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Anyone feel a "malevolent presence" in the room when waking up in the middle of the night?


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I had no idea where to put this. It possibly could be psychosis, but it seems to be more sleep-related. Mods please move this wherever you see appropriate.

I have for years struggled with this and it only now occurred to me to ask about this here.

If I sleep all night, all day, and wake up late in the evening to early the next morning, I have a distinct feeling that there is a sinister, malevolent, "evil" presence or several presences in the room with me. Very seldom (once in a blue moon) I hear a whispering voice or several whispering voices that get(s) louder and louder as time passes until I do something like open my door. But if I go somewhere else in the house, I have to turn on all the lights as I go or else I feel like I'm being watched. It's extremely disturbing and very scary and I don't know what to do. It's usually when everyone else in the house is asleep, and happens at a time when I wouldn't be able to reach my friends. I can even try to reach some of my friends but it's useless, they're asleep too and can't be woken (one of my best friends in particular is an extremely heavy sleeper).

I think maybe it's anxiety, so I take a benzo and a Stelazine in hopes that it goes away, but no, it's still there.

I have actually been feeling this "presence" following me as of lately since my depression and suicidality got to be probably at an all time worst. It's strongest if I sleep all day and wake up late in the day/early next morning. I feel a darkness about it, an undertow of flowing dark energy from it like it's trying to pull me under the water so to speak, and like it's trying to claim me for its collection or something.

Is this a sleep thing, or a psychosis thing, or what?

If so, has anyone had this before, and how did you deal with it?

Benzos and antipsychotics aren't really helping that much except maybe to just knock me back out. I try listening to cheerful, upbeat music, read about things to distract me, draw or color, etc., but that same presence is there with me, and I feel often like I'm being watched.

My current sleep meds, trazodone and Seroquel, are too potent for me and make me sleep upwards of 15 hours, sometimes up to 24+ hours. They didn't used to do that. Taking less than I was prescribed doesn't touch my sleep.

Edited by mikl_pls
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3 hours ago, Iceberg said:

what are you at on Seroquel dose? didn't see it in your sig 

Oh I forgot I took it out because I was going to try to use Saphris for sleep instead. It's 100 mg Seroquel.

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6 hours ago, Iceberg said:

Is the saphris not working?

It works kinda half the time—it's hit or miss. But mostly it's just inconvenient to take: No food or drink 10 minutes prior to and after taking it, it tastes very bad, and it numbs my mouth. Otherwise, it's a great medicine. Also, if I take it for too long, I get sorta weepy and dysphoric (more than I already am now).

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6 hours ago, Iceberg said:

Hmmm - this idea may be crap but it’s the first thing I thought of... what about bumping one med and reducing or dropping the other. Ex. Skip or reduce the traz and go to 150 seroquel (or the other way around) 

That could work for sleep, but I don't know if it would help the overwhelming negative "presence" I feel in my room that sometimes follows me around when I wake up at odd times. It's very palpable and very uncomfortable, and I don't know what to do to shake it. I take benzos and antipsychotics hoping it's something psychiatric but it never goes away.

5 hours ago, Iceberg said:

What’s your history with z drugs? 

Not much success. Zolpimist was moderately effective but expensive as I had to pay out of pocket for it since my insurance didn't cover it. Sonata (zaleplon) was nice if I took 20 mg but that exceeds the quantity limit allowed by my insurance, and it didn't last long enough throughout the night.

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@mikl_pls  I experienced this back when I had PTSD. So for me, was related to anxiety and post-traumatic experience. Shadows freaked the hell out of me, I would wake up and see silhouettes. I heard whispering, breathing. I thought it was someone who broke into my room to assault me or rob us. My heart would race, and I feared for my life. I'd turn on the light and make a lot of noise. And for a period, sleep with lights on.

But then there are those hypnagogic hallucinations (I have once in awhile), sometimes  I'd wake up and have the feeling something heavy, malevolent energy (like not human) was sitting/constricting my chest, I could not move, run, or wake up and when I tried to scream nothing would come out. Then upon waking, I actually could hear my voice, so I was indeed trying to scream. Terrifying. That in-between state.

Edited by Blahblah
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7 hours ago, Blahblah said:

But then there are those hypnagogic hallucinations (I have once in awhile), sometimes  I'd wake up and have the feeling something heavy, malevolent energy (like not human) was sitting/constricting my chest, I could not move, run, or wake up and when I tried to scream nothing would come out. Then upon waking, I actually could hear my voice, so I was indeed trying to scream. Terrifying. That in-between state.

This is sleep paralysis I think. I used to get it a lot when stressed. Hardly ever happens now. Only if I get dehydrated while sleeping, weird eh? It's the result of beginning to regain consciousness before the brain's "paralysing chemicals" wear off. (the brain paralyses us when sleeping so we are not physically acting out our dreams.) Interesting eh!! I felt so much better about it after learning what it actually was. 

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19 hours ago, Gearhead said:

Have you to.d your doctor you feel this?

I don't think so. It has never been something I thought about during my session. I will tell her next time I see her.

19 hours ago, Iceberg said:

Yeah... same question as Gearhead. I just thought that you were linking the sleep issues and the weirdness 

I don't know, it has something to do with a feeling of dread that I have wasted the day away sleeping. It's tied to that for sure, but maybe it's manifesting itself as an outward presence? I dunno.

10 hours ago, Blahblah said:

@mikl_pls  I experienced this back when I had PTSD. So for me, was related to anxiety and post-traumatic experience. Shadows freaked the hell out of me, I would wake up and see silhouettes. I heard whispering, breathing. I thought it was someone who broke into my room to assault me or rob us. My heart would race, and I feared for my life. I'd turn on the light and make a lot of noise. And for a period, sleep with lights on.

But then there are those hypnagogic hallucinations (I have once in awhile), sometimes  I'd wake up and have the feeling something heavy, malevolent energy (like not human) was sitting/constricting my chest, I could not move, run, or wake up and when I tried to scream nothing would come out. Then upon waking, I actually could hear my voice, so I was indeed trying to scream. Terrifying. That in-between state.

That sounds a lot like my childhood... to a tee. I experienced a significantly traumatic event as a child and the memory was suppressed until I was in my 20's, but I believe I still suffered PTSD from the event afterwards. Wow...

YES. Not human, exactly. So you'd have sleep paralysis with these hallucinations? That's a typical hallucination during such events. I hate those soooooo much. It very well could be a hypnagogic hallucination, but usually that's associated with sleep paralysis.

Unrelated to my OP, I had a seizure last night and I felt the same malevolent presence in my room with me, and I actually "knew" where it was "standing" (which side of my bed it was next to), so I covered up my whole body like a child and just hoped it would go away, but I eventually fell asleep. I couldn't get out of bed because I somehow knew it would "get" me or something. It sounds silly but it's what was going on in my head. Sounds childish almost.

2 hours ago, Melancholya said:

This is sleep paralysis I think. I used to get it a lot when stressed. Hardly ever happens now. Only if I get dehydrated while sleeping, weird eh? It's the result of beginning to regain consciousness before the brain's "paralysing chemicals" wear off. (the brain paralyses us when sleeping so we are not physically acting out our dreams.) Interesting eh!! I felt so much better about it after learning what it actually was. 

I can move around, so I don't think it's sleep paralysis. That is weird though about being dehydrated. I have, however, experienced sleep paralysis, and it is indeed terrifying.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 1/22/2020 at 10:59 PM, mikl_pls said:

I had no idea where to put this. It possibly could be psychosis, but it seems to be more sleep-related. Mods please move this wherever you see appropriate.

I have for years struggled with this and it only now occurred to me to ask about this here.

If I sleep all night, all day, and wake up late in the evening to early the next morning, I have a distinct feeling that there is a sinister, malevolent, "evil" presence or several presences in the room with me. Very seldom (once in a blue moon) I hear a whispering voice or several whispering voices that get(s) louder and louder as time passes until I do something like open my door. But if I go somewhere else in the house, I have to turn on all the lights as I go or else I feel like I'm being watched. It's extremely disturbing and very scary and I don't know what to do.

I had to offer my support to you on this one, I have had a similar problem and it is awful.  I feel the presence off and on, probably tied to episodes, but it feels so real.  At worst I have heard the whispers and seen shadow figures.  I have also had sleep paralysis and saw some scary stuff then, but the presence is different because it happens outside of sleep.  I have done some goofy things to feel better -  putting bibles next to my head (I am not religious), anointing my room with frankincense,  putting out glasses of salt and vinegar to absorb the bad energy, anything to make me feel like I was fighting back at the thing.  I am sure it was all silly but I was so scared I needed to do something.  The last time I had this problem was during a mixed episode, so taking seroquel at night so I would sleep more than 4 hours helped.  I also started reading stuff from the Hearing Voices website, it actually comforted me when I realized it might be psychosis and not real.  Reading that other people experienced this comforted me also.  The more I convinced myself that it was in my head and not an external thing the easier it got.  Sometimes I still have it, but it's shorter lived.  I may leave a light on or keep an animal (grateful for many pets) close by to help out.

I hope you find a solution!

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  • 4 months later...

Yes, but not exactly the same thing. I am absolutely and utterly terrified of aliens, and it literally sometimes causes me to stay awake all night long. And all it takes to cause me to completely freak out is a slight sound or something of the sort. On occasion, I will literally leap out of bed because of a small sound even still, as an adult. Because the possibility of being abducted by aliens absolutely scares the living daylights out of me.

Sometimes, I still actually look in the closets, check the shower, and literally look all over the house to make sure there's not an alien hiding someplace if I hear a weird sound. I have been like this ever since I was a kid. If it's late at night, it takes next to nothing to start the UFO abduction panic. During the day, I never worry about it. But at night, the fear of alien abduction sometimes keeps me up all night. And has ever since I was a kid. 

And yes, I know exactly what you mean about feeling like something is there. And this also freaks me the hell out. For some reason, I have an intense fear of alien abduction and have the same feeling sometimes...... like something is there. And I worry that it's an alien. Which is all in my head. But it still freaks me out and keeps me up at night. For me, it's more of a phobia than anything. I don't know about the whispers though honestly. Never had that. 

Edited by Steve223
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