A new study from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Düs­sel­dorf has iden­ti­fied three themes that are more com­mon in the dreams of peo­ple with anx­i­ety dis­or­ders.

The study aimed to exam­ine the spe­cif­ic char­ac­ter­is­tics that appear in the dreams of peo­ple diag­nosed with clin­i­cal anx­i­ety dis­or­der and com­pare them with those of healthy peo­ple. Two groups of dream­ers, 38 peo­ple with dis­or­ders and 38 healthy peo­ple, were fol­lowed up using dream diaries, ques­tion­naires, and indi­vid­ual dream analy­sis and then com­pared.

The researchers con­clud­ed that there was a sig­nif­i­cant dif­fer­ence in the con­tent of dreams, and some themes were found to be more com­mon among peo­ple with anx­i­ety dis­or­ders. These include stalk­ing, phys­i­cal assault, freez­ing from fright, the death of loved ones, and acci­dents such as plane crash­es and oth­ers.

In addi­tion to the fact that the dreams of peo­ple with anx­i­ety dis­or­ders con­tained more of these neg­a­tive char­ac­ter­is­tics, they also con­tained few­er of the pos­i­tive ones, with few­er friend­ship inter­ac­tions or suc­cess­es. They also includ­ed more char­ac­ters, loca­tions, trav­el and trans­porta­tion, and ver­bal com­mu­ni­ca­tion than the dreams of healthy peo­ple.

In addi­tion to some recur­ring themes in the dreams of patients with anx­i­ety, there were also three dom­i­nant defin­ing char­ac­ter­is­tics. These include dreams about a for­mer love inter­est, includ­ing for­mer part­ners. Anoth­er char­ac­ter­is­tic is that the dreams of peo­ple with anx­i­ety dis­or­ders tend to be asso­ci­at­ed with great force and speed, such as fast-mov­ing vehi­cles.

The third char­ac­ter­is­tic was over­all sub­jec­tive sleep inten­si­ty, which the researchers found was high­er in patients with anx­i­ety. In terms of dream emo­tions, patients with anx­i­ety expe­ri­enced more neg­a­tive feel­ings, includ­ing anger, fear, appre­hen­sion, and sad­ness, and few­er pos­i­tive ones, such as hap­pi­ness.

Sci­en­tists believe that the dreams of anx­ious peo­ple “may rep­re­sent the expe­ri­ence of expe­ri­enc­ing a fright­en­ing, hos­tile and dan­ger­ous envi­ron­ment in their real life.”

От Yraa

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