Last change: October 29, 1998.
Results of the 1997 survey
The survey was meant to explore sleep and dreaming issues with CFS and fibromyalgia patients. A combination of closed and open questions was used.
With this survey self-selection of respondents could occur at two moments:
The relative high number of fibromyalgia patients is remarkable. I don't believe the ratio CFS to fibromyalgia as found in the survey is representative for the general population, so I suspect that fibromyalgia patients are more online than CFS patients or somehow succeeded in finding Healing Dreams more often.
Almost all respondents took their time to answer the open questions and volunteered a lot of information. This was very helpful in getting a better picture of dream and sleep issues important with these groups of patients.
|Respondents grouped by illness
|Chronic Fatigue Syndrome||17|
|Sleep or dreaming problems||19|
|Sleep problems CFS and fibromyalgia
|Unable to get to sleep||44|
|Waking up without apparent reason||45|
|Dreaming complaints fibromyalgia
|Vivid dreams and nightmares||21|
|No vivid dreams or nightmares||20|
|Dreaming complaints CFS
|Vivid dreams and nightmares||8|
|No vivid dreams or nightmares||2|
I also wondered if there would be other recurring themes than just he violence theme. But violence simply seems to be the most important themes. Other but far less reported themes reflect situational concerns, like acceptance of the condition by family and friends.
In the preface to the survey I also mentioned that my own dreams helped me to accept the disease and not to deny it. None of the respondents confirmed this theme.
Violence, anxiety and chasing
Quotes from different respondents:
...it seems that most of the time they are about loveds ones getting hurt or killed...
...My daughter dreams about being killed or having to fight not to be killed. Both of us tend to wake up in a panic.
... If I were a writer, I could make Steven King cry!...
...If you think about it all my dreams have a recurring theme of saving myself which involves a lot of aggression, running, violence, getting help, defending myself and overcoming obstacles...
I often dream about people dying, and in my dreams everyone else is nonchalant about it, yet I am terribly upset and wake up this way...
...Some recurring for years ie, man in black hunting me down no matter where we move, he finds me...I end up killing him before he can kill me...
...It happens every night, all night long except early morning, and has been going on for quite sometime. There are recurrent dream themes that include serious violent attacks against an image i can't quite make out...
...I have dreamed about being stabbed with a knife more than once...
I dream that I am violent to others or myself.
...The nightmares have always been there too, its a certain entity, and we have always been at war, both phyically and psychologicly, and these I can never wake out of , (except for lately) whan I want to...
... People I didn't know were getting killed and stabbed, ect...Some respondents commented not to remember their dreams, but waking up with a lot of anxiety.
Disease monitoring and diagnosing dreams
.. When my allergies and fever and fatigue are the worse, it seems that my dreams are the most vivid and frightening...
...it sounds crazy but sometimes is Im wounded in it, I wake with a phantom pain, or a slight mark in that place which eventuallly fades, or a real pain that lasts...
...I once had a dream that a horse had stepped on my shoulder and that it hurt so very bad. Then, I was rushed to a fancy hospital and some specialist found out what was wrong with me and cured me...
...For example, I dreamed I started to get in my car, but it was full of water. Then I noticed that the water didn't run out when I opened the door. This meant that I was suffering from fluid retention...
...Recently though, someone has come into a dream, and healed my most oldest and painful wound which I got in a nightmare, and ever since it has not hurt...
Conclusions and follow-up