Author Topic: Nightmare Help Materials  (Read 3248 times)

Kadesh

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Nightmare Help Materials
« on: October 13, 2008, 08:19:33 PM »
What Are Nightmares?

Nightmares have an enormous impact on all of us. They are ordinary events after traumatic events or disasters. Nightmares serve to digest the horrific events. Just telling them to someone can have a positive effect on an individual's sense of well being. Nightmares are very common following a traumatic event. Whether they picture the traumatic event directly, or involve other images and themes, or both, they probably reflect a normal healing process, and will diminish in frequency and intensity if recovery is progressing. If after several weeks no change is noted, consultation with a therapist is advisable. ~ ASD

 According to: http://www.whispy.com/nightmare-help.html


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Kadesh

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Re: Nightmare Help Materials
« Reply #1 on: October 13, 2008, 08:25:22 PM »
Nightmare
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A nightmare is a dream which causes a strong unpleasant emotional response from the sleeper, typically fear or horror, being in situations of extreme danger, or the sensations of pain, falling, drowning or death. Such dreams can be related to physical causes such as a high fever, turned faced down on a pillow during sleep (most often in the case of drowning nightmares), or psychological ones such as psychological trauma or stress in the sleeper's life, or can have no apparent cause. If a person has experienced a psychologically traumatic situation in life—for example, a person who may have been captured and tortured—the experience may come back to haunt them in their nightmares. Sleepers may waken in a state of distress and be unable to get back to sleep for some time. Eating before bed, which triggers an increase in the body's metabolism and brain activity, is another potential stimulus for nightmares[1].

Occasional nightmares are commonplace, but recurrent nightmares can interfere with sleep and may cause people to seek medical help. A recently proposed treatment consists of imagery rehearsal.[2] This approach appears to reduce the effects of nightmares and other symptoms in acute stress disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder.[3]

Practitioners of lucid dreaming claim that it can help conquer nightmares of this type,[4] rather than of the traditional type (see below).

Historic use of term
 
Nightmare was the original term for the state later known as waking dream (cf. Mary Shelley and Frankenstein's Genesis), and more currently as sleep paralysis, associated with rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. The original definition was codified by Dr Johnson in his A Dictionary of the English Language and was thus understood, among others by Erasmus Darwin and Henry Fuseli,[5] to include a "morbid oppression during sleep, resembling the pressure of weight upon the breast."

Such nightmares were widely considered to be the work of demons and more specifically incubi, which were thought to sit on the chests of sleepers. In Old English the name for these beings was mare or mære (from a proto-Germanic *marōn, related to Old High German and Old Norse mara), hence comes the mare part in nightmare. Etymologically cognate with Anglo-Saxon /mara/ ('incubus') may be Hellenic /Marōn/ (in the Odusseid) and Samskṛta /Māra/ (supernatural antagonist of the Buddha). (This "incubus" is more modernly referred to as sleep paralysis.)

Folk belief in Newfoundland, South Carolina and Georgia describe the negative figure of the Hag who leaves her physical body at night, and sits on the chest of her victim. The victim usually wakes with a feeling of terror, has difficulty breathing because of a perceived heavy invisible weight on his or her chest, and is unable to move i.e., experiences sleep paralysis. This nightmare experience is described as being "hag-ridden" in the Gullah lore. The "Old Hag" was a nightmare spirit in British and also Anglophone North American folklore.

Various forms of magic and spiritual possession were also advanced as causes. In nineteenth century Europe, the vagaries of diet were thought to be responsible. For example, in Charles penisens's A Christmas Carol, Ebenezer Scrooge attributes the ghost he sees to "... an undigested bit of beef, a blot of mustard, a crumb of cheese, a fragment of an underdone potato..." In a similar vein, the Household Cyclopedia (1881) offers the following advice about nightmares:

"Great attention is to be paid to regularity and choice of diet. Intemperance of every kind is hurtful, but nothing is more productive of this disease than drinking bad wine. Of eatables those which are most prejudicial are all fat and greasy meats and pastry... Moderate exercise contributes in a superior degree to promote the digestion of food and prevent flatulence; those, however, who are necessarily confined to a sedentary occupation, should particularly avoid applying themselves to study or bodily labor immediately after eating... Going to bed before the usual hour is a frequent cause of night-mare, as it either occasions the patient to sleep too long or to lie long awake in the night. Passing a whole night or part of a night without rest likewise gives birth to the disease, as it occasions the patient, on the succeeding night, to sleep too soundly. Indulging in sleep too late in the morning, is an almost certain method to bring on the paroxysm, and the more frequently it returns, the greater strength it acquires; the propensity to sleep at this time is almost irresistible."[6]


 Medical investigation
Studies of dreams have found that about three quarters of dream content or emotions are negative.[7]

One definition of "nightmare" is a dream which causes one to wake up in the middle of the sleep cycle and experience a negative emotion, such as fear. This type of event on average one per month. They are not common in children under 5, more common in young children (25% experiencing a nightmare at least once per week), most common in adolescents, and less common in adults (dropping in frequency about one-third from age 25 to 55).[7]

Fearfulness in waking life is correlated with the incidence of nightmares.[7]

Scientists speculate that negative dreams are evolutionarily adapting, purging the brain of memories or associations which trigger fear.[7]

  According to Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nightmares
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Kadesh

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Re: Nightmare Help Materials
« Reply #2 on: October 13, 2008, 08:29:15 PM »
Nightmares ?
Bad Dreams, or Recurring Dreams ?
Lucky You!

The above title may seem odd, if not a complete contradiction. Why would anyone suggest that nightmares or anxiety dreams might be helpful? If you're a part of more than half the population that has experienced an anxiety dream or nightmare within the last month, then this may even be what you're wishing you could get rid of, right? Some people who had nightmares or recurring dreams early on in life even manage to block their dream recall entirely in order to stop being upset by such experiences. This unfortunate view of "bad" dreams as things to avoid is precisely the reason for the above title and for this article. An avoidance or denial approach is much like putting a Band-Aid on a car's blinking oil light because the light seems annoying. Of course, fifty or a hundred miles later, it would be greatly preferable to have understood the warning. Obviously, it's even better not to have the light blinking, but if it does, then it's important to do something about it since it's there for a good reason. One certainly wouldn't be very wise to disable it. Though perhaps not obvious, the simple fact is that most nightmares and almost all recurring dreams are similarly trying to provide an extremely valuable service to the dreamer. If we block them, we are likely missing their immediate benefit; if we remember but ignore them, we may well be missing the vital message that they are trying to bring us about our life.

 This link is my personal favorite as it tries to help you through the problem rather than just "make it go away!!" Above is only the first paragraph due to the length. Please click on the link for further reading!

 According to: http://www.nightmares.info/


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Kadesh

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Re: Nightmare Help Materials
« Reply #3 on: October 13, 2008, 08:31:09 PM »
COMMON QUESTIONS ABOUT NIGHTMARES


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What is a nightmare?

A nightmare is a very distressing dream which usually forces at least partial awakening. The dreamer may feel any number of disturbing emotions in a nightmare, such as anger, guilt, sadness or depression, but the most common feelings are fear and anxiety. Nightmare themes may vary widely from person to person and from time to time for any one person. Probably the most common theme is being chased. Adults are commonly chased by an unknown male figure whereas children are commonly chased by an animal or some fantasy figure.

Who has nightmares?

Just about everyone has them at one time or another. The majority of children have nightmares between the ages of three or four and seven or eight. These nightmares appear to be a part of normal development, and do not generally signal unusual problems. Nightmares are less common in adults, though studies have shown that they too may have nightmares from time to time. About 5-lO% have nightmares once a month or more frequently.

What causes nightmares?

There are a number of possibilities. Some nightmares can be caused by certain drugs or medications, or by rapid withdrawal from them, or by physical conditions such as illness and fever. The nightmares of early childhood likely reflect the struggle to learn to deal with normal childhood fears and problems. Many people experience nightmares after they have suffered a traumatic event, such as surgery, the loss of a loved one, an assault or a severe accident. The nightmares of combat veterans fall into this category. The content of these nightmares is typically directly related to the traumatic event and the nightmares often occur over and over. Other people experience nightmares when they are undergoing stress in their waking lives, such as difficulty or change on the job or with a loved one, moving, pregnancy, financial concerns, etc. Finally, some people experience frequent nightmares that seem unrelated to their waking lives. These people tend to be more creative, sensitive, trusting and emotional than average.

What can be done about nightmares?

It really depends on the source of the nightmare. To rule out drugs, medications or illness as a cause, discussion with a physician is recommended. It is useful to encourage young children to discuss their nightmares with their parents or other adults, but they generally do not need treatment. If a child is suffering from recurrent or very disturbing nightmares, the aid of a therapist may be required. The therapist may have the child draw the nightmare, talk with the frightening characters, or fantasize changes in the nightmare, in order help the child feel safer and less frightened .

The nightmares which repeat a traumatic event reflect a normal psychic healing process, and will diminish in frequency and intensity if recovery is progressing. If after several weeks no change is noted, consultation with a therapist is advisable.

Adults' nightmares offer the same opportunity as other dreams for self-exploration and understanding. With practice, the dreamer can often learn to decode the visual and symbolic language of the dream and to see relationships between the dream and waking life. The nightmare by nature is distressing, however, and the dreamer may need to reduce the distress before looking more closely at the meaning of the dream. Some techniques for reducing the distress of the nightmare include writing it down, drawing or painting it, talking in fantasy to the characters, imaging a more pleasant ending, or simply reciting it over several times. The more relaxed the dreamer can be while using these techniques the better. A number of good books are available for learning how to understand dreams. Alternately, the dreamer may wish to ask a therapist for assistance.

Sometimes nightmares are related to intense stress or emotional conflict that is best dealt with in consultation with a therapist. One should not hesitate to consult a therapist when in doubt.

It may be surprising to learn that many people are not really disturbed by their nightmares, even though the experiences themselves are distressing. Research has shown that about half of people who have quite frequent nightmares regard them as fascinating and creative acts of their minds, and either view them as very interesting or dismiss them as "just dreams". This illustrates the fact that one's attitude toward nightmares is quite important.

What about night terrors?

Night terrors are something quite different. Nightmares tend to occur after several hours of sleep, screaming or moving about is very uncommon, the dream is usually elaborate and intense, and the dreamer realizes soon after wakening that he or she has had a dream. Night terrors, on the other hand, occur during the first hour or two of sleep, loud screaming and thrashing about are common, the sleeper is hard to awaken and usually remembers no more than an overwhelming feeling or a single scene, if anything. Nightmares and night terrors arise from different physiological stages of sleep. Children who have night terrors also may have a tendency to sleepwalk and/or urinate in bed. The causes of night terrors are not well understood. Children usually stop having them by puberty. They may be associated with stress in adults. A consultation with a physician may be useful if the night terrors are frequent or especially disturbing.

 According to: http://www.asdreams.org/nightma.htm
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Kadesh

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Re: Nightmare Help Materials
« Reply #4 on: October 13, 2008, 08:34:14 PM »
Nightmares

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