Monday, November 07, 2011
Post Traumatic Stress Dreamer
Dear Sr Mary Martha,
I have a friend who has quite vivid dreams. She would quite often thrash around, talk and even shout in her sleep, while dreaming. Sometimes, she would even cry in her sleep.
I love your blog, but have always been very 'shy' in making our 'lurking presence' known. But, I had to ask you for a patron saint for my friend who has not had a dreamless sleep ever since she could remember. And I hope to be able to get some divine intercession before it escalates. (She swatted me in her sleep a couple of nights ago!)
She had very unhappy childhood and I have prayed for the Lord's healing on her and had taken her to healing Mass, but it doesn't seem that she is healed, at all of her past hurts and unhappiness. And 70-80% of the times when she got upset in her sleep was because she was dreaming about her parents and/or her past.
The both or us are ok with our Lord's plan for her in this suffering, rather than rush Him. But is there a saint that can help in carry her cross sometimes or fix a wheel on it so it's not so heavy?
Thanks, Sr Mary Martha!
There certainly are saints for that.
But there are also medical solutions for that. She should be evaluated at a sleep clinic. It sounds like she is suffering from a parasomnia called REM sleep behavior disorder.
First of all, no one has dreamless sleep. When REM sleep (the phase of sleep during which dreaming occurs) is not present, people become psychotic very quickly, literally overnight. People who say they do not dream are wrong. They dream. They do not remember their dreams.
It would not be good for her to take her dreams away (unless you want a full on psychotic on your hands), but there are medications that can stop the flailing. It also sounds as though she could use some therapy, to help her deal with her past.
My favorite saint for sweet dreams is St. Joseph.
St. Joseph was visited by angels in his dreams on two important occasions. When he found out his virgin wife was with child, he was not a happy man. An angel explained the situation to him in a dream and the rest is the history of the Catholic Church.
It happened again when the Three Wise Men stopped to ask for directions. The one time in history when a group of men actually stopped to ask for directions and what do they do? Ask the evil King where they might find the "new" King. What were they thinking?
An angel came to Joseph, again in a dream, and warned him to get his family to safety.
That is some helpful dreaming.
I also recommend St. Michael the Archangel, fighter of demons no matter where they are found.