The Tribune - Spectrum


Sunday, June 3, 2001
Dream theme

Dreaming of sickness
Vinaya Katoch Manhas

The pain of the mind is worse than the pain of the body. — Syrus

TO dream of seeing yourself sick or in pain tends to have an unpleasant effect on the dreamer, leaving a deep rooted fear in his mind regarding his/her wellbeing or for the person whose illness had been dreamt of. Such a dream often predicts discord and trouble for the dreamer.

As per the Indian interpretation, the prediction of an illness in the dream is done according to the part of the body on which the illness has befallen. Sickness of the ear or eye, foretells mental turmoil and loss of psychic balance. To dream of problems concerning nails and hair predicts debt. According to the Ratnachur kath, to dream of having a problem with your teeth predicts monetary problems.

According to the Swapna Kamlaka seeing an illness in any part of the body, predicts an illness in part the very same in reality. The theory is that the stimuli received from that part of the body, results in the occurrence of the dream related to the illness in that particular part of the body.


For instance, developing a cold after a dream of getting wet is very common.

As per the western interpretation to dream of your own sickness, is a warning to be unusually cautious of your person.

To see any of your family sick, predicts an event that will, unexpectedly, disrupt your harmonious existence. For a woman to dream of her illness, some unforeseen event will throw her into a frenzy of despair by causing her to miss out on some anticipated visit or entertainment.

Psychologically, to see yourself ill in a dream is to grapple with a part of your personality. Whatever life has to offer, we may be left with painful memories, feelings of anger and difficulties. In a dream, these memories and feelings can surface as illness. It represents the way we deal with experiences and emotions. It could also identify a bad feeling which needs to be got rid of. To see yourself as sick is to get rid of that bad feeling. In everyday life, we may be ‘sick’ of a relation or a situation we are in.

Sometimes, a dream can also foretell an illness in reality. Our stomach is a nerve centre which reacts to negative stimuli that can result in dreams of sickness. Often, the pain in a particular part of a body provides a stimuli to the brain, resulting in dreams of illness regarding that part of the body.

Take the dream of a 32-year-old, married woman in the last couple of days of the week, she used to dream of a severe pain in her head due to dome injury or a disease such as a tumour. These dreams were followed by spells of migraine in reality. Her case was referred to several specialists. There was no relief from any medication. The reason was that there did not exist any biological reason for those migraines. All tests proved to be negative. Finally, she was referred to a psychiatrist.

During the course of therapy, it was detected that unconsciously she used to dread the coming of Sundays, because that was her busiest day. It was on Sunday that she had to cope with the demands of her kids, husbands and friends on her time. Gradually, she had begun to regret the oncoming of Sundays and thus developed migraine — a psychosomatic problem.

This gave her an excuse to avoid getting overworked.

Thus here we see that the disease is both the cause and response to the physical disposition of the person’s body. The realisation that migraines would arrive during the weekend led to the dreams of pain in her head and it used to at the same time act as a forewarning for the oncoming migraines.