MadSci Network: General Biology

Re: Do some people escape into their own minds?

Date: Mon Apr 1 23:56:33 2002
Posted By: Jose Roberto Lizama, M.D., Psychiatry, Instituto Salvadoreno del Seguro Social
Area of science: General Biology
ID: 1016412536.Gb

Pertaining to nature of dreams much has to be learned. Effectively there are dreams where there is a genuine doubt of what is reality. A very good example is the scenario you have just described, i.e., where it seems you're another person living under his o her own rules. Therefore, experiencing the world under a different scope, probably happier and easier. It is logical to assume that one will want either to continue with such dream or catch it later, on subsequent nights. Especially if the current view of reality is sad, distressed or dull. The human brain never really goes to rest, i.e., completely shut off. Let me explain this phenomenon in further detail. It goes into different stages, REM and non-REM. REM stands for "Rapid Eye Movement." So a "sleep architecture" is established for sleep to occur. This enables the brain to rest, synthesize neurotransmitters; arrange gained and past knowledge, memoirs, and feelings, etcetera. Clinically there are differences in the content of dreams in each of these cycles. For instance, dreams that seem "weird," i.e., with little or no affective content, mostly originate in REM stage. Suppose you dream yourself as a blue faced person, who jumps form an SUV and, as you land, the moving ground beneath your feet, turns to chocolate. As you noticed little or no emotion is depicted from neither your odd-colored faced, the fact that you have jumped from a moving vehicle or that the ground is edible. We can't suppose you're neither surprised, fearful nor perplexed. On the other hand, dreams on the non-REM cycle, tend to be emotional. Lets imagine you dream you're a sheepherder who looses a lamb to a big black wolf. You chase the animal through the woods. You feel anger towards the animal, frightened from the appearance of other predators as you enter the thick forest but filled with valor stemming from your sense of duty. Get the idea? As dreams appear, depending on the stage, there could be physical reactions, e.g., penile erection, blushing, tears, or movements. These range from the perception of limb displacement, without actual movement, to "sleep walking." "Night terrors" are a good example, there is dreaming and movement associated. Some psychoanalysts believe there is a wealth of meaning to the things we dream. Much symbolism, hidden meanings, or messages lie in them. A link to the subconscious, can be drawn, according to these experts. The interpretation of a dream is very time consuming; one has to have a profound knowledge of the person in analysis, or "analisand." Furthermore, more than one interpretation can be drawn. Freud himself devoted much effort to dream interpretation, but later discarded it. Hope I've been of help.

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