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lainchan archive - /zzz/ - 2099

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I have a problem. I keep having nightmares about bugs. Sometimes swarms of bugs, sometimes spiders. In the dream they're always on or over my bed. I always wake up and make a mad dash out of my bed, sometimes attacking the bed to kill the bugs that aren't there. Please help.


Have you recently had an encounter with bugs in your bed or seen someone encounter them? I used to get itchy from fleas that weren't actually there because I got really paranoid from a cockroach in my bed once. It got to the point where if my covers from my bed simply touched the carpet for a second I'd start getting itchy shortly after. I'd get up, shake my covers out and pat down my legs to make sure they were gone. I was really obsessive with it, but they weren't actually there. I solved the problem by realizing it was in my head (because I remembered I started doing what I was doing since that one incident) and I kept thinking to myself "it's just in my head" until I didn't feel the biting anymore.

It sounds really strange but your head can play tricks like that on you if you let it



My last apartment had a bug problem. I lived there for a year because I couldnt afford to move out. It was a really shitty apartment. When I moved in, there were dead bugs in the kitchen drawers. My cat also acquired fleas that had gotten really bad and infested the house. I'd get bitten a lot and I had to lint roll my clothes to get flea crap off of them. It was pretty disgusting.

>It got to the point where if my covers from my bed simply touched the carpet for a second I'd start getting itchy shortly after.

This so much. Once I'd gotten rid of the fleas, I still kept thinking they were on me.

I see a spider every now and then in my room because of a cable line that comes in from the outside, which might be causing the spider thing, but in comparison to my last place it's quite tame and doesn't freak me out too much.



Do you listen to anything while you go to bed? if not you could try that. It may prevent you from having them. Also, do you sleep on your back? You can have nightmares doing that



Yeah, I play cartoons on netflix every night, which seems to help with falling asleep. The nightmares tend to happen later in sleep, closer to morning. That possibly could correlate with when netflix stops playing. I'll get files of the cartoons and put them in a playlist instead, see if that helps. I'm a side sleeper.



Could it also be the content of said cartoons that might trigger it? Maybe a certain episode plays during your sleep



I'm not sure.


Bugs in your dreams are metaphorical representations of an infestation. Because you can never directly perceive your world, your brain can only represent input given to it from various sources. Your subconscious is a more abstract delineation of the conscious brain, so its representations are proportionally as abstract.

You should not be watching cartoons before you sleep. They are designed to trigger your subconscious in extremely specific ways, inserting what I call 'worms' into attractor networks of your brain. Basically, the worms are composed of a specific pacing, color, and musical sequence in the cartoon, or in periods of the cartoon's sequence, that instantly triggers long-term potentiation formation in your subconscious-- just think of it like a recursive network that is continuously reinforced each time you watch or think about the cartoon. It doesn't even need to be the same episode. The aesthetic of any particular cartoon series is characteristic across the board, so subconscious worms from one episode continuously flow into other episodes (it's all the same worm).

The trigger sequence will never be obviously connected to anything in your subconscious. Watching this soykaf before bed only potentiates this effect. It does the same thing in the morning, right after dreaming, thus the favorite American tradition of Saturday Morning Cartoons.



What would you suggest I play instead? I need to have something playing, or I have hallucinations and can't sleep at all. What would be better?


What constitutes your hallucinations, and what is their origin?



Voices. Usually angry, judging, and/or confusing. Occasionally "jump" sounds like chandeliers crashing, or a knock on the door. I had a psychotic episode 5 years back. That's when it started. Most of the symptoms went away, but I still hear voices at night. It's not like I'm falling asleep and have hypnogogic hallucinations, it's as soon as my head hits the pillow and my mind isnt occupied.


What makes you think they aren't hypnagogic hallucinations?



The crash sounds could be, but I don't think the voices are, because I've heard the same voices whenever I've tried to do unguided meditation. I think it's more about the fact I'm not *doing* anything, so all there is to focus on is that? I keep so busy during the day that I don't hear them. That's why I play the cartoons, I guess I feel like I have to be occupied with something right up until the moment I fall asleep. I used to engage with the voices and treat them as people, and that helped in terms of softening the content,they liked me better. But I got carried away with it and started exhibiting symptoms of multiple personality. When it comes right down to it, my own mind really scares me.



The reason I ask is because hypnagogic hallucinations aren't defined by their origin. What they are neurologically is a desynchronous, irregular mass-firing of neuron populations similar to what occurs during REM sleep, in the alpha-beta frequency range. If you underwent a psychotic episode your brain necessarily 'rewired' itself in many unexpected and entropic ways, and consequently altered the frequency at which it operates in different states. Psychosis is deeply linked to the subconscious, and obviously the latter is linked to sleep. Psychosis could easily trigger this sort of hallucinatory-patternistic development in your sleep.

During the day you feel like there are too many things to focus on for hallucinations to really be an issue. This is consistent with the hypnagogic/frequency postulation. Your brain exhibits synchronous, regular frequency patterns in a state of conscious activity and focus. These frequencies are usually in the alpha-gamma range, but again they aren't erratic during focus like they are in REM.

Meditative states are extremely similar to sleep-states in terms of measured EEG frequency, so it makes sense that you would also experience hallucinations at these times.

I think you should look into binaural beats. If everything I said above seems correct to you, I can maybe give you a place to start and some more info.





For what specifically? I gave a good deal of information.


> I keep having nightmares about bugs.
Go to bed with a can of bugspray next to you.


That's an awful idea.


y u say that?


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>>hypnagogic hallucinations aren't defined by their origin

Sauce that you can experience hypnagogic hallucinations even when you are wide awake?

>>if you underwent a psychotic episode, your brain necessarily 'rewired' itself [...] altered the frequency at which it operates in different states [

What does this mean in english? + Sauce that the brain does this during and after psychosis, even when psychotic episode has been over for quite some time.



Given the fact that I jump out of bed half-asleep and attack imaginary bugs, I don't think it's a good idea to add a can of bug spray to the equation.


fill the can with water or soda. problem solved.




I'm not sure to what level of detail you'd like the information so I'm just going to go for it.

Individual neurons form circuits, which form networks and then super-networks and so-on. Electrical activity, when viewed on a mass scale like this at the highest organization of neurons, produces electromagnetic waves which can be recorded by electrodes placed on the scalp and defined according to their amplitude, periodicity, frequency etc.

In the waking state the brain exhibits specific waveforms in specific areas of the brain associated with various tasks according to the electrical firing of neurons on a mass scale. This is also true for the sleeping state, but the waveforms between these two states are fundamentally different from each other. In between you have a transition state, defined by the theta frequency waves (3-8 Hz). Before sleep, your brain transitions from alpha waves (8-12 Hz) to theta. Alpha is associated with concentration and introspection, while theta is associated with memory and subconscious access. You are technically awake during this transition from alpha to theta, as in you have the ability to consciously analyze your own thoughts and can control your body's functioning practically as normal. This is when hypnagogic hallucinations occur, during the transition state. (http://www.sleepeducation.org/sleep-disorders-by-category/parasomnias/sleep-hallucinations/overview-facts)

You say you notice your hallucinations most prominently right before bed, ("as soon as my head hits the pillow and my mind isnt occupied"). When your mind is occupied, as it is during waking hours for the most part, it exhibits more beta (12-38 Hz) and gamma (38-42 Hz) frequencies. Since hypnagogic hallucinations aren't associated with these frequencies, it makes sense why you would not experience them during the day when you are busy.

"The transition from waking to "floating" (or sleep) is not simultaneous in all parts of the brain. The alpha waves may be suppressed and the delta waves appear in one part while the alpha rhythm continues normally in another region. On such occasions the subject may report that he has been fully
conscious." (http://sci-hub.io/10.1126/science.86.2237.448 Changes in Human Brain Potentials During the Onset of Sleep) also take a look at (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1440-1819.1998.tb00998.x/pdf)

You also mention meditation as a previous source of these hallucinations. Meditation states have been found to exhibit theta and alpha frequencies, just as the phase transition does.

"Although the neuroelectric correlates of med-
itative altered consciousness states are not yet firmly established,
the primary findings have implicated increases in theta and alpha
band power and decreases in overall frequency." (http://sccn.ucsd.edu/~arno/mypapers/Cahn06Review.pdf)



>>What does this mean in english? + sauce

I mean that a psychotic episode necessarily alters connections in your brain on a massive scale, in ways that cannot be predicted. Which means that your psychosis could have altered the strength of theta firing in your brain, it could have altered your perception and interpretation in some areas, etc etc. If your hallucinations only appeared after the psychotic break, then it is very likely that connections in your brain were altered associated with the transition or sleep state.

To expound a little more, psychosis involves an imbalance in the way that sensory information is being processed in the brain, usually involving the neurotransmitter dopamine (because dopamine is heavily involved in sensory processing). You've probably heard of synaptic plasticity. In case not, plasticity is basically just the principle that your brain can alter its own connections according to the balance of certain neurotransmitters and hormones. If there is an imbalance for any reason, your brain will still modify itself and may do so in a way that is abnormal. Which is why it's more likely to have another psychotic break after the first one occurs. What I'm saying is that your brain likely modified itself in this one specific way (and possibly many other ways) which affects the transition you experience from a waking state to a sleeping state.

For a source, just read the wikipedia article on psychosis, it's actually very detailed and accurate.

“However, the main feature of psychosis is not hallucinations, but the inability to distinguish between internal and external stimuli. Close relatives to psychotic patients may hear voices, but since they are aware that they are unreal they can ignore them, so that the hallucinations do not affect their reality perception. Hence they are not considered psychotic. Psychosis has been traditionally linked to the neurotransmitter dopamine. In particular, the dopamine hypothesis of psychosis has been influential and states that psychosis results from an overactivity of dopamine function in the brain.”



If any of the source links don't work, just let me know and I'll upload them directly.