I don’t know about you but the stress of the COVID-19 pandemic has definitely been making me have more vivid dreams and even mild anxiety dreams. Anxiety dreams are also known as nightmares and are usually recurring dreams that contain disturbing mental experiences and result in an awakening. The emotions involved can be anxiety, fear, terror, anger, rage, embarrassment, disgust, or other negative feelings. There is usually an imminent physical threat or danger in the plot of the dream with the ability to remember and clearly recall the circumstances.
🔸 50%-80% of adults report having at least one nightmare
🔸 2%-8% of the population has recurrent nightmares
🔸 10%-50% of three to five year old have nightmares that are significant to parents
🔸 More common in the setting of PTSD or trauma
✅ Severe nightmares may require medical treatment.
✅ Dr. Barry Krakow developed image rehearsal therapy (IRT) for treating recurrent nightmares.
✅ IRT consists of writing down the dream and then creating an alternate ending with a positive outcome that is rehearsed again and again.
A few years ago I had a patient that had a recurring dream that his house was burning down and he was not able to save his pets and family. I guided him through IRT and he was able to change the outcome of his dream. IRT is a neat treatment!