A 18-year-old female asked:
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what can i do to prevent it? i am extremely violent when i dream and have someone sleeping next to me. i as diagnosed with ptsd in 2006, but i've been doing these things for as long as i can remember. i want to find a possible way to sleep and still dre

2 doctor answers
Dr. Lina Fine
Dr. Lina Fine answered
18 years experience Sleep Medicine
Post : Post traumatic stress disorder can cause people to be acting out their dreams and should be considered. There are medication for nightmares as well therapy modality call emdr (eye movement desensitization and reprocessing) that helps with dealing with the flashbacks, reexperiencing of trauma. However there are neurological conditions that can result in violent behaviors in sleep. Rem behavioral disorder (rem- rapid eye movement- a stage of sleep in which a lot of dreaming happens) is a condition in which the individual begins to act out his or her dreams in contrast to normal state when all physical activity during sleep is paralyzed. A neurological evaluation may be necessary to assess for this condition which can respond to treatment with medications. Abnormal sleep patterns may also be parasomnia - abnormal behaviors of sleep without necessarily an abnormal finding in the brain but which can also be addressed with medication. In all cases, this is a good time to see a sleep specialist or a neurologist. You may discuss this with your primary care doctor as well but do get an evaluation.
Answered on Oct 3, 2016
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Dr. Heidi Fowler
25 years experience Psychiatry
Polysomnogram: I hope you are working with a psychiatrist who is experienced with ptsd. Recommend a sleep study to determine the cause of the behaviors. There is an ^ in rem disorders with ptsd. Prazosin has been used effectively off label for night mares & insomnia related to ptsd. But, that is jumping the gun - you need a polysomnogram. Discuss with your psychiatrist.
Answered on May 12, 2016

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