By Dave - 27/09/2012 15:46 - United Kingdom
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Sleep paralysis is actually reasonably common (around 15% have experienced it at some point) in the general population and it's presence has been well documented in history (see "the hag" for an artist's conception). While yes, it can be overwhelming and close to terrifying at times, there is not a whole lot to be done except either deal with it, or use it as an easy way to enter lucid dreaming.
I have a 'form' of sleep paralysis. I know I'm awake, but I can't move, can't open my eyes. And these terrible images of scary things come up(with the background of my room), I try to scream or make noise to get someone's attention, but I've been told they don't hear me. It's actually really terrifying. And afterwards I get dragged back into sleep, the next two hours I spend fighting to wake up. I've tried to tell doctors, they won't listen or don't believe me :(.
This happened to me a couple of times. Mostly when I'm trying to nap in the middle of the day. I can walk around and everything though. Once I was trying to call someone to help me while in the dream cause I was so freaked out. When I went to see if someone was downstairs there was just this big dark figure standing there staring at me.
#60 as you can see, back then people didn't have the technology to explain why things happened as they did (thats why gods came about). In ancient times they had a saying, a very old women would come and see you at night. You would not be able to move or scream for any help. The saying goes that the old women would come to you in your sleep and "Sit" on your chest. (that explained the heavy feeling In your chest). This phenomenon stemmed off to many different things. "The Succubus/Incubus", Alien abductions(The modern term for it), and "The Old Hag". The most interesting one for me is the story of "The Rake". If you wanna know more it's best to search it up. It's really interesting, and scary. If you believe in that kinda stuff.
My version is kind of weird. I would wake up after a nightmare, and not be able to move. Since the nightmare is still fresh in my mind, I get scared. Being paralyzed made it so I couldn't move, but could open and use my eyes. I tried to scream, but couldn't make any sound. It lasted for about 15 hellish minutes. I'm actually not sure if it's common or not? Just wanted to know if it is.
That happens to me once every couple of months and I have to go back to sleep and wake up again and hope I can move. It sucks because I can't speak then all I can do is blink. It worries me that this will happen when I wake up in the morning before school. It takes a good 10-30 minutes to be able to move again
Go read 1's thread, it should enlighten you. I've had it in first period during school and was having a meltdown in my mind because I could hear the teacher giving instructions and walking around but I couldn't move or wake up. I was terrified she would think I was unconcious or in a coma or something. Not a fun time.
It's not directly treatable, but the symptoms and frequency of it can be relieved. I also only said that you should seek help if it happens often. There are some people that get stuck like that for a long time, more than just thirty minutes, and it happens to them every day. It becomes crippling, and so for some people attempting to treat it is necessary. For those people there is usually an underlying condition, and if you treat that, you treat the problem. Psychiatric medication is experimental. The brain is complicated, and the medications that fix problems for one person won't always fix them for another person. Personally, a combination of Lithium, Lamictal, Trazodone, and Ativan relieves my underlying condition, as well as stopping the night terrors and sleep paralysis. 92, if it isn't hurting your quality of life, then by all means, don't seek treatment. I never told you directly to go get help- you can do whatever the hell you want with your life. I'm not saying everyone it happens to needs to go to the doctor. When the sleep paralysis begins to become life altering, when it's frequent and long-lasting, then help is needed.
Sleep paralysis is perfectly normal and healthy. It is simply when your mind is awake while your body is asleep. Opening your eyes during sleep paralysis can often lead to hallucinations, but if you don't focus on scary things then you might not get them. Closing your eyes during sleep paralysis causes you to lucid dream, which can be a great experience, free of any hallucinations.
56&67- Good advice but it really is easier said than done! I find it difficult to think logically in the middle of sleep paralysis. It's so difficult not to panic. I found therapy helped me coach my mind into being able to cope with hallucinations, it's all about training your mind to recognise what's happening.
#67- You can also learn to lucid dream while you're sleeping normally. I've had sleep paralysis once, and it was terrifying. I woke up and heard my sister say my name (I was alone in the house), and then I heard something shuffling at the end of my bed (coming closer) and it "felt" evil (can't explain it better than that). Thankfully I snapped out of it before I saw the thing by my bed. I didn't really focus on anything evil...it's just what happened. I hope it doesn't happen again.
I have that all the time, just wait until the monsters start to come while in sleep.
I can't even begin to imagine how awkward that would be.