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May 1969

Dreams During Varying Stages of Depression

Author Affiliations

New York
From the Department of Psychiatry, Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Jacobi Hospital, New York.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1969;20(5):560-565. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1969.01740170064009

PRELIMINARY observations suggested the following hypotheses: The manifest content of the dreams of psychotically depressed patients would be pleasant or bland. As the patients improve, their dreams would become troubled and would portray conflict. In addition, it was predicted that the conflict in the troubled dreams would consist of the dreamer angrily hurting people. The purpose of this study is to test these hypotheses in a consecutive series of depressed patients.

This report has a second purpose. A small body of data on the manifest content of depressed patients' dreams is now accumulating.1-5 Some of the data show conflicting findings. Our observations suggested explanations for some of these differences. They also suggested some areas of agreement in the data which have not been previously apparent. This paper will delineate some areas of congruence which may already exist in this complex field.

In regard to depression, Grinker6 has commented

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