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Readers Respond: Bipolar Disorder and Dreams

Responses: 48


Updated August 29, 2010

I should have known it was connected

I was diagnosed as having bipolar about 12 years ago. I have had very vivid extensive and detailed dreams for as long as I can remember. Some of my dreams are very entertaining, some just odd but I rarely have nightmares. Some seem to be epic length and yet I remember the most minute detail, others fade as the morning progresses. I have always wondered why I dream this way, often my family and friends are astounded when I tell them my dreams. My father also has bipolar disorder as well. I didn't grow up with him in my house so I don't know if he dreams like this or not... I shall have to ask. Thanks for the link and some understanding about this disorder, this is a great site for information. I have referred my family, boyfriend and closest friends to it to help them understand things I am going through and so they will know warning signs of the pendulum swinging one way or another, sometimes I have no clue.
—Guest jackson

physical sensation

While on antidepressants my dreams were so vivid I could still feel physical sensations after I would wake up. Plus my dreams just being more vivid and occurring more often. Once I was off antidepressants my dreams mellowed out.

night dreams

I'm diagnosed with bipolar 2 and have been having dreams lately, on and off, about slithering shapes appearing in the dark in my bedroom. They don't do anything; just appear and scare the crap out of me.
—Guest Liza

Vivid dreams

I have have very vivid dreams all my life, and many throughout the night. The scariest part is when it is a surgery and it is TOTAL blackout. I am put to sleep, and the next minute I am wakened without a dream in sometimes an hour long space. My dreams are hardly every scary, but they are an accepted part of my life.
—Guest pjvan23

Vivid dreams

I dont have at least i havnt been diagnosed but my mother does (i'm a teenager) and i know thats a bad start since this page is about adults with bp having vivid dreams. But i have really vivid dreams, when i was little at about 8 i used to have dreams about my father adopting an african child and forgetting me (which is pretty silly) but lately in the past year i have been having really distressing dreams including one where i died in a car crash, was being chased by a strange man and got my leg electrocuted so badly it turned black. in the electrocution dream i felt it in real life, it was horrible and i can recall the pain even now. also, no matter how much sleep i get i wake up extremely tired and emotionally burnt out. and i cant remember a night where i havnt dreamed at least once or twice.
—Guest Sam

Family death

I have a dream sequence from 15 years ago and it is coming true. Every day I live this night terror. It starts out as a simple life and sights of a my town. As these deja vu moments unfold in my life it terrifies me more and more. For about a year now I have relived these dreams in my waking life. It was kind of annoying at first but now they are connected to my families death. I broke up with a woman and her family is very angry with me. The dreams I had end up with torture and violence. The most horrible things I've ever imagined or heard about. I am convinced they will happen unless I do something about them. But I'm trapped in the dream and it is also the same in the real world. I'm terrified. How do I make this different? What is happening? Does anyone else have these kinds of dreams? Spun
—Guest Family death

monster house-pool included

diagnosed since 2 1/2 and again at 38 as BI-Polar I. I been told I have always had nightmares and talked in my sleep.OK, NO Problem.If I get to loud while sleeping I wake up and apologise to those around me then go back to sleep and if the dreams is interesting enough I continue where I left off,no big deal.Then one night a few weeks ago-bear in mind I hadn't seen any scary movies,see or been a party to any violence any time recenty or used any mind altering chemicals. anything that would have directly been the parent to this hellish progeny.It was set in my childhood home only with a pool.I could not leave and therein lurked every terror ever imagined or real.large hideous demons,ghosts trying to enter my body,possessed dolls,monster under the bed,in the closet,mary in the mirror,hanging corpses,water demons trying to lure me to my death,if it was evil it was there, witches,demonic faces outside my window!I woke up and remembered it all. I tenacious to the bone went back to finish it!


I used to have a recurring dream when I was younger that I was being chased around my Primary school by Velociraptors. When I moved to my Secondary school the dreams took place there, and soon enough the Raptors turned into my parents who were serial killers and were trying to murder me. Now I just seem to have incredibly vivid and strange dreams, involving places and people I know usually. I wake up at least 10 times a night, that I remember, and eventually fall out of bed exhausted. Or I don't sleep at all. I haven't been diagnosed with Bipolar, yet. Not officially anyway. I'd rather have it that it's something I think I have, rather than it being real.
—Guest Lizzie-Emily

I never knew this was a symptom

I was diagnosed as a teen with bipolar and while extremely vivid dreams have always been present in my life, I never knew or learned from professionals that this was common. Last night I dreamt I was at a family friend's house and when unwanted guests came I ruined the relationship permanently. I could literally paint a picture and blueprint the house, neighborhood, cars, everything. This beyond the fact that while I knew the persons in the story, I had never been to the place before. When I awoke, I felt incredible guilt and didn't want to get out of bed becuase of my shame. It wasn't for several minutes (or less as my perception felt off) that I realized I was neither in that house, nor the same side of the country. Some nights this is wonderful when I can experience vivid dreamworlds, vistas, and even long wanted trysts with lovers long gone. But other nights (mornings, more specifically), I feel like I'm losing my mind. I can't decide if the gift of the dream is worth the nightmare
—Guest BipolarCollegeMale

bipolar disorder and dreams

Had many nightmare dreams since childhood and into adulthood. As a kid, would wake up because I thought there were hundreds of snakes or spiders on me, in my bed. A lot of dreams of people trying to harm me and I would try to yell or scream but no noise would come out. I tried to run but it was like running in deep snow. I would try to hit back but couldn't make contact of my fist to their face. Scary vivid dreams of loved ones being harmed. Have recurring dreams of not being able to find my classroom in high school. Also can't get to work on time or at all because stuff keeps happening to prevent it. Doing laundry in the basement of my childhood home because it was a huge pile of clothes that never seemed to get done. It was such a scary, dark basement. Then I can't remember my checkstand sign on code to be able to ring up customers who are waiting impatiently. Since taking antidepressants, the dreams occur less often. It used to be constant nightmares.
—Guest tiggerandroo

Horribly Scary Dreams

When I was a child I would dream a lot about my family dying, especially my mom and dad. I would also have dreams of flying which really made me feel weird. As I got older I started to have nightmares about being physically attacked. The scenerios would change from being in a western to being in the modern era. Whatever the case the outcome is always the same--I'm attacked and am horribly injured and end up in the hospital. It's always the same premise and it is scary as all get out. I still have the nightmares. I also get ones where I feel trapped and I cannot escape. Wow. I've never told anyone about those dreams except my therapist. It's liberating.
—Guest C

Intense storylines

I have dreams that seem like they are straight out of complex movies. Last night it felt like a Cold Case series. In the first dream a woman had been bashed to death, the next one involved a boyfriend that had cut his genitals off, and the next was a military type situation with cross-dressing and shootings. They are so vivid that the blood spurt is almost in slow motion. I have had others in the past where heads roll and are crushed under truck tyres and terms are given to fluid bodies that have had skin peeled off. I usually have night sweats as well so it can be quite exhausting the next day.

Bad Dream

I had a dream where I saw a green alien with large black cat eyes tell me that I must say "Goodbye" She said this twice. Then I saw the words commit suicide pop up.
—Guest Alli Fulton

premonitional dreams

I dreamt that my mother who was deceased came to me at a garage sale, go figure, and told me my brother would die in the next three days and there was nothing I could do about it. He lived 10 hours away and I rarely saw him. I nearly called him the next morning to tell him but figured he think I was crazy(imagine that). His wife called later that day and told me he had died, he died about the time I would have called. First I felt guilty for not calling, maybe I could have saved him, but alas his heart gave out. I also have long detailed dreams of doing ordinary things but working at them all night in my dreams. Or dreams of being in school and not know my schedule or how to get to the class and being afraid to ask. The other day in the dream I told my Mom I was lost and she helped take me to my therapist. I think it helped me.
—Guest Ilovetrees

Recurring Nightmare

When I get very stressed, a recurring nightmare sometimes returns. I am in a skyscraper made completely of glass and I am on the top floor. As I look out, I notice the sun starting to swell and then retract (as if it is breathing). All of the sudden it gets extremely large and I am terrified. Sparks and flares start to shoot out of it towards the skyscraper, but there is nothing to hide behind. I scramble around looking for a stairwell or elevator, but can't find one. I feel utterly helpless. I am trying to save myself, but it seems there is no one in the city as I look out -- as if I am completely alone on earth. Strangely, as a child and adolescent, I had recurring night terrors about planes, blimps, UFOs, etc. falling out of the sky on top of me or on top of someone I love. But those dreams seem to have morphed into the solar flare nightmares as I have grown older. I have never been able to determine what, exactly, they mean. Perhaps when I do, I will stop having them.
—Guest Wannies11

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