Angry Dreams

Mad.jpgOccasionally I have dreams during which I get extremely angry with people whom I feel no anger to in ‘real life’ – and wake up somewhat disturbed and embarrassed. It happened again last night (I was in a theatre in Venice pelting the collective Blather readership with Monster Munch, while shouting and laughing hysterically) [What were you doing there anyway, you contemptible scum?]. I decided to use the web to investigate the phenomenon of angry dreams.

A search for “angry dreams” first turned up a commercial website called Absolute Comfort, selling beds and mattresses etc. Their anger page revealed something that seemed to me very sensible indeed: “…what about angry dreams? It’s obvious that we go to bed tired at night. We wake up refreshed, rested and energized the next morning. The body using its built-in intelligence knows how to relieve itself of fatigue and accumulated stress and strain from the day’s activities.” Yes, I was completely exhausted when I hit the hay last night, and these angry dreams must have been the release of stress and strain.

The web search also brought me to a blog called Comfortable Disorientation that seemed to confirm this. A woman on holidays was having angry dreams in which she was “raging in a way I have never done in real life (or at least not since I was a toddler)… Each morning I woke up feeling replenished and renewed, yet amused and rather embarrassed about my hysterics…I’m assuming it was some kind of reaction against the last few weeks, which have been unusually hectic.”

It wasn’t clear to me whether the anger of these dreamers was directed against people or situations they genuinely felt angry about in ‘real life’. I would say that it doesn’t matter in the dream who the anger is directed against, it is just the body releasing strain. But an article on, stating generally that “…angry dreams can produce appropriate emotional channels for releasing bad feelings and relieving stress” went on to specify that “Research by Dr. Rosalind Cartwright demonstrated that if divorced women had angry dreams about their ex-husbands, these women recover faster from post-divorce depression.” So maybe sometimes the anger is ‘real’.

Jungians on are even more convinced about the reality of the anger. They say “you might see yourself acting angry in a dream. As you consider this, you understand that this is part of yourself that you already know about, your poor control over your temper.” This literal interpretation seems inevitable in Jungian theory, because anytime you *yourself* appear in a dream it’s the “part of yourself that you already know about.” This is part of Jungian shadow theory: “the idea that each of us have parts of our ego that we have rejected because of our upbringing environment, family, and parental influence…” and that we encounter these shadow parts in our dreams as unfamiliar people. But believing this would seem to commit me to ascribing a great deal of reality to everything *I* do in a dream.

The website called Dream Moods doesn’t impress me much either. Again, they are very literal: “Being angry in your dream may have been carried over from your waking life. In your dream, you may have a safe outlet to express such emotions.You may have some suppressed anger and aggression that you have not consciously acknowledged.” Hmm, am I not bad tempered enough, that I have suppressed anger too?

In the same paragraph there is another striking assumption – of prophetic abilities: “To dream that you are feeling much anger, forewarns that you will be involved in a terrible and tense situation. Your loved ones will let your down and disappoint you. It also forewarns that once solid ties will be broken.” Er, yeah, thanks, what a positive thing to say.

Strangely, I find myself most reassured by the capitalists who set up their website to sell pillows! I know that Blather readers might be inclined more to reading Jungians and ‘specialist’ dream sites but don’t bother unless you want to feel shit about yourselves.

Love to you all.

Barry Kavanagh writes fiction, and has made music, formerly with Dacianos.

Contact him here.


  1. You may have exposure from Subliminal Distraction. I am unaware of it causing angry dreams.
    I have personal experience that it does cause panic attacks.
    This problem must have a site and source of exposure at that site.
    Read my panic attacks page then search for locations where you are being exposed and eliminate them by slightly changing behaviors.

  2. My husband has dreams of me which get him so mad and discusted. He tells me that he knows they’re just dreams but when he wakes up he can’t help feeling angry towards me.He goes in and out these mood swings mad, disgusted even diapointed in himself for giving in to someone who in has “cheated” numerous times on him. He tells me he knows im not that kind of erson and he knows that I love him but the dreams were so real that he can’t shake those feelings. Has this happen to any one before? please share your comments with me.I’m worried that his view of me will change because of his dreams.

  3. Fuck All ya say.
    Look it this way lads,
    what you really want or
    think might be, you dream
    Whott I dinna unnerstann is
    wah tha foock ya carr.
    I live here in Kansas and dream about the people of my ancestral homeland talking to me … and I cannot understand a fuckin word…
    Nahhh Just Kidding , you guys are great, lets have a toast to jealous guy dreams, they just make ya fuck your girls harder, a toast to the wenches.

  4. I’m writing a book about dream stuff. I think it’s a lot of fun, however they’re certainly not prophetic messages. And it would be too simplistic (dismissive) to say that they’re based on stuff that happens to us, because a large percentage of dreams is wish fulfulment (per Freud). So, what I’m saying is that anger in dreams COULD BE a desire on your part to kick someone’s butt (not necessarily literally – say in chess, or racketball, etc.)BUT in real, waking life, you can’t. If you aren’t a really angry person, then you may be cross associating, or you may be intrapsychicly conflicted about something. I can help.

  5. I do think that being angry in your dreams means you’re just releasing the built up frustrations inside you. But what I do not get is that I’ve dreamt of my late grandma for like abt 3times & I was really angry w/ her even using f word. She was the sweetest thing & I never felt angry w/ her like in my dreams.

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