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Mental Health

Nightmares In Quarantine: What Do They Mean?

Since the beginning of the covid-19 pandemic, the routine of a lot of people has been changing. Among them, it’s possible to emphasize social isolation, which is probably the best way to prevent people from getting sick until we have a vaccine. This “new normal” also affects directly our mental health, since it’s undeniable the increasing levels of anxiety and stress. A way to observe this is through dreams manifestations, especially nightmares.

For a better understanding of this scenery, we interviewed Adriana Politi, a psychologist and psychotherapist specialist in mental health and Jungian psychotherapy. 

“Usually, what happens in the collective sphere interferes in people’s dreams. Therefore, since the beginning of the pandemic, I observed an increase of nightmare reports, as well as my colleagues”, said Adriana. She continued: “This increase may be related to long-term stress caused by social isolation, leading to weird dreams or nightmares. Even though there are some studies on circumstances that cause huge emotional impacts, there are a few researches on this area”.

When asked about how social isolation affects the recurrence of nightmares, Adriana comments that under these circumstances, people tend to spend more time with themselves: “There’s more time to reflect on past physical or psychological experiences. As a result, this inconscient content may emerge to the conscient, through nightmares or dreams.”, explained.

About the meaning of these bad dreams, the psychologist said that our psychics contents are sensible and influenced by social situations and personal experiences. Therefore, they usually reflect fears, threats, death, impermanence or violence.

 “Lately, I’ve been observing a bigger incidence of nightmares related to threats of things that cannot be controlled or identified, which is clearly the case of this pandemic itself. Some examples that portray this is dreaming of some dark shade like: invasions, tsunamis, earthquakes, insect swarms or wild animals attacks; as well as seeing yourself lost and incapable of finding a way out. In general, nightmares that cause a lot of anguish”, she pointed.


person sleeping in white bed
Photo by Pixabay from Pexels

How to avoid It?

Politi suggests a few practices. “Try not to bomb yourself with an excessive amount of bad news, maybe by watching the news only once a day or checking the updates from only one trustable source. It’s also recommended to practice relaxing activities, such as meditation or drinking some tea with calming properties before going to bed”.

However, the specialist emphasizes a really important addendum about the dream atmosphere. 

“Our dreams and nightmares have a crucial function when it comes not only to regulate and restore the disturbed psychic balance, but also to reflect and face the reality in a better way. They contribute to a way healthier psychological operation. It’s not possible to be positive at all to avoid or eradicate any dreamlike manifestation, so it’s recommendable to not expose yourself excessively to these disrupted experiences”.

Lastly, Politi finalized: “The analysis of a dream or a nightmare makes it possible for these symbols to be amplified and understood, resulting in an elaboration of impounded contents and its application in real life, besides of a better self-knowledge, improving as a person. That’s why it’s so important to talk with a professional in the area”.

The article above was edited by Lívia Carvalho Liked this type of content? Check Her Campus Casper Libero home page for more!

Melissa Charchat

Casper Libero '23

Currently studying journalism at Faculdade Cásper Líbero, Melissa is passionate about music and writing. As a professional, her main goal is to promote a larger access to information by doing what she loves.
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