When a person awakens from a dream crying or screaming, they may be experiencing sleep terror disorder. Usually the person is difficult to wake-up and the episode may last several minutes.
- On numerous occasions, the patient awakens abruptly, usually during the first third of sleep and usually beginning with a scream of panic.
- During each episode the patient shows evidence of marked fear and autonomic arousal, such as rapid breathing, rapid heartbeat and sweating.
- During the episode, the patient responds poorly to the efforts of others to provide comfort.
- The patient cannot recall any dream in detail at the time and cannot recall the whole episode later.
- These symptoms cause clinically important distress or impair work, social or personal functioning.
- These symptoms are not directly caused by a general medical condition or substance use, including medications and drugs of abuse.