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Dreams and Depression

  • anonymous Asks ...

    Is it true that depressed people dream far more than non depressed people and this is something that tires out the brain and perpetuates the problem? I just read this and it makes a lot of sense to me because my wife often complains about how her dreams make her tired and she has been dealing with depression for years. If it is true is there anything she can do to let her mind rest a bit more while she is sleeping?

  • Dr. Lani Chin Says ...
    Dr. Lani Chin

    Thank you for your post.  Your wife is lucky to have you on her side.

    In general, I've found that most people dream every night.  The individual difference that varies from person to person is their ability to remember the dream.  Often people remember dreams when they are ready to remember.  Our unconscious processes are quite advanced and work very hard to keep us from being aware of certain issues.  Keeping that in mind, one of the most common symptoms of depression is feeling tired or unmotivated to perform certain tasks.  So it is difficult to say that because your wife remembers her dreams, she is tired.  The relationship between dreaming and feeling tired is likely a correlational relationship, not a causal one.  This is something that can be better sorted out in therapy where a therapist can sit with your wife and talk about the dreams she is having to look for relevant themes, symbols, and other unconscious messages she may be receiving.

    If you are in the Los Angeles area, I would be happy to help: www.drlanichin.com.  If you are not, I would recommend you google psychologist and whatever geographic area you're in.  Once she is able to decipher some of these dreams, her symptoms of depression have a high likelihood of decreasing.

    Good luck to both of you.

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