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(p. 170) Nightmares 

(p. 170) Nightmares
Chapter:
(p. 170) Nightmares
Author(s):

Brook M. Sims

, Oommen Mammen

, and Anne Germain

DOI:
10.1093/med:psych/9780199353996.003.0015
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date: 22 October 2020

Nightmares occur often, as much as 70% of the time, among members of the military and veterans who have experienced stress and trauma in combat. Nightmares are included as a criterion in classifying post-traumatic stress disorder and other mental disorders, and they can disrupt sleep and interfere with daytime wakefulness. Nightmares can be readily assessed and are treatable. Cognitive–behavioral techniques have proven to be effective in randomized clinical trials. These techniques are summarized in this chapter. Some medications, especially prazosin, have been shown to be beneficial. Medication side effects are described. Findings discussed in this chapter highlight the clinical utility of exposure and desensitization therapies. These therapies are based on manualized approaches and brief to administer but have long-ranging positive effects.

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