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  • Ava Zatanas

The Seattle Times talks about the "Covid Nightmares" of AnalogAvA and other Seattle locals

Updated: Aug 2, 2021

Illustration from the Seattle Times Covid nightmares feature published April 24, 2021 (click picture to read the article)


Great news for folks with nightmares, news that didn't make it into this Seattle Times feature with my silly bad Trump dream: Biofeedback therapies might be able to give you some relief from your insomnia and bad dreams. It has helped mine! Good sleep is critical to biofeedback, which can help relieve nightmares if you have disorders like PTSD and depression. Per my doctor, I took Ambien during my treatments to help me stay asleep through the night.

Basically why this blog post exists is because earlier this year, the Seattle Times put out a call that they were going to do an article about dreams getting worse during Covid. I thought I could maybe provide some helpful info about nightmare relief with biofeedback for the reporter, Erik Lacitis, to consider adding to this feature.

I guess I was a little naive.

We emailed a little before he called. During the call, he did indulge my passion for biofeedback as a possible therapy for sleep disorders, much more than my silly nightmares. He said the most interesting nightmares were going to be illustrated. That sounded pretty interesting. Therapeutic, even. He kept pressing for a few nightmares from me. My nightmares as someone with PTSD should not really be shared at all- they are socially disturbing, not appropriate for public consumption, and require therapies that can be difficult to access in America.

But the possibility of seeing one illustrated got the better of my ego. So I went ahead and told Erik about a disturbing nightmare I'd had about Donald Trump spraying Covid in the faces of political dissidents, of which I was one in the line he sprayed, as we kneeled awaiting our turns for punishment.

I didn't tell Erik about my nightmare where Donald Trump looked like an orange Jabba The Hut and his team had procured me to be a sex slave for his three disturbingly mishapen penises. I'm saving that one for my psychologist.

So the article comes out.

Erik had my crafted my blurb to be the shortest one of all.

No special illustration for my dream.

No mentions of biofeedback.

Only one dream illustrated from the folks Erik interviewed.

Oh well.

Ended up very glad I did not tell him the Orange Donald Trump Jabba The Hut dream, given how he kept insisting he needed full face pics "for the artist" when he kept finding fault with the pics I sent him (I've been enjoying the anonymity of the mask and "hiding" part of Covid times and plan to continue as long as I can with that). Not being comfortable with the way he was critiquing the photos that were allegedly being used for the artist renditions, I chose an old pic of me, pre-Covid, making an immature face.

But let's end this story on a more positive note by getting back to the biofeedback part of this adventure: if you do manage to line up biofeedback sessions for relief from your own depression and PTSD nightmares, know that sleep hygiene is critical to your brain healing, because during sleep, your brain grows some brand new neural networks as a result of being zapped at your session with your physician. Can't get this healing going on with nightmares and snoring spouses waking you up! If you took things like Trazadone, Ambien, etc, before treatment, maybe ask about geting back on them for a bit if you feel like you need some help, to give you continuous sleep during treatment. Make sure you get 5-7 hrs a night MINIMUM when you finally get your own biofeedback treatments! The more continuous, uninterrupted sleep, the better. If you have insomnia, it's okay to ask for a prescription of something you've had before to help you sleep during treatment- that's how critical it is!

And some good news for those considering TMS treatments like I just finished 7 weeks of: my nightmares DID go down. Not as many apocalyptic dreams that leave me wondering if I should be writing screenplays and talking to journalists. Ask your doctors if TMS is right for you!

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