Saturday, December 16, 2006

Lovecraft's Dreaming Part II

Many sources are clear on how childhood nightmares occur.

One therapist states: A nightmare is a distressing dream which usually forces at least partial awakening. The dreamer has disturbing emotions such as anger, guilt, sadness or depression, but the most common feelings are fear and anxiety. Probably the most common theme is being chased - children are commonly chased by an animal or some fantasy figure.

The majority of children have nightmares between the ages of three and eight. These nightmares appear to be a part of normal development, and do not generally signal unusual problems. Some nightmares can be caused by certain drugs or medications, or by rapid withdrawal from them, or by physical conditions such as illness and fever. The nightmares of early childhood likely reflect the struggle to learn to deal with normal childhood fears and problems.

Many people experience nightmares after they have suffered a traumatic event, such as surgery, the loss of a loved one, an assault or a severe accident.

Some people experience frequent nightmares that seem unrelated to their waking lives. These people tend to be more creative, sensitive, trusting and emotional than average.

Nightmares tend to occur after several hours of sleep, screaming or moving about is very uncommon, the dream is usually elaborate and intense, and the dreamer realizes soon after wakening that he or she has had a dream.

Night terrors, on the other hand, occur during the first hour or two of sleep, loud screaming and thrashing about are common, the sleeper is hard to awaken and usually remembers no more than an overwhelming feeling or a single scene, if anything. Children who have night terrors also may have a tendency to sleepwalk and/or urinate in bed. The causes of night terrors are not well understood. Children usually stop having them by puberty.

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