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Could nightmares be a symptom of schizophrenia?

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My grandson who is 22 just gave me a letter he wrote in order to get his feelings out. He states he is afraid of going to sleep because he has horriable nightmares about hurting people. He sees blood an bodies and himself running after the weak and strong. He feels that one day he serves the lord and one day he serves the devil. When he was 13 he would tell me that he would have nightmares but and said they were so terrible that he couldn’t tell me what they were at that time. He just got out of prison on 3/3/07 and did time for car theft and use to do meth. He said in his letter that he use to do meth because he could stay up for days and would could just pass out from exhaustion. He has been free from meth for a year and he still had all these nightmares even when he wasn’t on drugs. We have no money for doctors. I know he needs help but I don’t know how to go about it. Could these nightmares be a symtom of schizophrenia?

Could nightmares be a symptom of schizophrenia?

Answered by on -


I can’t, of course, make a diagnosis on the basis of a letter. I do think you are right to be quite concerned. If you google search your city and “crisis services”, you will find a number of agencies that provide free mental health services. I think your grandson needs to be evaluated by a qualified professional. He is at the age when psychosis often first appears. If that is what is happening, the earlier he is treated for it, the better. The other resource for you is the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). There may be a chapter near you.
I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

Could nightmares be a symptom of schizophrenia?

Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Dr. Marie is licensed as both a psychologist and marriage and family counselor. She specializes in couples and family therapy and parent education. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2018). Could nightmares be a symptom of schizophrenia?. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 20, 2019, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
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