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10 Common Nightmares


1
Being Chased or Attacked
Being chased by someone -- or something -- is an extremely common nightmare.
Being chased by someone -- or something -- is an extremely common nightmare.
©iStockphoto/Bruce Livingstone

To be chased or attacked by something or someone is a ubiquitous nightmare shared by all dreamers. The scenery and assailant might change figure or form, but the act of being chased in a dream always signals to our body's fight-or-flight response. The chase dream is remarkably prevalent because the fight-or-flight response is a primal reaction embedded in every single human being, arising when faced with dangers or fears.

Sigmund Freud characterized these dreams as "the manifest dream content of persons suffering from anxiety." This anxiety reflected in a chase dream could stem from a various number of concerns, from menial worries about getting stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic, to substantial fears of getting into a full-on collision. As these genuine fears are embodied in a phantasmal pursuit, the actions you take to escape this hounding danger parallel how you would react to the stresses, fears and pressures of reality.

Adapted from 500 Dreams Interpreted, © 2009 Publications International, Ltd.


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