Dreams Interrupted

dreamsAfter reading Cat’s excellent blog last week, it brought to mind what I felt was a sinister aspect to my symptoms, and that it had been happening on and off for quite sometime.

http://www.sleepeducation.com/sleep-disorders-by-category/parasomnias/sleep-paralysis/overview-facts

When I was a secondary school(high school) I was bullied, it started on the very first day and was sustained until I was about sixteen, quite a prolonged attack, it did stop sometimes but for this bully I think she hit the jackpot as it were, it was then that I had my experience of Sleep Paralysis.

At that age what did I know about stress and it’s effects, and during my teenage years I’d experience this sleep disruption several times, I didn’t even tell anyone about thinking is was a symptom of puberty,also how could I tell anybody that I was having out-of-body experiences, people didn’t even thing of long-term consequences back then and being a teenager my thoughts wouldn’t have mattered at all.

They did ago away for a long time and reappeared back in the early 90’s when I was first diagnosed with severe stress, not only was I chasing my career and was on the winning side of “having it all” I was also very social, I finished work usually around 11.30pm then I was out most night until 3-4am, sleep deprived anyone! living on a diet of coffee and cigarettes, I told the occupational Health Therapist “I didn’t have time to be stressed” and happily ignored all warnings about longtime effects.

During this period not only was I losing time seemingly hours would go by which I couldn’t account for, simple things like walking home from town(usually 15 mins) would take 2 hours, or I’d sit down thinking it was only 30 mins but find 4-5 hrs had gone by, I thought I was just over tired and had nodded off, when I look back now I realise that I wasn’t waking up nor had I been asleep, just sitting there staring into space thinking of nothing

When I did eventually go to bed, it used to happen as soon as I closed my eyes, some of you may know the drunk feeling of the room spinning around, well that’s how it always started, then there was this pressure pressing down on me as the spinning in the room slowed, then being lifted high really high into the air, that was it, but I would wake up, and couldn’t move, nothing not even my eyes, and if I tried to move the pressure around my body would tighten, really weird feeling, floating but being held down at the same time.

This would happen several times a week and as you can imagine I was scared to go to sleep, scared to stay awake in case something else manifested itself, of course I didn’t tell anybody about this, I wouldn’t even have known how to broach the topic, so another thing kept to myself.

As things improved a little in my life the symptoms eased off considerably, however I still keep the TV on all night to give a distraction of not falling into to deep a sleep, when I was seeing a therapist I just said I wasn’t sleeping to well and she prescribed sleeping tablets which I took intermittently.

During that bout of depression my mother had died and I was being bullied at work, so dealing with grief and issue at work meant my sleep suffered again, this was a dark period for me, because I wasn’t sleeping sometimes for days at a time I’d have hallucinations coupled with the paralysis and for the first time suicidal thoughts, I really did think I’d lost my mind.

The last bout the sleep paralysis came back but not so severe, but now looking back and having done more research I know that during times of severe stress my body doesn’t cope well and that’s my main trigger stressful situations, seem to crowd in on me to devastating effect. This is also one of the conditions of depression and more severe mental health problems,

I posted a few weeks ago about tiredness, and although I’ve not had adverse symptoms, I understand it’s a reaction to my situation, though this time I’ve adopted a more positive attitude to it all, every so often the cracks appear, and I have to be vigilant about that, and change the direction of my thoughts, I try to sleep when I can even when it’s only 20 mins or find quiet time to get myself centered.

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About therabbitholez

I returned to this blog in September 2014, after a 2 year absence, due to depressive illness and homelessness. This journey charts the rocky road to recovery and my feelings about it, and getting a home together after losing everything, this too has been a rocky rocky, both things connected on many levels, but separate at the same time. If you want to know more please read my blog:) and comment on any blog you like I enjoy the interaction, and belong to a great community on here. Thanks for reading.:)
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8 Responses to Dreams Interrupted

  1. Wow, that’s quite amazing… I can’t imagine how that must have been… I’ve never experienced anything like that. The closest I’ve come is waking up and hallucinating and/or sleep walking. I’ve read elsewhere about alien abduction theories that rely on this kind of sleep paralysis, and while I find it fascinating, I can’t offer an opinion on it without having experienced it myself…

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’d never heard of it either until a group of us were chatting and one of the girls mentioned it, but this was years later and then I did a little research and found it was quite common.

      When it does occur I have to be under extreme stress, it is a strange feeling to be awake and not able to move it has been likened to some reports like waking up during an operation.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Cat says:

    Thanks for the mention! This is a really interesting post, if a little disturbing. That must be a very frightening experience, I’d never heard of sleep paralysis. I’ve also lived the coffee and cigs diet and used to sit down for, what I thought was half hour, but then many hours had passed. I remember once, years ago, walking a 20min walk home after a nightclub and actually falling asleep on my feet, it took me a couple of hours just to reach my front door. It’s all very scary stuff and we can start to wonder if we are really in control of our own mind.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve done the same gone out for an evening everybody has arrived home hours before I did, but I think that might have been the drink!

      I agree I don’t always think were in control of our minds, and it can play terrible tricks when under extreme conditions, I think it’s just a way of blocking it all out, it did make me worry further about sleeping which in turn made my behaviour more erratic.

      I do get concerned when I don’t get enough sleep not just because of the sleep paraylsis, but it affects my abilty to cope.

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      • Cat says:

        If I don’t get a full 8 to 10 hrs I cannot cope and after a couple of days, I’d go into meltdown. When I had a breakdown, I suffered psychotic depression with hallucinations and all sorts of weirdness. It hit home that we really are not in control of our own minds.

        Liked by 1 person

      • What is amazing to me that so many of us here to tell the tale, we might not always be in control, but our spirits are bruised, but somehow we manage to go on.

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      • Cat says:

        We form an inner strength, wisdom and insight many others aren’t even aware of.

        Liked by 1 person

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