I am 35, mother of four (ages 11, 10, 8, 3), a devout Catholic, college-educated, Anglo, married 13 years to an attorney who is doing well financially in his private practice. I have stayed at home to raise my family and have stayed active with volunteering and with writing for a few newspapers. I am happy these days, but nearly every night for months, I have nightmares. (I have experienced insomnia for years).
In my nightmares, for example, there is blood all over me or my child, or somebody’s dead, or there are slimy bugs covering me, or there are tarantulas in my bed, or evil spirits around me. When I open my eyes, I am still in a dreaming state for several seconds and “see” what I am dreaming, until I turn on the light. I also scream or gasp audibly—which alarms my family.
Though I am hallucinating things, I am conscious enough to know they are not actually there—even when I “see” them. I have thought about asking my doctor for a sleep aid (a small dose of Elavil for night time only which I used years ago) but wondered if I should consult a sleep disorder physician. Thanks!
—Deanna, Age 35, Married, USA