First, I would like to welcome you to the HealingWell family. I am glad that you found us and I hope that you find the support you are looking for here.
What your boyfriend is experiencing is probably Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), he is having symptoms of it. It is an anxiety disorder which one relives the trauma in the form of nightmares, flashbacks and disturbing recollections during the day or night. PTSD sufferers may also experience sleep problems, depression, feeling detached or numb, or being easily startled.
He should probaly talk to a therapist/councelor about his past, and that may help. I too am a PTSD sufferer, and it has helped a great deal to talk about the past. Mind you it is a painful experience, but I know I do not want to be a part of me 10 years from now. It has been a slow process, but it has gotten better with time.
Besides talk therapy, there are various medications for PTSD and he might want to seek out a psychiatrist or a trained professional about it.
I have had periods of time where I was even terrified to sleep, but Thank God those times are over. I have had horrible/terrifying dreams or nightmares in the past that have shaken me up. There are few times I woke up almost screaming, out of breath or would jump out of bed an make sure everything was well before trying to get back to sleep.
To make matters worse, they kept reoccuring for a while and I could have sworn that when I woke up they were actually real. There were times I couldn't sleep more than 1-2 hours for a few nights or more, because I was scared to relieve the dreams, or so it seemed. But this happened after a traumatic event in my life, so that explains why I was having those horrible dreams. I even started having flashbacks of the dreams, and that started affecting my daily life. My therapist said that it was symptoms of PTSD.
But I am much better now, and my anxiety is definetly better, but is still there (this is after years of medication and therapy. I am not whole, but I don't feel as empty as before).
Just hang in there, and know you are not alone.
Hang in there, you are not alone and know we are here for you.
"Don't let your yesterday, ruin your today"
Post Edited (olivia of course) : 6/16/2007 12:50:48 PM (GMT-6)