Disturbing Dreams

Ever since my stroke nearly four years ago I have had really disturbing dreams. Often with a lot of anger or anxiety. They are so vivid I feel like I’m watching a film. And I feel exhausted when I wake up, and struggle to get up and get on with the day. I’m just wondering if anyone else has similar experiences?


Hi @junebuchan and welcome to the forum.

Vivid dreaming like that can be brought on by any number of things such as stress, depression, medications, insomnia as well as brain injury such as stroke.

I’ve had insomnia but not disturbing dreaming like that; have you never spoken to your GP about it? Could just be a matter of changing a medication.

Or you could try turning it around yourself through “lucid dreaming”. If, as you say, they’re so vivid you feel like you’re watching a movie, then you may be conscious enough to practice changing the outcome. You’ll find techniques online if you care to take a look.



For me anger, more than anxiety. I also talk with dead people often, but those are actually pleasant. The last thing I saw before my strokes was a video of my dog playing in her kiddie pool. The last person I spoke with was my boyfriend of 8 years. In the hospital once I could speak I kept talking about how much I missed the dog (not about my daughters and grandie). I had a high fever so I kept saying I couldn’t wait to get in the pool with her, full of ice water. The boyfriend ditched me while in hospital and my anger raged on the inside. In my waking hours, I am over it, but in my sleep, I still often have dreams of that rage. 8/2021. I hope you are able to find a way to change your dreams. I can sometimes. I don’t think it is abnormal, but it is a problem if you are not getting rest.


In a way I think I am lucky.

When I arrived in hospital I fell into a strange state somewhere between waking and sleeping.

Under my ‘screen of view’ I could see the controls, like computer controls, with a toolbar, which I thought I could use to reset whatever it was that was happening to me. Unfortunately, in the dream, I could not access them to make any adjustments. I was unable to be sure whether I was awake or dreaming but very strange things happened so I think I was dreaming.

It was quite frightening, there was a feeling of foreboding. I think this took place over a period of days. It did fade away and I’m pleased to say it never recurred. There is no way I would want to return to that.

Since that time, I do remember dreams sometimes. The ones that are especially memorable involve me doing normal things without the restrictions that stroke applies. Somehow I seem to completely forget what I now have to live with day to day. Perhaps this defines my outlook, because in reality I have problems with accepting disability. I just don’t see myself as a disabled person.

Keep on keepin’ on
:smile: :+1:

It was only later, still in hospital, that a guy in the bed opposite to me reported to his visitor that he was convinced there was a cat asleep under his bed.
I was very shy of sharing my ‘strange experiences’ but after this I began to realise perhaps what had happened to me was the sort of thing that happened to others too.

No one likes to think that they lost contact with reality.

When I realised I wasn’t alone I eventually wrote something about it on these forums. Speaking out is liberating and drives away some of the ghosts and demons. They don’t much like to be recognized.


Hello and welcome

I can only offer my own experience of this. My GP put me on antidepressents about 30 months ago. I started having vivid dreams. I reported this to my GP and my dosage was reduced and then tapered down and I no longer take them. The vivid dreams have stopped.

I am not suggesting this is the case for you. However I would suggest you raise your distubing dreams with your GP.


@junebuchan welcome to the forum. I too have vivid dreams since my stroke…i would class some as nightmares but not all. Some are just very busy.

I’ve heard of plenty of stroke survivors who have vivid dreams & suspect it may be meds related rather than stroke specifically as we’ve all had different sorts of stroke.

Worth a chat with your GP if they are causing a problem for you.

Best wishes.

Ann x

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Yes had bad dreams for a while, then incredible dreams so real like others have said would have made good films. Now as mentioned above ‘busy’ (good description) not disturbing just annoying and exhausting. Been trying to change channel or find turn off knob but as yet can’t


Hello , i so. I have always had dreams but nothing as disturbing as now . I wake up panicked and extremely confused and takes me a while to understand it was just a dream . I have seen the doctor and it’s anxiety related and also from the stroke damage to the brain I have been doing CBT level 3 ACT and that is really helping x


@Jakemilnes-green welcome to the forum. Hope your recovery is going well.

Good to hear you’ve found something that helps with your vivid dreams & anxiety.

Look forward to hearing mord from you.

Best wishes.


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