To understand the functioning of dreams is a concept that we may never fully comprehend. For years scientist and psychologist have contemplated and came up with many different theories that have attempt to explain dreaming and its purpose. One explanation includes the principle that dreams make connections between old memories, such as a traumatic experience for example. These connections are also influenced by the dreamer is experiencing. The theory states that our dreams then "contextualize" these emotions into visual images. To dream is to simply visualize both the memories and the dominant emotions that one has experienced.
According to Ernest Hartman who has conducted numerous case studies on dreams in correlation with trauma, "Dreams make connections between traumatic events and other material, such as old memories, including memories of past trauma. These connections seem to be guided principally by the emotions and emotional concerns of the dreamer" (Hartmann 7). In one particular case, he studies the dreams of a rape victim to better exemplify how emotions influence our dreams. Following the rape, the victim had several dreams that involved some sort of physical conflict and struggle. In this case terror is the emotion that is repeatedly being expressed in response to the frightening struggle actually experienced in the rape.
Following a rape, a victim may suffer from Post Traumatic Stress disorder. This is a psychological disorder that follows a traumatic experience in which the individual suffers from reoccurring flashbacks of the event and of the emotions experienced.. One of the symptoms includes reoccurring dreams or nightmares symbolizing or reflecting emotions experienced during the trauma (MedlinePlus). This is hard evidence to support Hartmann's theory and beliefs.
A dream I have had recently also clearly demonstrates how our emotions and past experiences play a key role in the development of our dreams;
While vacationing... [continues]
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