Last night and vividness. Do bipolars have more chance of vivid nightmares?

As for my list:

  1. Biology six marker.  This is now off my list because I can’t find the sheet.
  2. Biology quiz  What quiz I am supposed to do is on said sheet and I can’t find it.
  3. Organsing RE folder.    3 and 4 are next on my list of things to do.
  4. Writing up notes.  Done both.
  5. Catch up on emails, texts and messages.  Done.
  6. Watch Ghost Whisper Season 2      Half crossed off because I only watched a few episodes.
  7. Have an hour calming down from the crying I do when watching Ghost Whisper.
  8. Read Saint Jude.       Didn’t have the time to read. But I read the first page.
  9. If it’s not morning by now then I am seriously questioning time.
  10. Whilst doing all of that try to keep a grip on reality and not let depersonalisation take you.    Only half crossed because I have no idea what happened.

Let me spell it out like it happened. I had watched several episodes of The Ghost Whisperer and thought i should attempt sleep. So I lay down. But it’s not happening for me. Around 11am, I find myself unbearably comfortable and depressed so I don’t want to move. I think I must of fallen asleep though no part of me feels rested. Somewhere along the way I have a nightmare. Which, is obviously par for the course. Not long after my dad comes in with a package for me and I remember that being real and he throws it on my bed and I bring it to my face. I feel it. I know it’s my Zydrate necklace. It’s a film thing and essentially it’s a glass vial with blue liquid in with words hanging from it. I go into another night mare but I can’t remember exactly what happens, when I wake from that one. I open my package and feel it and I want to turn on the light to look at it but something is stopping me from doing so. This time I have a nightmare but the only detail I actually remember about it is that the vial was wrong instead of blue liquid it was orange powder and the wrong type of vial.

When I woke up I thought that dream was real. So on my mental to-do list I added ‘complain about necklace’ on it. Which may not sound bad but it just creates a lot of stress for me. I then snap out of it and then fall back into it and I’m not sure how exactly I got to this point but JLS just punched me in the face and we yelled and I cried and said I wanted to go home and so my dad picked me up and I told him I needed to go to hospital (meaning a psychiatric one) and then I awoke from that one geniunely thinking that it was real. There was actually a sort of trigger. When I woke up from the last one, I checked the time on my phone and saw a text from JLS. But they feel so unbelievably real.

So I took to the internet to do research.
All I honestly googled was:
googleAnd it actually just found vivid night terrors related to bipolar.

Did you know that people with Bipolar Disorder tend to have more nightmares?

It’s true. Nightmares occur frequently in people with Bipolar Disorder. In The Reinterpretation of Dreams, the authors write:

Bipolar patients report bizarre dreams with death and injury themes before their shift to mania (Beauchemin and Hays, 1995). Beauchemin and Hays (1996) found that dreams of bipolar depressed patients have more anxiety than those of unipolar patients. Dreams of bipolar patients, particularly those with rapid cycling, may show evidence of the subsequent shift prior to noticeable affective and behavioral changes (Frayn, 1991).

Having Nightmares is one thing, but that’s not the end of it. Those of us with Bipolar Disorder also tend to have more Night Terrors.

According to some studies, Night Terrors are rare in adults, yet Papolos and Papolos cited a 1999 study by Dr. Maurice Ohayon  that found that bipolar disorders and depression with anxiety were the most common factors associated with adults who reported night terrors.

Also another quote from a website, which is a diagnostic for bipolar 2 but that doesn’t exclude it from happening in bipolar 1:

[T]here are people with depression whose most noticeable symptom is severe insomnia. These people can go for days with 2-3 hours of sleep per night. Usually they fall asleep without much delay, but wake up 2-4 hours later and the rest of the night, if they get any more sleep at all, is broken into 15-60 minute segments of very restless, almost “waking” sleep. Dreams can be vivid, almost real. They finally get up feeling completely unrested. Note that this is not “decreased need for sleep” (the Bipolar I pattern). These people want desperately to sleep better and are very frustrated.

Bipolar children particularly suffer from nightmares. The July 2000 issue of “The Bipolar Child Newsletter” notes that for these children, dreams of explicit violence, gore and death are a common symptom. In the January 2000 issue of the same newsletter, authors Papolos and Papolos wrote, “Many of these children suffer night terrors and fears of abandonment and annihilation. Whereas most children sleep and dream and have a nightmare or bad dream once in a while, many children with bipolar disorder are trapped through the night in hour after hour of night terrors (parents may not even realize it because often the children do not truly wake up but seem in anesthetized states).

Night terrors do not occur during REM sleep and are not dreams, although they have nightmarish elements. They occur instead either during deep sleep or in a transitional state between deep and dreaming sleep and are a form of confusional arousal disorder.When a child is experiencing a night terror and actually remembers it, he or she later reports dreams that are extremely threatening. The content has to do with some predatory person or animal chasing them, or terrible fears of abandonment such as their parents being killed. Some adults who suffer them and seem to have greater recall speak of ceilings and walls pushing down on them, and others report snakes and spiders slithering and crawling all over the bed or room” (Bipolar Child Newsletter, January 2000).


21 thoughts on “Last night and vividness. Do bipolars have more chance of vivid nightmares?

  1. Hey Munchkin. If you Google any disorder with night terrors you will find a link. PTSD maybe more so. Panic attacks and night terrors go hand in hand too. hmmm so does sleep walking. do you? I can’t remember if we talked of that before or not.

    Interestingly you can also find links that say there is no connection between mental disorders and night terrors, which is a load of poppycock. (what ever that is)

    Anxiety, is a common thread with disorders, I think this is the connection to night terrors.


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