I was wondering if you could do a post about trauma and dreams; and how to stop them. I’ve heard that lucid dreaming is good- but every time I try I end up in a hypnagogic state. It really affects my sleep as I want to try meditating but it’s difficult because of the stuff that pops up. So maybe a post on lucid dreaming and trauma to block nightmares would be helpful…
Firstly I want to say how its great that you feel comfortable asking this question. Trauma and getting over trauma isn’t easy and I know it can be very difficult for some people to even admit they are having issues with trauma, or dreaming in general. A lot of people just enter a state of conformity, for generally the worse. I also want to say that this is a trigger warning for those who are still not ready to deal with this yet.
Continuing to have nightmares, flashbacks, horrible sleep? You are not the only one. You probably already knew this. What I want to add is that lucidity seems to be a great magic grail answer to the problem.
Sorry its really not.
Lucidity is not a cure
Trauma is horrid. It creates a problem that may take someone years to deal with, even with a psychologists help. One tool they can use is hypnotism and they might encourage you to use lucidity as a tool to deal with your issues.
I am not an true psychologist or even a true doctor (I am close to getting a masters, but not in sleep study, but in librarianship). If you are ready to deal with your trauma and want to use lucid dreaming to help you? Great. But your current psychologist or doctor is the one to see about doing this. I can’t recommend it as a good course of action for everyone. There are a lot of books, authors, and blogs that will. Lucidity is a tool that can be used in the treatment of trauma. It is not the tool. There is a whole set of others that could be work better for you, or just suit your situation or lifestyle better. I have used lucidity to get over some of my fears and social anxiety. I will be the first to admit that I almost certainly should have seen a real psychologist. I didn’t. Its a mistake I regret now and, I am sure I can’t convince anyone that a psychologist is better for them if they have already decided otherwise. I will say that if you can’t get access to one due to money, location or the ones near you have already got full waiting lists, then I suggest you petition your local government for more. The way my country alone treats mentally ill people is bad enough, I can’t imagine what it must be like in countries with no public health care system.
Even if I did have a psychology degree and masters, I could not give an answer that is tailored to you. I would have to give generic tips that might read very much like a self help book. The kind of cliche tropes I try to avoid.
I recently posted generically about this topic a little anyway and here is the original posts https://dreamsandbass.wordpress.com/2013/05/28/overcoming-the-bad-guys-with-lucidity/ and here for the generic lucid dreaming post https://dreamsandbass.wordpress.com/2012/10/20/the-who-why-what-were-and-how-of-lucid-dreaming/
Please take into account what I have already said that I can only give very general advise based on years of reading about this topic (lucid dreaming) I am not giving advice that is specific.
One last thing the hypnagogic state is slightly different from the lucid dreaming state, but this is not the point and is a very science based thing to say and not on topic.