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Thread: Partner has REM behavioural sleep disorder ... I'm so anxious

  1. #1
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    Partner has REM behavioural sleep disorder ... I'm so anxious

    Hi,

    My lovely partner of 5 years has been experiencing what I believe is RBD. This means he has vivid, unpleasant dreams and can lash out with his arms. I've been accidentally clonked a couple of times and have taken myself off to the next room to sleep!

    I came upon this diagnosis when I googled and it frightened me terribly. Many older men (my partner is 65) have this as a pre-curser to Parkinsons. He also suffers from constipation and dizziness when getting up too suddenly (both of which can be early signs). Other than this he is fit and strong and attends the gym 3-4 times a week.

    I've told my partner my concerns about the REM sleep disorder but not the implications it may mean. He is off overseas to England in 2 weeks (for a month) with his 94 year old mother (she's incredible), so I didn't want to put my fears and suspicions onto him.

    I've been down the anxiety hole for the last week (internalising all this) and have started counselling today so am feeling a bit better. I'm also addressing my HA issues again, which is long overdue.

    My counselor suggested I ask my partner if he will see his Dr (with me) before he goes overseas. I've done this, and we are going Thurs morning. Initially I felt relieved but now I feel guilty as I maybe should have arranged this once he came back from this trip as I don't want anything to spoil it for him.

    I realise I have to take care of myself as I have CFS. I need to keep my stress levels to a minimum but it's so difficult at present. I love my partner dearly, he's a wonderful man and would always support and look after him the best I can. We plan to get engaged next year and marry in the future.

    Thanks for reading this. L

  2. #2
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    Re: Partner has REM behavioural sleep disorder ... I'm so anxious

    Lesley, I think you have become a victim of Dr Google's dastardly diagnostic tools! He may just be a restless sleeper?

    Constipation and low blood pressure when standing up suddenly are pretty common symptoms but let the doctor check him over if you would feel reassured by this before he goes on his trip.

    I think you may be overthinking the situation but if your partner is happy to get checked over then it's the best option for both of you and you will get a professional opinion as opposed to Dr Google's efforts!

    I hope it all goes as well as possible on Thursday and I'm sorry you're having a bad time at present. Your partner sounds a wonderful man-you're not going to lose him xx

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    Re: Partner has REM behavioural sleep disorder ... I'm so anxious

    Thanks for your reply pulisa, I know I'm reading the worse into this but glad we are seeing the Dr soon.

    His sleep issue has got worse this year and needs to be addressed. I also need to get back to a good sleep pattern as I'm still teaching part time. This stress is no good for my health either, I'm working on some good strategies for coping with this.

    Thank you for your kind thoughts and wishes x

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    Re: Partner has REM behavioural sleep disorder ... I'm so anxious

    See what the doctor has to say and try not to think the worst when all you have at the moment is a diagnosis courtesy of Google...and we all know how reliable that can be!

    My OH has severe sleep apnoea which he refuses to address despite being advised to use a CPAP machine so I know all about disturbed nights! Sleep is so important-I do hope you feel better soon xx

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    Re: Partner has REM behavioural sleep disorder ... I'm so anxious

    I agree with Pul that Dr Google has been stoking the HA fire. I'm sure hubby will get clean bill of health and you can both then chill
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    Re: Partner has REM behavioural sleep disorder ... I'm so anxious

    Quote Originally Posted by KK77 View Post
    I agree with Pul that Dr Google has been stoking the HA fire. I'm sure hubby will get clean bill of health and you can both then chill
    Thank you KK77, me too. This sleep condition is quite rare and it can be linked in to neurological issues (further down the track). I'm hoping that there are other benign causes for it.

    This is triggering my HA issues, only not mine this time. Still having the anxiety on and off though.

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    Re: Partner has REM behavioural sleep disorder ... I'm so anxious

    When I had my last counselling session, my councilor urged me to tell my partner how I was feeling about what I'd read and why. I told her I couldn't do this as I didn't want to cause him any worry. She told me to think about it.

    Last night I was in a bad way with anxiety but I finally summoned up enough courage to tell my partner why I was so worried. To my amazement he was calm and asked me "if that was all?" He was more concerned about me and my anxiety than himself. I just burst out crying, I just couldn't believe how kind he was and my anxiety just melted away. He said if it happens, it happens but that he was well at present. We are still seeing his Dr on Thursday.

    We talked about the future, and about getting older and the fact that we're both probably going to end up with something (which is true) and that we'd look after each other and handle things the best way we could. It was so great to be able to talk about health in a 'normal and healthy' way.

    I realised I was projecting my feelings (about health outcomes) onto him, thinking that he wouldn't be able to cope with an unfavourable diagnosis.

    This goes back to my childhood where my mother's feelings had to be protected at all costs. I couldn't talk about my fears, (especially health related issues), because she would become so anxious and couldn't cope. She would say she was unwell and was probably dying! So I learned that it wasn't safe to talk about my feelings so I internalised them. This is at the root of my HA anxiety.

    Now I have to find ways to unscramble the junk (still in my head) and deal with issues in a healthy way.

    ps. My mother is personality/mentally disordered, she's 91, in a rest home and still says she's unwell and probably dying! I've been hearing these same utterances since I was a child, over 60 years ago!

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    Re: Partner has REM behavioural sleep disorder ... I'm so anxious

    Lesley,

    I think you are an intelligent, perceptive person. When I read this it had spiral written all over it as normally you would be ripping worries like this apart for being rare, for Googling without professional insight into the nuances between conditions only doctors know, that you were in tunnel vision mode & catastrophizing.

    I wondered whether something stressful had set this off?

    Great to hear your partner's response, the exact response of many people without HA worries. I suspect that's partly because he is more objective than you are right now, for whatever reason your anxiety has increased, so isn't seeing it as the obvious outcome your subconscious is trying to make it out to be.
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    Re: Partner has REM behavioural sleep disorder ... I'm so anxious

    Quote Originally Posted by MyNameIsTerry View Post
    Lesley,

    I think you are an intelligent, perceptive person. When I read this it had spiral written all over it as normally you would be ripping worries like this apart for being rare, for Googling without professional insight into the nuances between conditions only doctors know, that you were in tunnel vision mode & catastrophizing.

    I wondered whether something stressful had set this off?

    Great to hear your partner's response, the exact response of many people without HA worries. I suspect that's partly because he is more objective than you are right now, for whatever reason your anxiety has increased, so isn't seeing it as the obvious outcome your subconscious is trying to make it out to be.
    Hi Terry,

    Thanks for your kind words. I've thought all day about what might have set this off. I did read the information (on Google) then put it aside but I just kept thinking more and more about it, I became consumed and my anxiety with it. I was scared about telling my partner my fears in case I frightened him (my perception) and ruined his holiday! I felt I'd lost our emotional connection by not being able to share my feelings and it was tearing me up and increasing my anxiety. I'm not very good at self-soothing, although I'm fine at helping others. I know I'm guilty of taking on too much responsibility for other people and their feelings.

    I do have some emotional abandonment issues (although I've not been physically abandoned) relating to my early childhood, so I've got a few things to sort out in counselling.

    Thank you for posing the question

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    Re: Partner has REM behavioural sleep disorder ... I'm so anxious

    I'm so glad you were brave enough to have this conversation with your partner. I keep things locked in and it doesn't help. I really hope that the appointment tomorrow helps to rationalise your fears and that your anxiety levels in general lessen as a result of both a professional medical assessment and keeping communication channels open with your partner about your fears. He does sound a wonderfully supportive man but you would be the same to him should he need it..which all sounds like a pretty solid and loving relationship to me!

    All the very best for the appointment xx

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