Veterans’ dreams tied to a specific traumatic experience were shown to be strongly associated with suicide reattempts, according to a study.
Researchers looked at data from more than 3,200 veterans who had attempted suicide and were diagnosed with one of three types of nightmares: idiopathic nightmares of unknown origin, trauma-related nightmares with a PTSD diagnosis, or complex nightmares with PTSD and a sleep-related breathing disorder. Only trauma-related dreams were positively correlated with suicide reattempts among the three categories of nightmares. “One possible reason for these findings might be the effect of real dream content,” said senior investigator Todd Bishop, who holds a PhD in clinical psychology and works at the VA Center of Excellence for Suicide Prevention as a researcher and health science professional.”Trauma-associated nightmares, according to previous study, contain material that is quite comparable to the original trauma, whereas complex nightmares can include a wide range of dream content, which is frequently not directly connected to the trauma. As a result, it’s probable that the nightmare’s dream content is a driving element in the observed variances.”
Complex dreams and trauma-related nightmares were also shown to be strongly connected with mental health care consumption, according to the researchers. This, according to the researchers, might help physicians fine-tune their therapies for veterans suffering from nightmares.
“Traditionally, complex nightmares and trauma-related dreams have been treated as the same phenomena; however, if they are indeed different, they may require separate therapies,” Bishop stated.
He said, “Prazosin and rescripting psychotherapies such as exposure, relaxation, and rescripting therapy, for example, are two of the most frequent treatments for nightmares connected to PTSD. Complex nightmares, on the other hand, may be more directly tied to sleep-disordered breathing than PTSD, making trauma-related nightmare therapy less effective.”