It has been known since the 1970’s that there is a link to an increase in the number of dreams that a person can have with depression. Studies have shown that people with depression can have three or four times the number of dreams than a normal person and once again it is linked to the type of sleep that the person tends to have when they are depressed. It alters the REM sleep that the person gets when they are depressed and this, in turn, alters the types of dreams as well as the ability to recall them. An individual that is depressed can also find it easier to recall the dreams and they will also often feel tired in the morning as a direct result of the extra brain activity during the night.
Nightmare disorder is when an individual has repeated nightmares over a certain period of time and this is something that is actually recognized by psychiatrists and psychologists alike. This particular disorder has been linked to a range of mental health issues including PTSD, generalized anxiety, sleep disorders, and stress, so identifying the root cause is not always easy. It is important that an individual knows the difference between this and night terrors so that a doctor or psychiatrist can get to the actual problem.
Nightmares and Borderline Personality Disorder
As well as PTSD, it is known that nightmares may be an indicator of borderline personality disorder. As with other examples given above, it is often linked to the way in which sleep patterns are altered due to the disorder itself. Research has shown that people with borderline personality disorder often suffer from more dream anxiety than other people. It is this anxiety that can lead to the development of nightmares and the same study has shown that this anxiety can be attributed to trauma that the individual had earlier in their childhood and indeed this is one key factor in the development of this particular disorder.