Violent Sleep Disorder Linked To Anti-Depressant Use

A sleep disorder, typically found in older adults, is now being found in younger patients. According to a Mayo Clinic study, those in their 30's are being diagnosed with REM Sleep Behavior Disorder, more so because they take anti-depressants. The disorder causes patients to act out their dreams, which are often unpleasant and violent. Dreams can be about someone chasing you, an intruder in the house, or you trying to defend yourself. Dr. R.V. Ghuge with Trinity Clinic Sleep Medicine in Tyler says the disorder can cause serious injury to the patient or even their bed partners. "He tries to wake his wife up and says 'Honey, honey we better jump off this boat we're going to drown.' And of course he jumps off this boat but lands on the hard floor. And every time he does that he gets some sort of laceration or injury the process," says Dr. Ghuge about a patient's experience with the disorder.

Typically the disorder affects those in their 50's. But for those in their 30's, whose onset of the disorder is due to anti-depressants, Dr. Ghuge says not to stop taking your medication and to see a sleep specialist.

Christine Nelson reporting.