i took this survey on sleep disorders after vera linked to some info about them. this focusses particularly on the experience of waking in the middle of the night and being unable to move while sensing beings or movement in the room. many who have experienced this have attributed the experience to alien abduction because it is so surreal yet vivid and intense.
i haven’t had a seizure in over a year. i’m still taking the meds. this survey made me remember – physically remember – the experiences and those that lead up to them. here are some of my answers to the questions, to give you an idea of how totally freaky the whole experience can be:
(questions asked to rate on a scale of 1(mild) to 7 (vivid, as if awake) and then make comments)
Q:”Sometimes when falling asleep or when waking from sleep, I experience a brief period during which I am unable to move, even though I am awake and conscious of my surroundings.”
i woke up (usually just post-dawn) staring at the ceiling, unable to move or barely blink or breathe. i could hear a song pulsing in and out (a favorite of mine) and a very very strong deja vu feeling, almost nauseating. vague swirling pink misty visuals.
i don’t know how long they lasted. i’m guessing 15-20 seconds. every time it happened it was exactly the same.
“Sometimes during these experiences people have ‘false awakenings’, that is, they believe that they sit up, get out of bed, and even engage in various activities, only to find themselves suddenly back in bed waking up again. Have you ever had this sort of experience? “
i believe that has happened but don’t recall any exact instances. i’ve had some extremely vivid dreams, but they may or may not have involved me getting out of bed. more like they involved intruders entering my bedroom and me being frozen in fear, unable to breathe/speak. at one point i was so terrified that i actually physically scratched myself across the chest while whipping my arm in defense once i could move.
did you feel weight on your body?
extreme pressure on the body, as if the air was so heavy i was unable to move from under it.
were you afraid you were going to die?
a very real fear of death, or wondering if i had already started to die, or if i had already died.
full body numbness.
“Have you noticed any particular conditions that seem to precede these experiences (e.g., changes in life style, sleep patterns, work schedule, emotional experiences, etc.)?”
stress and lack of sleep. PTSD after witnessing my partner go into seizure because of diabetes in the middle of the night (more than once), i could not sleep for weeks because of the fear of him dying in his sleep. for a while i was also incredibly afraid of my cat dying, and i didn’t want to be the first home from work because i was afraid of finding her dead, or that she was going to die during the night. i think that was right after my grandmother died.
my experiences eventually progressed into full body seizures. my CAT scans and MRI and EEGs showed nothing. the neurologist diagnosed me as having a seizure disorder (epilepsy) perhaps brought on by stress or lack of sleep. particularly because i have trouble sleeping and the seizures happened after long trips or weeks of stress.
however a year or so after my first seizure i had a very frightening panic attack while awake, in which i thought i was going to die. it lasted about 3 hours. the neurologist then suggested i seek therapy for anxiety, and that my experiences while sleeping where characterized more as panic attacks – mild (the frozen moments) to severe (full on seizures) – while sleeping.
i currently take Lamictal before going to bed, and have not had a night experience in over a year.
i hope none of it ever happens to me again. the first year or so of that – when it was occuring frequently – was the most terrifying period of my life.Filed in epilepsy | Comment (1)