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Health anxiety worse in dreams, anyone?

bin_tenn

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Hey all. I'm not sure how familiar you all are with my health anxiety history, but my primary fears over the past several years were skin cancer and heart related stuff. The skin cancer worries stuck around for a while, but I guess it didn't last terribly long. However, I seem to have occasional dreams related to those worries, despite not having any apparent worries about it during the day.

I'm honestly not surprised that it crept into my dreams last night. I do a quick scan over my body every few months or so to keep an eye on the moles I have, and last night was one of those times. But still, last night I had a very strange (by strange, I mean it made no sense haha) dream related to skin cancer. It wasn't scary or intense, but related and - again - very strange / nonsensical.

What dreams do you have regarding health anxiety that you seem to have no apparent anxiety about while awake? Whether it's a past fear, or something you otherwise never think about? Curious to hear your similar stories!
 

bigjetplane6

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You know, it’s funny. Because when I go to sleep, I actually look foward to sleeping since I tune out my health anxiety and can sleep without the worries. Is this some sort of depression i’m describing?
 

bin_tenn

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You know, it’s funny. Because when I go to sleep, I actually look foward to sleeping since I tune out my health anxiety and can sleep without the worries. Is this some sort of depression i’m describing?
Nah, I bet a lot of people with anxiety look forward to bedtime so they can get away from anxiety for a while. I personally dislike sleep, but it's not because I sometimes have anxious dreams; it's because I can think of much better things to do. Haha.
 

Camden

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I've had dreams about my teeth breaking and falling out. This was probably brought on by actually having a few dental problems in the past. I have chipped a tooth, developed an abscess, and eventually had to have a root canal. I know that's fairly common, but I still worry about it happening again. I've heard teeth dreams are some of the most common anxiety dreams.

My dreams are often bizzare and surreal, so in a strange way I look forward to them. They are sometimes an adventerous break from the routine of my everyday life. However, they can freak me out too. Everyone's dreams are completely unique becasue all people have a unique and individual experience of the world. I have heard vivid (lucid) dreams are a sign of higher intelligence and greater creativity levels.
 

bin_tenn

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I've had dreams about my teeth breaking and falling out. This was probably brought on by actually having a few dental problems in the past. I have chipped a tooth, developed an abscess, and eventually had to have a root canal. I know that's fairly common, but I still worry about it happening again. I've heard teeth dreams are some of the most common anxiety dreams.
I've had dreams kinda like that as well. Weird things that happen, things that are not beyond the realm of possibility but are still unlikely.

My dreams are often bizzare and surreal, so in a strange way I look forward to them. They are sometimes an adventerous break from the routine of my everyday life. However, they can freak me out too. Everyone's dreams are completely unique becasue all people have a unique and individual experience of the world. I have heard vivid (lucid) dreams are a sign of higher intelligence and greater creativity levels.
I've had some very vivid (and "out there") dreams. I wish I could remember dreams more regularly, but it's very rare. Whether I sleep very well and get in bed at a decent time, or go to bed really late. I almost never remember what I dream about, not even a bit.
 

mollyfin

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I've had tooth dreams since I was a little kid but never connected them to HA. Could be, though!
 

Fraser

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I get the teeth dreams but I'm not sure they are HA related. Every so often I get a cancer. More often than either I have a nightmare where I've started drinking again.
 

bin_tenn

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More often than either I have a nightmare where I've started drinking again.
That sounds awful. Sorry if you've talked about this before, but how long ago did you stop drinking?
 

Fraser

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That sounds awful. Sorry if you've talked about this before, but how long ago did you stop drinking?
I've stopped drinking numerous times. In April of 2019 I quit for a year with the plan of taking a full year and reassessing. I didn't drink for a year and then I was like "See? I can quit. I'm in control. Let's try drinking like a normal person." It wasn't too long before I was right back to where I started, drinking too much and hiding how much I was drinking from loved ones. Then I quit again in December of 2021. It has been 8 months, 19 days and 9 hours. I don't actually count the days; I have an app that tracks it (and tells me how much money I'm saving by not drinking).

The first time I got to a year I thought that meant I had it beat, but apparently 60% of people relapse even with a year sober. Anyway, my life is better when I don't drink, although I do miss it occasionally. The nightmares are mostly that I'm drinking and then realizing that I've been quit for months or waking up and realizing that I drank like crazy the night before. They are actually little reminders of how much I prefer being sober in the grand scheme of things.
 

bin_tenn

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I've stopped drinking numerous times. In April of 2019 I quit for a year with the plan of taking a full year and reassessing. I didn't drink for a year and then I was like "See? I can quit. I'm in control. Let's try drinking like a normal person." It wasn't too long before I was right back to where I started, drinking too much and hiding how much I was drinking from loved ones. Then I quit again in December of 2021. It has been 8 months, 19 days and 9 hours. I don't actually count the days; I have an app that tracks it (and tells me how much money I'm saving by not drinking).

The first time I got to a year I thought that meant I had it beat, but apparently 60% of people relapse even with a year sober. Anyway, my life is better when I don't drink, although I do miss it occasionally. The nightmares are mostly that I'm drinking and then realizing that I've been quit for months or waking up and realizing that I drank like crazy the night before. They are actually little reminders of how much I prefer being sober in the grand scheme of things.
Did you drink for a long time before quitting? What about life while drinking, did it hold you back or were you what some call a "functional alcoholic"? (If that's not too personal, of course)

I'm just curious. My dad was quite a heavy drinker for many years, starting well before myself and my siblings were born. He was functional, went to work every day and never complained that I recall, and he had a damn good paying job. He wasn't abusive or violent. But mom had enough because I guess he literally spent all his free time drinking and of course because it was a lot of money, and they had us kids to take care of.

It took her packing us up and leaving (I was 5yrs old or so at the time) for him to realize it was a real problem. He quit drinking at that point, went to AA meetings, etc. Never touched another drop for the rest of his life (23 years or so). And life for us kids was very normal and happy then.

I just like to share his story because I hope it helps people who may be going through the same thing. It's definitely possible to put it down for good, if it's that much of a problem. I hope you can continue to succeed! I don't know what it's like personally, but I can imagine it's not very easy.
 

Fraser

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I've been drinking more than I should since maybe college. Back then, it was very acceptable and still is in that age demographic. But over time I went from being a guy who binge drank at parties to a guy who would drink too much on a regular basis and would often do so alone. Like a lot of people with problematic drinking, I didn't think it was an issue because I was not a classic alcoholic. I didn't need to drink everyday, I didn't drink an insane amount (although normal people might be weirded out, other drinkers would think I was a light weight), I didn't get the shakes etc. etc. I did find that 2 drinks very easily turned into 10. I did find that I felt "normal" when I had three drinks in me. Like that felt like a good base level compared to being sober (and anxious or depressed or bored). I went from an undergrad culture (lots of drinking) to a expat living in Japan culture (lots of drinking) to a grad student culture (looooots of drinking). It wasn't until after my PhD that getting black out drunk a few times a week stopped meshing with my social reality. I partied a lot.

So some days I wouldn't drink at all. Some days I'd have four tall boys that are 8%. Some days I'd drink a six pack in an evening. Some days it got where I was drinking an entire mickey of tequila in the evening. I did feel compulsive like I wanted to drink very badly quite frequently, and that when I started drinking, I kept drinking. 2 drinks becoming 4 becoming 12. While it hasn't impacted my work life in a direct way (getting fired for being drunk) it probably slowed me down, deflated my performance and ate up a ton of my time and energy. At 40, in some ways, I feel like I'm really just starting to live my life. I mean, I did a ton of cool stuff over the last 20 years, but I'm learning to draw now and getting into flying drones and learning HTML5, and I wish I had started these hobbies/pursuits way earlier. I definitely misspent a lot of my youth. I wish I quit drinking when I was 30.

Regarding Dads, my Dad is an alcoholic with more than 10 years sober now. My grandfather drank himself to death. It's a thing.
 

E.B

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I know my dreams can be very vivid and also can affect my awake state very much. Usually when negatively some sort of anxiety situation is around.

Something that has hit me different is when i was younger/teen sleep became my safe and sound time when dealing with anxiety, however in the last few years when dealing with anxiety/fear if i fall asleep in my dream i may be ok but when I wake up it becomes the worst dread feeling in the world because i have to come to the realization that i am in my worry fear state and things may not be ok. Its an awlful feeling.

None the less dreams can really have an effect on someone.
 

bin_tenn

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I've been drinking more than I should since maybe college. Back then, it was very acceptable and still is in that age demographic. But over time I went from being a guy who binge drank at parties to a guy who would drink too much on a regular basis and would often do so alone. Like a lot of people with problematic drinking, I didn't think it was an issue because I was not a classic alcoholic. I didn't need to drink everyday, I didn't drink an insane amount (although normal people might be weirded out, other drinkers would think I was a light weight), I didn't get the shakes etc. etc. I did find that 2 drinks very easily turned into 10. I did find that I felt "normal" when I had three drinks in me. Like that felt like a good base level compared to being sober (and anxious or depressed or bored). I went from an undergrad culture (lots of drinking) to a expat living in Japan culture (lots of drinking) to a grad student culture (looooots of drinking). It wasn't until after my PhD that getting black out drunk a few times a week stopped meshing with my social reality. I partied a lot.

So some days I wouldn't drink at all. Some days I'd have four tall boys that are 8%. Some days I'd drink a six pack in an evening. Some days it got where I was drinking an entire mickey of tequila in the evening. I did feel compulsive like I wanted to drink very badly quite frequently, and that when I started drinking, I kept drinking. 2 drinks becoming 4 becoming 12. While it hasn't impacted my work life in a direct way (getting fired for being drunk) it probably slowed me down, deflated my performance and ate up a ton of my time and energy. At 40, in some ways, I feel like I'm really just starting to live my life. I mean, I did a ton of cool stuff over the last 20 years, but I'm learning to draw now and getting into flying drones and learning HTML5, and I wish I had started these hobbies/pursuits way earlier. I definitely misspent a lot of my youth. I wish I quit drinking when I was 30.

Regarding Dads, my Dad is an alcoholic with more than 10 years sober now. My grandfather drank himself to death. It's a thing.
Thanks a lot for sharing all that! Better late than never, I suppose, but I understand there are probably some regrets and such. It sounds like you're picking up some great and positive hobbies. If you ever want to chat about web design / development feel free to message me. I've been programming since I was 11, so over 20 years. These days, by profession, I'm a software engineer / tech lead with a daily focus on web based applications (obviously including HTML).

My dad's drinking contributed heavily (though wasn't the exclusive cause) to the esophageal cancer that killed him in 2014 at just shy of 62. It's definitely a thing, unfortunately, but that's why I'm extremely careful to not drink on a regular basis, in any amount.

I know my dreams can be very vivid and also can affect my awake state very much. Usually when negatively some sort of anxiety situation is around.

Something that has hit me different is when i was younger/teen sleep became my safe and sound time when dealing with anxiety, however in the last few years when dealing with anxiety/fear if i fall asleep in my dream i may be ok but when I wake up it becomes the worst dread feeling in the world because i have to come to the realization that i am in my worry fear state and things may not be ok. Its an awlful feeling.

None the less dreams can really have an effect on someone.
Dreams can certainly affect a person during their time awake, I agree. I've had many dreams over the years that left me in a funk for a day or two. Despite knowing they were dreams, they were too vivid and negative for my liking.
 

Gooze17

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Hey all. I'm not sure how familiar you all are with my health anxiety history, but my primary fears over the past several years were skin cancer and heart related stuff. The skin cancer worries stuck around for a while, but I guess it didn't last terribly long. However, I seem to have occasional dreams related to those worries, despite not having any apparent worries about it during the day.

I'm honestly not surprised that it crept into my dreams last night. I do a quick scan over my body every few months or so to keep an eye on the moles I have, and last night was one of those times. But still, last night I had a very strange (by strange, I mean it made no sense haha) dream related to skin cancer. It wasn't scary or intense, but related and - again - very strange / nonsensical.

What dreams do you have regarding health anxiety that you seem to have no apparent anxiety about while awake? Whether it's a past fear, or something you otherwise never think about? Curious to hear your similar stories!
Kind of… I typically don’t dream. Or remember my dreams. But when my anxiety is up, I have very vivid dreams, sometimes terrifying and sometimes benign and weird. For example last night I had a dream I was selling coupons outside of a gas station to get .30 cents off cigarettes. Jane Lynch was my boss and she told me I had to sell 3000 of them that day
 

bin_tenn

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Kind of… I typically don’t dream. Or remember my dreams. But when my anxiety is up, I have very vivid dreams, sometimes terrifying and sometimes benign and weird. For example last night I had a dream I was selling coupons outside of a gas station to get .30 cents off cigarettes. Jane Lynch was my boss and she told me I had to sell 3000 of them that day
LoL what the heck
 

Ggirlangel93

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Hey all. I'm not sure how familiar you all are with my health anxiety history, but my primary fears over the past several years were skin cancer and heart related stuff. The skin cancer worries stuck around for a while, but I guess it didn't last terribly long. However, I seem to have occasional dreams related to those worries, despite not having any apparent worries about it during the day.

I'm honestly not surprised that it crept into my dreams last night. I do a quick scan over my body every few months or so to keep an eye on the moles I have, and last night was one of those times. But still, last night I had a very strange (by strange, I mean it made no sense haha) dream related to skin cancer. It wasn't scary or intense, but related and - again - very strange / nonsensical.

What dreams do you have regarding health anxiety that you seem to have no apparent anxiety about while awake? Whether it's a past fear, or something you otherwise never think about? Curious to hear your similar stories!
I saw that this thread is active again so im gonna jump in lol. It's wild that this thread came up because the last few weeks ive been having vivid dreams every single night and its frustrating. I used to rarely dream and sleep would always be my only escape from anxiety but now its carrying over into the dreams. I guess my mind just won't show off lately. The things i worry about during the day show up in the dreams. I also tend to have many dreams where i am always trapped somewhere. At a party, in a building, at a school...which probably stems from my past high school experiences. I used to have really bad anxiety about going to school.
 

Doug97

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It's weird but I've never had an HA dream. Most of my dreams are about being hated and ostracised. Or of trying to get something that I can't quite reach. Or mistakes I've made in the past. Or sex.

Apparently it's very common to dream about teeth falling out, although I've had that one only a couple of times.

Both anxiety and various medications can make dreams more vivid.
I get the teeth dreams but I'm not sure they are HA related. Every so often I get a cancer. More often than either I have a nightmare where I've started drinking again.
Yes I have alcohol dreams too, apparently they're very common in people who've had problems with drink.
I've been drinking more than I should since maybe college. Back then, it was very acceptable and still is in that age demographic. But over time I went from being a guy who binge drank at parties to a guy who would drink too much on a regular basis and would often do so alone. Like a lot of people with problematic drinking, I didn't think it was an issue because I was not a classic alcoholic. I didn't need to drink everyday, I didn't drink an insane amount (although normal people might be weirded out, other drinkers would think I was a light weight), I didn't get the shakes etc. etc. I did find that 2 drinks very easily turned into 10. I did find that I felt "normal" when I had three drinks in me. Like that felt like a good base level compared to being sober (and anxious or depressed or bored). I went from an undergrad culture (lots of drinking) to a expat living in Japan culture (lots of drinking) to a grad student culture (looooots of drinking). It wasn't until after my PhD that getting black out drunk a few times a week stopped meshing with my social reality. I partied a lot.

So some days I wouldn't drink at all. Some days I'd have four tall boys that are 8%. Some days I'd drink a six pack in an evening. Some days it got where I was drinking an entire mickey of tequila in the evening. I did feel compulsive like I wanted to drink very badly quite frequently, and that when I started drinking, I kept drinking. 2 drinks becoming 4 becoming 12. While it hasn't impacted my work life in a direct way (getting fired for being drunk) it probably slowed me down, deflated my performance and ate up a ton of my time and energy. At 40, in some ways, I feel like I'm really just starting to live my life. I mean, I did a ton of cool stuff over the last 20 years, but I'm learning to draw now and getting into flying drones and learning HTML5, and I wish I had started these hobbies/pursuits way earlier. I definitely misspent a lot of my youth. I wish I quit drinking when I was 30.

Regarding Dads, my Dad is an alcoholic with more than 10 years sober now. My grandfather drank himself to death. It's a thing.
OMG your post could have been written by me!! What was your PhD in?
 
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bin_tenn

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It's weird but I've never had an HA dream. Most of my dreams are about being hated and ostracised. Or of trying to get something that I can't quite reach. Or mistakes I've made in the past. Or sex.

Apparently it's very common to dream about teeth falling out, although I've had that one only a couple of times.

Both anxiety and various medications can make dreams more vivid.

Yes I have alcohol dreams too, apparently they're very common in people who've had problems with drink.

OMG your post could have been written by me!! What was your PhD in?
I've had some pretty wild HA related dreams in the past. Once upon a time I worried about lymphoma. I once had a dream that there was a lymph node in a random place in my arm, and suddenly that node was absolutely massive. But oddly enough, in my dream I felt no anxiety about it. Maybe I "knew" in my dream that it was bogus and not real? Haha.
 
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