Nightmares and Mental health: The Connection

nightmaresThere are lots of reasons why you are not sleeping. However, some people suffer from constant nightmares and there are a lot of reasons as to why. Nightmares normally occur as a child between the ages 3 through to 10. However, a lot of adults experience nightmares throughout their adult life. Experts say that nightmares and trouble sleeping can stem from PTSD, emotional neglect, physical abuse, mental illness or schizophrenia. Although there is a still a lot of investigation into how nightmares occur and what causes them.
The connection between mental health and nightmares is still being researched as there is a lot more evidence coming out. For example, if you have suffered some form of abuse as a young child you are more likely to have nightmares as an adult, this is called Stress Acceleration Hypothesis. These nightmares normally occur when you feel stress in your adult life. Nevertheless, there must be some connection between mental health and nightmares.

The research that has taken place on the connection between anxiety, depression or chronic stress indicates that you are more likely to have nightmares, you might even have them a couple of times a week if you suffer from mental health issues. In Jung’s Dream Theory, Jung believes that people regularly have trouble understanding their nightmares because the symbols used in dreams differ from the language of our walking consciousness. Here are some common symbols that you might have in your nightmares explained:

Someone is chasing you

This is one of the most common dream symbols in all cultures. It usually can mean that you’re feeling threatened. Think more about who is chasing you and why they’re a possible threat in real life.


You may face death of a friend or loved one which can represent change (endings and new beginnings) and is not a psychic prediction of any kind.


This is a common dream symbol that relates to our anxieties about letting go, losing control, or somehow failing after a success.

You are physically trapped

This is a common nightmare theme. This symbol is reflecting your real life with an inability to escape or make the right choice.


This might be common in nightmares and it does not make you a closet murderer; it represents your desire to “kill” part of your own personality. This may also highlight and symbolise hostility towards a particular person.

Tribers, it is important to remember that if you do have nightmares it doesn’t automatically mean that you have poor mental health. If you are having a lot of trouble sleeping and are starting to notice an increasing about of nightmares try speaking to your doctor to see what they suggest. The doctor might suggest herbal remedies to help you sleep or might even suggest counselling. Stay safe, happy and healthy.

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