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Dreams and Schizophrenia

Patricia Carrington, PhD
Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1972;26(4):343-350. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1972.01750220053010.
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Recalled nighttime dreams of 30 schizophrenic and 30 nonschizophrenic women were compared on parameters theoretically related to schizophrenia. Ten hypotheses concerning the reflection of the schizophrenic process in dreams were tested and 19 additional variables which qualified these hypotheses were compared. The study as a whole tested the general assumption that dream content is consistent with waking psychopathology or normalcy. Nine of the hypotheses were confirmed at high levels of significance. Qualitative categories also showed differences. Schizophrenic subjects thus displayed personality traits commonly associated with schizophrenia more often in their dreams than did nonschizophrenic subjects. In general, schizophrenic dreams gave the impression of an acute state of emergency or stress. Control dreams, depicting everyday, practical concerns, were far less traumatic.

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