Have Violent Dreams: Causes & Meaning

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In today’s session on dream interpretation, we will focus on arguably one of the most common themes in dreams: violence.

Violence is not something unique in our world. From domestic wrangles to global wars, violence seems tied to our existence. So, it’s no surprise when violent images fill our dreamscape.

If you’re not violent or aggressive, you might ask yourself several questions after experiencing a violent dream. Why do I dream of violence? What does the vision mean?

violent dreams

Fortunately, we are here to provide you with the answers you need. Keep reading to learn the secrets and importance of your dream and how it relates to your waking life.

Why Do I Have Violent Dreams?

According to Dr. Angel Morgan, our nocturnal visions have a symbolic significance. But what does this mean?

Well, they tell us a story about what concerns us the most through puns and metaphors.

For instance, if you experience violence in your walking life, the violence might manifest in your dream space. The reason being, your subconscious mind wants you to address what happened and eventually overcome it.

If the violent dream involves someone you love, it could represent intense feelings like fear or uncertainty related to your relationship. This could relate to past trauma, like exposure to violence during your childhood.

Furthermore, violent dreams could arise from the media we consume. So, it’s not uncommon to experience such visions after watching Russel Crowe fight in Gladiator. The same could happen after playing violent or gory video games, like Hotline Miami (2012) or Bulletstorm (2011).

From a scientific angle, dreams about violence could indicate certain brain disorders. In 2011, scientists linked violent dream content with REM sleep behavior disorder (RBD).

RDB causes a sudden change in the content of visions, making them more violent. Even worse, some people might act out their dreams, throwing punches, twisting, and yelling. However, these individuals are not aggressive or violent during the day.

RBD usually precedes various neurodegenerative disorders, like multiple system atrophy, dementia, and Parkinson’s disease. Therefore, a violent dream could be a warning sign of impending brain disorder.

Meaning of Violent Dreams

We know what you are thinking– “violent dreams foretell a bad omen”.

This is not far from the truth, considering violence embodies all the bad things in the world. For example, if someone wants something belonging to someone else, he (or she) might resort to violence to obtain it.

Violence has existed since the beginning of time. Case in point: Cain killed his brother Abel out of jealous rage and envy, marking the first act of violence in humans.

Even in the modern world, violence remains a consistent theme, taking root in nearly all areas of our lives. So, it makes sense to link violent dreams with impending doom.

But what do dreams about violence mean?

Stay with us here, because we’ve highlighted a few potential meanings related to these dreams below:

1. Fear of Violence

First off, our worst fears often find their way into our subconscious mind and, eventually, our dream world. If you fear going bald, there’s a chance you might lose your hair repeatedly in a dream. Individuals who fear getting lost usually experience visions of losing their way.

Are you seeing a trend here?

Violent dreams could relate to your feelings of fear and anxiety, resulting from violence discussed in media or happening in your community. The vision is a way for your mind to understand what is ensuing and put it into perspective.

2. Unresolved Trauma

Sometimes, dreams about violence might rise from unresolved (rooted) trauma or internal conflict.

Sigmund Freud, a renowned dream expert, said dreams offer us a view of our unconscious mind. As such, they allow us to revisit, work through, and master old trauma.

That said, violent dreams could reflect your body’s attempt to cope and learn from traumatic experiences.

When you’re exposed to violence while asleep, you are more likely to face a threatening situation. By doing so, you can reduce your fear and gain access to other areas of your brain crucial for creativity and decision-making.

3. Feelings of Anger

Violent situations in dreams also allude to feelings of anger or frustration. This holds, especially if you dream of hurting someone dear to you.

Maybe the individual in question is constantly trying to bring you down or causing you stress. While you feel like lashing out at the person, you’re holding yourself back to avoid conflict, though you want to end their toxicity.

In this situation, it helps to get your anger under control. Otherwise, your health and relationships will take a hit.

Spiritual Meaning of Violent Dreams

From a spiritual perspective, dreams about violence represent your emotional state and thoughts. For instance, if you dream of being chased by a monster, it’s a reflection of your fear. The fear could relate to various facets of your waking life, including work, health, and relationships.

On a similar note, these dreams offer you a unique way to confront, process, and release pent-up emotions. So, if you are frustrated about a particular circumstance, these visions might provide you with a safe space to work through them. Anger and sadness can also be processed and released via dreams.

Some experts believe that violence in dreams could represent a struggle between different aspects of your personality. Alternatively, it may indicate conflicting desires and beliefs and encourage you to address these issues.

A dream about violence may also represent change and transformation. Perhaps it’s time to let go of your toxic habits, destructive patterns, or negative ways of thinking. It’s a sign to embrace a positive mindset while focusing on growth and development.

Lastly, the dream could be a warning or message from the universe or other realms. Your guardian angel or ancestors may want to warn you of potential dangers or impending conflict. Through the dream’s content, they can urge you to take caution and make certain shifts to avoid harm.

Common Scenarios of Dreams About Violence

violent dreams meaning

Now that you know what dreams about violence mean, let’s check out the different variations of this vision.

1. Dreams About Violence and Killing

A dream of violence that precedes killing or death show unresolved anger, aggression and need for control. It reflects suppressed emotions you would rather not express in your waking life.

These emotions could arise from conflict at home or work. It could also relate to people you care for or to a total stranger. In this case, consider identifying healthier ways to channel your anger and address the culprit behind your conflict and frustrations.

As for the killing, it shows the desire for self-defense or protection against threats or difficult situations in life.

Conversely, it might imply sacrificing a way of life or thinking that no longer serves you. If so, the sacrifice is a significant milestone on your path to change or transform your character. Most times, the death of something leads to the birth of another thing.

2. Dream About Witnessing Violence

Did you witness a stabbing or other brutal act of violence in your dream?

Your vision symbolizes feelings of fear and vulnerability. Or maybe you feel overwhelmed by the harsh reality of our world and feel powerless to do anything.

You might experience this dream if you’re constantly witnessing conflicts or aggression around you. For example, if you live in a neighborhood with frequent cases of shooting or violence, the violent images might find their way into your dream.

This allows you to adjust to disturbing events and emotions and learn to overcome them. If the violence affects you or the people you care for, it shows you’re wounded. You have emotional wounds that hurt and affect your state of mind.

So, it helps to find ways to foster peace of mind and support those in need. And if the violent situations feel overwhelming, seek help from a licensed mental health professional.

3. Dream About Violence and Blood

Dreams with subjects like violence and blood can bring up intense emotions and vivid images. Remember, blood is a powerful symbol that relates to life force, emotional energy, and vitality. Therefore, the dream could symbolize the release of unresolved conflicts and emotions to attain a balanced life.

The vision also denotes your innate need to heal or overcome emotional wounds. You also desire a deeper emotional and spiritual connection to your existence and the universe.

4. Dream About a Violent Natural Disaster

Dreaming about natural disasters like earthquakes and tornados means you feel a sense of powerlessness. This feeling could result from overwhelming circumstances or uncontrollable forces in your life.

Chances are, you’re dealing with a chaotic event that’s disrupting your sense of security and stability. The dream reflects your fear and concerns related to unexpected situations or challenges. It also shows your need to attain stability.

Another interpretation is that this violent vision represents emotional resilience and adaptability. It urges you to discover your inner strength and ability to withstand turbulent times. Identify key areas in life where you feel vulnerable and figure out how to regain control.

Other Violent Dreams:

Final Thoughts

Oftentimes, violent dreams draw out feelings of impending doom because violence embodies everything bad. But despite their disturbing nature, these dreams are often positive.

As highlighted earlier, these dreams provide you with a safe space to work through and release your pent-up emotions. Violent dreams also help you confront, process, and overcome unresolved trauma and internal conflict.

On the negative side, these visions could link to brain disorders like dementia and Parkinson’s disease. So, if you have recurring dreams about violence, visit a mental health professional.

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