Psychosis in dreams but functional in waking reality

In some people, symptoms of pathology (mental disorder) start with a stressful or frightening dream. This bad dream may be the start of the domino effect and subsequent dreams become increasingly stressful or scary. The person can be functional in waking reality, but their dreams are fraught with symptoms of mental problems. During the day, the mind tries to control thoughts, emotions and behaviors. Sleep does not allow brain activity to be controlled.

At the opposite end of the spectrum, there are people who see pathological symptoms during their waking hours so much so that they behave as though they are induced by psychotic dreams when they are awake.

In delirium, or the outward behaviors of psychosis, they are so deviant from the person’s normal behaviors that it appears the subject is acting out a dream.

Logic does not have a role in dreams. That is why sane people can see wild dreams.

People who experience extreme stress during waking hours, may see a complete reversal in their dreams. Due to their desire to see peace and happiness, they may dream these, which were denied them while they were awake.


Freud, S. (2010). The Interpretation of Dreams. Basic Books: New York.

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