Bipolar Disorder: Dreams & Mood Swings
If you are bipolar, have you ever had a string of nightmares that would occur anywhere from 1-3 days in a row and beyond? Also, have you ever had mundane dreams, anxiety producing dreams, or even a lack of dreams that have also lasted about 1-3 days straight or more? If you answered ‘yes’ to either of those questions, you are not alone!
A study was performed on a group of people who had previously been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, and it was regarding a correlation between the type of dreams they had and mood shifts. I found the results highly interesting and I think you will too!
They found that when someone with bipolar disorder is heading toward a manic/hypomanic episode, their dreams would consist of things regarding death or bodily injury. In other words, a nightmare. Even really odd and bizarre dreams could mean the same thing. These dreams are also most likely very vivid as well. Something that you may be able to recall fairly easy upon awakening.
When a person was spiraling toward a depressive episode, they would begin to see an overall decrease in the number of dreams they had. Also, when the dreams would happen they would most likely become anxiety-inducing.
If a person was at their baseline or neutral mood, they found that their dreams would be boring or mundane, or even uneventful. It could be something that may happen to you in real life like being stuck at work, on the bus, on in traffic.
What You Can Do
If you want to try to keep better track of your mood shifts and episodes, you can start by keeping a dream journal. Every time you have a dream and wake up, regardless if it was good, bad, or even boring write it down. The following day, add what kind of mood you were in into your dream journal so that you can see if there are any patterns signifying a change in mood for you.
This may help you predict when you are about to go into an episode. When you are more aware of when changes may occur, you can be fully prepared for what you are about to go through. Maybe you need to discuss it with someone from your mental health team or a trusted friend or family member so they can help you even more if it would turn out to be a horrendous episode.
Our dreams are our subconscious mind trying to sort through things and work things out. By writing down the dream you had, you may also be able to decipher it and work through current situations that may be bothering you.
I want to thank one of my followers (you know who you are) for telling me about this and giving me the idea to write about it. The above is very fascinating. If they put more information out regarding this subject I will post it.
Thanks for reading and feel free to comment below!
Samantha is the author of "My Bipolar Mind: You're not alone," she is also a freelance writer, blogger, and mental health advocate who runs and manages her own mental health blog MyBipolarMind.com.