People that suffer from post traumatic stress disorder report a higher number of nightmares than the average person. There are studies that show that people with this particular disorder may have higher adrenaline levels, so in turn the adrenaline results in nightmares and dreams that contain a lot more energy. It has also been medically proven that certain medication that lowers blood pressure and the production of adrenaline in PTSD sufferers also leads to a reduction in the nightmares hence the certainty of the link between the two. In the case of PTSD, it is common for the individual to actually relive the events that has led to the development of PTSD, so being aware of the nature of the dream is extremely important in helping with the diagnosis.
Anxiety And Dreams
People that suffer from anxiety will often have strong dreams containing a lot of detail and they can also be quite prolonged rather than short bursts of dream activity. It is believed that it is linked to the activity of the mind during the day as it is known that, when anxious, the energy levels in the brain are significantly higher. The brain also tends to absorb more information which needs to then be processed and this is what can then lead to the activity in the dream. If the anxiety is not tackled, then this can become a recurring theme and the difficulty here is that it does tend to play a role in changing sleep patterns and other examples also state that sleep patterns do indeed play a major part in not only the ability to remember a dream, but also our mental health.
As you can see, dreams are indeed capable of helping us to understand the state of an individuals mental health. However, you must remember that it is not the only indicator and of course it does not need to link to mental health issues at all, but if you do suffer from repeated nightmares or vivid dreams, then discussing them with your doctor may help you to then have a peaceful sleep.