Adults do not usually have nightmares, and are far less in them as compared to children. Only about 5-lO% adults have reported to have seen a nightmare once a month. The possibilities here are numerous, for example certain nightmares might be triggered by the usage of particular drugs or medications, or even due to sudden withdrawal from drugs being used since a long time, or even due to physical conditions like illness and fever. The nightmares seen by children are usually reflective of their struggle to put up with certain fears and issues faced by them during childhood years.
Nightmares are usually seen by people after they suffer from a disturbing event, for example an operation, the death of someone close, an attack or a very bad accident. Nightmares seen by combat veterans generally come under this category. What people see in their dream is generally related to the distressing event they have faced and their nightmares generally keep on coming over and over again. Also, “other people experience nightmares when they are undergoing stress in their waking lives, such as difficulty or change on the job or with a loved one, moving, pregnancy, financial concerns, etc. Finally, some people experience frequent nightmares that seem unrelated to their waking lives. These people tend to be more creative, sensitive, trusting and emotional than average” (Common Questions About Nightmares, p.1).
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