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Childhood nightmares - making sense of a childs fear
Many people wonder why the mind inflicts the most horrible nightmares on everyone - especially little children. Virtually everyone reports having nightmares at some time.
Above all to understand nightmares we need to know why we dream . We dream in order to make sense of the world. We need to order it and know why things happen. If we cannot make sense of some situation it confuses us. Nightmares above all show us that we cannot make sense of the world we live in.
If something especially unusual happens to us we can suffer Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Traumatic events such as being carjacked, involved in a road accident and witnessing extremely horrible wartime situations can leave us numb, unable to form relationships and are quite often are associated with very vivid nightmares. How can the mind possibly make any sense of these extreme traumas?
Psychoanalysts and councillors say that in order to make sense of these matters we must confront them. Many war victims go for years ignoring and not talking about these great traumas. dream will keep coming back to shock them into thinking about the situation.
Such dream confront us with our fears. Humans skate around issues, they avoid the fear, they run away from conflict. What a nightmare does is to confront us with the problem. If we are scared by dogs then they take us to a dog and stick our hands right in the mouth, whilst making sure we see the blood(that's our blood) dripping down the teeth.
dream above all show we want to make sense of these issues. dream do not ignore them. They take every last piece of information about the event. They see how other people respond. They process that information and allow us to understand these extremely traumatic events. They replay things over and over. Eventually the mind will be able to make sense of the matter. Above all the mind wants to know if such things will happen again.
If you are involved in say for instance a road accident then the mind wants to know how this fits in with the way we see the world. Is this normal? Could anything have been done to avoid the accident? Were they in any way responsible? Why did they only get cuts and bruises and the other victim die? Was fate involved or was it just random? All these questions need to be answered. So talk about the matter, find out about road accidents, look at everything to do with safety. Bore yourself to death with the matter. Eventually one day the dream May stop. But they will stop a lot sooner if you confront the issue.
Neuroimaging studies show that the parts of the brain that deal with emotion are very highly lit up during dream . Most nightmares are about emotional issues. These are about anything that basically scares us or dominates our emotions. There are probably two kinds of nightmare dream . Firstly those that are about specific things - real emotional issues. The others are more abstract - they deal with phobias and fears.
Real emotional nightmares. These deal with real problems. The dream are usually very vivid and real. They deal with worries that are very real such as fear of being robbed, or beaten up, or fear of heights. Such dream will not be very difficult to interpret - they will be very clear to anyone what they are about. There is no hidden symbolism at all. No snakes, flying bats, no foxes that you have to spend time interpreting. People play themselves.
Most dream which deal with real issues involve death of a loved one. For instance if a husband has died or a child killed in an accident. The cause of such dream will be that the person is not dealing with the problem. They are not confronting the real change that has taken place in their lives. Their way of dealing with the issue may be to keep themselves busy at home and to avoid thinking about it. These dream may involve deep and graphic images of the dead person. The person may show signs of life still. These dream will be especially graphic for deaths which are difficult to handle - such as a death of a child, or abortion or accidental deaths.
Such dream dont really show a repressed emotional problem. They show that the person has not properly dealt with an issue yet.
Phobias and fear nightmares. Such dream deal with abstract issues. They are probably more common in childrens dream . Childhood is a very scary place at times. Children lack one thing in life - POWER. Adults control their lives for years and if that power is abused then children have no way of fighting back. They lack the physical strength and logical arguments to fight back. They are frequently not believed. They are frequently confronted with things they dont understand.
Such abstract issues will be less obvious. They will not be as easy to interpret. The symbolism will be more difficult. Such issues are more likely to be repressed. They may deal with issues such as spiders.