Nightmares and Suicide: Empirical Evidence and Intervention with Imagery Rehearsal Therapy
Sleep disturbances, including difficulty initiating sleep, difficulty maintaining sleep, nightmares and early morning awakening are believed to be common among people who attempt suicide. (1) Nightmares are disturbing, visual dream sequences that occur in your mind and wake you up from your sleep. Nightmares are very common and can begin at any age. Nightmare disorder develops when you have nightmares on a frequent basis. Nightmare disorder is not as common as nightmares. Dr. Michael Nadorff reviewed the literature on nightmares and suicide, including possible mediators of the relation. He also discussed the literature on nightmare treatments, and how they may hold promise for reducing suicide risk. Dr. Barry Krakow focused his presentation on Imagery Rehearsal Therapy, which is a recommended treatment for nightmare disorder. He also discussed how to conduct the treatment in a time-limited fashion, as well as ways to overcome implementation barriers.
(1) American Academy of Sleep Medicine. “Sleep Disturbances, Nightmares Are Common Among Suicide Attempters.” ScienceDaily. 2 January 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/01/070101113027.htm>