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Sleep Paralysis

Discussion in 'Mental Health Disorders' started by ThePhantomLady, Aug 26, 2015.

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  1. ThePhantomLady

    ThePhantomLady Safety and Support SF Supporter

    I have tried to read up on this phenomenon after it started to happen to me. I'm not entirely sure if it is a mental health disorder, but what ever it is, it's a horrible experience.

    First time it happened to me I was aware that there was such a thing (as a kid I was interested in alien abductions that some mean might have been sleep paralysis).
    I'm happy I knew what I knew... but it was still so scary.

    I woke up facing the wall and couldn't move. My eyes were open and I seemed to be able to think somehow rationally. I saw the shadow being cast from a man and could hear him walk around my flat. He looked in my bag, and tried to take my TV. Then he calmly walked out of the door...
    While it happened I tried to tell myself that I was having a sleep paralysis, but it didn't help me to wake up.

    Then I could finally move and started to shake. I double checked everything, nothing had been touched and my door was still locked.

    Since that happened my anxiety has gotten a lot worse. When it gets dark I am scared of every shadow and sometime just get gripped by a fear that there's someone or something in the room with me. I've often had to hide under the covers and hold onto my Sonic Screwdriver to defend myself with (feel free to giggle).

    Some months ago I had another, I had some trouble sleeping and woke up in the middle of a pretty psychedelic dream and wanted to sit up, but I couldn't. I was scared someone was in the room, but the angle I was in didn't allow me to look around. My arm was hanging over the edge of the bed... and I still have the irrational childhood fear that there's a monster under there.
    For some reason my mind actually decided to help me. I felt something furry and warm brush over my arm and decided that it was my dog. (My dog lives far away with my mum!).

    Have anyone had these dreams happen to them? And is there any tips to avoid them?

    And also... I can't help but worry about more sinister mental health issues... my best friend is schizophrenic... and I read in my file from last time I received therapy some years ago that they had tested me to see if I heard voices.
  2. Petal

    Petal SF dreamer Staff Member Safety & Support SF Supporter

    I have got sleep paralysis 3-4 times in my life. I never heard of it or knew what it was until one night I took Dalmane to help me sleep, I was trying to fall asleep and suddenly realised I could not move, it lasted for about 2 minutes, I could see my rapist and his girlfriend in the room I was terrified.

    I was in london 2 weeks ago lying down wanting more sleep then bang couldn't move but this was the last time I got sleep paralysis so I knew what it was and knew I'd be fine within minutes but still scared the hell out of me to the point I was afraid to go back to sleep (its actually one of the symptoms for insomnia).

    My main problem with it is no one takes me seriously when I talk about it, the pharmacist may as well as laughed, she was like ''where did you hear the words sleep paralysis, she tried to make me feel really stupid) I said...google is your friend.

    Anyway, i am sorry you suffer this too, its so scary its insane. I definitely think it is anxiety/medicine related.

    Hugs to you :hugs:
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 26, 2015
  3. ThePhantomLady

    ThePhantomLady Safety and Support SF Supporter

    Come to think of it, this started happening after I started taking Tramadol every night.

    I'm sorry you have this, and especially that it was so cruel to you that you had to see those people.
    That's my fear... being 'visited' by my rapist or any of the other men who hurt me. So far the 'encounters' have been anonymous. But I fear it won't stay like that.

    Especially after the first time I was so scared of having to sleep again. It's such a real feeling of dread!

    Last time it happened I tried to wake myself up any way I could. (other than thinking that my dog was with me) I tried to control my breathing. I don't know if that was what worked, but I forced myself to take deeper stronger breaths and finally I broke free.
  4. GreyCat

    GreyCat Well-Known Member

    I can't offer you a cure for it but I can tell you I suffered from it through my teens and twenties very badly and then it went away. It doesn't occur much past the age of thirty for some reason. I haven't had it for years. I also had it so often that it stopped being frightening, eventually I could just tell myself it was sleep paralysis whilst having it and this took the fear factor away. I remember how terrifying it was though. You aren't going crazy, don't worry. I am not sure what caused it, but it did eventually stop.
  5. Kafka

    Kafka Member

    I've had it a couple of times. One time I saw a shadowman with a hat looming over me and another time there was some kind of monster in the room. Fortunately I knew what sleep paralysis was before it occured so while it felt real I still knew it wasn't. It's still really scary when it happens ie I've woken up/yanked out of the paralysis shouting, but I've never had much issue going to sleep again.

    I believe it happens more frequently if you sleep on your back as opposed to on your side.
  6. afterlifepig

    afterlifepig Well-Known Member

    i've had lots of hypnagogic hallucinations, which include those during sleep paralysis. hypangogic hallucinations can be very interesting ...
  7. Petal

    Petal SF dreamer Staff Member Safety & Support SF Supporter

    Tonight I've just had the scariest encounter with sleep paralysis. I was being chased by a serial killer through mountains. I told myself to calm down...this will pass however it didn't make it any less scarier. I'm afraid to go back to sleep now. Damn that was so terrifying.
  8. Petal

    Petal SF dreamer Staff Member Safety & Support SF Supporter

    And wow thephantomady at the tramadol connetion as that's the only medicine I took today now I'm too scared to sleep.
  9. LastCall7

    LastCall7 Banned Member

    I've had this happen. I never knew what sleep paralysis was, so I was pretty much convinced I was being abducted by aliens, because there was ALWAYS someone there when it happened. It sounds crazy but from the inside looking out, that's what it was. It's like they were always breathing in my ear too, kind of hissing.

    It still happens. I always try and fight it but there's nothing you can do but let it run it's course. It's like I dont have enough problems sleeping, they have to throw this in the mix. I also get pretty violent lucid dreams so I pretty much just stay awake until I pass out involuntarily and then the show begins. Only xanax or liquor helps but I dont go to doctors and a nightly dose of liquor opens up the flood gates for more problems. But they do work, for awhile. Coming off them makes the problem of nightmares go to the next level though, the next next level.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 19, 2015
  10. ThePhantomLady

    ThePhantomLady Safety and Support SF Supporter

    It has been coming back to me recently...

    It used to be a man in my room, but now it's the same thing that keeps happening.

    I'll be lying on my back looking up at my ceiling and a huge spider will sit there... and I panic. I have severe arachnophobia. I can't move... I'm just stuck there staring at it.

    Last time it happened the spider jumped at me, and I jumped out of bed in a complete panic, but I couldn't produce any sound as I tried to scream. (probably a good thing, poor neighbour!!)
  11. Petal

    Petal SF dreamer Staff Member Safety & Support SF Supporter

    I am often so scared I will get this that it puts me off going to bed. I have not had it since I last posted here which is great I know.
    Sorry to hear about your experiences phantomlady, I hope it stays away for a long time x
    ThePhantomLady likes this.
  12. ThePhantomLady

    ThePhantomLady Safety and Support SF Supporter

    I'm sorry Petal, that sucks to hear you're worrying about sleeping!

    I have found that if I don't sleep enough I get one of these episodes... damn.

    The first thing I had one of those with the spider I thought it was real, and I actually turned my flat upside down trying to find it... Why spiders though? I guess the man walking around my flat makes more sense...
    Petal likes this.
  13. Petal

    Petal SF dreamer Staff Member Safety & Support SF Supporter

    I find I get it when trying to sleep, although I've had it once upon waking, equally as scary. I honestly do think it is linked to tramadol. Like I said in one of my posts here the pharmacist basically laughed at me when i mentioned it to them and said where did you hear that? So ignorant!

    I hope it gets better for you hun. LOL at the man walking around your flat making more sense.

    It REALLY is a phenomenon, it's not something people talk about or maybe they have it and don't know the name or afraid of being labelled crazy if they talk about it.
  14. ThePhantomLady

    ThePhantomLady Safety and Support SF Supporter

    There is a really good documentary about it on Netflix, I can't remember the title though.

    The Tramadol sounds likely, it started for me after I started taking it, like I've said earlier... but I can't do without them.
    Petal likes this.
  15. Petal

    Petal SF dreamer Staff Member Safety & Support SF Supporter

    Cool. I don't have netflix, is the documentary on youtube do you know?
  16. ThePhantomLady

    ThePhantomLady Safety and Support SF Supporter

    I don't know if it is, but it's called 'The Nightmare'

    It can be triggering though.
  17. Petal

    Petal SF dreamer Staff Member Safety & Support SF Supporter

    Thanks for the warning hun and I will look it up, thankies!
  18. Petal

    Petal SF dreamer Staff Member Safety & Support SF Supporter

    Watched the first 5 mins and figured this is too triggering for me right now but I will watch it the next time when my anxiety is not so bad.
  19. ThePhantomLady

    ThePhantomLady Safety and Support SF Supporter

    It really is triggering so I'm happy you didn't watch it through yet. I was surprised I didn't have an episode after watching it...

    Speaking of which I probably should get to bed...
    Petal likes this.
  20. silent_chaos

    silent_chaos Well-Known Member

    I first had this happened when I was 13. I was visiting my uncle in Florida. I was reallytired and fell asleep and then bam I was awake but couldn't move. I was screaming for help. But I didn't know nothing was coming out of my mouth when I was screaming. Somehow I got out of it.
    Now when I'm in it I try to relax and put myself back to sleep. Its hard when you hearing and seeing things. I get a high pitch ringing in my ears. I mean so loud it hurts.
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