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Open Discussions About Rape Trauma Syndrome.


Postby smurf » Wed Oct 07, 2015 12:36 pm

How do you manage the nightmares?

Mine are currently so intrusive just now. They're always worse this time of year. Some are very graphic and afterwards it feels as though I have relived the r all over again.... There are so many bad memories and the nightmares often overlap. It feels too real.

Any suggestions would be appreciated please
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Re: nightmares

Postby seekingClarity » Fri Oct 23, 2015 8:29 pm

Honestly I'm not sure what to tell you, but I wanted to say you're not alone.
I know how that is. I had a period where I had a lot of nightmares, to a point where for weeks at a time I would wake up crying and even went onto throwing up sometimes.
I don't remember anything specific that helped, other than getting better. For me that was the moment when after long denial I started really accepting that I had gone through something horrible. And that's when I started having more nightmares and flashbacks and the black holes in my memory from that night started getting filled. Until that moment I remembered the begining, the end, and a a memory from the "between" here and there, but with lots of black holes in it. I read that finally remembering those means that your brain is finally ready to remember, so although it seems you feel worse, it's actually a good thing. That you're ready to process things.
I spend few months working on recovering from my depression, trying to take care of myself(as best as I could) and venting out all that I was remembering and thinking about(I wrote in forums, I wrote an anonymus blog, I journaled daily. Every memory that was killing me I put on paper, in detail). Eventually the nightmares started to decrease and become more and more rare. Now I get one or two of them very rarely and I am much happier and grounded so it's easier to realize it's just a nightmare and being happy that I've woken up.
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Re: nightmares

Postby medicatedforlife » Tue Oct 27, 2015 9:31 pm

Are you currently seeing a therapist to process this trauma and try to heal? I recommend EDMR and/or CBT.

I still get nightmares from time to time, but I'm at a point where they don't affect me nearly as bad as they used to. (It used to be so bad that I would be so stressed about sleeping that I would end up staying awake and get stuck in a vicious cycle of sleep avoidance and deprivation/exhaustion.)

I strongly suggest you speak to a therapist about this. I'm at a point where when I do have a nightmare, I will journal about what I dreamt and try to process what my brain is telling me. Fears, feelings, images. Sometimes things just stay with you, but you don't have to let them define you.

I have a list of positive activities, meditation grounding or mindfulness techniques, soothing relaxation music that I turn to whenever a nightmare occurs. Journaling also really helps.

When the nightmare happens and I wake up - I remind myself of the following:
Feel parts of your own body to put yourself in the moment in the place where you currently are.
Remind yourself that although your brain is reprocessing/reliving a past trauma, you are in the present and in a safe place.
Speak to someone you trust.
Engage in self care and/or positive activities to redirect your mind.

Not sure if any of this helps, but that's what keeps me going from day to day. It's a struggle. I think it always will be on some level.
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