Naked Science Forum

Life Sciences => Physiology & Medicine => Topic started by: Harri on 29/05/2017 22:45:23

Title: Why does my brain choose to relive my worst nightmare over and over?
Post by: Harri on 29/05/2017 22:45:23
I had a difficult time a number of years ago and since then I have had frequent nightmares about the event. The nightmares are so real that when I awake I am terrified and my head hurts! If I am affected badly by this particular nightmare why does my brain choose to re-run it over and aver again?
Title: Re: Why does my brain choose to relive my worst nightmare over and over?
Post by: chiralSPO on 29/05/2017 23:20:27
I can relate somewhat. I was in an emotionally abusive relationship for 4 years. My antagonist featured prominently in my dreams every night for at least 3 years after it ended. Why? Who knows! After a few more years, the frequency of the dreams slowed down and I was able to move on. I hope you are also able to find a way forward.
Title: Re: Why does my brain choose to relive my worst nightmare over and over?
Post by: tkadm30 on 30/05/2017 00:48:37
I had a difficult time a number of years ago and since then I have had frequent nightmares about the event. The nightmares are so real that when I awake I am terrified and my head hurts! If I am affected badly by this particular nightmare why does my brain choose to re-run it over and aver again?

Reexperiencing a traumatic event into a recurrent nightmare is fairly common for PTSD patients. Lucid Dreaming Therapy (LDT) and medications may help for treating PTSD-associated nightmares.

See: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2919672/

I hope this helps.
Title: Re: Why does my brain choose to relive my worst nightmare over and over?
Post by: Harri on 30/05/2017 08:50:08
The events that cause me nightmares happened over 20 years ago so you might understand why it get's me down a bit!? I might go a few weeks without nightmares but then the last couple of nights I have had nightmares. The nightmares are so real they terrify me when I am having them and after waking me up I can go back to sleep and go straight into another one! In the early morning I then wake with a massive headache and I then force myself to stay awake.

The link is a great source of information I have not come across before and is very helpful. A visit to the doctors is probably needed. And I think trying to understand just what is going on in my brain may help hence my question on the forum.
Title: Re: Why does my brain choose to relive my worst nightmare over and over?
Post by: chris on 30/05/2017 13:11:21
Hello Harri; sorry to hear about your experience.

Do these episodes occur only at night, or do you "replay" the frightening situation during waking hours too?
Title: Re: Why does my brain choose to relive my worst nightmare over and over?
Post by: Harri on 30/05/2017 22:22:52
Hi, these only occur during the night. I can wake with my head banging and my heart seems to be racing as i really do think it is really happening. It can even reoccur when i go back to sleep. And this is around 20 years On! If i do think about it during the day I can get a bit anxious but I can change the subject in my head. Unlike nights when I am not in control. Just been getting me down a bit lately.
Title: Re: Why does my brain choose to relive my worst nightmare over and over?
Post by: chris on 30/05/2017 22:32:00
There are a range of reasons why this might be happening; the management and treatment will depend upon the cause. Have you spoken to anyone about this or received any help previously? Usually, these sorts of manifestations tend to be worsened by stress in general. It can become a self-fulfilling prophesy if you are stressed about something, because this triggers more of these manifestations, which in turn makes you more stressed and that causes the problem to intensify. If you are reticent about seeking professional help, at the very least do the most that you can to reduce stress levels; also, cut down on nicotine and if you can avoid using nicotine patches at night, which are linked to very vivid dreams in some people.