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to be feeling a bit scared of DH and not know what to do?

(29 Posts)
onmythirdglass Sat 23-Jul-11 15:42:21

Love my DH and know he loves me. He is a lovely kind gentle person, thoughtful as well. Its all good really. But I am starting to get quite scared by something. That is, he suffers from nightmares from time to time and when he does he gets really aggressive in his sleep. He thrashes about and screams. I can't wake him up. One time he got me in some kind of hold and actually threw me out of bed. Another time he thrashed around so much he knocked a hole in the plaster. Last week he punched me in the forehead and I had a bruise and last night it happened again, this time bruises to the arm.
I know he doesn't mean to do this but I am getting quite scared.
I don't want to stop sleeping together - it only happens from time to time. But what is causing this? Could it be stress? Has anyone got any experience of something like this?

altinkum Sat 23-Jul-11 15:43:57

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TheMagnificentBathykolpian Sat 23-Jul-11 15:44:57

What you describe can be a sleep disorder. He needs to be referred to a sleep clinic.

OurPlanetNeptune Sat 23-Jul-11 15:48:52

Could be be night terrors (proper medical name: parasomnia of arousal).I used to have them. Get him to see a doctor, quickly.

LadyThumb Sat 23-Jul-11 15:50:39

You really must both go to the GP asap and get some help. My grown up son walks and holds conversations with me in his sleep, and that is scary enough.

This could be a sleep disorder that is treatable and should not be left any longer.

Bloodymary Sat 23-Jul-11 15:51:07

What does he have to say about it?

OurPlanetNeptune Sat 23-Jul-11 15:58:50

My condition was made worse when I was stressed, sleep deprived or was suffering some other emotional upheaval. I never remembered being violent but I do remember the 'dream' that I would which would precipitate the night terror. A man (the same man in every dream) would come in to my room and try and kill me. This started when I was 8 years old and occurred 3 or 4 times a week. Only stopped a few ago when my husband insisted I seek medical help.

OurPlanetNeptune Sat 23-Jul-11 16:01:39

That is, I never remembered being violent but I was told I was sometimes.

onmythirdglass Sat 23-Jul-11 16:40:08

Thanks everyone, that is really helpful. I was wondering if it could be post-traumatic stress. He was involved in a very traumatic incident many many years ago, before we were together, and I don't think he has ever dealt with it. But maybe it is, as you say, just (just?) parasomnia of arousal...
I had thought about referral to a sleep clinic, but as it is an intermittent problem wasn't sure if they could help. They can't really monitor him every night for months until it happens can they? Or maybe that's not what they do? Can anyone give me an idea of treatment?

onmythirdglass Sat 23-Jul-11 16:41:52

Obviously we have talked about it - especially the morning after, every time. He is distressed and horrified that he hurt me and has no recollection of the event. If I manage to wake him up then he will get up for a few hours, have a cup of tea etc and eventually come back to bed normally.

MumblingRagDoll Sat 23-Jul-11 16:46:38

My DH has the same trouble OP...he's been to the doctor and the doctor has booked him in for some sort of questionaire session where they will determine the trouble. Then he has to go to a sleep clinic. Your DH Must go to the doctor.

wellwisher Sat 23-Jul-11 17:20:10

OP, please get your husband to the GP and sleep in the spare room until he has been treated for this. Even though your husband means you no harm, you are not safe. There was a tragic case a couple of years ago where a man who suffered from this condition strangled his wife in his sleep - see here

OurPlanetNeptune Sat 23-Jul-11 17:32:29

onmy - indeed, could be post traumatic stress related as when I was 8 something incredibly traumatic happened to me and my doctors are sure this event accounted for the onset of the disorder.

MumblingsRagDolls husband seems to be going through the same process I went through ... interview/questionnaire, then sleep clinic. They also interviewed my husband and my mother (witnesses to the terrors).

I weigh 8 stone and not I am not physically strong but my husband said it was horrible trying to stop me hurting him and/or myself. I would grab for anything that near to use as a weapon so initially he removed all objects that could be used in such a manner.

Alcohol could be a trigger (I am teetotal, so this did not apply to me and I do not know how true this is).

Overall there is hope for you and your DH as I have not had an 'episode' for several years now. And I have blissfully normal nightmares.

Chummybud1 Sat 23-Jul-11 19:17:26

This is a sleep disorder, doctors immediately

ZhenXiang Sat 23-Jul-11 20:15:04

Agree with the others he needs medical help, for your own safety I think you should consider sleeping in separate beds until your DH has started receiving help.

SnapesPlaything Sat 23-Jul-11 21:01:55

Agree with what has already been said, you need to get him to the gp and sleep separatly for the time being for your own safety. Don't feel like its the end of the world, you can still have cuddles in bed before you go to sleep and in the morning.

posterofagirl Sat 23-Jul-11 21:07:16

My ex husband used to strangle and punch me in the night, it can be terrifying. You need to get medical advice.

onmythirdglass Sat 23-Jul-11 21:23:10

Thanks everyone, this is so helpful. I was worried that I might just be dismissed off here as not a suitable topic or nothing to worry about (am quite new). I've talked to DH and told him what is being advised, and he agrees to go to the GP. He is genuinely frightened of hurting me, and I am worried as you know, because it is happening a little more frequently - 3 episodes in the last few weeks. Don't want to go to the spare room, it seems like such an awful thing to do in a good marriage and I don't want to make it seem like there are other "issues", but I do see your point... maybe for safety?

onmythirdglass Sat 23-Jul-11 21:25:46

OMG I have just read that article about the sleep strangler. That is really scary. We have to take some action tonight I think. Very sad sad.

onmythirdglass Sat 23-Jul-11 21:29:50

Oh yes, btw Neptune he does not drink, so defo not that. Also like you, I am smallish (size 8, not tall) and he is well built 6' 4. So I am no match to him physically,especially when he is thrashing about.

verytellytubby Sat 23-Jul-11 21:31:51

How scary. Good luck at the dr's.

BrokenBananaTantrum Sat 23-Jul-11 21:36:10

It could very well be post traumatic stress. My mum tells of how my dad used to do this at certain times of the year. He fought in WW2 but would never talk about it. He could tell my mum what was happening in his dreams after. He was always trying to pull her from a burning plane. He was in the RAF. He would sometimes drag her across the bed. He would never see the gp about it but like I say he would never talk about what happened to him in the war.sad
I hope you can get this sorted.

Baby2b Sat 23-Jul-11 21:37:39

My flatmate used to have problems like this during periods of stress. I used to sleep with a chair wedged behind my door as he would sleep walk in. He is the nicest person I have ever met, but during the night you could hear him thrashing about and swearing at the top of his voice. Medical help is definitely the key.

Would advice sleeping in spare room and avoiding waking him. Also, might be worth making sure everything is unplugged and there isn't anything near the bed he can hurt himself on. My flatmate threw his iPod out the window and until he found it thought we had hidden it as a joke?

Allinabinbag Sat 23-Jul-11 21:39:24

Your DH sounds very worried too, which is good news that you can go to the GP together, I would definitely go as a pair as they often rely on the partner reporting symptoms to try to understand what is happening. He will probably get referred to a sleep clinic for a set of tests including overnight where they will monitor his moving about/depth of sleep etc and see what is going wrong. I would personally be very concerned about this, not to worry you too much, but I would ask for an immediate referral to a consultant/sleep clinic as your husband is actually assaulting you in your sleep. Pay privately if you have to.

I have a different type of sleep disorder and it is everyone around you that suffers. Don't feel bad, they are there to help. I would personally sleep separately for my own safety if my husband had punched me in the night, even if he obviously didn't intend it.

Best of luck, but do act immediately.

TruthSweet Sat 23-Jul-11 21:51:25

I had violent nightmares when I was taking codeine (co-codamol/co-drydamol) so perhaps it might be a medication's side effect? Mine didn't start until I had been taking them for a few days and weren't fun for DH but they stopped quite quickly on stopping the codeine.

Definitely get him to go to the GP and go with him to the appointment. No good him going and saying 'the wife says I'm having nightmares but they aren't that bad really' or similar. (Not saying he would deliberately minimise the issue but I didn't really believe how bad my nightmares were at first so he might think you were over-reacting). I think sleeping separately for a while might be for the best as he could seriously hurt you with out meaning to.

Good luck and I hope the Drs get to the bottom of it quickly.

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