Nightmare Disorder: A Real Condition?
Although all of us have had experienced nightmares at least once. There are some people who experience it more often than others. These people may have a nightmare disorder, also known as dream anxiety disorder, that interrupts sleeping patterns and even their waking life. While a real condition, nightmare disorder is rare.
People who are affected by this rare type of disorder experience vivid nightmares almost every time they sleep. This causes distress and disrupts their sleeping pattern. More often than not, they develop a fear of sleeping because of these nightmares. They also suffer from insomnia as they avoid going to sleep.
With severe cases of nightmare disorder, a person’s ability to function and lead a healthy life is made difficult.
Symptoms of Nightmare Disorder
Nightmare disorder could cause the following:
- The frequent occurrence of nightmares
- Daytime fatigue and low energy
- Sleepiness due to lack of sleep
- Problems with behavior when going to sleep
- Fear of the dark
- Problems with memory and concentration
- Can not stop thinking of images from nightmares
- Major distress and impairment
- Anxiety or persistent fear
- Bedtime anxiety
Nightmare disorder normally affects children, but adults can also suffer from it.
When to Call a Doctor
Since a nightmare disorder can affect the health of both adults and children, and disrupt their daily lives, it is important that affected patients set an appointment with sleep specialists.
Although nightmares may cause extreme distress in children and adults alike, the occasional bad dream is not something you should worry about. However, do seek help when you or a loved one experiences any of the symptoms mentioned above.
Experts will ask for your medical history as a new medication may be causing these frequent bad dreams. You will also have to undergo a physical examination to help the doctors correctly diagnose your condition and provide you with proper treatment.
How to Avoid Having Nightmares
There are certain ways on how to avoid nightmares but do remember that you can not entirely avoid this natural phenomenon. You will still dream and will sometimes get nightmares.
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