disorder is typified by repeated awakenings from sleep with detailed
recall of frightening dreams. These dreams are typically vivid
and quite extended and usually include threats to survival, security,
or self-esteem. Often there is a recurrence of the same or similar
themes. The dream experience or the sleep disturbance resulting
from the awakenings causes significant distress. The major diagnostic
criteria is as follows:
The person repeatedly awakens with detailed recall of long, frightening
dreams. These usually occur in the second half of the sleep or
nap period and concern threats to security, self-esteem or survival.
The person quickly becomes alert and oriented upon awakening.
These experiences (or resulting sleep disturbance) cause clinically
important distress or impair work, social or personal functioning.
They don't occur solely during another mental disorder (such as
Disorder or a delirium).
The symptoms are not directly caused by a general medical condition
or substance use, including medications and drugs of abuse.
of Dreams often awaking the Sleeper.
More Common in Children than Adults.
Some disorders have similar or even the same symptoms. The clinician,
therefore, in his/her diagnostic attempt, has to differentiate
against the following disorders which need to be ruled out to
establish a precise diagnosis.
Traumatic Stress Disorder
half the cases starts before the age of 10, and in about two-thirds
of cases, onset is before age 20. A major stressful life event
seems to precede the onset of the disorder. The frequency of episodes
is variable both within and among individuals. In many cases three
or more nightmares per week are reported. Children frequently
outgrow the disorder. If it's onset is in adulthood, the disorder
often persists for decades. The disorder is reported to be particularly
common in people with frequent physical and mental health problems.
Night terror is similar to nightmares except that nightmares usually
occur during REM sleep and include unpleasant or frightening dreams.
If recurrent, nightmares and night terror may be associated with
psychological disturbances or severe stress, especially in adults.
In many cases, comfort and reassurance are
the only treatment required.