Irrational Thoughts, Dreams & Reoccurring Daydreams

By Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

My work can be very busy, demanding and emotionally challenging, I work with the elderly. Since childhood I have always had recoccuring dreams and nearly an obsession with boarding schools. Since 2002 and seeing the film ‘The Magdalene Sisters’ I have had reoccuring dreams, night and day that I was or will be (next life) a victim of institutional abuse. ITs bizzarre. I have a happy home life, family, wife etc and had a very normal well balanced childhood from a happy home. The dreams are starting to get quite distressing and it seems every book I look at i find reminders of them etc. Was I simply emotionally scarred by that movie? THat that barbaric treatment happened in my country?? Was I in a institute before or will i be in one? This actually worries me, am i irrational?? I hope i have explained my problem, is it a problem? I feel ridiculous thinking it is but need to share and need advice. ANy would be appreciated.

A. Often, reoccurring dreams are indicative of important information attempting to be conveyed by the unconscious mind. Generally, reoccurring dreams are essentially saying to the dreamer “pay attention, this is an issue or problem that needs to be dealt with.” A dream may recur because the dreamer has yet to fully comprehend the message.

Having said that, there is no way for me to know with certainty what your dream means. No one fully understands the ultimate nature of dreams. Dreams are mysterious. Some dreams may be interpretable and some may not be. The ambiguity of not knowing their meaning may be disconcerting but that is the reality of dreams. We all must accept and live with this ambiguity.

You should continue to pay attention to your dreams. If you have not done so already, begin recording your dreams. Keep a notebook and a pen next to your bed. Record every detail about a dream, even if its contents seem trivial or meaningless. Be certain to begin the recording process within the first few moments upon awakening. The longer you wait, the less you will be able to recall throughout the day. Eventually, your dreams may show an interesting pattern or present key information that may help you to better understand their meaning.

As I alluded to above, I believe it is important to tailor your expectations about understanding dreams. Simply record them. Have no expectations. Try not to draw conclusions about their meaning, especially if they are vague and fragmented. There may be no conclusions to be drawn at the time of having had the dream.

You should also record any events which cause you to have a strong emotional reaction. You mentioned that you felt particularly strong feelings about the movie ‘The Magdalene Sisters.’ That is important information to document. You can take this collection of information to a therapist who is practiced in dream interpretation.

I am sorry that I was unable to give you clear, definitive answers but I hope I was able to provide you with some basic information about dreams. Carl Jung lectured extensively on the nature of dreams. You may find it intellectually interesting to read what he has written on the subject. I hope this helps. Please take care.

Dr. Kristina Randle

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 22 Jul 2011

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2011). Irrational Thoughts, Dreams & Reoccurring Daydreams. Psych Central. Retrieved on July 26, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2011/07/22/irrational-thoughts-dreams-reoccurring-daydreams/