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Had a really disturbing nightmare, ideas what to do?

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  • Had a really disturbing nightmare, ideas what to do?

    was visiting my parents

    Couldnt help but note that...

    I've got a DreamCatcher in my apartment

    thinking on asking them if I can get one for their guest room.


    The nightmare involved murder and cannibalism

    Think I should go ahead with the dream catcher or get psychiatric help?



  • #2
    If you feel a dreamcatcher will help, get one. If you feel like there is some lasting thing going on that this dream is just the start of, and you want outside help, see a psychiatrist or psychologist (I can never remember which is which).

    However, I would also say that if this is an isolated or rare incident for you - i.e. you aren't dreaming of terrible things on a regular basis like I do - that the "solve" could be as simple as not doing whatever it was that you did before going to bed (some people get weird/awful dreams when they eat dairy within a few hours of going to sleep, others when they sleep too soon after eating anything; some people have their dreams affected by whatever they watch or read before sleeping).

    My wife, who occasionally has terrible dreams and is deeply affected by them, gets past them by spending some time watching a show she can laugh at, and then going back to sleep. I deal with mine by jotting down the tame parts to use in future RPG scenarios, and turning on a horror show (I think of it like warming-down at the end of intense exercise, or having a bit of alcohol the morning after heavy drinking to ease the effects of a hangover). I also used to spend some time playing with an animal when I was younger - my cat was always awake and available at the odd hours of morning when I would wake up from nightmares.


    Not so noble anymore.

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    • #3
      Again, assuming what Drake said above (i.e. these are not a long term thing or manifesting issues you recognise):

      Many dreams and nightmares can be meaningless, even though they seem "weird" or disturbing to your conscious mind, i.e. your brain could have just gone "Computer games are cool, like GTA, you shoot guys in GTA (queue murder scenes in dream), oh stomach says I'm hungry, man I'd love to eat (queue cannibalism)".

      Most evidence points towards that as your brain converts short term memories into long term ones while you sleep, it attempts to construct a narrative out of this random collection of memories. Sometimes the invented narrative can be disturbing or bizarre, but it really implies nothing about your actual mental state.

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      • #4
        I see your point but you see why I couldnt help but note it happened while I was visiting my parents?


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        • #5
          Definitely understand that, if there is an existing issue with your parents. However it could still be a complete coincidence. In addition you could have a very violent dream about somebody you just moderately don't like, just because that's how the unconscious mind happened to process the dislike that night.
          The point being dreams are so unreliable in the relation to the actual conscious mind that there's no hard scientific evidence that they are a diagnostic tool of mental issues.

          The idea that dreams provide a window into the unconscious mind and suppressed issues is just a hypothesis of 19th Century psychologists, but it doesn't have much evidence in its favour.

          I'm not saying there might not be things worth exploring with a psychiatrist, just that a dream isn't really a strong indication of anything.
          Last edited by An Fhuiseog; 09-22-2017, 03:27 AM.

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          • #6
            I'd be worried about the dream if it was a frequent dream. In my experience, though are dreams don't correlate 1:1 with things on our mind we are working through, if something is really bothering me or I really desire something, I'm more likely to dream about it. So, when I've had jobs I hate and was struggling at, I had more dreams about unpleasant things at work.

            Since family is often on your mind, they may be a stand in for others you were thinking of. If you're sleeping all right, don't worry about it. Now, if you have a cool dream, that might even be something to bring into your game in a slightly different fashion. . .

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            • #7
              The idea that dreams represent deep-seated issues is just nonsense. They're just a random collage of images that people ascribe pattern and significance to in their waking state.


              I have approximate knowledge of many things.
              Watch me play Dark Souls III (completed)
              https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLDtbr08HW8RW4jOHN881YA3yRZBV4lpYw Watch me play Breath of the Wild (updated 12/03)

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              • #8
                While dreams, of themselves, may not carry inherent meaning, our interpretations of them most certainly do.
                Last edited by Silent Witness; 09-24-2017, 03:58 PM. Reason: Grammar

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Silent Witness View Post
                  While dreams, of themselves, may not carry inherent meaning, our interpretations of them most certainly do.
                  I like how you think!


                  Follow me on twitter! https://twitter.com/scelestai

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Silent Witness View Post
                    While dreams, of themselves, may not carry inherent meaning, our interpretations of them most certainly do.
                    ​"Interpretation" of dreams is unreliable because of how much it is biased by the assumption that the dream has a significance in its own right.

                    ​The only significant thing that is said about somebody trying to figure out what is wrong with them because they had a weirdly violent dream is that they've consumed a lot of media saying that dreams denote things about your psychological state.

                    ​Like a kind of hypochondriasis; the expectation that some kind of disorder is supposed to be there overriding actual experiences.


                    I have approximate knowledge of many things.
                    Watch me play Dark Souls III (completed)
                    https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLDtbr08HW8RW4jOHN881YA3yRZBV4lpYw Watch me play Breath of the Wild (updated 12/03)

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                    • #11
                      Yes, dreams can be disturbing and keep you occpuied at day- Sometimes they can represent things that bother you.
                      But even if these dreams at night might be unsettling - it does not mean madness.




                      Emigrated successfullly from the "old" to the "new" sandboxy World of Darkness. Mostly playing Requiem, Awakening and the Lost.
                      Likes cheesecake

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                      • #12
                        While a bias will very likely be present in any effort to interpret a dream, surely you see that there is something to be gained from drawing meaning out of imagined experiences (which is essentially what a dream is). I think that something is lost to us in saying " this collection of thoughts, scenarios, and images that sprang whole cloth from my brain is a pointless waste".

                        In a way, dreams aren't that different from RPGs or any other fiction in which we are to empathize with a protagonist.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Silent Witness View Post
                          surely you see that there is something to be gained from drawing meaning out of imagined experiences (which is essentially what a dream is). I think that something is lost to us in saying " this collection of thoughts, scenarios, and images that sprang whole cloth from my brain is a pointless waste".
                          Not saying they are a pointless waste, what is being said is they are not a diagnostic tool for mental health. Somebody who connects them to deeper issues in their own psyche has no scientific reason for doing so (as Isator Levi said, it's purely from general culture perpetuating the idea) and is worrying themselves unnecessarily.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Silent Witness View Post
                            surely you see that there is something to be gained from drawing meaning out of imagined experiences
                            As a source of inspiration for something wholly imaginary, it can be fine.

                            ​People just shouldn't approach dreams as some kind of message to themselves coded in symbolism, and as An Fhuiseog says, certainly not as a basis for mental health self-diagnosis.

                            Originally posted by Silent Witness
                            " this collection of thoughts, scenarios, and images that sprang whole cloth from my brain is a pointless waste".
                            ​That's strawmanning a bit, but does warrant noting that one's brain is not necessarily special. It is entirely capable of firing off a string of random impulses that is only later codified into a coherent narrative.

                            ​You might occasionally get dreams that reflect conscious anxieties, but they're liable to be fairly straightforward. A person worrying about their job having a dream in which they're brutally fired, you don't exactly need to be an oneiromancer to figure that out.


                            I have approximate knowledge of many things.
                            Watch me play Dark Souls III (completed)
                            https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLDtbr08HW8RW4jOHN881YA3yRZBV4lpYw Watch me play Breath of the Wild (updated 12/03)

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              What a coincidence! I had a dream I was swarmed by a bunch of tiny Redcaps!

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