My Child Has Nightmares: Can Child Psychiatry Help?

My Child Has Nightmares: Can Child Psychiatry Help?

Nightmares are surprisingly common for many children. Up until age 6, roughly half of kids have frequent nightmares, and about a fifth of those between 6-12 years of age have similar episodes.

While the number of nightmares a child experiences tends to decrease as they get older, that doesn’t make them any less terrifying. And for some kids, nightmares remain a fixture even once they enter adulthood.

The good news is there are some steps you can take to help decrease the number of nightmares your cold has and to decrease their impact, too. At Bowman Medical Group, our team of skilled therapists helps kids manage sleep problems with child psychiatry services tailored to their unique needs.

The basics of nightmares

Nightmares and night terrors are considered parasomnias, behavioral sleep abnormalities that interfere with a child’s ability to enjoy quality sleep and sometimes spill over into daytime anxiety and fear. 

Nightmares tend to be more common among kids compared to adults, while night terrors — longer and more disturbing types of nightmares — tend to occur more commonly during the adult years. 

During childhood, nightmares often involve ghosts, monsters, aggressive animals, or threatening people. Some nightmares involve episodes of bullying or abuse. 

Nightmares may have identifiable causes of triggers from waking life, such as watching a scary movie or video game, or they may appear to manifest “out of thin air.” When nightmares occur regularly, children may develop a fear of bedtime and of falling asleep.

Child psychiatry: Giving kids the tools to banish bad dreams

While an occasional bad dream is typically nothing to worry about, kids who have nightmares regularly can benefit from a medical intervention focused on helping them deal proactively with their dreams. Our team begins treatment with a psychiatric evaluation, psychological testing, and a review of your child’s specific dreams and potential triggers.

Many children benefit from cognitive behavioral therapy to help them replace negative thought patterns with positive thinking, along with improving coping skills to help them learn to manage stress that could be fueling their dreams. Play therapy, drawing, and other techniques help your child explore their dreams in a non-threatening way so they can exert control over them.

Our team can also help parents learn how to provide reassurance to children without interfering with a child’s sense of independence. Finally, for significant anxiety, we can discuss medications focused on helping your child manage nightmares and thrive in challenging daytime situations, as well.

Help for your child’s recurrent nightmares

By interfering with the ability to enjoy deep, restorative sleep, nightmares can take a toll on your child’s quality of life and health, as well. 

To learn how we can help your child deal with recurrent bad dreams, call 310-276-4003 to book an appointment with Bowman Medical Group in Beverly Hills, California, today.

You Might Also Enjoy...

How Is PTSD Diagnosed?

How Is PTSD Diagnosed?

Millions of Americans suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and the feelings of intense anxiety it can cause. Fortunately, treatment can help — and it all begins with a diagnosis. Here’s what’s involved.

Is Ketamine Therapy Safe?

Although ketamine is widely used to treat depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and similar conditions, many people still wonder if it’s safe. Here’s what you should know.

4 Telltale Signs of ADHD in Women

Attention deficit disorder affects males and females differently. For that reason, women may be more likely to be misdiagnosed or to miss out on treatment. Here are four telltale signs to look for.
Why Telemedicine Is a Game-Changer for Mental Health Care

Why Telemedicine Is a Game-Changer for Mental Health Care

Do you suffer from depression, anxiety, or another mental health issue? Treatment can help. And now, getting treatment is easier than ever thanks to telemedicine. With this service, you can get help right from your own home. Here’s how it works.
4 Benefits of Medication Management for Your Mental Health

4 Benefits of Medication Management for Your Mental Health

Millions of Americans suffer from mental health issues, and while psychotherapy can certainly play an important role, medication is an important part of the solution for many people. The key is having an effective medication management plan in place.