For those who have experienced them and those who have observed its manifestations, Terrors of the Night can be rather disturbing. Literature on the subject explains the phenomena are isolated in and to childhood and that in general individuals have no memory of the happening(s).
Night Terrors are not rare but are also not that common. For those without any experience of them, it’s very easy to mistake the explanation as nothing more than a nightmare. Nightmares are certainly nasty enough and are not to be scoffed at in respect to the torment they inflict. There wouldn’t be a human alive who hasn’t awakened in sheer relief, in the knowledge that their sweat drenched body and beating heart has just escaped the cold grip of some horrible near death event.
Night Terrors don’t offer such relief, because you don’t just suddenly awaken. It’s more a coming out from, a slow ascendency from something that has been very disturbing and all encompassing. As many individuals with epilepsy will sense an aura before a seizure event, so many Night Terrorists will sense an after effect. An uneasy and anxious knowledge that something very frightening happened last night, a dreamlike remembrance of waking up, most probably not in bed, with an accompanying foreboding fog like emotion that something had terrorized them. For most, it’s not that they can’t remember the very details of the Terror. It’s putting the complexity of it, remembering that its torment is right up there on the open ended Indexed Tormenter Scale, into conceptual wording and language, especially in view that the subjects are very young children.
The origins of the phenomena are varied. Genetic factors, early trauma and over-arousal of the central nervous system (CNS) during REM sleep time. No matter the science, reality for those who experience and those who observe is disturbing.
For parents the experience can be and certainly is, in the beginning, highly disturbing. As a parent, witnessing your child in the throes of pain of any sort can be equally painful, if not actually more than. Having no way of comforting, placating, relieving or solving such pain, is unbearable and goes against all things nature wise. Without knowing what is actually happening and knowing that Night Terrors are a very real condition, family units and unification can be sorely tested.
Unfortunately night time terrors are not confined to the witching hours and variations on the theme and intensity can occur during daytime napping. The classic full on physical Night Time Terror symptoms and occurrences appear to dissipate as a child moves through adolescence. In my own lifespan, my last full on classic Terror, stopped around 16 years young.
I imagine that like many other individuals who have experienced such torment, yet moved on to live very full lives, their memory of Night Terror has never ever disappeared. I can certainly attest to waking moments of symptom awareness, a very strange sensation indeed. A feeling of foreboding, a rapidly ascending arousal, followed by anxiety and fear, combined with all the sensations of a classic panic attack. Yet they are not attacks of panic, but certainly such a development can be a ‘natural’ progression.
Night Terrors are not life threatening, even though for parents and onlookers it can appear that an alien entity has entered a very much loved subject. Such a shock can certainly frighten those outside the Terror into a state of the proverbial scared to death. The worry of another event is also a great stressor for those looking in.
My own experience has taught that keeping a regime of physical and emotional wellbeing is immensely helpful. It has also shown that demons are very real and that as I grow older my remembrances of the unexplainable have become so much clearer.
There are things that go bump in the night, things that torment and terrorize. But, they are not the things that stop a full and amazing life being lived. It’s us and our collectively frightened species. We do that.
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Observing whats real is becoming increasingly difficult. This site is my view, my perception and my commentary on what I believe to be real, from my own unique position.