What If Dreams Held the Answer?

Have you ever thought about the impact dreams had on your life? Wikipedia states:

“The contents and biological purposes of dreams are not fully understood, though they have been a topic of speculation and interest throughout recorded history.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dreams

Not much, eh? There are some additional theses:

  • “Freud suggested that bad dreams let the brain learn to gain control over emotions resulting from distressing experiences.”
  • “Dreams regulate mood.”

The last sentence sums up my recent ramblings and explains where I’m heading in this entry.

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It all started while I was observing my children. After my two-year-old son’s typical wake up (he often wakes up crying), I tried to explain what a bad dream was. And boy, did he understand! He immediately caught on. He was almost able to elaborate on his emotions by adding additional details: monsters, darkness etc. With only those few words he was able to utter (2 years & 3 months of life don’t make it easy). This is my son. A cheerful fella overall, but with this… additional layer. Slightly withdrawn, slightly pensive.

My daughter? She is all smiles. She not only wakes up smiling, she smiles almost all the time.

In my early years I had plenty of dreams. A significant part of them was bad. I don’t tend to recall my dreams any more these days and I’m quite certain that this is a defensive mechanism. One cannot be separated from his/her subconsciousness entirely though.

I’m very much like my son. My son seems to be very much like me.

What if? What if our dreams were responsible for our moods indeed? What if our levels of generally recognized optimism depended on those dreams? My son doesn’t watch TV, we protect him from bad experiences, he isn’t beaten or exposed to anything scary. Yet, his manner is so much different than his sister’s.

What if dreams held the answer to many questions regarding depression, anxiety, fear, anger? And which came first, the chicken or the egg?