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Ptsd Post Traumatic Stress Disorder And Sleep


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I have been in treatment for Service Connected PTSD for years with the VA. Lately, I have been experiencing a really scary sleep disorder. I awaken 1-3 times nightly beginning about two hours after going to sleep with visions of death related experiences. My death.

It has been in the form of people and sometimes huge animals, I can feel it coming in my sleep but I cannot escape. I am usually screaming when my wife awakens me. Last night I had three episodes, the last just before I got up. I thrashed around so forcefully that I am afraid for my wife. The episodes are becoming more frequent both in how many times per night and times per week. When I searched sleep disorders I found this one, which sounds much like what I am experiencing and has been related also to PTSD. I take Mirtazipine and Alprazolam along with a declining dose (weening off of) duloxetine.

Have you of you ever heard of this? REM Sleep Behavior Disorder

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  • HadIt.com Elder
I have been in treatment for Service Connected PTSD for years with the VA. Lately, I have been experiencing a really scary sleep disorder. I awaken 1-3 times nightly beginning about two hours after going to sleep with visions of death related experiences. My death.

It has been in the form of people and sometimes huge animals, I can feel it coming in my sleep but I cannot escape. I am usually screaming when my wife awakens me. Last night I had three episodes, the last just before I got up. I thrashed around so forcefully that I am afraid for my wife. The episodes are becoming more frequent both in how many times per night and times per week. When I searched sleep disorders I found this one, which sounds much like what I am experiencing and has been related also to PTSD. I take Mirtazipine and Alprazolam along with a declining dose (weening off of) duloxetine.

Have you of you ever heard of this? REM Sleep Behavior Disorder

Could it be caused by the meds you are taking??? You elude to a change in your medication regimen. I looked up the side-effects of the meds you are taking and "weening off of". "Vivid, bizarre, and even lucid dreams or nightmares" can be caused by the Mirtazapine... "Vivid nightmares" are included in the long list of side-effects from Duloxetine. Alprazolam does a number on the brain, as well. Have you told your doctor about the dreams???

Edited by Commander Bob 92-93
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Thanks,Commander Bob, I have not told the Psych yet, but I have an appointment next week and I see my Vet Center Counselor tomorrow.

I have been taking Prazosin (a blood pressure regulator) for 2 years to combat the nightmares I used to have, which were filled with images from traumatic stressors, and it worked very well to help me sleep without bad dreams. But since starting the higher dose of Mirtazipine the "new" nightmares are downright dangerous. I thrash around pretty bad.

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  • HadIt.com Elder

Many people who have anxiety disorders also have big problems with sleep.

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You may also want to have sleep study done to make sure you dont have sleep apneia. I currently have 30% rating for PTSD and am considering hahving a sleep study done. I have several friends who also have PTSD and had a sleep study done at the VA hospital and they were diagnosed with sleep apneia as one of the symptoms of their PTSD.

I am having the same problem as well. Some of the meds work for a few months and then it starts all over again.

All you want to do is get a good night sleep but you cant and that makes your anxiety worse. Then your anxiety keeps you from sleeping.

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