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Depression And Dreams


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I'm wondering if anyone else has the problem of their mood seeping into their dreams? I don't often remember mine but last night I had a hell of a nightmare, and I can't shake the mood it brought on. Does that happen to anyone else? Do you wake up depressed because of the random firings of your brain in your sleep? Do you dream about being depressed? Do you notice a difference in your dreams when you're up versus when you're down?

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Two seconds of background on me....I am generally not a dreamer... I generally don't have trouble sleeping or anything...nor have I had depression for years(as in my whole adult life or anything)

As to your question.....

I dream WAY more of late. (still not a lot by any means) One cycle of that was completely caused by the antidepressant I was on. Horrible intense dreams...it was a known side affect. I haven't been on that in a long time. Im not on any AD right now...no meds of any sort. I do see a therapist....fairly new at that. I have found that going there....opening the door to even the thought of some things has made me dream more....and WOA I don't like it at all. Yes sometimes it takes a bit to shake off a particularly intense dream. I do think they come in cycles. When I busy myself with work and projects I can push everything back down and pretend its not there. When I make sure I go to sleep only when I am totally exhausted...seems like I can make myself dream less.

I truly hate that little space between awake and asleep where you cant control your thoughts.

Those random ramblings might not have helped in the least. I guess in a nutshell....though I don't dream a lot....yes it tends to happen more when I am more down.

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My depression definitely seeped into my dreams. I am constantly in the bathroom, have storms and earthquakes and am in fights with people but I have actually used my dreams to help sort things out for myself. They are your subconscious way to communicate so try not to look at them as a curse but as a way of communicating what your feelings can't during your waking hours. If you ever have one you would like help with I can give you my thoughts on it. Just send me a message.

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I used to fancy myself a writer and I loved dreams because they were fun little short stories - for a while in junior high and high school I kept a dream journal and was even able to dream lucidly a few times... But as I've gotten older I got out of the habit so I remember them less and less.

I've never been a believer in interpreting dreams (I get that they are essentially random), but last nights was watching one of my deepest fears play out and I woke up three hours earlier than I needed to and unable to do anything but lay there and play it over and over in my head. It's pretty much thrown my whole day off as a result.

I hadn't thought about my meds being related to the intensity of the feelings following me out of my dreams - I may have to try and jot down some thoughts each morning and see if that seems to be happening more. As for right now, I'm hoping last night's dream was a one-off and my inability to focus on anything else today does not lead to a repeat!

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Just try to keep in mind that dreams firstly are very over dramatized for effect. Secondly the symbols and events that occur in dreams may not always be literal. Like for instance death in a dream rarely means actual death but rather the end of a certain aspect of ourselves or our lives so try to look at the whole story of the dream overall and what is going on in your life to sort out what the symbols are trying to say. Dreams tend to be very immediate so things that just happened recently or of things we are worrying about in the future. I know it is hard when they are intense but they really are just trying to draw our attention to the things in our life that need attention and sorting out. Though in cases of trauma and ptsd there could be an element of rehashing the trauma but for the most part our dreams really are there to help us understand ourselves, fears and worries better.

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When I first started on Zoloft the dreams I had were amazingly vivid. Before that I very rarely dreamed, or if I did I didn't remember. They weren't bad dreams, in fact, I consider that a bonus side effect. lol But after a while they'll stop, at least being so vivid. I've noticed, however, that if I forget to take the med I'll have a vivid dream, then after I'm back on schedule they'll recede once again. Weird.

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Just try to keep in mind that dreams firstly are very over dramatized for effect. Secondly the symbols and events that occur in dreams may not always be literal. Like for instance death in a dream rarely means actual death but rather the end of a certain aspect of ourselves or our lives so try to look at the whole story of the dream overall and what is going on in your life to sort out what the symbols are trying to say. Dreams tend to be very immediate so things that just happened recently or of things we are worrying about in the future. I know it is hard when they are intense but they really are just trying to draw our attention to the things in our life that need attention and sorting out. Though in cases of trauma and ptsd there could be an element of rehashing the trauma but for the most part our dreams really are there to help us understand ourselves, fears and worries better.

Hmm, this is interesting. I think some part of me died recently.

Parts of us are always dying off. As much as we fight to keep the status quo and resist change it really is just an illusion. The truth is we are always changing. Who you are is not who you were even one year ago. Things happen and your thoughts and beliefs shift. Sometimes towards a positive end and sometimes towards a negative end. The idea is to try to catch the negative thinking and turn it around before it becomes habit. And for most of us we also need to dig down to find the thoughts that are buried that we have no clue are wreaking havoc on our life. This is where dreams come in real handy.

I had a dream about 6 months ago that I committed suicide. Well that is what it felt like in the dream. I was standing on a crane in the middle of the ocean and I jumped to what I thought was my death and basically stated to I don't know who, please help my boyfriend understand. It really shook me up but what it really meant was that I was going to dive headlong into allowing myself to have emotions. Water symbolizes emotions so a part of me did die. The part that had to suppress my emotions to be able to function died off in exchange for someone over her head with emotions but because I have very little skills at managing them it was has been a terrifying thing to do and I guess it also means I may get a bit more emotional with my boyfriend as well.

Well I do hope the part of you that died off was one that needed to go. :smile:

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Interesting topic. I wouldn't say that my dreams are "depressed" per se, or that the tone or content of them change very significantly in terms of how up or down I am. If anything, they (dreams) often are, for me, a welcome, if temporary, escape from the weary vicissitudes of my everyday reality. I HAVE had dreams in recent years that left me depressed upon awakening, dreams that typically involved situations where I was with my former spouse again (or dreams about her in general). Thankfully, those particular dream scenarios seem to have faded into the ether in recent months.

Edited by LonelyHiker
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I used to have (sober) pretty vivid dreams, like I could emotionally remember an embrace from the girl I liked or there would be a certain sensation that would stick with me for days after. I recently slipped back into depression/SIs after realizing some falsities I was holding onto were indeed false and I've been dreamless (or at least I can't remember them anymore) ever since, which is a little worrying for me because its like no matter how hard I try I can't remember any of my dreams not even a little tiny piece.

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I have had to cut way down on my meds (until I get health insurance again); whenever that happens, I get pretty intense dreams, and they're usually pretty paranoid: in my dreams, people try to "get" me (for whatever reason) -- not sure whether they're trying to **** me or what, but very unpleasant. FIY, the meds are Effexor. I hope this answers your question.

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I did some research and found out that really I have repressed anger towards the person that died in the dream. :( The funny thing is I had anxiety about that person dieing for a week after.

Well that makes sense and it is normal to feel worry after such a dream. They can seem very real and hard to tell if it was a premonition or not. Though what I have found is when it is a premonition there is generally a feeling of acceptance and knowing that comes with the dream. It's just there because our inner self knows the plan even if our human self has no clue. Well at least that has been the case for me.

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I used to have (sober) pretty vivid dreams, like I could emotionally remember an embrace from the girl I liked or there would be a certain sensation that would stick with me for days after. I recently slipped back into depression/SIs after realizing some falsities I was holding onto were indeed false and I've been dreamless (or at least I can't remember them anymore) ever since, which is a little worrying for me because its like no matter how hard I try I can't remember any of my dreams not even a little tiny piece.

I have found if I ask specific questions before I go to bed I have better dream recall. Though they have to be proactive questions as opposed to defeating questions. It is also possible your subconscious is protecting you at this time. As odd as it sounds from what I understand our subconscious still gains something from the dream even if our conscious self doesn't remember. I don't know if that could ever be proven but that is what I read somewhere.

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Interesting topic. I wouldn't say that my dreams are "depressed" per se, or that the tone or content of them change very significantly in terms of how up or down I am. If anything, they (dreams) often are, for me, a welcome, if temporary, escape from the weary vicissitudes of my everyday reality. I HAVE had dreams in recent years that left me depressed upon awakening, dreams that typically involved situations where I was with my former spouse again (or dreams about her in general). Thankfully, those particular dream scenarios seem to have faded into the ether in recent months.

While trying to work through my depression I have some pretty intense dreams while my boyfriend on the other hand mostly dreams about Candy Crush. I caught him talking in his sleep the other night talking about getting all the barrels lined up just right. LOL.

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For me, nightmares rarely involve monsters or being in any immediate danger. It's always something social or some type of relationship issue. If I have a good dream, I'm sad when I wake up and realize it was just a dream. If I have a bad dream lately, I jolt awake, breathing heavily in a panic, not even knowing what it was I was dreaming about. I used to really enjoy dreaming, but not so much anymore.

I wish I could do lucid dreaming, but I'd settle for remembering my dreams nowadays.

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For me, nightmares rarely involve monsters or being in any immediate danger. It's always something social or some type of relationship issue. If I have a good dream, I'm sad when I wake up and realize it was just a dream. If I have a bad dream lately, I jolt awake, breathing heavily in a panic, not even knowing what it was I was dreaming about. I used to really enjoy dreaming, but not so much anymore.

I wish I could do lucid dreaming, but I'd settle for remembering my dreams nowadays.

Is that where your waking life issues live, in your relationships?

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My dreams are all about my anxiety. I am always in a tough situation and there is no solution. I hate dreams.

I know the repetitive dreams can be draining. I am forever having bathroom issues in my dreams. Just keep working on your anxiety during your waking life and your dreams will shift.

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