Feb 24, 2007

Night Terrors/Nightmares?!?

Boy I haven't been sleeping well lately... The past week has been a nightmare, literally.
Within the past year I've become increasingly afraid of the dark - this is something I didn't even experience as a child. (I am now 24)
I sleep with my good old teddy bear again, for about a week now.

I spoke to my mom on the phone today about these strange vivid nightmares I've been having increasingly... I thought I was going crazy and I had written down phone numbers for psychics and physciatrists....

I came across this website after my mother suggested that it wasn't nightmares but "night terrors".
She said she had them right up until she was 20 years old.

Let me tell you about my night terrors.

At one point I thought I was seeing ghosts... (I can't remember exactly when these happened)
I was dozing and came to because I felt something, and saw a face materializing above my head and it came towards me, I absorbed it somehow and became completely paralized.
I couldn't scream, I couldn't move, and I couldn't breath.
My chest felt so heavy like someone was sitting on it and my boyfriend was right beside me but I couldn' t move or yell to wake him.
It was light outside, and by this point I was fully awake, terrified, and a few minutes after it subsided. The scariest part was being unable to breathe.
It started with light pressure, and got heavier until I was unable to inhale,
and then like a weight lifting off me, I could move breath and whimper.

The 2nd "ghost" was not visual...
I was in London (UK) and staying at an old house, there were 2 other people in the house.
I was trying to fall alseep after reading a book and listening to my iPod.
I did fall asleep, and woke up for an unknown reason at 4:33am.
I remember having a dream that was happy, so I smiled, lay back, and started thinking about it. I was thinking about my boyfriend, and I started to smell my favorite cologne which he sometimes wears.
I know I have a vivid imagination so I assumed it was all in my head, but then the cologne smell got stronger and stronger until I could taste it's foul bitterness in my mouth, and then I "felt" something... I started to panic.
I opened my eyes, but I couldn't see anything.
I felt the coming of a paralysis that reminded me of the first ghost.
I got terrified and remembered how I couldn't breathe, so before my arms went completely numb I threw one arm over myself off the bed and fell off the bed, got control of my body because of the jolt when I hit the floor, ran for the light (switched it on) and then ran to the kitchen.
I stayed awake, made some tea, talked to myself, and that was it.

Every once in a while I do hallucinate, though not accompanied with paralysis.
I sleep with my eyes half open for some reason.
So sometimes I can see things going on around me.

Normally I see small, metallic objects spinning or flying through the air, usually with spikes and I "know" they are trying to kill me.
When I see them I wake up, sometimes I yell or scream.
I will dodge them, roll or jump out of bed, throw the covers over the objects, run for the light and once the room is lit I can see they are gone I am able to calm down.

More recently the hallucinations have been getting stronger, as well as my sensation of ultimate fear and sheer terror...
The objects have more shape, stay longer, and I don't always stop at the door.

Feb 3rd was my worst one...I was in a hotel, and falling asleep.
There was a "ghost" in my room, but I didn't see him right away. He was seductively threatening me, and I knew he didn't want me there.
He must have been hundreds of years old, judging by speech and what I assumed he was wearing, but when he materialized, it looked like silly putty.
It snaked out and began to wrap itself around me, and felt hot... he was laughing, and I SCREAMED.
I screamed or wailed, louder than I ever have in my entire life.
I have never felt that kind of terror at any point in my existance, I could have had a heart attack for all I know.
This warm, snakelike thing was wrapping around my torso as I lay in bed, and spikes started portruding out like a funky dog collar....
I threw myself off the bed jumping 2 or 3 feet away, lurching for the other side of the room where a lightswitch lay and screaming/wailing the entire time.
My legs stretched as far as they could in a loping run for the door, I didn't bother to look behind me after flicking the switch.
I just ran straight out the door right into the hallway of this old hotel in Manaus, screaming almost in tears.
I finally realized where I was, and it took me about 3 minutes before I could go back into the room (Boy was I ever embarassed) because I thought he might be trying to trick me.

Since then, I have been having these hallucinations more frequently than ever.

In the past week, every night I am jolted awake because of something.

Last night it was a large ball of spikey twisted metal above my bed about 4 feet in diameter.

The night before it was a tiny little egg shaped ball, see through and staticy like a TV, slowly and steadily floating towards my bed from the side at waist height. It was hissing at me. I dodged it and slept on the couch.

Before that was something (entity?) with an umbrella like thing with a knife on the end, before that was little spikey balls (usually in pairs) swooping above my head.

Once was a "ghost" with something resembling a paper clip, and that time I threw the covers over him, ran to the bathroom and locked the door... I was screaming for him to LEAVE ME ALONE, then I heard a "click" because I could swear he threw that paper clip thing at the bathroom door, and the soft thud as it fell to the carpet.

I am already starting to get scared because darkness is creeping outside, and I am alone in my house. I don't want to sleep on the couch anymore, but I am too scared of what I will see this time.
Why am I so terrified? Why am I hallucinating? What message is this? Am I dreaming, only while I'm awake?
These things WAKE me up... so am I going crazy? What on earth is wrong with me? Why is this happening NOW?
I never used to have this problem as a child, and as I got older it was only once in a while. It's getting more frequent, and I don't know why.

I don't even know if it's classified as night terrors. But it sure does keep me awake at night, and I'm so tired...


  1. Anonymous1:16 PM

    I bet the cause maybe some changes that you either want to make in your life or are making in your life. Change for many people is a very unnerving thing.

    The only thing I can suggest is to talk to a good friend about the possible issues, and from the one website under medications it suggests Saint Johns Wort ( a natural herb ) that I have taken before and helped relax me.

    Hope you feel better soon

  2. Anonymous3:22 PM

    Just to add a few things.

    You are not going crazy, but I bet just under a lot of personal stress. Unsure of what you want to do in the future, to concentrate on your new career, and worrying about it and whether you will be sucessfull with it.

    Spend the next few days with your best friend, you need someone to reasure you and help you get over your concerns about the future

  3. Anonymous3:15 PM

    It must have been scary for some of the nearby hotel guests too. Sounds like what the shrinks call:
    “Nightmare disorder. Nightmare disorder is characterized by repeated awakenings from nocturnal sleep or daytime naps precipitated by disturbing dreams. Typically such dreams involve threats to the individual’s physical, psychological and emotional well-being. Upon awakening, the individual appears fully alert, oriented and cognizant of the arousing dream’s content. Whereas anxiety and depressed mood may develop as secondary features of the nightmares, such emotional symptoms do not meet criteria for a major psychiatric disturbance.”
    “Since nightmares arise during rapid eye movement sleep (REM), individuals with nightmare disorder typically report nightmare induced awakenings during the latter half of the night when REM episodes typically become longer and more vivid. Careful interview also usually reveals dream content that reflects a recurrent theme reflective of underlying conflicts, characteristic fears, or more general personality characteristics.”
    “in contrast, individuals with night terror disorder display episodes during which they emit a shrill scream, usually after sitting up in bed. …the affected individual usually does not report dream content in association with the event.”
    [Ref. Turner and Hersen, “Adult Psychopathology and Diagnosis”, 3rd Ed., Wiley, 1997.]
    Now here’s my plan…but wait!! As a Venusian, you are only enumerating problems, not seeking solutions. Any solution I would offer would only trigger a stream of abuse. Pretend that I just listened, didn’t mean to intrude.

  4. captain kittty1:23 PM

    I actually get night terrors often now, but they don't usually bother me. I have learned to recognize them and give my head a shake, but sometimes they are so frightening I can't fall back asleep!

    Night terrors usually occur within the first 30-90 minutes of sleep, although the other day I had one about 2 hours into sleep which I found strange.