Meaning of Dreams

Nightmares can be described as terrifying dreams where our worst fears come to life in a convincing detail. Horrors which people imagine as the worst things become the subjects of these nightmares and although the zombies we see are only imaginary, the terror we experience is real. Among adults, studies regarding the frequency of nightmares indicate that between a third and a half of all people receive occasional nightmares. A survey on a group of 300 students showed that three-quarters experienced nightmares at least ones a month.

Nightmare frequencies can be attributed to sickness, stress, traumatic events and troubled relationships. Scientific evidence indicates that certain medications and drugs contribute to or increase nightmares. This is because drugs usually suppress REM sleep and produce an afterward effect of REM-rebound. For example, a person can have a very sound sleep with little dream when drunk but after alcohol subsides, the brain prepares itself for the REM time it lost.

Therefore, during the final hours of sleep, a person is likely to dream more intensely and the intensity is clearly portrayed in the dreams emotions which can be very unpleasant (Hartman, 6). Drugs which can cause nightmares include 1-DOPA, for treating Parkinsonism, and beta-blockers, which is often used by people with heart complications. According to scientist, many people usually harbor unnecessary fears. For example, a person can be afraid of speaking in public even though no harm will occur by standing in front of a congregation.

This does not stop people from being frightened of a crowd just as they would be afraid when faced by a situation that is life threatening. Similarly, fears caused by a dream are simply unnecessary. Research by psychologist on treatment of phobia indicates that it is not enough for an individual to understand that the object that gives him fear is actually harmless. For instance, a snake phobic can be absolutely sure that garter snakes are not poisonous nor do they cause harm, but he cannot gather enough courage to hold one (The Dream Foundation, 1).

The most effective way to overcome fear is to approach it step by step until you realize that it cannot harm you and it is the same approach for dealing with nightmares. Integration is one of the most crucial functions of dreaming because individual psychological structures are combined into a comprehensive and more balanced personality. Carl Jung, a renowned psychologist, says that parts of an entire personality which we judge knowingly or unknowingly are disowned and projected outwards when dreaming, acquiring shapes of aggressors such as demons, monsters, natural events or intimidating animals (Hartmann, 14).

Experiments by researchers on the cause of nightmares indicate that they are mainly caused by psychological tensions and they are more likely to increase rather than reduce anxiety. 624 high school students were subjected to a study by researchers from Australia concerning their lifestyles and nightmares to measure their stress levels. The study revealed that stressful events caused nightmares and individuals who said that their dreams distressed them had a higher likelihood of suffering from general anxiety.

Concisely, most of the Psychologists have come to concede to the fact that something wrong could be happening in the brains of people experiencing high anxiety because their emotions cannot be processed normally when there are dreaming. As a result of such anxiety a person can end up of having a repeated series of nightmares. Works Cited Hartmann, E. Dreams and Nightmares: The origin and Meaning of Dreams. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Perseus Publishing. 2001 The Dreams Foundation. Nightmares? Bad Dreams, or Recurring Dreams? 2008. Viewed 9 July 2010 from <http://www. dreams. ca/nightmares. htm>

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