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Bad Dreams.
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Bad Dreams.

I keep getting bad dreams and i feel like i cant think about anything else like im haunted  because i keep having them  sometimes i have dreams of myself dying or a fish dying but my dock just recently put me on lexapro to help me be less anxious but i still feel like somone took my thoughts away from those dreams or im hunted i used to think i was skitzo or i was hallucinating because of these bad dreams i dont see things in real life but i feel like i do because of my experience in the dreams maybe thats why i feel this way is this just anxiety or is this what they call post traumatic i am very confused. Should I try lucid dreaming? Will that help my problem? or tell my therapist?
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349780_tn?1309637558
Dreams can contain our worse fears. That is part of the make up of our dreams. They also contain everything we have gone through in the day just past. Call it, the mind sorting out what it needs to keep and what it can let go of. Bit like a filing cabinet. We just see everything played out in the shape of a dream. Stitched together by what is known as latent dream content. If you remove the latent content you have all the stuff that is important. In other words the laten dream content is the BS dream content. Has nothing to do with us at all. Just there to make the dream seem like a show or film. As for lucid dreams? You can't actually plan them. They occur just as fall asleep or just as we are awakening. We are part asleep and part awake. They are the dreams that seem more real than other type of dreams. So what you are dreaming is your worst fears. If it is on the mind you will dream about it. Lot of things sit on a subconscious level. Which is why in hypnotheraphy they try and tap into the subconscious mind. Because that is where changes can be made. Dreams are not as complexed as they may seem. We all have them. Just most people forget theirs within the first five seconds of wakening up. It is also worth saying that we can have a dream trigger. Say you saw a red car as you walked down the street. That may bring images to your mind. Into your head. Now they could have of just been things that you had been dreaming of over the past few weeks. But then it is like a link up game. The car may give you an image, that image may spark another image, and so on and so on. For some people that can be frightening. But talk to your therapist. You have nothing to lose by doing so. Only things to gain.
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1294091_tn?1312710901
I'm very interested by dreams and as a result i've been frequently trying to decifer my dream meanings.

This isn't for everyone as some people think it's rubbish, but quite often when i have let's say a disturbing dream i look up some of the key figures in the dream on a site called DreamMoods and it comes up with what has been decifered as the meaning for that particular image/subject.

For instance, i just typed in Dying and this is what it says.

" To dream that you die in your dream, symbolizes inner changes, transformation, self-discovery and positive development that is happening within you or in your life. Although such a dreams may bring about feelings of fear and anxiety, it is no cause for alarm and is often considered a positive symbol. Dreams of experiencing your own death usually means that big changes are ahead for you. You are moving on to new beginnings and leaving the past behind. These changes does not necessarily imply a negative turn of events. Metaphorically, dying can be seen as an end or a termination to your old ways and habits. So, dying does not always mean a physical death, but an ending of something.

On a negative note, to dream that you die may represent involvement in deeply painful relationships or unhealthy, destructive behaviors. You may feeling depressed or feel strangled by a situation or person in your waking life. Perhaps your mind is preoccupied with someone who is terminally ill or dying. Alternatively, you may be trying to get out of some obligation, responsibility or other situation. "

So you see all these horrid images aren't as bad as they seem if you look at them in another light.

I'll admit that some of the meanings it gives do seem a little random or cryptic at times but if you think about it and relate it to yourself you may see connections and suddenly it all makes sense. And it sure does ease my mind.

And if you do try it remember this, it's all down to personal interpretation, if you can't make sense of it then it was probably not as key an image in the dream as you thought, look deeper and remember other things you saw, even the small details.
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1182699_tn?1297578384
I have very vivid dreams...no fun at all...I usually remember all of them and they are sometimes very frightening.  My husband wakes me all the time b/c I'm trying to yell in my dream and can't get it out, so I end up thrashing and moaning and waking him up.  I don't sleep well at all and hardly ever feel rested.  You should tell your therapist.  Like Mr. Green said, dreams are daily issues that are in our subconscious.  Our minds never seem to slow down or rest.  Your therapist may be able to give you some techniques and advice to help you rest better.  Keep us posted.  I'm praying you will have sweet dreams!
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Dear Korrodead,
thank you for your advice i actually looked up what my dreams meant and it said exactly that. Now that im on lexapro i dont get them as much but now ill have a positive dream that turns into a negative but not really anymore dreams about dying in water or fish. Should I break the bad curse of depressing thoughts? And sounds from the dream? Although, i did hear that your supposed to control the rushing thoughts and not to ignore them or they only get worse.
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349780_tn?1309637558
It is worth adding in that there are those people who will tell you that is you saw a banana in a dream it means this that or the other. They are people just trying to sell books. They methods they use have no back ground at all. Just made up over the years. You can follow their methods if that is what you are into. All the fancy meanings of seeing this or that in a dream. But it won't get you very far by way of understanding the real meaning of any dreams at all. To me it is just another gimmick to sell books.
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1294091_tn?1312710901
fair point and i'll admit that many sites i've been on do seem to be telling me bull**** but i've found this one in particular has almost always been correct in decifering my dreams.

i'll mention again that this isnt for everyone, but i suggest it as a method of decreasing anxiety. so if you wake up and think "holy ****ing **** what the **** was that all about?!" you can spend 5 minut3es looking it up and hopefully lower your anxiety.

But yes if you try it and it doesnt work or it isnt for you then just forget about it, i'm definatly not trying to sell books
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349780_tn?1309637558
With anxiety I always say ' whatever works best for you, use it '. You have to find that one thing that brings you peace of mind. No matter what it is. We have seen a classic example of this on the agoraphobic forum. The woman who was having a panic attack in her doctor's office. He gave her water and it stopped the panic for her. The next time she had a bad panic attack she thought of water and drank some. It stopped the panic again. Take 100 people and give them all water when a panic attack kicks in the most of them would say ' this is just bloody water '. But because it worked for her once she related it to stopping panic attacks. Placebo effect. But it worked. So my advice to her was to continue using it. If you find something that works make the most of it. No matter what it is. Or how odd it may seem to others. Once it is making you feel better then it is doing good.
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1294091_tn?1312710901
Exactly ^_^
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1118884_tn?1338596450
Instead of posting new question, will add my dream to this thread.
Since my son's murder, I have had lucid dreams most nights.  Most very troubling or frustrating images.  One was a delightful sensual experience with no particular theme.

I accept that troubling dreams will follow a trauma.  Brain trying to sort it all.

Started dream journal this morning.
As I wrote down the details, realized it was like a gangster movie playing in my subconscious mind.  A girl is murdered.  I am observing: but can talk to guys who are mafia types: last scene I am staring out a country cottage which has been stripped of furniture and window coverings: see a beautiful lake.  And wake up.

Am going to get out today: too much time indoors yesterday.  Don't feel well, but know it is just sinus kicking in after an intense few conversations with dead son's girl friend and daughter in law who tells me my oldest son has been committed to a rehab facility after threatening to shoot someone???  Talk about troubling waking dream!



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349780_tn?1309637558
Well I think you know more than anybody else how I would view your dream. You can read my mind by now. With everything that has happened involving guns and shootings and the likes. Then you hear about your son wanting to shoot someone. More guns and shootings. The last thing you need. But I do think it sits on a subconscious level and plays itself out in the form of a dream. Lord knows we have discussed this topic over and over and have the feelings about dreams. And preminitions in dream form. Just as case of belief. You either believe or you don't. And we both do.
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1118884_tn?1338596450
Thanks for response. I appreciate it as we feel alike about dreams.

After writing down the dream, I felt calmer and realized it was my subconscious acting out a scene I couldn't talk about when daughter in law brought me latest news of  son's self destructive behavior. Don't have your gift, but we will see what the future brings.

I am going to make these dreams work for me in waking hours.  Got out twice today.
No thought to appearance beyond the basics. And no self consciousness.    

Was able to help a waitress who confided a problem to me, while I was having a coffee and bagel. A total stranger said she admired my posture.  Gave me chance to chat with her for awhile.  Neither of then could have guessed that I was having serious gastric issues and anxiety.  

Just as a glass of water triggered a calming response in another person, my brief conversations do same for me.  Also had short talk with apt. manager.  Try to make that a goal at least once a week. What we talk about is unimportant ...bonding is: they remember me when lease needs to be renewed.

Went to two shops and pretended to look for clothes.  Realized I don't actually have much desire to shop.  Gave me a sense of control: some symptoms of anxiety popped up, but as soon as they occurred I relaxed: told myself that I was just doing the shopping for fun.  No pressure to buy. No need to buy.  Dropped clothes on a table and walked away from both places.



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968908_tn?1274874715
Just thought i'd add though that through having CBT (Cognitive behavoural therapy) my therapist reckons that with anxiety you need to be careful regarding turning an action into a safety behaviour.  For example MrGreen mentioned the woman drinking water n ending her panic attacks, she has now see's water as a tool to stop her panic so what happens if she is somewhere where she can not access water at that time she has a panic attack, she will believe she can not cope without the water.  Thus drinking water becomes her safty behaviour, NOT good! To truely overcome anxiety and panic you need to expose yourself to it in the rawest form to understand that you will indeed beable to control it given some tecniques such as breathing, relaxation exercises and by changing your negative thoughts.
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I agree with Julie on the water thing.  I have talked to a couple of neurologists about dreams, and they both said dreams are your mind's way of weeding out things and this is why they normally make no sense.  But I also believe that dreams can tell us our current state of mind.  I used to dream a lot that I was trying to swim upstream in very deep, muddy water, and getting no where.  During this time my son was enduring horrendous suffering to which I felt helpless in being able to do anything for him.  We lost him, and these dreams stopped.  But I have dreams of seeing my son and always wish I could have remained in the dream with my him, so sometimes dreams can comfort as well. I lost my grandson last year to the same disease at 18.  During his illness I had dreams of extreme fear, and I know it was from my fear of losing him and we did.  I do believe that our dreams can be representative of our current state of mind, but not that you can predict the future with them.  But I keep an open mind and never discount anything, there is so much about the brain that we don't know, that anything is possible.  Whatever gives one comfort is what they should go with.
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1118884_tn?1338596450
Hi,
To sum up, if you are still reading this thread:).  We may have gotten a little off kilter, but you can see that the daily battle against anxiety takes a little of this and a little of that.

I am really glad you have a therapist: as Julie mentioned cognitive behavioral therapy which is the standard for talk therapy these days is very helpful with irrational beliefs.  So hope you will continue seeing your therapist.  Mention things brought up in this forum so you can discuss.  

The amazing thing I learned when I could afford therapy, is that I could control my subconscious.  I learned it by practicing bio feedback.  It is all about breathing and relaxing.

Feel you have learned techniques that help.  And are taking an antidepressant that will give you a base to work from.

As dreams are a product of the subconscious, your therapist will most likely steer you toward the things you can do while conscious.  

It is true that you could become disoriented if you put too much stock in a thing outside of you.  Having said that, I will mention that I do have props when I go out: a pad to write in, a bottle of water; even a small crystal tucked in my pants.  Varies.  I know that nothing outside of me has power over anxiety, but also know from 30+ yrs of fighting anxiety, that we do what works.  You are always in charge. Free to explore.  For now it is important to stay with the basics of CBT.    Best luck.
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349780_tn?1309637558
I never said that water was the answer. I said water worked for this one person. Were it wouldn't do anything for 99 others out of 100. As we would see it as just water. I did also say it was like a placebo effect. It is just the mind thinking that this is working. Which in turn shows the power of the mind. Our conditions build our lives for us. How we live today, the things we do, are dictated by our conditions. If we never had anything wrong with us do we all what we would be doing in life? Had anxiety never have kicked in. We shape our world around the condition. What we can and can't do. People come up with different paths. Hence we may read of the various troubles members are going through. And again, although they are all sufferering from the one problem, their troubles will be a whole lot different. Depends on the shape that anxiety took on for them.
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968908_tn?1274874715
Yeah but the water isn't the answer to a cure D, thats what i was trying to get across.  I understand we all have ways of coping and what will help one person wont help another, but to overcome anxiety whether it is from having bad dreams or from HIV or agoraphobia the answer lies in understanding and exposure.  

Also CBT is much more than talk therapy, in standard talk therapy you just sit and talk about your issues, but in CBT the therapist will work with you on your anxiety through teaching you all about how anxiety works, how the body responds, how to change negative thoughts, relaxation/breathing techniques/distraction and exposes you to the thing you fear taking step by step from easy to more challenging.  

As for the dreams maybe it might help to keep a journal, write down what happens throughout your day and then when you have a bad dream see if you can link the two together.  write down all that you can remember in the dream.  It really does help to reflect.  Plus will be helpful for a therapist to make sense also, if you see one or plan to see one.
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349780_tn?1309637558
For CBT to work you really have to believe in it as well. It works for some and does nothing for others. I have used it myself to great effect. But I pick the parts of it that suit me. There are other parts of it that I found done nothing for me. I think that is what you will find in a lot of cases. Breathing exercises I always found made me worse. So I just ignored them. But I do always use the connection part. The point that the mood, the thought, the reaction and the symptoms are all linked as one. Change the thought or the reaction and the others will also change. Lord knows how many times I have written this up here on this forum. Because I believe it does work. And that means having to put yourself in the firing line. When it comes to fight or flight, stay and fight. Let your worse fears and feelings come on and see that they can pass just as they have come on. Only when you see this will you begin to make strides and progress when it comes to getting back out there and not feeling anxious about doing so. Talking can help. But at the end of the day it is your actions that hold the key. You can talk till your tongue falls out of your mouth. But you have to practice what it is you are talking about. Or there is no point to what you are doing. So exposure comes into it big time. As much as we will hate it the first few times.

As for dreams? I just see dreams as everything that happens in the wakened day. That and anything that is on our mind. Be it our fears. Or something you may have planned for next week. They all just come out to play as we sleep. Sorting themselves out into either long term memory ( things we need to hold on to ) and short term memory ) things we can let go of. Bit like a filing cabinet. If this didn't happen the mind would go into overload. As we wake we may have dreams creeping into our wakened state. I know that can happen with some people. It is a condition. But I am not one who buys into all the symbols of dreaming. That began as an old theory by Freud in days when women were covered from head to toe. So his thoughts were that men thought more about sex than anything else. What was under all those clothes. Every symbol seemed to have a sexual meaning. Might have been good for the era he lived in. But I think far too many people today have jumped on the band wagon and they claim symbolic meaning about everything. Which, to me, belongs in the thrash pile.

I do know that water in itself is not an answer to anxiety. It was just an example of how one person found that one thing to deal with her anxiety. By way of showing that we can find various methods. They don't all have to be the same methods. Some might be odd. They might differ big time. But if they help and can be used where is the wrong in them? The girl does see a therapist and is on medication as well. It was just an example as I say. Nothing more or nothing less. Bit like the elastic band method that Mammo mentioned in another thread once. Odd. But it works for some people. So let them use it. It is not harming them at all. Just another method used.
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