Night terrors, tackling the unknown.
Stacy is a happy child. She loves playing with her dog, and at times she just wants to lie down and do nothing. It is during one of those times when she was lying down that she gave her mother the scare of her life.
Stacy had just finished having her snack, and the happy ten-year-old looked as though she wanted to call it a day. Her father carried her to her bedroom and read her a bedtime story. Her mother came in and even told her that she would be taken to an animal farm if she picked all her toys the entire week.
Soon the house was silent, everyone had their rest. This did not last long because some minutes before midnight, Stacy was heard screaming. Her parents rushed into her room, and Stacy was standing on top of her bed, screaming. Her mother ran towards her trying to hold her, but Stacy was inconsolable. She was throwing major tantrums, something that is not her at all. Her dad thought that he could calm things down, but instead, she let out a loud yell. It was scary and angering at the same time.
The next morning, Stacy was so normal. It’s like nothing happened while her parents were really worried. One of the neighbours who heard the yelling called and recommended the services of a child psychologist. This is where the parents were told that Stacy had a night terror episode and that she was not conscious hence the yelling when the parents tried to get close to her and comfort her.
For several weeks, the terror episodes were there, but the counsellor kept on talking to Stacy. The parents also had to see a medical doctor to get some medication to help calm their daughter down. Stacy’s parents were told not to put much emphasis on the episodes. They rearranged her room and even gave her more time to play with the family dog. The aim was to ensure that stress was kept at bay and her parents always assured her of their love for her. Stacy is now 15, and the terrors she faces are boys who tell her she is pretty.
The parents later found out that Stacy could have just had night terrors because she was dealing with her own stress. Night terrors can be triggered by sleep deprivation, stress or even fever. In her case, her grandmother had passed on, and they were pretty close, so that had been marked as a possible trigger.
Night terrors are horrifying for the parents because the child has no clue whatsoever of what took place when they were in that state. The only thing is to try and seek professional help. In some cases like this one, the episodes just ended during adolescence. Sleep terror episodes usually decrease as one continues to age. If the episodes are not as frequent, then treatment is not called for but in all cases, it is good to just check with a professional to be certain.