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    1. #1
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      Got Suffocated in my Dream

      Hi,

      I got this dream a while back and I am curious to understand what it stands for.

      In my dream, I was lying down in a meadow and it was dark and gloomy overhead.

      I was looking up into the skies. It was getting darker and darker and the rain clouds which were getting formed were starting to come down. They were inching closer and closer, simultaneously I noticed a couple of dogs by my feet and they were shouting at me. I kind of knew that they were asking me to get away from that place like I am in some danger. But I didn't move and the clouds had inched even closer to me. Ultimately the clouds fell on top of me and suffocated me. I was trying to shout for help but no clear words were coming out of my mouth and I was just letting out groans. By this time I realized am in a dream and I was trying to wake up, but I was not able to move or open my eyes. I started panicking and I was shouting for help in real but again no clear words and only groans were coming out. I was also suffocating and not able to breathe in real.

      I suddenly woke up from my sleep and finally I was able to breathe. I asked my uncle who was sleeping near me if he heard me groan in my sleep. Unfortunately he had been asleep and hadn't noticed anything.

      Your inputs are appreciated

    2. #2
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      Well I can lay your mind to rest on this. This is actually pretty standard stuff, and all it means is that you were having difficulty breathing probably because of the position you were sleeping in, and it started to affect your dream before you woke up. Trying to talk or shout for help and being unable to is a common element of these kind of distress dreams as well, because you're starting to wake up and becoming aware of your physical body and the breathing problem, but you still can't do anything about it because you're still too asleep. I've had similar experiences several times, and each time I was laying with my head turned really far to the side so that my neck was sort of twisted and my throat had closed up inside and wouldn't allow air through. So this is obviously a real-world stressor of the first magnitude and will definitely affect your dream as you're starting to wake up. When something from physical reality gets into your awareness enough to affect your dream it will show up in some weird form, like for instance the fact that you couldn't breathe very well caused the dark clouds to form and start coming down to suffocate you - your dreaming mind just concocted some reason why you were having trouble breathing. And in a situation like that you desperately want to actually cry out for help, but can feel that your efforts are not working physically, so it increases your sense of desperation. It just takes a little while for you to wake up enough to gain control over your body again.
      Last edited by Darkmatters; 08-12-2017 at 01:03 PM.

    3. #3
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      Although in order to provide a more accurate interpretation it would usually be best to have some additional general background information about you (and a description of events just before this frightening dream), a few ideas can be tried out to see if they might fit your personal situation in some way.

      For example, while it’s true that a physical position or other physical factors can affect a dream, the question should always be: why did the dream choose the specific images and action that are shown in the dream instead of something else?

      Also, an unconscious attitude, anxiety or situation etc. can cause a certain physical position of the body etc. to appear in the first place during sleep as the body moves around before, or in response to, a dream.

      In addition, it’s important to mention that there are generally no rigidly fixed interpretations for a given image in a dream, and it’s always best to have the spontaneous memories, thoughts and feelings of the dreamer as related to each image and event in a dream.

      That way, a better analysis is more likely, but having said that, there are some general symbolic motifs that appear in dreams which can serve as a basic starting point for discovering its meaning.

      It’s important to say as well that the language of dreams is one based on often complex analogies and metaphors which can often be hard to understand.

      For example, the context in which a symbol appears is crucial because every symbol can have a positive or negative meaning to it, depending on the overall scene in which it appears and as well on the actual life of the dreamer at the time of the dream.

      Additionally, dreams are the broad equivalent to those processes which keep our physical bodies in an equilibrium.

      For example, automatic adjustments are continually made to keep a person’s temperature, blood sugar level, water content etc. etc. at appropriate levels.

      In an equivalent way, dreams try to maintain an overall psychological balance which will allow for the gradual all-round self-development of the dreamer.

      In your dream, you’re outside (i.e. maybe psychologically “lacking shelter”) while dark rain clouds are forming, even unusually coming down from the sky until they are touching and suffocating you.

      It’s safe to say that the presence of animals in dreams usually points to the issue of the dreamer’s overall attitude toward natural instinctive reactions, strong emotions, values, vague feelings, intuitions and similar inborn earthy traits.

      In this case, your instincts are apparently trying to warn you of the danger as the clouds approach.

      The danger shown in the dream is “suffocation” which of course means the stopping of air flowing to the lungs.

      From a symbolic point of view, “air” is usually the same as “spirit”.

      So the idea could unfortunately be that some problem might be starting to grow at this time (i.e. as symbolized by the dark cloud and rain) which could tend to “take your spirit away” if appropriate action isn’t taken in a timely way. I’m not sure, though, how far back this dream appeared.

      The clouds and rain in this context could represent some feelings of depression and feeling low too often (e.g. the rainclouds come very “low” to the ground).

      If so, as mentioned, any such situation could already be causing certain physical postures etc. during sleep which then in turn are “illustrated” further by the dream.

      As a very general example to support this idea, it’s known that certain psychological conditions can cause a person to unconsciously breathe in a very unnaturally shallow way, the physical result eventually being that they can more easily contract various serious illnesses of the lungs.

      So in this case, it’s possible that certain physical postures during the night that happened before, or in response to the dream itself, caused you to have difficulty breathing.

      If so, this led to an “anxiety” type dream which forced you to hopefully “wake up” to some potentially dangerous attitude or state of mind etc.

      Another important idea is that it’s almost always better to have a series of dreams in order to analyze a given dream that has appeared.

      In your case, at least we do have one other dream which you posted on August 8.

      In that dream, Death has literally come to take you away. I’m not sure if this dream appeared before or after the rain and clouds dream.

      A big contrast is that, contrary to the recent dream, there’s no real emotion in it. You wrote that you only felt neutral (“Neither anxiety or willingness to accept death”) about how Death clearly was “taking your life” at the end.

      If you dreamt about the clouds and rain dream after the Death dream, the idea would be that, because you naturally wouldn’t really have any way of understanding the importance of the earlier dream, a more frightening dream has followed, again with the idea of “waking you up to” an apparently serious problem.

      Not feeling anything in the earlier dream can be called a “lack of spirit”, that is, maybe an early sign of depression.

      In this context, “Death” succeeding at “taking your life” could unfortunately mean a full blown depression might possibly be the result if some appropriate action isn’t taken.

      This doesn’t mean at all that this will happen, only that there could be a possibility of its happening.

      Dreams often exaggerate things in order to shock a dreamer into starting to change something right away. This is similar to taking action early on if an unpleasant physical symptom doesn’t go away in order that a condition won’t get worse if it’s ignored.

      In the earlier dream, you got only a glimpse of the real Death because he appeared to be a normal guy most of the time.

      This could mean that you don’t yet really “recognize” certain little hints about your mood etc. that maybe is getting too “dark” sometimes.

      Death also bites you in the dream. A bite usually symbolizes that there’s a danger of some kind of unpleasant physical and/or psychological symptom appearing later.

      Although you panicked about the bite, you don’t really stop being around Death, maybe showing that instead, you have to take a firmer stand about rejecting the “attractive lure” (e.g. Death swims so powerfully) that’s leading you away from symbolically being a part of everyday life (i.e. by becoming instead “dead” regarding emotions and outer activity etc.).

      Maybe the basic cause of the problem being shown in the dreams is that your more personal and warm emotions and values might be “turned off” a little too often in favour of “cold material likes”.

      This state of affairs could possibly be symbolized by the various poker games in the earlier dream where you’re making money, but where the dream ends by you being really close to Death.

      Anyway as mentioned, without knowing anything much about you, this way of looking at your dreams might not fit your personal circumstances very well if at all, but I hope that these ideas can be helpful in some way.

      In any case, all your comments or questions about this interpretation are very welcome.
      Last edited by Athanor; 08-13-2017 at 08:52 PM.

    4. #4
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      Quote Originally Posted by Yokesh View Post
      I suddenly woke up from my sleep and finally I was able to breathe. I asked my uncle who was sleeping near me if he heard me groan in my sleep. Unfortunately he had been asleep and hadn't noticed anything.
      Are you saying that once you actually woke up, you could breathe fine? If yes, is it then possible that the suffocation was not because of your sleeping position at all, but just a product of the dream? I don't think experiencing difficulty breathing in dreams always has to always be attributed to difficulty breathing in real life. The dream world can make us experience such a wide range of experiences that surely it could simulate an inability to breathe.

    5. #5
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      Quote Originally Posted by Athanor View Post
      while it’s true that a physical position or other physical factors can affect a dream, the question should always be: why did the dream choose the specific images and action that are shown in the dream instead of something else?

      Also, an unconscious attitude, anxiety or situation etc. can cause a certain physical position of the body etc. to appear in the first place during sleep as the body moves around before, or in response to, a dream.
      Very true! Well said Athanor. It hadn't occurred to me that even if something is caused by physical reality or random events it can still be analyzed, but you're right, it absolutely can and should. Jung would definitely approve.

      Quote Originally Posted by LDbc12 View Post
      Are you saying that once you actually woke up, you could breathe fine? If yes, is it then possible that the suffocation was not because of your sleeping position at all, but just a product of the dream? I don't think experiencing difficulty breathing in dreams always has to always be attributed to difficulty breathing in real life. The dream world can make us experience such a wide range of experiences that surely it could simulate an inability to breathe.
      I suppose it's possible, but I wouldn't say it's very likely. First breathing is involuntary. Well, you can certainly take voluntary control over it but usually it's handled unconsciously, and part of the reason for that is so we don't die when we fall asleep. Though I suppose if the unconscious really wanted to get a strong message across it could do so by stopping the breathing during a dream. However, the fact that breathing is automatic during dreaming is well established, and is in fact the reason the nose pinch RC works so well, and why we can breathe in dreams where we're underwater.

      It could possibly be sleep apnea, which is a sleep disorder characterized by stoppage of breathing during sleep (sort of goes without saying, don't it?) And it could also be something other than position - such as swelling of throat or sinus tissues. I didn't mean to imply that it had to be exactly what I've experienced, just used that as an example. Another possibility is sheets or part of the pillow - or a collar if you're wearing a shirt or pajamas, might get pulled tightly across the throat or lay across your mouth and nose.

      Sleeping on your back can often cause breathing problems, because that makes it more likely that the tongue or swollen tissues or whatever can slide back into the throat and block things up, or that your head might swivel on your neck like I've experienced. So if the OP wants to lessen chances of this occurring again, he could try sleeping on his side.

      And finally, you would naturally be able to breathe as you're waking up, because that's the reason you're being awakened - so you can fix whatever problem is preventing breathing. As soon as you start to gain consciousness, which is before you're fully awake, your body will automatically adjust itself so you can breathe - whatever the problem was. A little turn of the head or whatever, and you're breathing. All it takes is to awaken just enough so you can move again - while you're in REM sleep of course your body is unable to move aside from the normal unconscious regulating functions such as breathing and heartbeat, plus apparently you can move your eyes in a controlled fashion (though apparently that one has been under attack scientifically if I understand properly).
      Last edited by Darkmatters; 08-14-2017 at 04:46 PM. Reason: Typos everywhere!!

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