Dreams and Depression


In my dream I started out with super powers. I was flying, levitating and glowing over the backyard of the house where I grew up.

Childhood was hellish for me with my parents, yet I often return to that house in my dreams.

Sometimes these are dreams in which I am powerful, but typically that power doesn’t last. My dream narrative is often about loosing control. And sometimes my dreams are about being the underdog from the start.

My parents’ house is the landscape for my dreams of powerlessness. And in my developmental years, this was my real landscape, my environment, while my self-belief was formed.

I know that I have been struggling with my self-belief recently, and so it is no surprise to me that my subconscious is playing this out while my conscious defences are down.

It’s all part of my recent depression and anxiety relapse.

I feel like my dreams are some sort of depression analysis.

It’s funny how this has worked out. I’m taking Citalopram (Lexapro), a standard SSRI drug. One of the more common side-effects of this is intense dreams. I can’t say the Citalopram hasn’t been a huge help on it’s own, but this side-effect of colourful and memorable dreams is really helping me to.

When I wake up in the morning, the memory of my dream is often too compelling to ignore. I have to sit and analysis it. And it’s giving me valuable insight. I feel like this powerlessness that I dream about is the root of my anxiety and depression.

I’m scared that the world will chew me up and spit me out because I am powerless.

But that’s not technically true anymore. As a thirty-five year old with an honours degree from the university of life, I have much more agency than the child I used to be.

That child grew up and moved out of the house from my dreams. I suppose the work I need to do now is to communicate to my subconscious mind that I don’t live there anymore.

If conscious me could step into my dreams, a bit like in the movie The Cell, there are things I would tell myself.

I would tell myself to fly.

I really would. I’m dreaming, so the laws of physics can’t tell me what to do. And my parents certainly can’t anymore.

I would tell myself to build a new landscape, because I can.

I would thank my recent depression relapse for the lesson.

An Elective Orphan x

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