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Two Sets of Memories


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I never used to remember my dreams at all, except for the occasional nightmare. That was before I started taking anti-depressants. Obviously, I know that more vivid dreaming can be a side effect of SSRIs. This isn't what concerns me. The problem is that lately I've been waking up with two sets of memories - one that really happened, and one that I dreamed up in the night. The dreams are very vivid and realistic, so I'm starting to get them confused with reality.

They come in all sorts of shapes and forms. Sometimes I make up memories that never happened. Sometimes I have sort of "premonition" (I use this word very loosely) type dreams of something that's meant to happen. For example, one morning I woke up thinking I'd already had a conversation with my tutor that was only scheduled for that day. After having the conversation with my tutor, I was even more confused because it was very similar to the dream conversation, and I started mixing up which one was real.

Yeah, so this is happening on top of my really weird sleep cycle. I'm thinking that the confusion is being caused possibly because I'm waking up early in the morning, not quite lucid, and going over my dreams, thinking they are real, and therefore incorporating them into my memories. Does this sound realistic? Possibly?

Just wondering whether anyone else has had experiences like this, and what they did to help them stop confusing dreams and reality. I'm constantly scared that I'm going to accidentally tell my friends about a dream instead of something that really happened, and they're going to think I'm a complete idiot!

(PS: I suppose the whole thing disturbs me that much more because I have an eidetic memory usually, so have never had trouble recalling things in the past.)

Thanks,

N

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i'm having trouble communicating, still "drunk" on last nights seroquel increase, but i can say yes i understand. i've gone through periods of mixing up dreams/reality (like right now) and it is SO not fun. there's a huge connection to medication for me but i'm discovering it's not just the SSRI/SNRI class, as it's happening to me with seroquel. my brain doesn't accurately remember if something really happened or not. it takes hours and hours to get to the part of the day where i'm pretty sure i can tell which is which sometimes. it's scary and frustrating. i spend enough time reality checking as it is, i don't need to add dreams into the mix.

i'd tell your pdoc for sure. i'm going through med changes so i'm putting this issue aside for a little while and dealing with it mostly by hiding for the first three hours of the day. it's not the greatest solution. i hope your pdoc has some good ideas for you.

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I had this problem, too. It happened when I was psychotic, though, and in my case it wasn't related to SSRI's.

The only thing that in the end really helped me was to finally accept some kind of uncertainty. I worried about the memory issues constantly, so that was an important step for me. But I tried to sort of rate the false memories in regards to their probability, too. And that helped a lot, this kind of reality check. I don't have this problem any longer now, but I understand how bad it can make you feel. Talk to your pdoc about it, if it's related to the meds an adjustment might me necessary. Maybe he can offer some insight into this.

We've recently had a similar thread in the SZ / Psychosis forum, here's the link.

http://www.crazyboards.org/forums/index.php/topic/51657-difficulty-remembering-dreams-psychosis/

You'll find the link to my first post in Crazyboards inside the thread, too. It's related to the same problem.

I'm not saying it's related to psychosis in your case, though. There is nothing that suggests it. It does seem pretty possible that it might be just like you said - that you're going through your dreams when you aren't completely lucid and therefore have difficulties later to dell the dreams from realtiy.Of course, I am no expert. A friend of mine mentioned something similar to me a few months ago and he's not MI, so it doesn't have to be related to your depression / ocd. Still, I would mention it to your pdoc anyways, just like lysergia suggested.

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If I'm not sure, I will just ask, "Did I dream this, or did it actually happen?"

I've had that confusion my whole life, and people may smile or chuckle at the question, but they often have had an instance or two of confusing dreams, and don't mind telling you that once you have admitted you confuse them sometimes. They usually are interested to know I do that, not annoyed, or making fun of me, or anything negative. I seem to do it a lot, but it has never worried me.

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I am not sure if this is the same as what you are getting at, but I'll post anyway. Just ignore me if I am talking crap.

Before I went on my meds, I used to have a lot of difficulty when it came to separating my dreams and reality. My dreams would influence my reality. I would dream, usually when I had this problem it would be about my family, and the next day I would think that my family were spying on me or something similar. I hated it, and to be honest I think the only reason it went away is that I don't dream that much on my meds.

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