Does anyone have any useful tips for dealing with horrific dreams?
When I was first ill and totally non-functioning I had no dreams at all for many months (p.doc said that was common) but now especially during bad phases I can have real humdingers of dreams. The theme is always one of guilt and shame but the content varies wildly...when I have a bad one it stays with me and haunts me for days kind of like flashbacks. CPN said I might try keeping a journal of dreams but I'd rather just forget them.
Has anything helped anyone else in this area??
I haven't been helped, but will follow this because I've been experiencing the same thing. Also, though, I've been having such incredibly good dreams (not as frequently) that I resent waking up. I'm going to see my meds nurse next week & I'll make a point to ask & I'll share what she said.
Yes I have extremely disturbing, dissociative dreams from the tardive conditions and before I was recovered I had dreams that were psychotic and sometimes dreams that were clearly "medication enduced" (even now my dreams will vary with Parkinsonian medications, Oliver Sacks noted this in his book "Awakenings"). However, the last thing I want to do is put them out of mind because as disturbing and out of place they are, they do have real world symbolism. In the last one I had my I was on a piece of paper and my mother was on the bottom side of the page and she was sending white doves to me. We both appeared frozen in time. I appeared frozen in time and the dream was dissociative because of the Parkinsonian conditions I have which cause movement disorders and before treatment my limbs would freeze. The paper signified my documented recovery. My mother being at the bottom of the page identified that in myself having recovered and knowing she had bipolar disorder she in some ways was not as recovered as me and it used to be the exact opposite. However, with the white doves it meant she wanted peace, that is I should settle things and support her recovery now so I am and we have started to get along much better.
Dreams are a communication between the limbic (emotional) system and the frontal cortex (thinking process) to balance out their neurotransmitters but in a real world sense its the very thoughts and feelings you can't come to terms with. If something emerges in a dream that is terrifying its a feeling that you are afraid of or can't come to terms with and those are the most ideas to take to your therapist. Its important to remember (I'll leave cultural and religious differences out, if its within someone's background that's different) that dependending on level of recovery someone's dream could have psychotic aspects or be overly significant to them because of that. If you dream you are going to die it means you are afraid of death. It does not predict your death. But if you have that fear then its important to come to terms with. Much of Freud has been deemed irrelevant by modern psychiatry but dream interpretation is not one of them. There are a variety of books on the topic some easier to read than others. Find one that's understandable from your local library. Understanding dreams can be a way to come to terms with our deepest fears and regrets in a real world sense.
I disagree so my post will probably be deleted. There are no universal symbols for dreams because of the diversity of cultures. What is "good" in one culture is not in another. Dreams are far more than brain activity.
Sorry dippy - I don't want to get off topic. If you want to talk about Native Indian versions of the kinds of dreams you appear to be having, you can send me a PM. I don't know everything and don't pretend to and can only tell you what I know. Hope you find the answers you're looking for.
Actually if you would read the works on Jung much of the symbolism in dreams and mythology is the same from one culture to another. What is strange is not how different it is but how markedly similar it is. As well it is important to understand that I had posted that cultural and religious differences would not apply to what I said as well. If someone in their culture or relgion believes there is life after death, then it is not abnormal to believe that. Psychiatry is learning to understand different cultures and how they interpret dreams and different cultures in general. I have a copy of the DSM-4 from when I took an "abnormal psychiatry" class and it has a whole section on that, how what may appear to be abnormal is just a cultural difference and should be appreciated as such. I myself am a non believer but do follow Buddhist principles so those apply to my dreams as well, "the middle path" that is not being an ascestic nor indulging, and especially "right motive" one must have the right intentions in doing things. I know that everyone has their different beliefs so I don't speak about mine much but those are good real world principles and they apply to everyday life. Eastern religion is filled with this symbolism and I know much about it. I do know someone who has a native American background and dreams are important to their culture. I'm just not as familiar with it as I should be. But as a general comment, as long as it adds, not detracts from your life, then anyone's cultural or religious interpretations or dreams need not be overlooked.
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