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Because of the water, drowning depicts fear of being overwhelmed by difficult emotions or anxieties. But this might apply not to dangerous emotions or urges, but to natural urges such as eating, loving or sex, that some people have enormous conflicts about. Drowning in a dream is also about struggling to survive as a person, so it applies to your identity as it is dealing with relationship with other people, but also with your own internal world of instincts, body activities and needs.

This is about being or feeling overwhelmed by something. One can ‘drown’ in sorrow for instance. So you need to look at your waking life to see what you are feeling threatened or burdened by and see if there are ways you can deal with it. If someone actually drowns in the dream it may mean some of your feelings, your creativity and responsiveness are no longer ‘alive’. But they can be brought back to life if you care for that side of yourself. Sometimes it is simply anxiety we drown in, and much of anxiety is about situations we imagine. Separating what is imagined from what is real can help this.

If you feel you are struggling to you ‘keep your head above water’, do not give in for it is only emotions you re facing, not reality.

Water and drowning often indicates you are facing the unknown changes and so are afraid. But in dreams we can never die or even be hurt, for we wale without real hurt except for our feelings.

Dreamt about someone else: May occasionally show Your apprehension about their health or well being, having the suggestion of death or breakdown.

Example: ‘I fell into a pond. My brother was frightened to be by himself so he jumped in. We were both drowning in the water and we shouted out for Mum. My brother drowned.’ Poppy S.

Poppy dreamt this while feeling insecure and anxious due to her father being seriously ill.

Example: I had been dreaming about sitting on a sofa with my friends – well watching horror movies, when suddenly everything comes to live. I was afraid of the ghost that had been drowning with her husband in the movie comes to haunt me. I asked the ghost sister to help and she passes me a necklace with can protect me. And suddenly the ghost appears and told my friend she was pretty. What does this means?

It means that you need to understand how your mind works. It means that you have nothing to fear about ghosts. As the ghost that appeared showed you, there was no harm in it. Dream images are like images on cinema screens – harmless unless you are haunted by your own fears. But the dream also shows you that whatever you believe in becomes a fact. I mean that the necklace gave you confidence, and in fact the necklace is only a crutch for your confidence. But we need such things until we can deal with our own emotions. See Facing Fear

Idioms: drown your sorrow; if you’re born to hang, you won’t drown.

Useful questions:

What powerful emotions or changes am I dealing with?

Am I feeling overwhelmed by something?

Can I define the strengths and ways I use to deal with threatening feelings?

Do I feel as if I am ‘drowning’ in a situation or relationship?

What is it I am feeling overwhelmed by recently?

Is this someone else drowning – if so what facet of me do they represent?

What resource or person could help me survive in this situation?

Another person or animal drowning still suggests it is an aspect of your own personality you need to care for.

Whoever or whatever it is, imagine yourself back in the dream and save them. If necessary imagine rescue services coming to your aid. In doing this you are using imagery to shift your feelings and anxieties.

All water in some way signifies your own inner world of feelings, but the sea often suggests meeting urges and wisdom lying beyond the boundary of your conscious mind. What is it you feel in the sea or river? Try putting it into words.

See Associations Working With; Techniques for Exploring your Dreams; Avoid Being Victims; Secrets of Power Dreaming



-Kati L. 2013-02-24 12:19:48

I am 8 months pregnant and I have had a re-occuring dream over the past few months that my 2.5 year old son was drowning in a bath tub. Normally in the dream I see him drowning but can’t do anything to help him. However, last night in the dream I was able to touch the tips of his hair and his skin but could not grab hold of him. My husband had to wake me because I was crying so hard.


-danielle 2013-02-25 23:41:11

i keep having dreams of my almost 2 year old drowning i have them all the time there is all different ones can somone please tell me what this is, itz is scaring the living daylights out of me


-Charlie 2013-03-13 21:39:33

Hi, I had a dream last night that I was in a Ferrari with a woman (didn’t see her face) we were being chased by people up a multi storey car park when we got to the top there was a swimming pool, she drove the car over the cover of the pool and we sunk to the bottom, I could not open the door to escape because of the water pressure and we drown. What could that mean?


-Sariah 2013-03-24 8:59:57

I had a dream last night I was bathing my 3month old son. My mum came in the bathroom and asked me for something so me & my mum left the bathroom with my son still in the bath and went to my bedroom to get this thing for my mum. We were talking my mum said she was leaving and was going to check on my son before she went I said its ok I’m going back in the bathroom we got in the bathroom and he was lying at the bottom of the baby bath tub. My mum pulled him out i tried to help and touched his face but my finger went into his eye socket so I ran to get my phone and was trying to call 999and my mum was holding my son upside down against her shaking him trying to resuscitate him. I dialled 9999 then I dialled 99 then my son started coughing and I woke up.

Can you please provide some help with an explanation as this is really upsetting especially as I would never leave my son unattended in the bath and usually when I have bad dreams I never see the bad thing I only talk about it in my dreams but I actually saw my son lying at the bottom of the bath and it really scares me.
Many thanks


-Laura L. 2013-06-05 5:15:19

I have had a few dreams/nightmares of my son drowning , but this recent one scared me alot. I dreamt that we are at some time of waterpark , and he’s running in the grass , and falls into the pool. I jump in, but since I don’t know how to swim I’m drowning myself. I see him falling towards the bottom, and somehow I’m able to get a hold of him , and bring him to shore. His lips are purple, and no one there is helping. Im running everywhere asking for help ;the lifeguard is just staring and won’t help. In the end , he gets help from a lady….
This has been bothering me because my Mother has had dreams of my son drowning as well. WHAT DOES THIS MEAN? HELP!


    -Tony Crisp 2013-06-05 8:30:21

    Laura – I think this is about the natural care and anxiety you feel for your son. Also it is deepened by the fact you cannot swim. So it would be very healing for you to learn how to swim. It would take away a worry many mothers’ have.

    The dream shows how helpless you feel in the scene of the life guard doing nothing. Your mother dreaming that your son drowns is often a way worries are past on, and maybe that is why you are now worried about your sons death. Please see http://dreamhawk.com/dream-encyclopedia/questions-2/#BabyKill

    But if it is a predictive dream, that I doubt, you can change the future by praying for protection for your son.



-Shauna 2013-07-08 7:23:05

I had a dream last night that I was at someone’s house, my grandpa was there but it wasn’t his house and I was there with my 2 yr old and my mom, my 1 yr old wasn’t there or not born yet.
I was talking with my mom and I looked out the kitchen window and saw waves lapping at the grass in the backyard, instead of being frightened and taking my son to safety, I took him outside, with mom yelling to be careful through the door. I was standing at the edge and the water was lapping my toes and slowly started to get deeper, there were boats now driving in the water. I somehow ended up at the edge of the house and remembered I had brought my son out with me, I called out for him and turned back and that’s when I saw him floating face down in the water. I screamed and then I woke up

I have never left him or forgot him anywhere and I always keep a close eye on him when we’re around water. Needless to say this dream terrified me and I wish I knew what it meant to help ease my mind


-Kellie 2013-07-13 0:20:31

I had the most horrible dream that I was bathing my 8month old daughter and she was laying in the bath floating on the water and when I looked down again I could see fear in her eyes but she wasn’t making any sounds, I then realized she was completely under water and I picked her up and screamed for my husband, he came and took her but her eyes rolled into the back of her head and all I could see was the whites other eyes, I was trying to wake her then I woke up in a panic and wasn’t able to fall back to sleep for hours. It was the worst dream I have ever had, can you tell me what it means??


-Nina 2013-09-26 20:06:14

Woke up of a horrible dream. I go any kind of sightseeing bus and sits far back. The bus runs up on a plateau in a harbor. When it tries to turn a person acts so strange that the bus end up in the water. I can not breathe, I sit still and have time to think that I would never get to meet my daughter again – then I die. What disturbed me when I woke up was That I did not struggle to survive. I just sit there and dies instead Of kicking up a window, or something like That. What dies this mean?


    -Tony Crisp 2013-09-29 12:12:11

    Nina – Have you had a hard time in life. I ask because it could be one reason you did not try to escape death.

    The only other reason I could think of for your dream is that your dream creator wanted you to experience death, because in dreams we can safely practice things, and many people do this with death, because it helps to lose your fear of death. The thing is that you cannot be hurt in your dreams. You cannot drown, you can’t die in a dream, no tiger or other animal can harm you. Of course you can feel feelings of dying, or being hurt, or drowning.



-jennifer 2013-10-28 15:04:34

I had a horrible dream my 3month old daughter and I were at a swimming pool with a close friend and I went to the deepest part of the pool with her and somehow she started drowning I did not try and help two lady’s come out of nowhere and rescue my daughter but I’m so Drake’s out I’m yelling at my friend that when they bring my daughter up she needs to do CPR beacause I don’t know how! I felt as if I was no help to my daughter at all :..( and I do know how to swim Idk y I wouldn’t of helped her, then right after that dream I had a dream that my 3 1/2 year old son got hit by a car and died I don’t really remember that 1 I just know they both freaked me out


-Sonya 2013-12-31 2:16:14

I normally dream strangely each night, but last night was different. I had dreamt that I was in the ocean. Every time I’d reach the shore and try to breath in, all I would get was an inhale of water. It didn’t have a taste, but I could feel and hear the water. Each time I had struggled to get above, the water just had gotten deeper and deeper. I could escape until it made me uncontious from lack of oxygen. I woke up in reality panting heavily. I couldn’t catch my breath and my chest hurt.

I had another dream a few weeks ago of my house filling up with water and I had to save my animals before they drown. It was scary. So much storming and fire also. It left me feeling shocken up because it felt so real.


-julie 2014-02-06 3:38:44

Hi, my dream was off my husband my 2 kids and myself out for a drive he cuts a corner to fast we end up on a small marina surrounded by sea the brakes fail we enter the sea he drives us out to an embankment then gets out of the car to check it the brakes fail again I cant get the car stopped myself and my kids the going under fast I turned to them then woke up with a gasp. Can you help me with the meaning?


-philipp 2014-02-12 21:39:29

I saw a water current was dragging away my lil brother and another child…and i jumped to the current of water and saved them..as soon ad i put them in my arms, i was able to fly. Everybody was applausing n blessed me. What does this mean??


-denise 2014-04-14 1:51:39

I had a dream today and im engaged I was out on a lake in a boat with a friend. The storm was bad and something happened that I fell in the water and started to drown but he pulled me my friend. Can you please explain this to me.


-Maria 2014-05-20 23:33:28

I had a dream that my younger brother was drowning and I helped to save him and everyone wS saying he was dead. But I never gave up on him I gave him CPR and he came around. I find this strange as this is not the brother I am concerned about I was dreaming about although they are very similar. Could this symbolise the feelings of concern I have for my other brothers health ?.


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