I'm scared to fall asleep, ever again. I don't know what to do, what's wrong...

Discussion in 'The Fire Hydrant' started by ravennr, Mar 13, 2012.

  1. ravennr

    ravennr ಥ⌣ಥ

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    I'm sorry this will be long. I'm shaking, I'm terrified, and I have nowhere else to turn. I can't keep waking Ryan up with this.

    Throughout the night, I've been suffering the worst episodes of sleep paralysis, accompanied by the most realistic, horrifying nightmares I have ever had, which is saying a lot from me.

    I've woken up fighting for air after finally unsticking myself from the bed after what felt like hours of trying to wake up, trying to move, say anything to get my boyfriend's attention and let him know something is not okay.

    I turned a light on after the second one. I fought my hardest to stay awake, but I fell asleep. The nightmares, all of them, every time, start with me paralyzed in bed, they feel so real. You don't understand - I honestly thought, every nightmare beginning, every time, that I was really in my bed trying to wake up. Then, something would happen. Someone would scream, someone would try to rape me, kill me, someone I knew and trusted. I couldn't scream, I couldn't move.


    Last night, I couldn't sleep either. The same thing happened, only the nightmares weren't present. The auditory was. I heard screaming, I heard talking. I swear I felt myself talking to my boyfriend, but I turned and he wasn't there.

    I'm sitting here with the biggest mug of coffee I could find in the pantry, as strong as I could tolerate, because I'm so scared to hit the pillow again. I'm scared for this to happen again. I'm scared for everyone to leave me alone here today, because if I fall asleep, no one will be here.


    I just needed to vent. You guys have always been there for my crap before so I figured, why not? Maybe I'm rambling. I feel like I haven't fallen asleep at all. The sleeping is literally taking energy from me, that's how it feels at this point.


    ETA: I need to mention something about these dreams and the way they are behaving - these dreams...they aren't skipping around like normal dreams. The time sequences don't jump like normal dreams. Everything feels real, like it is happening in an extremely, realistically linear way. Dreams should not do this. This is not how dreams act. How they should act. Dreams can feel like they go on for hours, sure, but mine usually don't, and are usually noticeably short and skippy, while these...these nightmares, they feel like they just never end. They feel like they go on from the time I fall asleep to the time I wake up (according to the clock, about an hour and a half each session). That is, in part, another thing that is extremely terrifying to me.
     
  2. puppydog

    puppydog Tru evil has no pantyline

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    Go to the Dr and ask for anti anxiety meds.
     
  3. Taqroy

    Taqroy Active Member

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    ((((((superhugs))))) That sounds awful. I don't really have anything to help though, I'm sorry. :(
     
  4. Lilavati

    Lilavati Arbitrary and Capricious

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    Sleep paralysis is a sleep disorder. You should see a doctor if possible.

    Other than that . . . it sounds horrible. I'm sorry :(
     
  5. Dizzy

    Dizzy Sit! Good dog.

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    A) I had this for years, I know how you feel.

    B) I'm in work on my phone so will reply properly when I get home later.

    C) there is a happy ending.
     
  6. ravennr

    ravennr ಥ⌣ಥ

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    I fell asleep for fifteen minutes this morning, with the sunlight shining in hoping it would help. Just happened again.

    I will have to find out how much it's going to cost to see a doctor about this. I would have to see a GP. Local clinics here refuse to pass out any benzos. I don't dream on xanax, so maybe it would help, I dunno. This is just happening out of nowhere. It's horrifying. I'm afraid to sleep at all because I don't know what I'm going to have to experience next.
     
  7. Lyzelle

    Lyzelle New Member

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    I go through periods of that. It usually starts out with just bad/uncomfortable dreams, then goes on to plain evil dreams where people I know and/or love are trying to hurt me, paranormal things haunting me, people after me, so on. Then it just escalates from there, where it feels like I'm laying awake for hours, screaming and trying to talk to my husband...and then nothing. It was all a dream. But it was so REAL and it physically HURT so much that it would drive me insane, completely bat-**** crazy. After a certain point, it's nearly impossible to figure out what is a dream and what is real.

    Mine is caused by anxiety, something I've struggled with for a long time. I take xanax. It's a wonderful drug. It's the only thing out there that doesn't make me feel like a zombie, doped up, or empty/uncaring. I'm truly "okay" on it. It just paves the way for "happy". Not like any other anti-anxiety or anti-depressant I've had before. I thoroughly recommend it.

    But if you DO take it, be wary of the dosages. My first prescription put me in fairyland. I was a little too happy. Second try, it was much better. Eventually I began dreaming on it, but they were the first "normal" dreams I'd had in my entire life. Even when I didn't go through full-blown episodes like this, I would still experience "dreams" where it felt like my eyes were sewn shut, I couldn't breathe, couldn't make my legs work, so on. I didn't realize until I saw a Doc, that it wasn't normal. But xanax...is my friend.

    (((((major hugs))))) I hope you figure it out and finally get some good sleep!
     
  8. AdrianneIsabel

    AdrianneIsabel Glutton for Crazy

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    It gets worse when you're exhausted (I get these episodes, they're utterly terrofying) so its a vicious circle. For me I usually break it by learning to not fight it as badly. You can try sleep aids, anxiety meds, drinking, meditation, yoga, etc. From my research the best cure depends from person to person.

    ETA, I read this on my phOne with a sleeping baby in my arms. My episodes only seem to include the laying paralysized and being unable to ask for someone near to wake me.

    Those other aspects seem much more serious, I'd talk to a doctor for sure.
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2012
  9. ravennr

    ravennr ಥ⌣ಥ

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    What you just described is EXACTLY what has been happening to me the past two days. Literally every part. And the dreams were nothing like where your usual dreams seem to be places you semi-recognize. Nope, every single detail down to the way my makeup table is arranged, the amount of juice in the glass next to me, the way the blanket draped over the chair, it was all the same. Last night they started out with a man on top of me holding me down trying to rape/kill me, then the paranormal stuff started happening and I was ripped from my bed towards the wall. I don't know if much of what I was saying was real or part of the nightmare, same with not being able to move though I believe that was part of both and bled into each other.



    Thanks everyone for the advice. I experienced this once as a child, the Old Hag Syndrome, where an old lady appeared to be holding me down trying to hurt me. I'd take the Old Hag over what's happened to me the past two nights, any day.
     
  10. Renee750il

    Renee750il Felurian

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    Have you taken any meds? Or stopped taking some?
     
  11. Doberluv

    Doberluv Active Member

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    That sounds awful. I think it is necessary to see a doctor who specializes in sleep disorders or a sleep disorder clinic at a teaching university might be an option. It is not only unhealthy to be sleep deprived but down right dangerous. Do get some help. I wish you all the best.
     
  12. Lilavati

    Lilavati Arbitrary and Capricious

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    I know nothing of your medical history, but sleep apnea (you don't have to be heavy) can contribute to sleep paralysis. That alone is a reason to have it checked out.
     
  13. RBark

    RBark Got Floof?

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    Sorry :( I dont really tell anyone about this because, well, how do you explain you still have nightmares at 30 years old as a guy?

    But I've had night terrors all my life and rarely get a good night's sleep. Some days its mild and I just wake up frightened, other times... well, let's just say my roomate heard me *roar* in my bed, I kid you not, because I was trying in my dream to scare my nightmare away. Most nights I just wake up a little terrified of creatures in the dark and lay frozen for 15 mins until I relax and sanity returns and I'm no longer irrationally panicking.

    It gets easier when I'm sleeping with someone as I do now, and it was easier when I had Priscilla who always slept snuggled up with me. But that does not prevent the night terrors, it just makes it easier to recover from them.

    No good advice here, just co-miserating a bit. I had a particularly bad one last night to the point I was terrified of sleeping gain since I thought id have the same dream again.
     
  14. poodlesmom

    poodlesmom New Member

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    I experienced the same thing for a long time. After I'd wake up and eventually go back to sleep I would re-enter the same nightmare where it left off. It was terrible! Then my friend who lived downstairs went away for two weeks. We used to visit every evening since it was just us and our kids. I soon realized I was no longer having the night terrors. She came back from vacation and it started up once again. Luckily I was able to figure out it was the coffee we were drinking each night while we sat chatting and watching tv & the kids. Once I cut the coffee out they stopped and now when I dream I have just the normal type ones. Hopefully it might be something similar for you.
     
  15. ravennr

    ravennr ಥ⌣ಥ

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    None at all recently. Not in the past, hm, month or two I believe. I haven't even been taking the tylenol 1's I usually take for my pain because I can't handle the caffeine.



    My mother did have sleep apnea. I know her signs of it and know I haven't displayed any myself according to others, including her, but I could ask about it. I've never had any problems associated with it in the past though, but it is worth looking into.


    I'm a little worried about how much cash this is going to take to scrounge up though. Eeesh.


    As sucky as it is for everyone else here experiencing this too, it's nice to have people who understand the things I'm describing! I hope EVERYONE can get some relief from their own. It's calmed me down a lot hearing other people's stories about it, oddly enough. Even though most of what I've heard, there hasn't been anything that worked for them. Keeping my hopes up though. It HAS only been two nights, so I don't want to just collapse into a terrified pile of goo just yet.
    I'll let everyone know when that happens. And be sure to take photos - I'm sure that would be internet-worthy.
     
  16. Sweet72947

    Sweet72947 Squishy face

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    I've never had sleep paralysis but I do have night terrors where I wake up completely terrified and I have no idea why. I usually have to turn on my light and just lay there for a while until I calm down enough to sleep again. I do have sleep apnea (treated with my CPAP machine) and I wonder if that contributes to night terrors?

    I find it helps me to have a dream catcher in my room.
     
  17. Dizzy

    Dizzy Sit! Good dog.

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    I'm home, and I'm afraid I am going to start with a little bit of a rant about recommending meds for everything at the 1st sniffle of something not right.

    It winds me up MIGHTILY.

    You may or may not need medication to address this issue (or ANY issue). But you do not go running to the doctor for some tablets at the 1st sign of mental distress (unless you're psychotic or suicidal or otherwise).

    There are literally 1001 things you should and can do BEFORE YOU TAKE MEDICATION.

    If they don't work - then you can try meds. Medication is a fix for the SYMPTOMS of a disorder (whatever that may be) - it won't FIX the problem. Blah blah chemical imbalance blah blah - you will only know that when NOTHING ELSE WORKS or there has been some form of testing. Sure, go for medication if you can't live day to day and need to get to some level where you can start exploring other things, but if you can avoid it, then do it.

    If you simply can NOT stop the symptoms, or the disorder through trying other alternatives for whatever reason - then you have a valid reason for trying medication. No doctor worth their weight will prescribe meds without even TRYING to address the cause of the issue first, and by trying other things. Medication is usually HARMFUL to your body (a bazillion side effects) and therefore you should only be on it at the very last resort and for AS SHORT AS REASONABLY POSSIBLE.

    Ok. End Rant. (Sorry, I have PMT and that REALLY FRIGGING ANNOYS ME). That wasn't directed at you Raven, or anyone in particular, but I needed to say it, and I am sure there will be 1000 people who disagree, but I think it is SO important to be holistic when looking at these things, not just jump for pills.

    Ok.... Sorry :(

    Sleep Paralysis. It sucks hairy balls, but it IS something that you CAN get control of. There is a ton of reading on the internet about it, and in my experience the more you read about it, what it is, why it happens, what is happening to your brain etc - the more you can control it.

    I also recommend reading about lucid dreaming, and techniques to lucid dream (I have never ever mastered this). Basically, if you can learn to lucid dream, you can make yourself relaxed during sleep paralysis, and also learn to control your dreams you have (or nightmares).

    Sleeping on your stomach helps prevent sleep paralysis - I could always tell BEFORE I went to sleep that I was going to get it - you get a tingly sensation. I can't even really describe it, but you learn to recognise it and it becomes familiar. I don't particularly enjoy sleeping on my stomach, but it was better than sleep paralysis.

    I used to do the whole waking up thing, and falling straight back into it as well... Once I was semi-awake, I had to make myself put the light on, and drink some water, or I'd go straight back into that state of weird.

    You have to begin to recognise when you are in that state. At the worst, I was having it nearly every single night. But I did a LOT of reading on it, plus I began to alter other things in my life (it was a really, really crap time) and eventually it began to get less and less, and now I rarely have it.

    As it went away, I began to realise I had the most awful sleep ever, for ever... It used to take me up to an hour to get to sleep every night. I didn't even register that as weird, because I was used to it. But as you begin to address the issues you have sleeping, you start to realise that it is possible to fall asleep in a few mins (weird concept to those with sleep disorders, I know, I have been there :p ).

    I know I rave about it a lot, but I can not thank my hypnosis sleep track enough. I still struggle to sleep now if I am stressed, but I whack that on and I am GONE in a matter of mins of it being on - try and find something YOU associate with calm, natural sleep (obviously this is for when you have sorted the SP out). Then when you recognise you're having a bad night, you can put it on, and it sends you to sleep (I use the Andrew Johnson app on my phone).

    Some other things to try and do - keep a sleep journal - log the nights you have it, what time etc etc. Seriously, once you start THINKING about this issue and rationalising it, reading about it, understanding it, it suddenly becomes something YOU control.

    I am able now to be much less panicked when I have an episode (few and far between now, thank god), I try and tell myself what is happening, and try and wiggle my big toe :) It doesn't necessarily work, but I definitely don't have the crazy wild thoughts and dreams I used to, my heart still bangs, and it's not pleasant, but it's not debilitating.

    I find it something more quirky now than scary. For the record, my mum used to get it, and my sister gets it now (she is now early 20's). I DEFINITELY think it runs in families (my dad, and brother don't get it), and I also think that age has something to do with it - but these are just my own observations.

    You have to become aware of the condition - and that's were the lucid dreaming tips will help.

    Don't be afraid to go to sleep - that will only make it worse :) And once you make steps to fixing it, you'll realise you CAN have a good nights sleep.

    I know you suffer a lot with anxiety stuff, and you will need to look at this too outside of this - but there is something you can do to stop it interfering with you at night as well.
     
  18. ravennr

    ravennr ಥ⌣ಥ

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    I have been diagnosed with a bad anxiety disorder since I was a teenager, and went through quite a bit of therapy before being prescribed anything. Either way, I'm not fiscally able to run out and grab medication. I am going to wait, as crappy as that is going to be, and see how this escalates. I do need medication, for my other issues, because my life is interfered with and has been for the past two years. I just have no health insurance/coverage, so I've 'dealt' with it, which for me means never leaving my apartment, avoiding people, fighting through panic attacks that are triggered by everything and nothing, and bottling up everything until I explode. I'm much worse now than I've ever been in the past, so at this point, I don't know that going backwards and re-trying anything I went through pre-medication will be worth anything. Especially if this IS related to everything I already suffer from.
    That being said, I do agree with you. Medication should be as much of a last resort as possible, for most problems.


    For the past few months, I've actually been having a really fantastic sleep schedule. I've been reading up a lot on Steve Pavalina and the sleep studies he's done on himself. His post on how to become an early riser, along with things like a glass of water in the morning, not eating twelve hours before you want to wake up, things like that, have helped immensely. I no longer need medication to fall asleep. The only thing I will take valium for anymore, and extremely sparingly, is my jaw during a bad bout of anxiety because I clench hard in my sleep, and it makes the chronic pain I deal with everyday just that much worse. The valium, though, is weak, and I've had more success with other benzos, but no access to them.

    I've been reading up on a lot of this today, but most of the causes, or assumed causes I guess would be best to say, aren't fitting. This is why I'm sitting here scratching my head. It's like...it just came out of nowhere. Which is weird, because I have been in the best mood in the past week or two than in the last two years.


    I do have some good news. I fell asleep today for about an hour. I did dream, but it was a normal dream. I had no problems waking up. I felt pretty rested, and bounced up and cleaned the bedroom, folded laundry, played with the birds, enjoyed today's gorgeous weather, things I'm not usually interested in doing because of various issues I'd hate to get into on here (I doubt anyone wants to get into a big discussion about depression and anxiety and all that stuff).
    I really appreciate some of the tips you guys have given me. I am going to try literally everything. I'm going to log the episodes as well, for if I do end up going to a doctor. I'm not sure if I should log them with descriptions or not. The idea of having these events down on paper freaks me out for some reason. Just re-thinking through the nightmares makes my stomach upset and my heart start to flutter. *shudder*


    Something else weird, my cat has been very oddly attentive to me today. Offering affection like never before. Reminds me of how my dogs used to comfort me during attacks. I'm sure it's just some feline mind trick, but either way, it was very comforting to be laying down and have him purring and pushing into me being the little spoon, chirping at me. :)
     
  19. Dizzy

    Dizzy Sit! Good dog.

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    Sorry, i wasn't suggesting you don't need meds, more addressing the immediate recommendation that you do (you know you best).

    Knowledge is power!!! Keep reading up on it :)
     
  20. Fran101

    Fran101 Resident fainting goat

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    I am so sorry, I don't have any advice/experience but ((HUGS)) that sounds just awful
     

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