Discussion in 'General Advice' started by michinyo, May 1, 2015.
I have had this before and it sorta just comes and goes for me... what I found that helps is focusing on a single thing (most of the time my breathing) and just trying to stay calm. If I start to relax but see something or get too worked up otherwise my breathing almost always quickens. If I can focus on controlling that and slowing down, then the rest of me begins to relax as well.
Another thing I have done in the past when that doesn't work (this one may sound kind of dumb >.<) is work on character development. I have something im sort of here and there working on and I have gotten some of the really good character bios by distracting myself from bad thoughts/images at night. If you don't have something like that then think of a favorite show with a character you like but the show (or book) didn't go into as much detail about them as you would have liked. If they are an adult then what were they like as a kid? Stuff like that. The main down side to this one is while it does get my mind a lot happier... it also gets it active, which can cause issues with me sleeping as well x.x
it used to freak me out as a kid but I see patterns of green rings of light. What you're going through sounds way scarier though. I don't know how to help but it seems to be a relatively common phenomena. Maybe it would help to treat them the same as intrusive thoughts?
Oh hey, I do that! I thought it was just me, actually. Usually it hits me when I am super tired and close my eyes for a second, so most of my clear memories of this happening have been in class. Definitely woke me up. Not recommended as a way to wake up. yeesh.
i'll draw the faces usually, and that works. If I draw them out, I don't see them anymore. Of course, then I have a creepy drawing on my homework but *shrug*
I'll second @Oberan315 on trying to get to sleep, though. character development is one of my best ways to get to sleep.
I have something similar but not the same, where I will "see" scary things in the places too dark to see into. And can´t make my brain beleive that they aren´t real.
For me the solution is to sleep with the lights on. I also have a soothing music and spoken word playlist, that idea may be of use to you?
Oh god I have the same thing happen all the time. Usually if it's too bad I sleep with the lights on, which sucks a lot because it's harder to sleep that way. I haven't tried music or playlists, maybe I should give that a go.
Look into sleep paralysis & pre-sleep hypnogogia. Sleep paralysis usually happens when waking up directly from REM, and hypnogogia, with or without terrifying shit happening during, usually happens before becoming fully unconscious (scary faces and "falling dreams" are common disturbances for this stage), but there can be a lot of overlap between the two states if your sleep cycles get fucked up.
Which mine are. I get a lot of these. Not so much the scary-faces any more, but I got them pretty regularly when I was a kid.
*edit* As for advice on how to deal with it... well, no good asking me specifically as my solution ended up involving prescription meds, but there do exist people who have dealt with this shit without drugging themselves, and that's likely what they will be talking about if you want to look it up.
For me, thinking about my breathing alone doesn't always work, but something that sometimes works better is just concentrating completely on physically relaxing my body. Start with your toes: does each toe feel comfortable and relaxed? Does it need a different position, or to stretch? Continue on through balls of feet, arches, heels. I dunno if I've ever gotten to ankles. I've also imagined myself climbing up an endless staircase with no visual detail besides the identical stairs. The point is to concentrate all of my brain on it, so it can't go off in weird directions, but make it uninteresting enough that it doesn't keep me awake. It's almost a meditative thing? And it directs the hypnogogia, so that ends up being elaboration of the meditative process instead of intrusive or frightening things.
What happens is that there is less light hitting your eyes, but the cells on your retinas are still sending messages and your visual cortex is still trying to process them and find patterns, but the ratio of signal-to-noise gets lower and lower so you end up with stuff that has no relation to what is actually in the world outside you.
I recommend playing a match-3 game of some sort for about 45 minutes before bed. You will keep seeing the patterns when you close your eyes. At least it's an upgrade from nightmarish faces.
I have a question. I know you love horror/terror stuff pretty often - have you watched or read anything recently? It might not have anything to do :X
That said, I am all for drawing them in a metamorphosis until they look ridiculous. Like, think of boggarts in Harry Potter, and do that to the scary faces.
this happens to me sometimes! it is p unsettling.
it used to happen to me a lot when i was a kid. but i am a belligerent, confrontational dick when i'm scared, so eventually i got mad enough that i was like "ok then, i'm just gonna look REAL HARD at these scary faces and not even try to make them go away. in fact, i'm gonna mentally critique them and try to make them EVEN SCARIER. is that your best demonic leer? you just look constipated. curl your lip more."
i would sort of imagine drawing or painting them, solidifying the lines, querying each feature and demanding that it settle on a shape. is the nose a skull-absence, a piggish nostrils-forward snout, or what am i even seeing here? are all the pointy teeth the same size or are there fangs?
this had the side effect of taking all the emotional freight out of it, and turning it into a pattern recognition game that was actually a little bit fun. shortly after that it stopped happening.
i still see things in the dark when i'm super super sleep deprived and on the verge of falling asleep, but i can sort of decide what to see. my subconscious will tell me "that is a giant batlike maggoty shape hanging from the ceiling by mucousy threads!" and i counter with "orrrr hey it's a fat little dumpty guy in a swing, and the drapey wingy shapes are his silly tattered coat!" and then the leaf-shadows shift and my brain goes "snarling face!" and i go "laughing dog!" and basically it's the what-does-that-cloud-look-like game instead of a horrorshow i can't opt out of.
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