• Quote of the Day
    "Don't let what you can't do interfere with what you can do."
    John Wooden, posted by David Baxter
Joined
Jun 11, 2006
Messages
5,390
Points
36
do dreams have any meaning at all or is it all just random? if it's not all random, where could i find reliable information on dream interpretation?
 

HA

Member
Joined
Oct 31, 2004
Messages
1,517
Points
36
Re: do dreams have meanings?

Personally, I believe the school of thought that sees dreams from the following perspective:

Drs. Hobson and McCarley proposed what they called "the activation-synthesis model of dream production," explaining,

The primary motivating force for dreaming is not psychological but physiological since the time of occurrence and duration of dreaming sleep are quite constant, suggesting a preprogrammed, neurally determined genesis . . . t casts serious doubt upon the exclusively psychological significance attached to both the occurrence and quality of dreams.

To Hobson, dreams are reactions to random nervous system stimuli, which the brain "interprets" as bizarre images and other sensory hallucinations. "The activation-synthesis hypothesis," he asserts, "assumes that dreams are as meaningful as they can be under the adverse working conditions of the brain in REM sleep. The reason that dream content often seems disoriented or bizarre is because the activated brain-mind does its best to attribute meaning to the internally generated signals of the brain."

Adding fuel to the controversy, in 1983, Nobel laureate Francis Crick and his Salk Institute colleague Graeme Mitchison argued in a Nature article that the brain's neural memory systems are easily overloaded and that humans experience dream-laden REM to eliminate cognitive debris. In other words, dreams are nothing more than a mechanism for the nervous system to clear the brain of unnecessary, even harmful memories.
 

David Baxter

Administrator
Joined
Mar 26, 2004
Messages
37,769
Points
113
Or alternatively, dreams reflect information processing - where the brain extracts meaning and information from recent experiences in short term memory and compares that with information/meaning in memories stored previously in long-term memory, thus encoding the newer memories into long term memory.
 

David Baxter

Administrator
Joined
Mar 26, 2004
Messages
37,769
Points
113
I believe so, yes. I think recurring dreams are a different breed and I think they represent themes that are of some sort of concern for you - perhaps a source of anxiety or guilt or fear, or an unresolved issue or conflict that you continue (unsuccessfully) to try to work out.

One thing I sometimes say to clients is pay less attention to the actual content (people, places, events) in the dream and more to the feelings evoked by the dream - the feelings are likely to be more informative.
 

HA

Member
Joined
Oct 31, 2004
Messages
1,517
Points
36
My mother has been having nightmares lately......I think it might be medication related.
 

Daniel

Forum Supporter
MVP
Joined
Aug 5, 2004
Messages
18,701
Points
113
If I remember correctly, my mother had crazier dreams and more nightmares while taking Paxil after a while, after the dose was increased. So nightmares as side effects could be dose-dependent, at least for some meds.
 

braveheart

Member
Joined
May 8, 2005
Messages
1,485
Points
36
I always see dreams as having meaning. I am fascinated by dreams. I attended a dream group before I started psychodynamic/analytic/object relations psychotherapy, so am very very familiar with my dream language, the language of my unconscious. Which is now becoming more and more conscious!
 

David Baxter

Administrator
Joined
Mar 26, 2004
Messages
37,769
Points
113
My mother has been having nightmares lately......I think it might be medication related.

If I remember correctly, my mother had crazier dreams and more nightmares while taking Paxil after a while, after the dose was increased. So nightmares as side effects could be dose-dependent, at least for some meds.

Certain medications can either (1) make dreams more vivid and therefore increase the likelihood of the individual remembering them or waking up during or soon after the dream; or (2) create a situation where the individual sleeps more lightly or perhaps longer, again increasing the likelihood that waking will occur during or soon after the dream.

As Daniel notes, SSRI's fall into category 1 above. There's no evidence that the content of dreams is changed (e.g., no evidence that dreams are actually more bizarre or that the individual has more nightmares) - just that they seem much more vivid, likely because of the increased serotonin levels. Dreaming "uses up" serotonin.
 

HA

Member
Joined
Oct 31, 2004
Messages
1,517
Points
36
Certain medications can either (1) make dreams more vivid and therefore increase the likelihood of the individual remembering them or waking up during or soon after the dream; or (2) create a situation where the individual sleeps more lightly or perhaps longer, again increasing the likelihood that waking will occur during or soon after the dream.

Thanks Dr. Baxter.
She said she would talk to her doctor about it and maybe I will call the pharmacist just to be sure. She is on many meds, diabetes, thyroid and a few heart meds plus others. I had suggested it may be because she is sleeping so much.

In the hospital she awoke form vivid dreams often within a day or two after coming out of ICU. She nodded in and out of sleep from the morphine. One time I went to visit and she was really scarred because she was dreaming (hallucinating) an old woman sitting on the curtain rod looking down on her. My mother has at times felt that her dreams mean't that something was wrong or something bad would happen to other family members. I had to reassure her that the content of her dreams had no meaning....it was the medication that was causing these and to not worry or attach meaning to them. She thought it was the angel of death coming for her.
 

David Baxter

Administrator
Joined
Mar 26, 2004
Messages
37,769
Points
113
Experiencing "hallucinations" (which may actually be [WIKI]hypnogogic[/WIKI] or [WIKI]hypnopompic[/WIKI] illusions rather than true hallucinations per se) seem to be rather common with drugs like morphine.
 

Retired

Member
Joined
Aug 17, 2005
Messages
8,966
Points
36
She is on many meds, diabetes, thyroid and a few heart meds plus others

Beta blockers are used to treat angina and can cause vivid dreams, so you may be on the right track if that is her current treatment.

Your mother's cardiologist may be in a better position to help in this case, since another beta blocker may be selected or even another type of medication if that is the cause of the vivid dreams.
 

HA

Member
Joined
Oct 31, 2004
Messages
1,517
Points
36
Thanks, Steve.

Darn, she just saw the cardiologis last week. She sees the surgeon soon though. I'll have her mention it to him.

That's more like it Dr. B.....an hypnogogic illusion.
 

Retired

Member
Joined
Aug 17, 2005
Messages
8,966
Points
36
she just saw the cardiologis last week

As the visit is fresh in the doctor's mind, a follow up phone call might be helpful...on the pretext "During Mom's visit last week, I neglected to ask you about...."
 

Latest posts


Top Bottom