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Forums / Treatments, health professionals and therapies / Dreams while on antidepressants

Topic: Dreams while on antidepressants

14 posts, 0 answered
  1. geoff
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    24 March 2014
    we all have dreams, but what I want to talk about is when we are taking antidepressants that most of our dreams are about people who we may not have seen for years and all of a sudden we dream about them and normally in unusual circumstances, so when we are in depression then this automatically starts the day off badly, whereas when we have overcome this illness we can just fob them off as being stupid dreams and take NO notice of them, or we may laugh at them, and still wonder why they involve people from years ago, but it doesn't affect our mood. Geoff.
  2. MaryG
    MaryG avatar
    120 posts
    24 March 2014 in reply to geoff

    Hey Geoff, I don't really think the medication has changed my dreams. Not drinking always makes them more vivid. When you are passed out you don't dream. But I get what you mean about setting up for a bad day. Although I don't think it makes a huge difference for me. Sometimes I just wake up bad. Dreams or no dreams.

    Mary

  3. scorch
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    182 posts
    24 March 2014 in reply to geoff

    Geoff I'm not on medication, so I don't know how relevant my reply will be... but I have dreams all the time. 

    Horrible dreams.  Vivid and real seeming, often involving people or experiences from the past - or people I know now treating me or each other in ways they never would in real life.

    I wake up every night at least 2 times.  Sometimes I'm afraid, or sometimes I'm crying. 

    I think the dreams are to do with the depression/anxiety itself.  Maybe it's another symptom of our poor minds trying to make sense of this world of chaos.  I could be wrong, but I've noticed that my friends with have depression or anxiety seem to dream more than my friends who don't struggle with mental illness.  (admittedly, it's a small sample group.  I could be totally wrong.)

    But yeah, either way.

    dreaming sucks.

      

    1 person found this helpful
  4. Neil_1
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    24 March 2014

    Hi Geoff,

    Excellent thread and dreams are an amazing thing – very hard to describe – why we have them, do they mean anything – surely they must mean something – is it our subconscious still churning through what’s stored in our mind and then how on earth does it then select what you then dream about??  

    To me it’s a bit like pressing “random shuffle” when you’ve got a play-list of about 10,000 items and the subconscious will come up with something no doubt from your past – and include in it, perhaps people from your past, perhaps people who are in your life currently, perhaps people who you may have never met;  or perhaps a combo of any of the aforementioned.

     For me, they can be very nice OR they can be very bad.  And when I say that, that’s to a level that if they’re nice, it makes me sad to wake up because of how excellent the dream was;  however alternatively, when they’re bad, I wake up and am so so relieved that it was a dream.  Here’s a little thought to share with you though – I’ve dreamt on many occasions that my partner will be leaving me or has done, etc etc along those lines – obviously I’m over the moon when I wake up because it IS just a dream, BUT for some reason I feel real bad towards her for a while – almost as if the dream was real and then I’ve found out something bad and yeah, this probably isn’t making any sense at all.

     I had one last night where somehow I entered a licensed club and was playing a dollar poker machine and it started paying and so I upped my bet and it was paying like it would never pay in the real world, it was going ballistic and as I got a feature it paid even more – and I looked around and saw my brother there – the one I haven’t spoken too for over 6 years – I played it down to:  $92,370 !!  Can you imagine?  

    And I asked him could he please collect it for me as I’m supposed to be banned.  I handed over the ticket and just after that, I was met by security who escorted me out.  The next day, my brother collected the money for me and gave it to me and he left – as I walked to my car, I noticed two shady figures following me – one came to me just as I was opening my car door, I turned and some how managed to do a side karate kick to his throat and he was gawn – then that was the end of the dream.  At that point, I woke up.

     I think I watch too much TV !!!

    Cheers

    Neil

    ps:  yes I was disappointed that I woke up, cause I'd just smashed a baddy and was about to start on a shopping spree with my newly won cash!!

  5. Jo3
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    24 March 2014 in reply to Neil_1

    OMG I have had horrible dreams lately!!  And some dreams I can remember forever, they appear so clear.

    One of my nightmares was an octopus on a wall stuck and it's legs were falling off one by one. It was horrible and I was standing there watching these legs drop off.

    I asked my psych the following week what the dream meant.  His interpretation of it was - that an octopus needs it's 8 legs to survive, to be strong. But when I was in the room the legs were dropping off.  He said to me - who in your life was always your control? - my mum and she was losing control because the octopus was my mum (in my dream) and I was gaining some power.

    What a great analogy of my dream.

    Jo

  6. Turkeyman
    Turkeyman avatar
    95 posts
    2 April 2014 in reply to Jo3

    I don't know about antidepressants, but unlike MaryG, after several drinks to get a good night's sleep, my dreams are quite vivid and usually really bizarre. After one session on bourbon and cokes, I had the worst experience I ever. I was dreaming while I was awake. I woke up in the middle of the night, early morning I suspect, thinking there were electrical wires coming up through the floor of our bedroom. I remember I was have leaning over from the bed on my elbow, looking at the wardrobe and could see this tower of scary, crackling with electricity, bunch of wires growing like a plant through our laminate flooring. I lay back down trying to shake it off, but trust me when I say I thought my mind had cracked. Needless to say the next day I called in sick and spent the day wondering what other jobs I could do apart from being a sparky. I'm sure it was stress related. I often talk in my sleep too, which is more than amusing for my wife as she tries to work out what on earth I am talking about. I never remember anything about it though, but have to cop all the laughter the next day.

    As to the topic of discussion, now that I've gone elsewhere with it, bringing back people from our past is probably our minds digging back to parts of the memory that haven't been touched for a long time. Maybe it's the relaxed state? of the drugs. That's just my opinion anyway.

  7. geoff
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    2 April 2014 in reply to geoff

    dear All, I was hoping that this post would generate more thoughts about our dreams, however what I would like to say is that someone still suffering from depression will take these dreams on board and will severely be affected by them, and what they have actually dreamt of, which only means that it will reinforce and add to their depression, whereas someone who has overcome their depression will just dismiss them, and believe it when I say, just take them as being silly, so that's the difference between being depressed to not being depressed.

     I too had awful dreams while I was depressed and always considered them to be the black dog talking to me, but it was only my mind and my depression talking to me. Geoff. x

    1 person found this helpful
  8. Quercus
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    16 May 2019 in reply to geoff

    Hi Geoff,

    I know this is an older thread but what you wrote here about dreams and depression has been helpful for me today.

    It made me think to look at when my dreams are most distressing. They tend to be worst when I am run down and sick physically as well as depressed and/or anxious.

    It feels almost like when I get a bad cold (like now) it all becomes too much. The fatigue is the worst because I want to sleep but then I will dream. And because I'm run down the floodgates open. My dreams are vivid and sometimes feel real even when I wake.

    The worst is the uneasy feeling left behind. When I start to question what is wrong with me to have such horrible dreams?

    Thanks for listening to my waffle.

  9. geoff
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    17 May 2019 in reply to Quercus

    Hi Quercus, goodness me in finding this 5 year old thread.

    Bad dreams become a problem if they are frequent and can happen anytime but more so if you are feeling the pressure of having any MI.

    I still have them several times a week, where I dream of people I haven't seen or had any contact with for years, why I have no idea but they can make you feel exhausted.

    Many of these dreams can be decoded by those who know (?)and can involve someone that has never been related to a particular situation you have been in yourself, therefore sparking a nightmare.

    Best wishes.

    Geoff.

    1 person found this helpful
  10. smallwolf
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    17 May 2019 in reply to geoff

    I know that we all have dreams but I typically do not remember mine. The few recent ones I can remember were odd ones, rather than the nightmares when I started on ADs. And there are web sites that you can get information about things in your dreams. So I would go to google and type

    dream about X

    and replace X with whatever happened in the dream.

    Tim

    1 person found this helpful
  11. geoff
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    18 May 2019 in reply to smallwolf

    Thanks Tim.

    Geoff.

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  12. Quercus
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    18 May 2019 in reply to geoff

    Thank you Geoff and Tim for your replies and ideas, much appreciated.

    I found just finding your thread and seeing others experience changes too helped me Geoff.

    Tim thanks. Dream analysis is something I've always found interesting so I'm not taking the dreams literally thank goodness.

    It simply disturbs me how real they are and what I feel it suggests about me as a mother even though I remind myself this is exhaustion and depression speaking.

    A few nights ago I was pretty sick physically and kept dragging myself out of bed to check our kids to be sure they were breathing. I dream I fail them and they die.

    It makes me feel revolting because I'm frustrated and angry at my kids in reality all the time. A common thought that keeps creeping in is wanting so badly to just leave forever to have some quiet and rest. It makes the suicidal thoughts worse even though I know lots of Mums struggle with this and I'm somewhat normal.

    At heart I know the solution is a better support network. But the usual options others suggest just don't exist for us.

    So I dream. And remind myself it is ok. And dream. Vicious cycle.

    Thank you both.

  13. quince
    quince avatar
    76 posts
    22 June 2020

    Quirkus - I hope you're doing okay. Bad dreams are awful and I hope the cycle has settled for you a little. x

    This thread took my interest because, whoa, I have had the most intense dreams the past year! I'm interested in knowing whether other people get this.

    I think this started around the time I started a new antidepressant, so I'm assuming it's a side effect, but I truly have remembered dreams every night (except one) for the past year. It is full on, and every day I get memories of dreams I've had months before. They all seem to be thinly veiled metaphors for my life/failings/stressors, and to be honest, it's quite tiring. I feel like I've woken up having just run a marathon.

    If anyone else gets this, I'd be really interested to know. And is there anything that helps? Meditation before bed perhaps?

  14. geoff
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    23 June 2020 in reply to quince

    Hello Quince, goodness me, this thread is 6 years old and well done for resurrecting it, because I've always wanted to have a camera going in my room, only because the sheets, as well as the blankets, end up in an unimaginable way, all over the place.

    I have no answers for you Quince, I'm sorry, maybe someone else might as this topic is very interesting.

    Best wishes.

    Geoff.

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