Screaming in dreams can be extremely unpleasant, and it might be something you want to forget about as quickly as possible, but a dream like this may carry an important message, so you should try to work out what it meant.
However, understanding such a dream is not always easy – so in this post, we talk about screaming in dreams to help you understand what you saw.
Screaming in Dreams – What do we associate with screaming?
Before we talk about what screaming in a dream might mean, we need to say a few words about what screaming might represent – because the specific situation we encounter in a dream can significantly affect how we interpret the dream.
Screaming is an expression of primal emotion. We scream when we can no longer hold it in, and it symbolizes a powerful release of our feelings.
Often we scream when we are angry or frustrated – and another reason we scream is when we are afraid.
Sometimes, screaming can just be a way to let off steam and clear our heads. However, at other times, it can be a kind of cry for help.
However, screaming is not always negative, and sometimes we scream when we are happy. For example, a child might scream for joy when they open a birthday present they particularly hoped for – and many people ride rollercoasters because the thrill of it makes them scream.
How to interpret a dream about screaming
Having thought about the various reasons why we scream, now we can move on to looking at what it means if you dream about screaming.
Anger and frustration
If you dream about screaming, it’s often an urgent message from your subconscious mind that all is not well – and most often, it’s an expression of anger or frustration – or both.
This kind of dream is especially likely if you feel that you are not being listened to in your waking life or if things aren’t going the way you want them to.
Perhaps you are part of a team working on a project, but nobody seems to want to hear your views. Maybe you have a great idea for how to proceed, but your voice is being drowned out by other people on the team.
This kind of situation can be incredibly frustrating, and if you have no other outlet, the emotions can seep into your dreams where they might manifest themselves as screaming.
If you have a dream like this, it’s important to try to find where the emotion is coming from – and then take steps to relieve the frustration in your waking life.
Suppressed anger or frustration
A similar explanation for the dream could be that you have pent-up anger or frustration that has been building within you, perhaps even imperceptibly so you’re not even aware of it on a conscious level.
This could be related to many things. For example, it could be related to your job and the fact that you think you are being overlooked for a promotion when you are clearly the ideal person to move into a higher role.
On the other hand, it could be something more mundane such as one of your roommates never doing the washing up and just leaving dirty mugs and plates everywhere.
Pent-up anger and frustration can come from many sources, but if you have this dream, it’s important to spend time in reflection and self-exploration to try to find out what is causing these feelings.
Then, when you have worked out what is causing the anger or frustration, you can start to look for solutions.
Another possibility is that the screaming in your dream represents some kind of fear in your waking life, and again, this could come from many sources.
Perhaps you have done something wrong, and now you are terrified that somebody will find out. For example, you might have made a big mistake at work, and now you are afraid of being fired.
Alternatively, perhaps you have an irrational fear of somebody you love dying, or you might have a fear of catching a terminal disease.
There are so many things that can cause us to be afraid, but if you dream about screaming, it may be a message telling you that you need to identify your fear and face up to it.
Living in constant fear is not healthy, either mentally or spiritually – so you need to deal with the fear, or these negative emotions will continue to pollute your psyche.
Helplessness or loss of control
Helplessness or a loss of control can also result in screaming in dreams.
Sometimes things happen in our lives that we can’t control, and it leaves us with pent-up emotions that we find difficult to release.
For example, if somebody close to you falls seriously ill, the feeling of helplessness can become overpowering. We want desperately for them to recover, but the only thing we can do is hope.
In this kind of situation, if you find yourself screaming in a dream, it’s quite obvious where the raw emotion in the dream is coming from.
Another example could be if you find yourself in financial trouble. You feel like you are spiraling into debt, and you can’t see a way of digging yourself out.
This kind of feeling of helplessness and the loss of control over your finances could also result in dreams about screaming, and it represents a build-up of emotion that has no other outlet.
Feeling trapped is another situation that could lead to screaming dreams.
For example, if you’re trapped in a relationship that you can’t escape from, it might feel like you’re locked in a room and banging on the wall to get out.
After a while, this can leave you pulling out your hair and screaming in anguish because you desperately want to leave but you see no way out.
Alternatively, you could feel trapped in a job you hate but can’t quit because you need the money and don’t have another job lined up.
Again, this is the kind of situation that can lead to screams of frustration in your dreams – and it’s a warning that you need to escape your situation since it is causing you significant mental distress.
A dream of screaming may be an indication that you are involved in a family feud, and the pain of falling out with someone you love can have deep psychological repercussions.
Perhaps all communication has broken down between you. You won’t consider the other’s point of view or you can’t forgive them for what has happened, but that doesn’t mean you love them any less.
In such a situation, you may dream of screaming, which represents the impasse you have reached where you want to make up but don’t see any way of moving forward.
However, the fact you are having this dream means it’s something that matters to you – so maybe it would be better to find a way to patch things up rather than continue fighting.
A health issue
Dreaming about screaming can sometimes alert you to a health issue that you are not fully aware of. Perhaps you have a niggling pain or a suspicion that something is not quite right, but you keep putting off getting it checked out.
However, screaming in your dream tells you that you should go to see a doctor sooner rather than later because if you don’t, it could turn out to be something serious.
Loved one screaming – they need help
If you dream about a loved one screaming, the most likely interpretation is that they need your help in some way.
In waking life, perhaps they don’t know how to ask, so their need is being manifested in your dream as a cry for help.
The fact that they are screaming in the dream can also show that you might want to help them but can’t.
Loved one screaming in pain – you hurt them
If you dream about a loved one screaming in pain, it may mean that you have done something to hurt them.
In this case, take the time to reflect on what you saw in the dream and how you may have wronged them – and then take the chance to make amends before it’s too late.
Being unable to scream in a dream
Dreams of trying to scream but being unable to are relatively common, and it usually means you have feelings of helplessness or frustration that you are unable to express.
Maybe you are in a situation where you are suffering greatly but are unable to tell anyone – and this kind of dream might be the result.
Finally, another possible explanation for experiencing screaming while you sleep is that you were actually suffering from sleep paralysis.
This is an uncomfortable and often terrifying condition where you wake up but your body remains seemingly paralyzed, leaving you unable to move.
It is thought that while you dream, your body goes into this state to prevent you from acting out your dreams while you sleep.
However, sometimes a kind of “malfunction” occurs where you wake up from the dream but your body remains immobilized.
This is not the same as a dream about screaming, and it can be extremely disconcerting – but it’s nothing to worry about since the sensation usually passes after just a few moments.
An important dream to interpret
Screaming is a raw and primal expression of emotion, so if you experience it in a dream, it’s likely that it represents powerful feelings that you need to get out of you – and it’s important to work out what caused the dream.
To do this, consider your current life situation, the challenges you are facing and what might be causing you feelings of frustration, anger or anguish. Then, by following your intuition, you will be able to understand what the dream was telling you.