Next: Can people dream of their own death? Up: Introduction to the DreamFAQ Previous: Can you interpret this dream for me?
A. Yes. :-) Specifically, if people ask the newsgroups about a certain dream experience, in the overwhelming majority of cases others answer that they know this from their dreams. Sometimes the reaction comes up, "And I've thought I was the only one to dream this weird thing!" "Weird" is the most inappropriate word when dealing with dreams, anyway. Dreams are not to be measured by real life standards, they have their own.
It can be assumed that much, if not most, dream imagery follows common patterns in all people. Most important, we should not forget that dreams are based on actual experiences and imaginations, some of which are just widespread. We all think about how nice it would be to fly, for example. On the other hand, people who report flying dreams use a number of different flying techniques in their dreams, from breaststrokes like in swimming to simply lifting off, Superman-style. It is imagination that sets the limits.
An oft-cited example is that of teeth falling out. The common "symbolistic" interpretation associates this with fear of loss of something, perhaps someone, valuable. The next common explanation is rememberance of losing teeth during childhood, which could have been a somewhat traumatic experience. But it can also be easily linked to a sleeping position where some external pressure or muscle contractions cause your teeth to grind against each other, or toothaches caused by illnesses (cf. section 1.2.)
Don't see what you need? Psych Web has over 1,000 pages, so it may be elsewhere on the site. Do a site-specific Google search using the box below.