Dreaming can be used as a tool to help define your current state of well-being. Some people, remember their dreams as if they really happened, while others forget them as soon as they wake up. Some people dream in vivid narratives while others have fragmented bursts or images. Do you ever think that your subconscious may be trying to tell you something?
Dreaming and Schizophrenia
Dreams can certainly indicate issues with your mental health. Emotional states or even serious mental disorders often come to the forefront when you are asleep. Many people are stressed out and have a hard time falling asleep.
Identifying stressors in your life can help you eliminate the problems, which may help your sleep. Certain procedures, such as the schizoaffective disorder test can help you rule out what’s troubling you.
Though your dreams may indicate, there is a problem, you must remember that sometimes a dream is just a dream, nothing more or less. However, many things are being discovered about this elusive state of mind.
Sigmund Freud had theories about images and dreams. However, to this day it’s one of the hottest topics in the medical field. Why do people dream? Sleep is an essential part of life and health. REM sleep is the stage when most vivid dreams occur. A bizarre dream to one may be a normal snooze fest to another. Thus, the problem with quantitative research is complicated.
More Studies Need to Be Conducted About Dreaming
Consequently, the studies completed have shown that a dream can tell a person a lot about what’s going on inside their body and their mind. For example, when a person is sleep deprived or suffering from low blood sugar, they are more likely to have vivid dreams. Medications and pregnancy can also increase vivid dreams too.
Most people may feel that a scary dream is an indication of a severe mental health problem, but that is not always the case. Nightmares happen to both young and old. They are commonplace, and while stress or anxiety might be the trigger, they are not always linked to a severe mental issue.
Dreams are weird and often don’t make sense, but it’s nothing to be alarmed about. Though, if you have a specific psychological condition, some various kinds of dreams may appear as one of your symptoms.
Can Dreams Predict a Bipolar Episode?
Michelle Carr is a sleep researcher. During her studies, she found that those who suffer from depression tend to have a negative tone in their dreams. These people are prone to more frequent nightmares too.
Take for instance a person who has an ideation about suicide. They will often dream about death. The recurrent theme is because their brain is fixated on demise. Though this seems like a logical way for a person with depression to dream, it’s not the only way for mental issues to come out.
Those who suffer from bipolar disorder experience sleep problems often. They may have insomnia, need less sleep than others, and have disturbing dreams.
Some people with this condition had learned to use their dreams to gage when another episode was coming on. While it sounds crazy, a study in 1995 backs up these theories about forewarnings. A study found that a shift in dreams could predict a change in moods.
Before heading into a manic state, dreaming of death or bodily injury is not uncommon. On the other hand, those who had depressive episodes showed a decreased in dreaming altogether.
The Dream Patterns of A Schizophrenic
People with schizophrenia, like those with bipolar disorder, often experience more nightmares than the average person. The dreams of those who have schizophrenia are often are hostile. The nighttime hallucinations are more likely to be populated with strangers rather than friends or people they know. It’s entirely possible to have both bipolar and schizophrenic characteristics at the same time.
What about people who experience trauma? Those with PTSD often have recurrent nightmares. In fact, those who have post-traumatic stress disorder can experience nightmares as often as five days a week.
Their dreams may include flashbacks or parts of their traumatic events. Replicative nightmares are commonplace after trauma. Any nightmares or other disturbances that affect your sleep should be discussed with your doctor.
Closing Your Mind’s Eye
When dreams are disturbing your sleep, then you need to talk to a medical professional. These dreams may or may not indicate a more serious issue. Nightmares must be addressed for the simple fact that they are disturbing. Even if there are no other mental issues to be concerned with, the fact that there could be a primary sleep disorder, underlying, needs to be investigated.
Don’t spend too much time analyzing your dreams. In many instances, the situations of the day can affect you when you’re asleep. If a mental issue such as schizophrenia or bipolar runs in your family, you are at a higher risk of developing a mental disturbance.
In some cases, your dreams are trying to tell you something. It can alert you to stressors or complications within the chemicals of your brain. Any long-term sleep disturbances or dreams of violent nature should be handled with the help of a physician.
Author: Alex is a researcher and a writer. His burning desire is to make it as an expert in the field so if you have any suggestions for him, do not hesitate to leave a comment or get in touch on Twitter or Facebook.