So today I revisted the RBD message boards I used to post on some time ago when I was desperately searching for help and support. I hadn't been on in awhile because 1). My Dad is doing so well and 2). The boards were always pretty quiet (meaning there were never many posts in the RBD forum). But today, much to my surprise, I came across several new postings written by people in just the past few months.
One in particular really struck a chord. It was written by a man who was 62 years old and entitled "Afraid of Myself". The title alone broke my heart because for so long I know that's how my Dad felt. In the post this man described several violent episodes that had occurred over the years, said he's at the point where he's afraid to go to sleep, and then went on to question what could contribute to him having RBD. He questioned everything from his childhood to issues of guilt to stress at work. I remember several doctors suggesting the possibility that my Dad's RBD was due to unresolved psychological issues, stress, pent-up anger, etc. And though I'm not discounting the fact that those kinds of things can exacerbate RBD episodes, the research proves over and over again that they are by no means the cause.
I responded to the man that wrote the post. I wrote several things, but most of all I just tried to offer some support and encouragement to get help and not give up hope. If there's one thing I've learned throughout my Dad's experience, it's that you have to be proactive and keep searching and pushing forward until you find someone that can help. We found that in Dr. Avidan and hopefully the more light that is shed on RBD, the more other people will be able to find the help they need and deserve.
4 months ago