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Dr Wu
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Category: Mental Health
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Experience:  Board certified in family medicine.
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Most of my adult life I have had dreams that includes violence,

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Most of my adult life I have had dreams that includes violence, all of which were of my protecting my self or someone else. In the dream I would use my legs to protect myself by kicking out because I had no control over my arms. In the dream I had last night I was fighting someone and hit out with my fist for the first time and actually hit my companion. This has me very concerned, because I love this person and would never knowingly harm her. Can you possibly point me in the right direction for help?
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr Wu replied 7 years ago.

Hi Mr. Fischer,


You most likely have REM sleep behavior disorder. As you probably know, there are several stages in normal sleep. REM refers to rapid eye movement. Dreams tend to occur during this stage of sleep.


REM behavior disorder most commonly affects men. Patients with this disorder often present with a history of sleep-associated injuries to themselves or a sleeping partner. REM behavior disorder is characterized by vivid, action-filled, violent dreams that the dreamer acts out.


REM behavior disorder often occurs without any underlying brain disease. In some cases, however, it can be associated with neurologic disorders. The most common of these disorders are Parkinson's disease, dementia and narcolepsy.


Clonazepam (Klonopin), in a dosage of 0.5 to 1.0 mg at bedtime, is generally effective in the treatment of REM behavior disorder.


You may want to talk to your physician about this medication. In addition, CT or MRI of the brain should also be ordered to rule out any abnormalities.


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