Name: Nora Costanzo

Age: 18

Disorder: Night Terrors

Description of disorder: A night terror is a parasomnia disorder, causing feelings of terror or dread, and typically ocurring in the first few hours of sleep during stage 3 or 4 non-REM sleep. However, they can also occur during daytime naps. Night terrors should not be confused with nightmares. While nightmares are relatively common during childhood, night terrors occur less frequently. An estimated 1%-6% of children and less than 1% of adults will experience them in their lifetime. Though the frequency and severity varies between individuals, the episodes can occur in intervals of days or weeks, or can occur consecutively for multiple nights or days in a row. Visual symptoms of someone experiencing a night terror are the person bolting upright with eyes wide open and mouth agape, excessive sweating, rapid respiration, and a rapid heart rate. Although it seems people are awake and aware during a night terror, they're often confused, inconsolable, and unresponsive. There's close association with psychopathology or mental disorders in adults that suffer from night terrors, such as PTSD, anxiety disorders, personality disorders, and depression.

Has been at LPH for: Newly arriving

Medicine: Diazepam (for anxiety, insomnia), psycotheraphy sessions


Background: When Nora was a child, she remembers always having bad dreams. She can vividly recall the details of the nightmares, and can also recall how her mother and father would rush in when they'd heard her wake and scream, then console her until she fell back into a soundless sleep. Those dreams had gone on for several years, but by the time Nora was fourteen, they had gone away completely. The entire Costanzo family was relieved. When Nora was sixteen, her parents got divorced. With her father moving out of the house, and her mother becoming a boderline alcoholic, Nora began to rebel, assuming her parents didn't care for her or what she did any longer. After several months of drugs, explorative sex, and comitting crimes she could have gone to jail for, Nora began to experience something that made her want to change her ways-- she began having night terrosd again. Though she didn't think it was necessarily what she was doing that was causing these awful dreams, Nora's deeply spiritual side couldn't help but wonder if it brought them on somehow. Not having her parents there to rush in and help her get back to sleep was an upsetting thought. Nora had kept the recurring night terrors to herself for an entire year, but found she couldn't shake them and that they seemed to be getting worse by the time she turned eighteen. Her mother had contacted her father and they together decided they needed the help of a doctor. After being evaluated, and after the doctor suggested maybe she stay at LPH for a while (so they could run tests and make sure she was completely cured), Nora felt a little better. She was then brought to the hospital and that's where she'll stay until she reaches a recovery.

What you get to decide: Nora's overall personality (keep her background in mind), other odds and ends to Nora's life/childhood, how her medicine is helping with the night terrors, why she has night terrors (or leave the reason unknown)