Poll: Do you believe in dream interpretation?

There’s been a part of me that’s wanted to ask this for a while, but just never have and now with all the dream postings I feel inspired…threads kinda work that way.

As the title kinda suggests…do you believe that dreams have hidden meanings and subconscious layers? or you do you think that dreams are just kinda random things that happen?

I personally do not believe in interpretation. Dreams are just your mind sorting through the things that you are thinking of, which is why dreams are, more often than not, relevant to you and things that you’ve done for the day.

In general I don’t believe dreams have any meaning at all, just sort of shuffling through random things in your brain. But OTOH, if you have the same dream every night, and especially if it’s something disturbing, I’d say you have issues.

The interpretation of dreams is largely woo. But sometimes dreams reflect matters in a person’s life. If you dream about falling, it might say something about your outlook on life, or it may point to an inner ear problem. On the other hand if you dream about something that happened to you, or something you are anticipating, it’s probably just your brain processing that information. But I can’t believe your dreams could tell you anything you don’t already know.


They can, they don’t necessarily have to (and often don’t), and yes there has been a lot of faulty and pat interpretations thrown around by ignorant people, but I have had a number of meaningful dreams over my lifetime.

There are dreams which have fairly obvious meanings (in my experience), so there needs to be another category besides “hidden meanings” and “just kinda random things”.

I don’t think the actual events and players in the dream are significant, although I know they really, really seem to be…but the emotions you experience during the dream are probably emotions you’re experiencing in your waking life, for whatever reason. They’re just venting while you sleep.

This is said as well as I could say it.

I classify dreams by the overall emotion they seem to be working out: anxiety (unprepared for an exam, lost in a big city, naked in public*, etc.) are my most common dreams, because I tend not to deal well with those emotions when I’m awake.

*Actually, FWIW, since I actually experienced “naked in public” (well, naked under a quilt), I haven’t had a single dream about being such. It’s like my brain said, oh, well, we lived through that.

I think that dreams are merely your brain putting what you did that day in the proper place. You may not remember every little detail of the day, but somehow every dream is in therw.

This; the forced dichotomy of the poll is fallacious. Some dreams have hidden meanings. Other times, cigars are just cigars.

Dreams can reflect what’s going on in your mind (usually in just a general way), so there can be something to be gained from them that way. But the detailed and painstaking dream analysis some people attempt is a waste of time and I assume that much of that stuff is just supposed to be a conversation-started at parties.

I think they can act like a Rorschach inkblot.

Dreams are more or less random, at least to me, so they never make any sense. But if I were to interpret them, almost automatically I would project whatever was on my mind into the interpretation. And I suppose that might give me insight as to what I was already thinking about, but didn’t realize or want to admit to myself.

But “dreaming about a red hat means you will be taking a sea voyage, or walking into a building means you want to return to the womb” - not unless you talked yourself into it.

My dreams never make sense, so I can interpret them to mean anything I like. I don’t bother.


I signed up for a psychology class on dream interpretation in college, but then I forgot I signed up for it and didn’t go all semester. I finally remembered the day of the final, but I hadn’t been to class all semester, I didn’t know where the classroom was, and I hadn’t studied for the final exam even if I could find the class. It was like some kind of nightmare or something.

I believe that only some dreams are messages from your unconscious or sub-conscious mind. Or sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

I agree with most people so far. Sometimes a dream has some meaning, but it’s not all that “hidden”. I have nightmares sometimes when I’m feeling a lot of anxiety, but the subject of the nightmares is either just some random scary thing, or else it’s obviously about the thing I’m anxious about. I don’t think it does any good in trying to find hidden meanings because I don’t believe in some mysterious subconscious that you can only access in magical ways. Your dreams aren’t going to tell you anything that you can’t figure out when you’re awake, if you try.

I checked “other”. For the most part, dreams don’t have a lot of value in the Freudian sense; my cognitive psych professor analogized them to “listening to the noise the engine makes.” Clinically, though, there is some value in analyzing repeated, traumatizing dreams, especially in the diagnosis and treatment of PTSD.

I don’t think there’s a reliable way to interpret somebody else’s dreams, but if you’re capable of insight you can interpret your own. I have recurring nightmares on very specific topics, and I know why I do.

I have this freakin’ dream all the freakin’ time! Maybe I’ll have a general idea where the class is, and try to go and search for it, but stuff keeps coming up to distract me or get in my way. argh… Anyway, I believe it’s because I didn’t graduate college. I think if I did, then I could put that one to rest.

Maybe not - I graduated college and still have it all the time. Sometime’s it’s in undergrad, sometimes it’s all the way back in junior high. Never have it about law school, though.

Don’t count on it! When I was in college, I had this dream about high school. When I was in grad school, I had it about undergrad (and occasionally high school as well). Now that I have my master’s degree, I have the same dream about high school, undergrad, and grad school, except the formula has changed slightly.

I’m back in school and it’s about half normal-aged high school or college students, and about half people from my year (so a bunch of 29 year olds). It’s a sort of purgatory for my peers and I, the premise in the dream is that we haven’t landed “real” jobs yet, so we have to stay in school to pass the time. Towards the end of the dream I realize “Hey, wait a minute. I have a B.S and M.S., and a (sort of) career as well. I don’t have to hang out in high school!” Then I wake up.

My dreams are typically boring. I’ve had few anxiety dreams, at least as an adult. As a child, Vietnam played heavily into them, which is probably why I really don’t care to watch war movies; I’ve already felt what it is to watch men die and send them into a battle they know they can’t win; I don’t care to relive that, even if they were just dreams.
Anyway, I’m in the camp that thinks general dream interpretation is rubbish, but the person having them may be able to wriggle out side-issues they’re trying not to think about, if there are dreams pointing them out.