June 6 Fact
Nightmares are one of the primary symptoms of PTSD. They
often involve the same terrifying elements that occurred in the trauma. For example, the victim of a violent crime might dream about being chased by the perpetrator or being held at gunpoint.
Up to 96% of people with PTSD have nightmares. These individuals are more likely to have dreams that are exact replays of the traumatic event.
Image Rehearsal Therapy (IRT) helps patients create different endings for repetitive nightmares. The person replays the dream with the new ending over and over again as a way of replacing the terror with something safe and comforting.
Another approach is to use the medication Prazosin, which can reduce nightmares and improve overall functioning for people with PTSD.