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Thread: Recurring Violent Dreams?

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    Veteran Member lady_lazarus's Avatar
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    Tired Recurring Violent Dreams?

    anyone experienced recurring violent dreams? background: have had them since i was ten or eleven and I'm 26 now, i get them every couple months or so, sometimes every night for a week straight (thought it was just around my period, but nope...i get more vivid dreams close to my period but not usually violent. the violent ones can occur anytime of month, i never know when). i'm talking VIOLENT...it started off as me just being a witness to *light* violence (i.e. car crashes, accidental deaths) and now its full on beheadings, stabbings, blood everywhere, involving children too which is highly disturbing for me. The thing is: i don't watch horror movies, i hate them. i hate seeing gore or blood. I'm a very non violent person, won't even kill a spider!

    The thing that makes these dreams extra disturbing is that they aren't really nightmares...i mean i don't feel scared in my dreams. I feel fine, i don't wake up startled. I actually feel pretty calm when i wake up and even energized.

    I've been diagnosed with depression and have anxiety issues, long history of mental illness (not violence tho) in my family. I'm not taking any medication and never have. I don't drink often and rarely to the point of being drunk. Have experimented lightly with drugs but nothing within the past 3 years. I'm worried that this is symptomatic of something. Does anyone have any experience with this? i'm starting to feel like i'm a crazy person

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    Default Re: Recurring Violent Dreams?

    Do the dreams correlate with anything you might have eaten?

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    Veteran Member lady_lazarus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Recurring Violent Dreams?

    no...i thought that too at first...my friends theory but i do consider that when i wake up from a dream. but i didn't eat anything heavy last night...just a cucumber/tomato salad for dinner..and my childhood was mostly beans and rice and chicken. i mean this has been going on for such a long time. i think i would've noticed if pizza or whatever would trigger it. i have a pretty varied diet now. thanks for the reply tho!

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    Default Re: Recurring Violent Dreams?

    do you have any repressed anger from your past? childhood? it's not always the same dream, is it? are you the one being violent or just witnessing these different events?

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    Default Re: Recurring Violent Dreams?

    You might consider talking to a therapist. Maybe it's related to something you are not conscious of. I used to have very vivid violent dreams when I was a kid. Still do every once in a while. My therapist helped me figure out that my dreams came from my childhood trauma.

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    Default Re: Recurring Violent Dreams?

    I've had similar issues. Most psych professionals I've asked about it just shrug and chalk it up to depression/anxiety. I've gotten the impression from some that it's more of a correlation than a causation. As in people who are prone to mental health problems are more prone to nightmares even when they're not experiencing symptoms.

    Do your dreams bother you? Out of three recurring nightmare themes I experience, only one bothered me. I decided to change behaviors sort of at random while awake and finally I isolated it to one thing. Ever since I changed that one thing those nightmares are gone. Maybe you're disconnected from some sort of guilt-causing behavior in your waking life and it's playing out in your dreams? (I don't want to get into too many details because it might not be relevant to you, but in case you were wondering they were dreams of animal and child abuse that I was in some way responsible for. It took not eating meat for them to stop.)

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    God/dess simone87's Avatar
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    Default Re: Recurring Violent Dreams?

    look them up in a dream dictionary and definitely talk to somebody like an understanding therapist or somebody who works with chakras. i have very vivid dreams as well, sometimes extremely violent or frightening to the point where i wake up in a cold sweat shaking and crying. i'll also get sleep paralysis. my dad has them too, so i think it could even be genetic. some people just don't have vivid dreams, and don't remember their dreams at all..and some people have very active dream lives. it sucks because dreams aren't something that have been studied very extensively and when i've talked to doctors they are almost discarded as " new age crap" or " watch what you eat, and the medications you take" and not much else.

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    Senior Member hamdinger's Avatar
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    Default Re: Recurring Violent Dreams?

    I used to have recurring nightmares when I was on Prozac. I got rid of them by getting rid of the Prozac, after finding out this is a common side effect.

    I agree that you should talk to a therapist if you can. I also suggest working on lucid dreaming. There's a ton of information about it on the internet. Basically it's realizing you are dreaming while you are still in the dream. Over time you can learn to recognize things about your dream that let you know you're dreaming, and you can even control certain aspects of your dream in some cases. You can teach yourself how to do it, and people have used it as therapy for nightmares.

    I have been a natural lucid dreamer from puberty on, and it is awesome! Not only can I leap into the air and fly away to escape my nightmare scenarios, but I can also explore the dream world, look at things in detail, have crazy sex, fly around in the air, and anything I want. I find the weird situations and emotions of nightmares often clue me in to the fact that I'm in a dream.

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    Default Re: Recurring Violent Dreams?

    Lucid dreaming is the best. You can definitely use it to escape nightmares, but also to practice succeeding in anxiety inducing IRL situations. When I was nervous about auditioning in a more competitive city, I 'practiced' in a lucid dream and made the managers make it rain on me, lol.

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    Senior Member hamdinger's Avatar
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    Default Re: Recurring Violent Dreams?

    Here's a 16 minute Radiolab podcast about a guy who learned lucid dreaming to overcome his recurring nightmares: http://www.radiolab.org/story/218954-haunted-dreams/

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    Default Re: Recurring Violent Dreams?

    I've had that happen but I think it's related to me having harm-OCD. If you do have that it's highly recommended to see a therapist trained in CBT or specializing in OCD. It's really upsetting when it happens, for me personally light meditation and yoga seems to help a bit. Best wishes.

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