The relationship between nightmares and suicidal behaviour

Posted on August 17, 2018

Nightmares activate certain types of negative thoughts like sense of defeat, loss of hope and entrapment which enhance thoughts of committing suicide. The link between nightmares and suicidal behaviors is associated with depression and inability to fall asleep. Nightmares cause stress in people with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). PTSD raises the probability of having suicidal thoughts and behavior. Since having nightmares is a common sign of PTSD, aiming to reduce nightmares might lower the chances of having suicidal behavior.

Nightmares can be so detailed and powerful that they seem like reality. They are also usually very thought-provoking dreams involving death and danger that cause immense discomfort, fear and anxiety. One might suffer from nightmare disorders if recurring nightmares lead to extreme anxiety, pain and sorrow, or start to affect one’s ability to adapt and interact with people and their work environment. 80% of people with PTSD start having nightmares during the first 3 months of distress after a life-threatening event. The nightmares might keep on occurring throughout their entire lives.

There are many other ideas and possibilities that justify the link between nightmares and suicide. These possibilities should be explored further and considered in future research.

Category(s):Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) / Trauma / Complex PTSD

Source material from Science Daily