Many previous observers have reported some qualitative similarities between the normal mental state of dreaming and the abnormal mental state of psychosis. Recent psychological, tomographic, electrophysiological, and neurochemical data appear to confirm the functional similarities between these 2 states. In this study, the hypothesis of the dreaming brain as a neurobiological model for psychosis was tested by focusing on cognitive bizarreness, a distinctive property of the dreaming mental state defined by discontinuities and incongruities in the dream plot, thoughts, and feelings. Cognitive bizarreness was measured in written reports of dreams and in verbal reports of waking fantasies in 30 schizophrenics and 30 normal controls. Seven pictures of the Thematic Apperception Test TAT were administered as a stimulus to elicit waking fantasies, and all participating subjects were asked to record their dreams upon awakening. A total of waking fantasies plus dream reports were collected to quantify the bizarreness features in the dream and waking state of both subject groups. Two-way analysis of covariance for repeated measures showed that cognitive bizarreness was significantly lower in the TAT stories of normal subjects than in those of schizophrenics and in the dream reports of both groups. The differences between the 2 groups indicated that, under experimental conditions, the waking cognition of schizophrenic subjects shares a common degree of formal cognitive bizarreness with the dream reports of both normal controls and schizophrenics. Though very preliminary, these results support the hypothesis that the dreaming brain could be a useful experimental model for psychosis. The classical psychiatric and psychoanalytic literature has commented upon qualitative similarities between the normal state of dreaming and the abnormal state of psychosis, such as the loosening of associations, the incongruity and bizarreness of personal experience, and the distortion of time and space parameters.
Nightmare distress ND is associated with a broad spectrum of psychopathological conditions such as anxiety, depression and bipolar disorder. Some studies have indicated that dream beliefs play an important role in the occurrence and treatment of nightmare distress. However, existing instruments used to assess dream beliefs either fail to satisfy the requirements of the psychometrics or fail to capture the essence of dream beliefs. This research pursued two objectives: 1 to develop a questionnaire, called the Beliefs About Dreams Questionnaire BADQ , to measure beliefs people hold about their dreams and 2 to describe the dream beliefs of Chinese college students. The structure and items on the BADQ were based on the previous literature and were the result of an open questionnaire.
Nightmares are a unique feature of posttraumatic stress disorder PTSD. Although nightmares are a symptom of PTSD, they have been shown to independently contribute to psychiatric distress and poor outcomes, including heightened suicidality and suicide. Nightmares are often resistant to recommended pharmacological or psychological PTSD treatments. Fortunately, nightmare-specific treatments are available, and improvements in nightmares are associated with clinically significant improvements in sleep quality and severity of daytime PTSD symptoms. The recent literature on the characteristics, neurophysiology, and treatment of nightmares in the context of PTSD is reviewed. Recent findings on the neurophysiological correlates of nightmares and more generally, dreaming, are also discussed here as they suggest novel directions for understanding the mechanisms underlying nightmares comorbid with PTSD and potential novel treatment approaches. Nightmares are a hallmark of posttraumatic stress disorder PTSD.