Continuity between waking life and dreams of psychiatric patients: A review and discussion of the implications for dream research

  • Joacim Skancke (Author)
    University of Bergen
    Faculty of Psychology
  • Ingrid Holsen (Author)
    University of Bergen, Norway
    Department of Health Promotion and Development, Faculty of Psychology,
  • Michael Schredl (Author)
    Central Institute of Mental Health, Mannheim, Germany

Identifiers (Article)

Abstract

Despite positive results from the use of dreams in psychotherapy and for personal growth, research regarding the relationship between waking life and dreams of patients with mental disorders is relatively scarce. The present paper reviews the existing literature on dreams of psychiatric patients in order to identify the continuities and discontinuities between the dreams and the waking life psychopathology of these patients. The findings demonstrate that several aspects of the waking life psychopathology of the patients show both continuity and discontinuity in dreams. An example of continuity is eating disordered patients dreaming more of food than healthy controls. An example of discontinuity is less traumatic or depressive content in dream reports of depressed than non-depressed. The results indicate that a more specific and comprehensive definition of continuity is needed, and that more attention must be granted to the phenomenon of discontinuity. Furthermore, assessments of specific symptoms should compliment the patients’ diagnoses for comparisons with dreams to be meaningful.

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Published
2014-04-28
Language
en
Contributor or sponsoring agency
Ingrid Holsen; Department of Health Promotion and Development; Faculty of Psychology; University of Bergen; Norway; Michael Schredl; Central Institute of Mental Health; Medical Faculty Mannheim/Heidelberg University; Germany
Keywords
Dreaming; continuity; discontinuity; mental disorders; psychiatric patients; dream content; waking life
How to Cite
Skancke, J., Holsen, I., & Schredl, M. (2014). Continuity between waking life and dreams of psychiatric patients: A review and discussion of the implications for dream research. International Journal of Dream Research, 7(1), 39-53. https://doi.org/10.11588/ijodr.2014.1.12184