Should We Seek Help for our Son’s Nightmare?

By Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

Q. Our 11 y/o ADHD/Asperger’s son had a dream that he was caught in the ocean, the tide dragged him out to sea but he was able to catch hold of a buoy as a shark approached. He “found a steak knife” in his pocket and began to stab the shark. The shark then turned into our 12 year old son and our 11 year old woke with his brother’s screams in the dream still very vivid. He says he is ok about it but I wonder if we should call his psych? He is taking strattera, ritalin la and concerta.

A. Dreams are rarely prophetic and they typically cannot be interpertated literally. We dream in symbols and usually these symbols need to be translated before their true meaning can be fully understood. Despite this, it seems prudent that you call your son’s doctor if only to alert him about the dream. You should also get his doctor’s advice on how to handle your son’s nightmare and ask for his or her opinion about what it may mean. It’s better to err on the side of caution when children are involved. A call to his doctor will also probably make you feel better. Take care.

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 1 Jan 2008

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2008). Should We Seek Help for our Son’s Nightmare?. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 27, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2008/01/01/should-we-seek-help-for-our-son%e2%80%99s-nightmare/