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Bad Dreams (vs Nightmares)

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Bad Dreams (vs Nightmares)

Postby breezewriter » Fri Nov 17, 2017 7:38 pm

Hey guys,

I'm posting this because I'm curious how many people out there have the same issues...

Background: I have been diagnosed with PTSD based off of an assortment of back to back traumatic events in my life. I have a complicated history of one bad thing after another and most of the time things weren't related. For a time I guess you could say I was incredibly unlucky in life. If people ever hear my history (I mostly don't talk about any of it) they are sometimes baffled.

Now onto the dream part...

I dream EVERY single night, and I cannot remember the last time that I had a good dream. My dreams fluctuate between nightmares and simply "bad" dreams. When it comes to nightmares, some are reoccurring, but most are variations of dreams with a common theme. Some are like flashback of events in my life, but many have randomly added parts. Sometimes I can remember every little detail, but quite often I forget most of it just moments after I wake up, like the memory is getting carried on the wind and I can't catch it. The harder I try to remember, the faster it disintegrates.

But MOST of the time, I just have "bad" dreams. They almost always involve violence, or at least things that are highly unpleasant. For some people, these dreams might be considered nightmares, but I guess I've desensitized to the point where they are just there. Don't get me wrong, the bad dreams still bother me emotionally, but I've developed a sort of resignation to them. And like the nightmares, I can't always remember everything. At times I am actually curious and want to go back to sleep to try to learn more or make better sense of them. Perhaps I haven't done enough research, but I haven't really found anything that sounds like this when I look up PTSD.

Is this a weird situation? Is it strange and/or unhealthy behavior for me to want to go back into a bad dream? Is there anyone out there who has experienced the same thing? I have so many questions but I'll leave it there for now.

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Re: Bad Dreams (vs Nightmares)

Postby HislilPrincess » Fri Nov 17, 2017 7:52 pm

I have nightmares ALL THE TIME.

lAST NIGHT FOR EXAMPLE. I had a dream that my partner and I were walking around a city and both were kidnapped and brought to this warehouse. Our kidnappers were all native and held us in cages along with many others that were kidnapped before us. At one point my partner and I were taken out of our cages and took to another part of the warehouse. I was demanded to give my kidnapper a blow Job and my partner had to watch. My partner got violent and started to stab our kidnapper. So before I had to do anything sexually my partner saved me and I woke up. LOL, my dreams are the worse. :shock: :oops:

Its been only the past few years I remember all my dreams. They are mostly negative or surrounded with bad things. I don't have many pleasant dreams, hum, weird. There is always danger drama or something sinister about my dreams, I can't even get away from negativity in my sleep haha !

I have recurring dreams often, not always nightmares however same dream, same people and same emotions upon waking up.
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Re: Bad Dreams (vs Nightmares)

Postby avatar123 » Sat Nov 18, 2017 2:49 pm

There is research to suggest that dreams are bad or good depending on which centers of the brain are involved in dreaming. One purpose of REM sleep is to prepare various brain areas for new processing of information. So areas that are active during the day are likely to be involved in REM dreams at night.

This means if you are processing negative thoughts during the day, your dreams will likely reflect them. So one thing you can do is try to find balance, spend some tine each day doing things you enjoy, or considering the good in life. People with PTSD have a hard time not dwelling on the negative, their brains are somewhat conditioned to do so by exposure to trauma. But to the extent that you can, it will help, both during the day and while dreaming at night.

If you can put your focus on enjoyment, that can help a lot. If you sense yourself ramping up for conflict or getting stressed about something, try to set it aside by giving yourself a pleasant distraction. Not easy to break out of that cycle, I know, but you can remind yourself it's the healthier alternative to getting stressed or dwelling on the negative.

Again it's not easy or simple to do this, but any progress you can make will be beneficial.
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