell asleep with the lights on. Within the hour I had another night terror, where I woke up choking on vomit. I was so terrified, I went and woke up my parents (i'm 17.) My Dad talked to me, and i tried bringing my dog upstairs into my room so I felt safer, but I ended up deciding i didn't feel able to go back to sleep and coming downstairs. Does anyone else experience night terrors? How do you deal with them?


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Re: Night Terrors - January 21st 2010, 12:05 AM

Iím sorry about what youíre experiencing. It sounds very scary. And I canít tell you how to deal with this, but what I can tell you is important as well.

Iíve had Night Terrors since I was really young. They run in my family and Iíve read a lot about them to try and understand how and why they happen. Because of this I have read a lot of stories about peoples experiencesÖ

What you are experiencing does not sound like Night Terrors. They wouldnít wake you up. They only happen while you are still asleep and they donít wake up the person experiencing them (but they often wake up the rest of the people in the house).

A Night Terror is typically when a sleeping person sits up in their sleep and screams. Sometimes they toss or thrash around in bed while screaming. They rarely get out of bed during it, as they are still asleep, unless they also have a history of sleepwalking (like I do). And if they get out of bed they might walk or run around the house screaming. The main idea is that they scream in the middle of their sleep and seem to be experiencing intense fear.

They do not usually remember them in the morning (just as a sleepwalker doesnít remember getting up in the middle of the night) and the only hint might be feeling a little anxious or ďfunnyĒ in the morning, but it usually fades as the day goes on.

I have never heard of anything like what you are talking about so I donít know what you are experiencing. I really recommend you see somebody about it because it sounds like it could be a serious issue (I am most concerned that you woke up choking on vomit).

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I will cower like a dog
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Re: Night Terrors - January 21st 2010, 12:49 AM

I have similar ones where I wake up completely panicked, always about something fictional, and normally get out of my bed. I rarely leave my room, but if I do, I am normally running or leaving to find someone. But I also have a history of sleep walking as a kid. Adult night terrors are less common then night terrors in children. Which really makes me think that you should go and see someone like a psychiatrist. My night terrors are the reason I went to a medical professional and I ended up being diagnosed with GAD. A lot of disorders can have symptoms of sleep disturbances. So it might help to go and speak to someone. Just simple things like lowering stress during the day and exercising can normally make a big difference when it comes to anxiety. : )

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Re: Night Terrors - January 21st 2010, 02:27 AM

Thank you for your advice. I will talk to my psychiatrist and therapist about it when I see them.

When the patient's body has betrayed them,
and all the sciencewe have to offer has failed them,
when worst-case scenario comes true,
clinging to hope is all we've got left.
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Re: Night Terrors - January 30th 2010, 08:42 PM

Have you been experiencing a lot of stress? I find that night terrors usually happened to me because of stress, staying up way too late, exhaustion, being overheated, or eating something strange before bed.
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Re: Night Terrors - January 30th 2010, 09:51 PM

Doesn't sound like a night terror. Like kenzie said, if they were night terrors you wouldn't wake up. But similar things happen to me. I sometimes wake up screaming and scared, and I freak out my roommate, unfortunately. Here's what helps me though...

1. I have a really active mind..I *have* to wind down before I go to sleep or I'm likely to get a night terror or nightmare or wake up screaming. So before I go to bed I do something to calm me down for an hour or so (read a boring book, listen to music, play a stupid game etc.). Just chill out before you sleep.

2. Do NOT drink caffeine, alcohol, or have anything with sugar before you go to bed. I'm more likely to have these episodes if I have this stuff beforehand.

3. This is gonna sound crappy, but just calm down. Sleeping is meant to be a break from all the pressures in your life. Just put all those worries in a box, and get a good nights rest. Worrying in your sleep doesn't help. Remember: Rest now, worry tomorrow.

Night terrors happen to me despite my age, so I believe they just run in my family (my mom has them, and my grandma used to have them too).

If I think of more things I do to minimize them, I'll edit. Good luck.
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