Hello, I have a question about a severe case of violent daydreaming. I am a survivor of childhood abuse and have been suffering from violent daydreaming for more than 15 years. I vividly imagine myself or a third person being slowly killed by torture and can’t stop these thoughts. Since these fantasies involve very gory details, I am ashamed of them and don’t have the courage to describe them to anyone because I am afraid what people might think of me.
The thoughts come by themselves in waves about twice a month and each wave lasts for about 3-5 days. During these days they slightly interfere with my normal social function as I experience typical sickness behavior (lethargy, depression, loss of appetite, sleepiness, reduction in grooming, hard to concentrate). Even if I try to concentrate on a task I feel like I can’t control my mind or how I generally feel during that time.
I thought for a long time that I am the only person in the world having thoughts like that and there is no help for me but recently I thought I might try to search for answers. However, I could not find any information about this phenomenon. Can you please help me women tell me if there is any literature about this that could help me understand what is going on? Is there a type of therapy that specializes in these issues? What could I do to improve my condition?Violent Daydreaming
. You may be describing the flashbacks associated with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). PTSD is an anxiety disorder that may occur among people who have experienced or witnessed a terrifying event.
You are correct, you are not the only person in the world having thoughts or experiences like these. PTSD affects approximately 7% of the American population. Women tend to have higher rates of PTSD than do men.
It’s common for people with PTSD to relive the trauma, sometimes on a daily basis. These recollections can cause the symptoms you have described.
There is no shortage of information and literature about PTSD. You can begin by searching the internet for information. You can read about PTSD on Psych Central’s website or visit your local library.
You could also benefit from consulting a PTSD therapy specialist. He or she can evaluate whether or not you have PTSD and determine what treatment would work best for you.
Cognitive behavioral therapy, hypnotherapy, and other treatments have been found to be effective for PTSD. Some people also find that medication is a helpful adjunct to therapy.
I’m glad that you have decided to seek help for your problem. Take comfort in knowing that there are treatments that could eliminate this problem from your life. Please take care.
Dr. Kristina Randle