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.

  1. On numerous occasions, the patient awakens abruptly, usually during the first third of sleep and usually beginning with a scream of panic.
  2. During each episode the patient shows evidence of marked fear and autonomic arousal, such as rapid breathing, rapid heartbeat and sweating.
  3. During the episode, the patient responds poorly to the efforts of others to provide comfort.
  4. The patient cannot recall any dream in detail at the time and cannot recall the whole episode later.
  5. These symptoms cause clinically important distress or impair work, social or personal functioning.
  6. These symptoms are not directly caused by a general medical condition or substance use, including medications and drugs of abuse.