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    Night Terrors Terrorizing!!
    helplessone22 posted:

    I need some help understanding night terrors and what to do. 2 nights ago, my boyfriend, age 35, had a night terror episode. He told me when we met that he had a history of night terrors. I didn't know what night terrors were. Unfortunately, I had to see firsthand, and now I'm terrified to fall asleep at night. He woke up at 2:30 screaming at the top of his lungs in fear for his life. I can't describe it any other way. He was HORRIFIED of something I couldn't see screaming, "WHAT IS THAT?!!!" Then he threw himself out of bed, slammed out of our bedroom, and locked himself in the bathroom. He stayed there silently for several minutes. I finally mustered courage to stand a far distance from our bathroom and called his name. He slammed open the bathroom door and shouted, "WHAT HAPPENED? WHY WERE YOU SCREAMING?" I was afraid to go near him, or touch him. I was so helpless and scared. I told him he was the one screaming in his sleep. Then he asked why he was just standing on the toilet. I told him I didn't know and tried to get him to remember what happened. His face was white, he had spittle all over him, and once back in bed couldn't sleep because his eyes were burning and he was freezing. His skin was warm, but he felt very cold inside. He didn't remember any nightmares. He remained in a fearful state for about an hour before falling back asleep. At one point, he got up to use the restroom and when he opened the door, I had moved to another side of the room. He cried out, "Where did you go?!" again in that horrified voice. He couldn't remember the next day what happened. Didn't remember any nightmares. But now I'm afraid to sleep with him. I don't know what to expect. Is there anything I can do to prevent these? What do I do if he has another episode? I've read research on night terrors, and it says not to wake the person, but what if he had been hurting himself in the bathroom?! What if he tries to hurt himself or me? And please don't get me wrong. He's never hurt me EVER. But now that I've seen a night terror episode, I don't know what could happen in his sleep. It was so scary. Any advice on what I can and should do would be greatly appreciated!
    BobFromOz responded:
    I had what I thought to be regular night terrors for about 2 years, they were very bad dreams where I would leap out of bed yelling for a few seconds not knowing that it's a dream sometimes thinking there was great danger around but not knowing what it was, just the feeling and still being asleep mentally for a few seconds until my terrified wife would grab me and wake me up.

    Your boyfriends sounds worse than mine were. My doctor sent me to a psychologist and she told me that it was the result of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder from an accident I had trying to unsuccessfully save my friend from drowning a long time ago. I had a number of sessions to help deal with the trauma even though I thought it wasn't a problem. Anyway it did work because I don't get the night terrors anymore. I definitely suggest seeing a specialist if you haven't already.

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    For more information, visit the Duke Health Sleep Disorders Center