Now, I know ‘vivid dreams’ is listed as a side-effect on the leaflet in my box of Effexor-XR, but nowhere does it say, ‘You will be unable to sleep properly due to extremely vivid and terrifying nightmares, and your spouse will end up with bruises that you inflict while you are asleep.’ So it’s kind of funny that so many people, anecdotally at least, experience similar things.

My nightmares (like you care) are varied. They are not repetitions of the same dreams over and over again, but they always result in me screaming, whether I remember doing it or not. John says I scream all the time, and that I yell, punch and kick as well. Sometimes I wake at the tale end of the yelling, but I don’t remember getting violent in my sleep, but he has shown me the bruises to prove it. A bit of a worry, huh?

When the topic of the topic of vivid dreams when on anti-depressants came up on a mailing list I am on a couple of months ago, I was stunned to see that I was not alone in this. The thread gained a lot more comments than most do, and stories were swapped about spousal injuries and nightmares. One woman said that her husband ended up with a black eye from a punch she landed on him while she was sleeping.

Others, though, think that the nightmares are more likely to be the effect of our depression than the drugs. It’s a possibility, but I am sure I wasn’t dreaming like this prior to taking SSRIs and I am certain I wasn’t violent in my sleep.

That is, the cats never complained…


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