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Disturbing Recurrent Dream

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    Very long story made short.

    Mum passed away 5 years ago when I was 17. I do dream about her a lot, which sometimes is nice because in a sense I get to be with her again. Sometimes the dreams are very lucid and I know it's a dream because she's not alive, at this point I'm able to dismiss it as a dream and I wake up.

    However, other times I'm not able to recognise it's a dream. In the dreams I often get confused why I can see and talk to my mum but other people in the dream can't. It makes the dream very distressing and I get very emotional, I then sometimes waking up not knowing what's going on and I question whether my mum is alive or not. It usually takes me 10 seconds after I wake up to realise that it wasn't real and that my mum isn't alive. However, I do have times where I wake up and get out of bed very confused and disturbed and don't know whether she's alive.


    It's very hard to describe and I don't think anyone can truly understand how I feel unless they've been in the same situation... In the last year it's happening so much, I'd say 2-3 times per week and it's really getting to me. I suffer from anxiety/depression which I've now learnt to manage with medication. I will be seeing my psychiatrist next Friday and I want to talk to him about it.

    Has anyone been in a similar situation? Not necessarily the same type of dream but had recurrent dreams that have really troubled them?

    I know this sounds a bit whack and if I was reading this myself I'd probably think the OP was a nutter...

    Any help/advice is really appreciated...
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    Bump - Still seeking help.
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    Hi, I've not been in your situation, but I can tell you that you're not 'a nutter' and this is normal! I do have recurrent dreams and I sometimes have really disturbing dreams, one that I had months ago still upsets me now when I think about it. I find that they happen more when I'm worried or anxious about something (and it also happens if I eat cheese before bed..) I'm sorry I can't offer any advice, you're doing the right thing by talking to your psychiatrist about it. I just wanted to tell you that you're not a weirdo because of this!
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    (Original post by Rach@ncl)
    Hi, I've not been in your situation, but I can tell you that you're not 'a nutter' and this is normal! I do have recurrent dreams and I sometimes have really disturbing dreams, one that I had months ago still upsets me now when I think about it. I find that they happen more when I'm worried or anxious about something (and it also happens if I eat cheese before bed..) I'm sorry I can't offer any advice, you're doing the right thing by talking to your psychiatrist about it. I just wanted to tell you that you're not a weirdo because of this!
    Thanks for taking the time to reply

    Yeah I do agree that I have the dream when I'm particularly anxious/depressed. I think I'm going to start CBT but just wondered if there was anything that I could do to stop/control this particular dream.
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    I'm so sorry to hear about your situation and although I've not had the same thing happen to me, I can tell you that you don't sound like a nutter at all, it sounds very normal to me.
    It's understandable that losing someone so close to you would have a major effect, when you're asleep you can't help your thought process and certain images and sounds can seem very real and it can be extremely scary.
    Talking to your psychiatrist sounds like a good idea and I hope that your dreams calm down a little and don't leave you feeling quite so confused.
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    Recurring dreams are very normal - don't put yourself down like that!

    It's not so much a dream, but recently I've been waking up in the middle of the night having panic attacks and not knowing where I am/what's going on. Sometimes I believe I'm in a horror film that I might have watched and end up terrified, but when I wake up I either can't remember (boyfriend tells me) or I think it's just a dream. Either way I'm pretty sure I'm awake or even just sleep walking.

    It's not a nice thing to go through but this may be down to added stress recently or just missing your mum more in general?

    Sorry I can't be of more help, I'm sure your psychiatrist can help you further
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    (Original post by Vikki1805)
    I'm so sorry to hear about your situation and although I've not had the same thing happen to me, I can tell you that you don't sound like a nutter at all, it sounds very normal to me.
    It's understandable that losing someone so close to you would have a major effect, when you're asleep you can't help your thought process and certain images and sounds can seem very real and it can be extremely scary.
    Talking to your psychiatrist sounds like a good idea and I hope that your dreams calm down a little and don't leave you feeling quite so confused.
    So after all the abuse you post on my profile - you do have a heart after all

    Thanks Vikki x

    (Original post by dr.phalange)
    Recurring dreams are very normal - don't put yourself down like that!

    It's not so much a dream, but recently I've been waking up in the middle of the night having panic attacks and not knowing where I am/what's going on. Sometimes I believe I'm in a horror film that I might have watched and end up terrified, but when I wake up I either can't remember (boyfriend tells me) or I think it's just a dream. Either way I'm pretty sure I'm awake or even just sleep walking.

    It's not a nice thing to go through but this may be down to added stress recently or just missing your mum more in general?

    Sorry I can't be of more help, I'm sure your psychiatrist can help you further
    Thanks, that makes me feel a little bit better I guess. I know that 'its normal and nothing to worry about' but it genuinely has such an effect on me after I wake and it's literally terrifying at times. I might speak to my brother and see if he has experienced anything similar... I try to avoid talking to him about her because it just upsets me and brings it all back up to the surface.
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    You're not crazy but there is no easy way to stop yourself from having these dreams because the more you try to force yourself not to think about something the more you end up thinking about it. The conscious mind cannot control the unconscious, merely suppress it for a while.

    Do talk to your psychiatrist about this, however. I'm sure he can help you to deal with these dreams better until they stop reocurring :console:
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    (Original post by Rybee)
    So after all the abuse you post on my profile - you do have a heart after all

    Thanks Vikki x


    Thanks, that makes me feel a little bit better I guess. I know that 'its normal and nothing to worry about' but it genuinely has such an effect on me after I wake and it's literally terrifying at times. I might speak to my brother and see if he has experienced anything similar... I try to avoid talking to him about her because it just upsets me and brings it all back up to the surface.
    Do you often find yourself thinking about your Mum more before you go to sleep?
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    (Original post by Vikki1805)
    Do you often find yourself thinking about your Mum more before you go to sleep?
    Some nights... I have a framed picture of her on my bedside table. I often wonder whether me consciously seeing it and taking a moment to myself before getting into bed, or even subconsciously see it without realising, triggers this particular dream.

    It's just the fact that it's the same dream. Sometimes they're incredibly lucid and I'm able to figure out what's going on and that it's just a dream. Other times it 'beats' me and that's when I get incredibly emotional about it and wake up not knowing whether I've just dreamed that she died, or whether she's in the room next door.

    It's such a head ****.
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    (Original post by Rybee)
    Some nights... I have a framed picture of her on my bedside table. I often wonder whether me consciously seeing it and taking a moment to myself before getting into bed, or even subconsciously see it without realising, triggers this particular dream.

    It's just the fact that it's the same dream. Sometimes they're incredibly lucid and I'm able to figure out what's going on and that it's just a dream. Other times it 'beats' me and that's when I get incredibly emotional about it and wake up not knowing whether I've just dreamed that she died, or whether she's in the room next door.

    It's such a head ****.
    That must be so distressing.
    The only thing I could suggest (although you may not like it) is to move the photos of your Mum, perhaps look at it an hour or so before you to go bed?
    Looking at the photo of your Mum just before you go to sleep is going to leave thoughts of her on your mind, therefore when you fall asleep you will more than likely dream of her.
    Have the photo in a different room or in a photo album? If you do decide to move the photo it doesn't mean you miss/care for/love her any less.
    Your Mum wouldn't want you having these scary thoughts and bad nights sleep, if moving her photo helped I'm sure she'd understand.

    Perhaps go to sleep with your TV on or listening to some quiet music? It should help your train of thought lead to something else.

    I often find it hard to go to sleep and I use 'whisper' videos on YouTube to help me, sounds odd but it does help and may well help with your issue of your recurring dream.
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    (Original post by Vikki1805)
    That must be so distressing.
    The only thing I could suggest (although you may not like it) is to move the photos of your Mum, perhaps look at it an hour or so before you to go bed?
    Looking at the photo of your Mum just before you go to sleep is going to leave thoughts of her on your mind, therefore when you fall asleep you will more than likely dream of her.
    Have the photo in a different room or in a photo album? If you do decide to move the photo it doesn't mean you miss/care for/love her any less.
    Your Mum wouldn't want you having these scary thoughts and bad nights sleep, if moving her photo helped I'm sure she'd understand.

    Perhaps go to sleep with your TV on or listening to some quiet music? It should help your train of thought lead to something else.

    I often find it hard to go to sleep and I use 'whisper' videos on YouTube to help me, sounds odd but it does help and may well help with your issue of your recurring dream.
    Yeah I always either have TV or iTunes on shuffle when I go to bed, I find it very hard to sleep in pure silence!

    I've been put back on Zopiclone (hypnotic sedative) which really induces a very deep sleep and I'm often unable to wake up naturally until my alarm clock goes off. I don't think that helps the situation either because I can't really wake up during/after the dream... i just drift off into another dream. Kinda hard to explain unless you've taken it before.


    I just didn't know whether there was such thing as dream therapy!
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    (Original post by Notwithstanding)
    I'm very sorry to hear this, I feel for you, I wish you all the best. I haven't been in the same situation exactly as you describe but I do understand as I have experienced something comparable (unease from dreams of a passed relative).

    I hope something can bring you comfort.
    Thank you... that's really kind. Makes me feel a bit more normal and that I'm not alone with a completely ridiculously abnormal problem.
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    I'm really sorry to hear and I can only imagine the pain you are in. When I went through a bad time (although not as severe as your situation) I felt I had to watch a film I'd seen before in bed and fall asleep to it, so I would be distracted but not involved in the film to be on edge watching.

    You aren't a nutter or abnormal. It is perfectly natural for our worries, unusual thoughts or painful experiences to come out in dreams.

    Have you heard of the thoughts room? It's by the same people who done the quiet place, wonderful way to get out any thoughts overloading your mind and if you do this maybe an hour or two before bed, it might help you to feel more at rest.
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    (Original post by Rybee)
    Very long story made short.

    Mum passed away 5 years ago when I was 17. I do dream about her a lot, which sometimes is nice because in a sense I get to be with her again. Sometimes the dreams are very lucid and I know it's a dream because she's not alive, at this point I'm able to dismiss it as a dream and I wake up.

    However, other times I'm not able to recognise it's a dream. In the dreams I often get confused why I can see and talk to my mum but other people in the dream can't. It makes the dream very distressing and I get very emotional, I then sometimes waking up not knowing what's going on and I question whether my mum is alive or not. It usually takes me 10 seconds after I wake up to realise that it wasn't real and that my mum isn't alive. However, I do have times where I wake up and get out of bed very confused and disturbed and don't know whether she's alive.


    It's very hard to describe and I don't think anyone can truly understand how I feel unless they've been in the same situation... In the last year it's happening so much, I'd say 2-3 times per week and it's really getting to me. I suffer from anxiety/depression which I've now learnt to manage with medication. I will be seeing my psychiatrist next Friday and I want to talk to him about it.

    Has anyone been in a similar situation? Not necessarily the same type of dream but had recurrent dreams that have really troubled them?

    I know this sounds a bit whack and if I was reading this myself I'd probably think the OP was a nutter...

    Any help/advice is really appreciated...
    I'm sorry to hear that...

    I'm sure your not crazy especially since something traumatic has happened to you.

    Hopefully there's a solution!
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    (Original post by Rybee)
    So after all the abuse you post on my profile - you do have a heart after all

    Thanks Vikki x



    Thanks, that makes me feel a little bit better I guess. I know that 'its normal and nothing to worry about' but it genuinely has such an effect on me after I wake and it's literally terrifying at times. I might speak to my brother and see if he has experienced anything similar... I try to avoid talking to him about her because it just upsets me and brings it all back up to the surface.
    I've only just noticed this part of the message, I didn't even realise you were the OP until now! Yes I do have a heart :smug:
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    Rybee that sounds really upsetting. I hope you find a way to stop it happening so much.

    I have a tip for you. I have nightmares quite a bit. I find it helps prevent them if I focus on something happy before I fall asleep. That sounds ridiculously simple and obvious, but it's actually quite hard to do properly. I think for it to work well you have to make a real effort with it and be consistent. Imagine like a whole scene, for example lying at the beach. You need to really think about the way the sand feels, imagine hearing the waves, etc. Get yourself into a relaxed, peaceful state. If you drift off while you are doing this, it should help prevent the nightmares. Whatever you do don't fall asleep while you are worrying about things.

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