Waking up in the morning leaves almost everyone with a very distinct memory of recurring dreams. As we regain our senses and composure, the picture of our dreams slowly begins to fade away and we tend to forget what we dreamed about. But for many people, this does not happen. This is more frequent with people who have similar nightmares very often. Having them on a regular basis leaves one feeling a vague sense of impending doom, and makes one feel very uneasy and unsettled. The picture remains in our mind and haunts our thoughts for many hours thereafter, or even days. There are very few people in the world who can truthfully claim that they have never been bothered by them.
What Is a Nightmare?
Simply speaking, a nightmare is just a bad dream. But if we venture further into the realms of psychology and psychoanalysis, they gather up more importance in the process of determining an individual's insecurities, fears, anxieties, and general character traits. In most cases of people having nightmares regularly, the reason has been found to be some immense external trauma that the individual has undergone at some point of time.
Theoretically speaking, any dream that creates a sense of horror, discomfort, anxiety, nervousness, fear or paranoia in an individual can be deemed a nightmare. They cannot cause actual physical damage to a person, but the mental stress and emotional strain can prove too much for some people, especially if they are experiencing them at an alarming regularity.
Recurring nightmares can also drive people to the brink of a mental or nervous breakdown, and many cases of depression have also been linked to the presence of nightmares.
The Different Meanings
When you visit a specialist or a psychologist to understand your nightmares and their causes, you will most likely also discover the meanings behind them. However, this may not be possible in every case as some are very hard to decipher and comprehend. Understanding and accepting the causes goes a long way in comprehending and solving their meanings.
The same nightmare can mean two entirely different things for two different individuals. The insecurities and feelings of guilt are unique for every individual and therefore it makes this task a very complicated one. Getting to the bottom of it and decipher their meanings requires a lot of patience and sincerity, but once the exact cause has been fathomed, corrective measures can be taken.
The causes of nightmares mostly have very deep roots, and to trace them accurately takes a lot of time and cooperation. But there are a few widely accepted factors that are known to cause them.
- Bereavement (death of a loved one, relative, friend, family member, pet, etc.)
- High fever due to some illness or disease
- Deep psychological or physical trauma in the past
- Sleep disorders
- Withdrawal from consumption of alcohol or other drugs
- Excessive alcohol consumption
- Side effects of some drug or medication
- Clinical depression or anxiety disorders
To prescribe the correct treatment for bad dreams, the exact causes need to be determined. Different causes will require different forms and modes of treatment. The individuals personality will also help determine what sort of a treatment regime would work for him or her. Here are a few commonly employed remedies for people who experience recurring nightmares.
- The best solution for such a scenario is to talk about it. Discussing and dissecting them with a friend, family member or a therapist will definitely help.
- Drinking a warm glass of milk before you go to bed will also ease your brain while you are asleep, and negate their effect.
- Keeping a soft toy or some other comfort inducing article next to you while you sleep also helps many people avoid scary nightmares.
- Some people even find that the intake of sleeping pills helps in achieving a peaceful sleep. This is a risky solution though, as they are addictive. Withdrawal from them suddenly can make matters even worse.
All in all, nightmares are a common occurrence and no one is exempt from them. But if you happen to be experiencing them very often, you must be alarmed a bit and should figure out the causes behind such an occurrence.