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I have a phobia of dreaming/dreams and its ruining my life



Disclaimer: I am terrified of being actually physically harmed by my dreams - not the dreams themselves. I am scared that the violent people in my dreams will harm me, and I will wake up with injuries.

I remember one small article which I read in some magazine long back had one experiment given for readers. According to which If you pour normal water on the hand of sleeping person and then shouted as if it was boiling water (you have to convince that person that it was boiling water in seconds) that person's hand will get burn wounds. Studies on inducing people in hypnosis to dream of being hurt showed physical wounds appear on them.

I have not slept properly for months after reading about this. There is a man in my dreams who threatens to murder me and tried to kill me, he has already killed two children. I obsess about this man all day, thinking of ways to kill him, worrying about where he is or what he's thinking.

Please do NOT tell me 'dreams aren't real' or 'dreams cannot physically harm you'' when there is much evidence to the contrary. This just makes me worse. I am being watched. I'm failing exams. I feel like my life is in danger. Now I have the addition of dreaming of Nazis who try to come and take me and my family away (probably induced after I discovered I lost some 100+ family members to the Nazis themselves). I dread going to sleep. I do not want to be physically harmed or killed. am taking this man's threats seriously, just like anyone would if a man threatened to harm them. I'm going days without eating because I am so stressed out that I am shaking all day. I'm shaking while I am tying this. I can't relax because then I'm afraid of going to sleep, effectively 'letting my guard down'. I feel like screaming.
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Well-known member
Dec 4, 2013
Hello and :welcome:

I'm so sorry you're experiencing this; it must be very difficult to be afraid to sleep. I hope you are getting enough sleep.

Are you in touch with a GP about this? Also, you mention you have exams; maybe you could talk to the counsellor at your place of study?

You might want to consider measures to make yourself feel safer when you go to sleep - maybe look into dream-catchers? I mean, this is the very reason they were created in the first place, to protect people from harmful spirits in dreams, and certainly it's stood the test of time: maybe there's something in that, you know?



I don't mean to just jump to medications as a possible culprit- but I had a similar kind of experience on pregabalin and alongside the hallucinatory-like nightmares my muscles would get so stiff and I'd continously wake up throughout the night feeling bruised hurt and exhausted in relation to what was going on in the dream and had that same feeling that they had some kind of sinister control over me 'cause it was a really weird experience. I was wondering if you had been prescribed anything? I didn't experience the continuing terror/paranoia that you are dealing with in the daytime though.

I don't know what this study was but it doesn't sound very believable. I know that obviously doesn't make a blind bit of difference though.

What you're going through sounds totally awful, and seems possibly like reading what you did triggered a sudden phobia? Have you already been very stressed/or dealing with other issues? I really feel inclined to say talk to a professional straight away about this as you're obviously not well and need some urgent support. It could possibly be a sign of other MH conditions too. Best wishes, I'm so sorry that you're going through this.
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Just A Girl

Just A Girl

May 16, 2015
1. "when there is much evidence to the contrary"
In my opinion, If you go looking for evidence you will find it. Do dragons, unicorns or fairies etc exist? No, but i'm a sure that if i wanted to i could easily "prove" that any of these "exist" through scrawling the internet for articles & "studies" (and it really wouldn't take that long either). Just because something is written up in a professional manner and posted online does not in any way mean that it is legitimate (it is SO easy to create a website or anything you like on the internet). For scientific studies etc you should only stick to the most reputable, professional & credible of websites etc.
2. In my opinion, You will NOT get injured or killed in your sleep and you need to stop reading into this fear as the more credence you give it the more out of control the fear will become. Right now you are trying to prove that your fears exist (searching for online material to give credence to your fears, thinking along negative thought lines etc). But how do you expect anything to get better if you keep on getting drawn to "proving" your fears like a moth drawn to a flame?

I used to get a terrible reoccurring dream about being on a beach when suddenly i saw a tsunami wave approaching. I would desperately scramble back up the beach (which was obviously panicky as its hard to run through sand etc) and try to climb up the beach cliff etc but each time i only made it out of the tsunamis way by the skin of my teeth. It was an extremely distressing dream and always felt very real to me each time i had it, but to this day have i ever had to run from a real life tsunami? No (and no i don't think i ever will have to).

Think back on all your dreams. Every night you dream and in your lifetime you will have had hundreds of thousands of dreams. Have any of these hundreds of thousands of dreams actually genuinely predicted something awful that really happened? You would probably be lucky to name even just 1 in a 3 thousand like that. So how is this dream any different? Just because it was so awful to experience does not mean it is anymore likely to happen than any other fantastical dream you've had over the years (just because a dream feels more real does not in any way mean it is more likely to actually become real).

Anyhoo just my 2c on the situation.
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Hi Debbieb, it is important to acknowledge and accept all your fears. Then do what you can to understand the fear and find effective ways to respond to it when it occurs. You may want to treat the fear as though it was a person, for example:

Hello Fear, I am Debbieb.

(Introduce yourself and have a natural conversation with Fear and put how Fear would respond.)

I am Fear.

(Ask general questions to get a conversation going and try to remain objective despite any emotions)

Hi Fear, I've always thought you were quite strong. How did you get to be so strong?

(This may be a useful question to start with, your response as Fear may help you understand it more)


Why not try a few questions here, and see where it goes. I'll hang around and be near by if you like.

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