Dreams and Psychiatric Disorders

Dream imagery often reflects the psychiatric disorder of the dreamer. For example, the manifest content in the dreams of those suffering from an anxiety disorder often contain themes of not being prepared, missing classes, being late for an appointment, etc. They frequently contain feelings of apprehension, fear, and being overwhelmed. Individuals suffering from Major Depression have dream imagery containing themes of hopelessness, helplessness and despondency. The dream imagery of schizophrenic dreamers is often barren, fragmented, and without human interaction. Manic individuals may have dream imagery containing bright colors, excessive activity, and feelings of elation. However, one cannot make a diagnosis based on dream imagery alone; clinical data is necessary to arrive at a diagnosis.