Nervous Breakdown Dream Interpretation


what is a mental breakdown nervous breakdown meaning

Nervous Breakdown Dream – Possible Cause or Trigger of Dream

Dreams are often triggered by an event that occurred recently in our lives. Usually, by events that triggered some strong emotions. Dreams fundamentally represent the emotional side of our lives, much of which is carried out on an unconscious level.

The night before the dream I spoke with my ex-wife on the phone (I was living on the East Coast after my mental breakdown) about possibly going back to LA at Christmas, but I didn’t speak with kids (snow and ice = frozen emotions) and with the flood might represent the difficulties navigating through life at the house I grew up in.

I was trying to explain what I was going through to my ex-wife. She did not understand what my difficulties relating to my father had to do with my inability to work or function at this point in my life. She did not believe I had a nervous breakdown, but I withheld talking about her part in my downfall which was the major reason. She couldn’t see any possible connection between these events and my mental reaction to them.

Dealing with Dissociation

During our phone conversation, I had forgotten since I have been in therapy for so long that everybody does not perceive things the way I do. She does not believe in therapy or that dreams mean anything. Since she hides from her psychological problems dealing with her incest, etc. it makes mutual understanding on these types of issues very difficult.

My ex-wife was in a dissociated state in the dream, as she was during our phone conversation – not connecting the dots. Due to 8 years of incest, she was extremely dissociated. Her ability to sense cause and effect in relationships was minimal to non-existent. She saw no connection between the abuse she suffered from her brother and the way she related to men. Also, having suffered this abuse she turns off all of her emotions and feelings and wasn’t there for me. I tried to work with her on this but was unsuccessful. (See dream on Grief – The Beautiful White Fish)

Trapped – Nervous Breakdown

Moving the car around in the beginning is possibly my means of escaping from the gravitational force that kept me bound to my emotionally frozen past. The deep snow and frozen ruts make it impossible to go too far – the neighbor’s front yard. In a dream fragment from many years ago, I was in the house looking out the back window through the roots of the trees which had overgrown the entire house. Every available means of entry or exit had been cut off. The roots grew thickly over every window and door multiple times. I was trapped by these crippling emotional barriers. Powerless at the time.

Nervous Breakdown trapped in house by roots of tree

Food Addiction Too?

The jelly donuts,– sweets were a way of life at our house – a way of compensating for the emotional trauma. I was trying to diet at that time = addictive behavior. (I remembered when Dad got jelly donuts during a snow storm when I was young – maybe 8 or 9 – I can remember being in the recreation room with a fire going – too bad life there wasn’t always like that.)

Go to Church

Mom was always after me to go to Mass – when I no longer believed in her god – but I could never tell her what I thought. So, I always came up with excuses. Not wanting to go to church could be because of the death or split-off of my spiritual side of life. The emotional trauma due to the rage and violence of my father had broken my spirit early in life leaving a void or frozen emotional existence (snow and ice in dream) which is common for Complex PTSD victims. The dream meaning of flooding could be being flooded with emotion to the point of ineffectiveness – (numbed by rage at home) – flooding forced me back to house, and originally an inability or difficulty leaving it.

Guilt Suppresses Real Feelings

I felt guilty for saying ‘No” to my mother, she had so many things go wrong in her life, my grandmother had MS and my mother had to take control of her household when she was 12. She did not really get to be a child, a teenager nor did she get the opportunity to go to college; and then she marries an alcoholic who she ends up spending her life taking care of.

But, on the other hand, I don’t want to spend my time doing something I do not believe in. This is a type of cycle in many homes – mother’s want to keep family members under control and remain at home – especially in dysfunctional families where the husband and wife no longer communicate on an emotional level. So, in a way they do not want you to succeed completely because you will leave home. Food and, especially, sugar treats are employed to keep members within their orbit. This is not saying that this is evil or bad, just a common pretext used to bring everyone together and in orbit of the mother ship.

Recovery Begins with Desire to Create

I liked the swing in the park, I felt exhilaration, but at the same time am a little frightened at the height I was reaching, I felt I was not really in control and was in fear that I might fall – but I don’t want to stop. The swing seemed to be going higher and higher even though I did not want it to. Dream meaning here could be feeling emotions, especially as sense of wanting to achieve or grow again – and a fear that I might lose control of these emotions or fail at attempting to carry out or put emotions into action. My mother was always afraid of emotions – (she hated hugging the people at Al-Anon) she was not cold but very reserved – she was never one to cry – “keep a the stiff upper lip” as she always used to say.

Creativity and Dream Work Objectives

The people on island were people who had reached great heights and I wanted to do this – but also have built in fears and reservations, but I want to be on that island and climb to the top – it seemed cool My mother had always been negative on things like therapy and writing my dreams – like it is foolish – not worthy of any serious effort or thought – a real waste of time.

I think my mother had this great fear that therapy was aimed at blaming the parents, particularly the mother. It is not blame, but understanding the process of how each individual is formed that is sought. And, through this understanding, be able to better take responsibility for our own lives. Once one understands the process, one cannot help to understand one’s parents own predicament and how they were molded into the individuals they were. Previous generations did not have the tools and benefits that are available today to help redirect our lives in many cases.

Dream Work Helps Break the Chains

I see dream work as a key to escape from the emotional chains that bind not only myself – but most of mankind – not the only way but one of many ways which might be of use in helping us to understand ourselves and to unlock the potential that we all have.

It was as if my mother had a fear of things that made you stand out – a confusion between achieving and feelings of superiority (i.e. excessive pride)– no doubt due to her Catholic education. I recall how they dwelt on it – (Father Monk just popped into my mind from 50 years ago, because he gave one of the lectures on pride and I have not thought of him in 40 to 50 years).

Jungian Dream Analysis

Also, she always encouraged us to do only safe things, never to take risks. She had a fear of us putting ourselves on the line, that if you lost then there would be no way back – the safe and guaranteed road was her preference. Her mother had MS when she had been a child, therefore there was no margin for error – she could never really try or had the luxury of to test limits. She did not get to swing. She had a fear of risk.

The Music Scenario

The music scene might be me lamenting over not having kept up with the trumpet – I was very good, but I suddenly quit in 10th grade – because it wasn’t cool (guys in the band were pussies) – Also, I never learned how to play the piano because of my father’s rage attack. When I was 5 he went into a complete rage attack at me while giving me my first piano lesson. (See dream – The Race)

Nervous Breakdown – Trying to Break the Chains

Then I can’t move forward in the dream when trying to leave a restaurant – this represents when I became stuck in life (nervous breakdown) – I couldn’t get out of bed – was suicidal – now I want to move ahead again – I am struggling – and don’t know how to put one foot in front of the other. Since I don’t know how to do this – I am just trying to throw my whole body forward in the dream just to move out of the way of people trying to get in the restaurant.

The people trying to get in, also, represent myself where I am trying to move forward. I see the island in the bay and want to ascend the rock, but I am in my own way – my own obstacle. Weighed down by fears, locked up emotions and still filled up with an inner rage that keeps me going in circles.

However, I am trying to lunge forward; I am swimming several days a week, dieting, writing my dreams, and writing a book. I don’t know where it is going to take me, but I like the feeling of being on a swing, it feels good and I can see out into the bay. I am struggling to move forward, but am blocking myself. But, I am throwing myself forward – and it feels good, it is just these damn 100 pound feet (resistance), they do get in the way at times.

Henry, my old roommate from graduate school appears in the restaurant scene. My guess is that the pattern of trying to move ahead at an earlier time in my life was matched with my efforts now to move ahead. Both were periods of great internal and external struggle.

A Lack of Empathy

My Great Aunt Dorothy in dream may be part of myself – she had all kinds of difficulties in life – (like myself) – and I felt bad for her – she needed extra care and attention. But my mother and brother don’t understand problems like depression, attention deficit, and emotional pain – because they do not let themselves experience much in the way of emotions themselves – they were forced to suppress them – by my father’s and mom’s difficult lives early on.

Does Genetics Play a Part in a Nervous Breakdown?

Also, I inherited my father’s side of the genetic pool which came prepackaged with depression, alcoholism, nervous breakdowns and other self-destructive mechanisms (bi-polar). I got my father’s hair line, my brother received my mother’s side. Her father died at 84 with a full head of hair. I think my brother knows these things exist because he has always been around them – but he cannot identify or truly understand them – because they are foreign to his nature – somewhat like my mother.

With all the difficulties in her life, she never was depressed and was always ready to move forward, but without dealing with any of the issues and my brother is the same way. They see the difficulties as weakness not illness or disease, however they do seem to accept them and never openly criticize me and have a level of compassion. However, it is OK to disturb the person before they are ready to be rousted – or of no real consequence if you do (the sleeping Great Aunt clip).

Recovery from a Nervous Breakdown

Rather than taking the time to recover and redirect yourself – many people just want you to do anything to look OK or reestablish social acceptability – rather than get in touch with something that feels right – that really fits, what you want or were meant to be. They are more concerned about being a bad reflection on society than the actual welfare of your being. However, I am trying to be reconnected to my spirit that was split off so many years ago. And by doing this, I can refocus my life then become a productive member of society again. And that is what this dream website is all about.

One of the reasons a nervous breakdown or mental breakdown occurs is that we end up doing things in life that we were not really connected to. In college, I did not know what I really wanted to do. Emotionally, at that time, I was so out of touch with my own body and mind (and spirit if you want to go that far). I was emotionally shutdown due to the trauma of childhood itself. How can you make decisions about what you want to do in life if you are shutdown. So, you pick something that looks like it might have a possible job potential. And, I did not really pick it, my brother saw me floundering, and suggested I get a business degree so that I could at least get a job when I graduated. So, that is what I did.

Nervous breakdown from jobs we are not connected to

Yes, I realize how idealistic this is. But, by taking the time to refocus people who have crashed or broken down, they will come back on line with real motivation and most likely be highly productive when they find their niche – versus coming back online as low energy automatons endlessly struggling to survive – Sisyphus comes to mind.


I would like to add that I was extremely productive in my former career. I was the top salesman for at least 20 of the 25 years that I sold computers. The president of the company was actually angry at me one year because I made more money than he did, and he swore that he would never let that happen again. He accomplished this by lying, cheating and stealing, plus by not supporting my sales efforts.

Positive Emotions are Re-emerging after Nervous Breakdown

The snow and water warming up may be the unfreezing of some of my emotions ( the frozenness ) I liked the feel of the warm water in the gutter of the street; comforting and healing, but think I lamented the snow going away so fast – the cozy feeling of being trapped in the house with sugary jelly donuts – I remember when it was snowing when I was 8 or 9 and dad had gone out and bought jelly donuts home from Sonny’s (I remember coming in from snow and the light bulbs appeared pink – we were in basement by washtubs – before we had basement fixed up – late 1950s) Fear of leaving the security of the old ways – even though they were crippling – I was able to feel safe within defense mechanisms I had built up – which was in denial of a lot of reality – which impeded my ability to get ahead in actuality. But there is a certain comfort level – or safety of clinging on to the old patterns.

Food Addiction – Nervous Breakdown

The security of the diabolic or dark side– to stay in the pattern of comfort or soothing behavior – instant gratification at the expense of truly getting ahead in life.

Psychoanalytic Dream Interpretation

There is still a desire to consume donuts, milkshakes, pecan rolls, bread, ice cream sundaes, etc. even though they have a bad effect on my metabolism. This junk food will make me tired and fat which will create a further drain on my energy level – but I am still tempted. They bring a level of immediate comfort and gratification – and my mind tells me that I can deal with the negative consequences later – I’ll swim tomorrow – eat less tomorrow. Yeah, Right!

But I continue to struggle forward, always starting over again – never giving up! That is the important thing.

Originally, I thought this dream was not worth recording, that I should just let this one slide was my first impulse upon waking – maybe I did not want to address this side of my life – I felt it was too painful or shameful to examine my nervous breakdown. Especially, I wanted to avoid the identification with my Aunt Dorothy because I knew immediately that it represented that part of me that I feel is pathetic, helpless, weak, and un-masculine. Plus, admitting that I had a nervous breakdown is not really ego enhancing

End of Interpretation on nervous breakdown

If you wish to return to the original dream itself, click on the following link: Dream about Mental Breakdown and Recovery

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Copy Right @ Very Cool Dreams Company September 10, 2011