Essay about Dream Content and Schizophrenia

2765 Words Apr 7th, 2014 12 Pages
How do dreams differ in people with schizophrenia to from those without the disorder?
Kristin Staub
Brookfield High School

Dreaming is a vital part in sleeping, yet in some individuals it interferes in their waking state. For example, schizophrenics have hallucinatory images while they’re not sleeping causing some psychologists to speculate why this happens. People without the disorder and other people with other disorders have been found to dream while they’re in REM sleep which is a major mental process that allows people to dream. The following articles, “Sleep Fantasy in Normal and Schizophrenic Persons,” “An Extension of Freud and Jung’s Theory of Relation of Dream States to Schizophrenia,” “The Neurochemistry of Waking and
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Dixon explains that schizophrenics generally have a lack of emotional reactivity which is a vital role in the dreaming state, which reflects on emotional activity (Dixon p.5). However, the researcher goes on to explain that a schizophrenic might be defending himself emotionally from unpleasant memories and therefore have a “flattened effect” on the dreaming state while sleeping. The psychoanalytic theorist Jung (1958)supports Dixon’s argument that speech, judgment and lack of willpower contributes to an exceptionally inward violence on the schizophrenic because of the “flattened effect” (Dixon p.5). Essentially, this means that a schizophrenic is under emotional stress which interferes with their ability to differentiate between fantasy and reality in their delusional states. Therefore Dixon furthers his argument that this emotional stress can have a phenomenological effect in determining objects that are fantasized and objects that are present in reality because of primary process thinking. Primary process thinking is Freud’s concept of attempting to fulfill wishful desires and achieving that wish. In this case schizophrenics use symbols to explain certain emotions lying deep within their mind and possible emotional frustrations they may be experiencing and therefore manifest into dream states in the waking

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