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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



-Leilani 2014-10-26 18:01:28

I dreamt that I watched myself drown. I couldn’t see my face but I knew it was me. There were people around but they didn’t save me. After I stated to sink under, I watched myself, lifeless, sibling further and further down. As those around me explained that I was already gone and there was no use in trying to save me. I thought to myself, “she’s still alive, I’m still alive”, and said aloud, “of someone would have gotten her out a just before now I would still be alive. They all just looked at me, but didn’t see me. It was as if they had heard me speak, like I was there. But i looked back down, them still starting, blank in their expressions, watched myself fade to black as I sank deep into the water. And I was gone. I started to fall back into a darkness. Though it want like falling, it felt as if I was drifting hard backward,watching them all fall back away from me. Then I woke up.


    -Tony Crisp 2014-11-02 13:18:02

    Leilani – As you must have realised by now you dreamt of dying – but of course you didn’t die because you cannot die in your dreams. See http://dreamhawk.com/dream-encyclopedia/questions-2/#Summing

    Your dream has feelings of having no one who really cares about you enough to ‘save you’. If you are someone who needs others who care to give you a sense of self, then it sounds like you are sinking without a decent partner. Or it could simple be you exploring what you imagine death to be like. Falling into darkness can also be a way of finding a larger and bodiless existence. See http://dreamhawk.com/dream-encyclopedia/secrets-power-dreaming/



-Anon 2014-11-15 2:26:13

So I woke up from a horrible dream! Me & my toddler where on a boat party with family.
She was holding my hand when suddenly she took a step off the boat fell straight in the water but because we was holding hands I managed to rescue her.
What could this dream mean?


[email protected] 2014-11-16 12:57:17

I dreamed that I was running after my boyfriend who jumped into an Olympic sized swimming pool with a whole bunch of people and he started doing laps in the pool all I needed was the keys to his car as he gave me the wrong ones but he wouldn’t listen to me, I had the keys and his phone in my hand, when I got to the pool for some reason I jumped in only realising I had his phone in my hands once I jumped in, I was underneath the water, I saw him for a moment and then there was only me, no phone no keys just me, I was able to see clearly under the water and everything was peaceful and I just let myself drown- it was peaceful and I just faded away and let go, what does this mean?


    -Tony Crisp 2014-11-17 8:31:54

    Nats – A dream is a story which reflects what you feel inside you – often without admitting to yourself.

    You have feelings that your boyfriend sees himself as the guy who wants to mix with a lot of people – in the pool. He loves to feel, according to your dream, as if he is intimate with many people, known and knowing, But you see him as slightly a show off who doesn’t listen to your needs – wouldn’t listen to me.

    But when you did as he did – jump into the pool, which represent sharing experience with other people – you find that he disappears, suggesting that he is not such a big thing in your life. The pool is also the depths of your mind, of you. It shows that you have the ability to meet death without fear, and that in yourself you are peaceful. See http://dreamhawk.com/dream-encyclopedia/questions-2/#Summing and http://dreamhawk.com/approaches-to-being/lifes-little-secrets/



-Albert Barbo 2014-11-18 2:46:38

I dreamt i was swimming with a friend i haven’t. Seen nor spoken to in 20+ years we were laughing and playing in a pool then went under, then we’re in an industrial bit of pipes with no area to surface and he quickly swims away im left trying to catch him without air. Then i was making snore sounds in the dream under water but i wasnt taking in air or water. Please let me know what you think it means. Thank you.


-Doug 2014-11-19 18:10:18

I had a strange dream last night. Yesterday i found out that my ex girlfriend who i dated for two years is starting something with another guy (we broke up only a month ago). I had a dream that i was on a cruise with my family and we all jumped off into the ocean. But once we were in the water, there was a big metal dome surrounding everything. I remember the waves monsterous and they were so tall that i couldnt even see the ship. I eventually got seperated from my family and i was drowning in the waves. Right before i woke up i temember choking on salty sea water. What can this mean?


-Anon 2014-11-20 1:54:20

I was with my friends at the aquarium and the Dolphins came out i slipped in and sunk to the bottom. I tried to swim out ( im a great swimmer ) but I couldn’t make it like I was being held down. I couldn’t breath but then I jolted away.


    -Tony Crisp 2014-11-20 8:48:13

    Anon – While dreaming you are in a totally different world/dimension than while awake. Also everything is a symbol and means something different to what you believe you are in. For example you cannot drown in dreams, and so can breath under water. But you fear jolted you away from a rare opportunity. See http://dreamhawk.com/dream-encyclopedia/questions-2/#Summing

    The aquarium usually represent your own inner world cut off from the world you know through your senses. You have a massive life within you that keeps you breathing, digests your food and controls your inner life. What you are aware of while awake is a tiny thing compared to your inner world that we are usually unaware of and think it is all like an unconscious machine that keeps us alive. It is not.

    Your dream showed you the beginning of awareness of your inner world. You were scared because you never realised the difference between what you knew and what you do not know about yourself. See http://dreamhawk.com/dream-dictionary/what-we-need-to-remember-about-us-3/#Reaction

    Imagine yourself back in your dream without the fear of drowning and see what happens. It might help to use http://dreamhawk.com/dream-encyclopedia/acting-on-your-dream/#BeingPerson



-maria 2014-12-01 12:32:25

I had a nightmare that we were in a big water park but it was deep. There was a lot of people there people were driving inside the water and there was also children swimming in there it was I don’t know basically kind of like the riDEs in sChlitterbom and it kept on going over around and around we were sitting on the top and I Kept on seeing my niece and I kept on Worrying that my niece would DroWn finally it was like a policeman and told him to shut the water down and the water started going out and as you water started going out you would see all these children that they were laying on the floor dead I saw my niece she was one of them I ran to her instead of her parents and I started yelling I told you so I told you so but nobody seems to care so I held her little body in my arms and was sobbing


-Adam 2014-12-02 17:12:38

I was with my parents and my animals at the beach. We stayed in a condo facing the ocean like usual. I notice one of my back bottom molars has a hole in it and hurts and is about to fall out.A little boy appears and talks to me for a moment. I look out the window and the sun is gone and a storm is brewing, all the people run in terror. I black out and wake up, when I look out the window it is pitch black. I go to the door and open it slightly and water squirts through. I freak out and my dad appears, I’m crying because I don’t want my mom, dad, animals and I to drown. I say I would rather commit suicide than drown. My dad goes to the door and opens it, only a little water rushes in and I look out and the waters is almost all gone. I fall to my knees and catch my breath. Then I wake up.


-jessica 2014-12-04 2:07:56

had this dream where I was at A party and I was looking down at this pool that was skinny and long it seemed to go on forever.I looked down and I would jump and I would start drowning get out of the pool and do it all over again to try to see if i could swim,I kept drowning over and over then when I finally decided to stop someone pushed me in. And everyone around me didn’t notice I needed help


-Sally G 2014-12-08 4:57:09

I had a dream I was driving really far away with my family in our car. I was in the passanger seat while my dad was driving and my mother sister and brother where in the back seats. It was weird because my mothe never sits in the back, I seamed to have taken her place. While we were driving to our destination, it was raining incredibly hard and all of a sudden we come across a town where it’s completely flooded and we find ourselves in the middle of the town which is also deserted… the water was so high up it was passed the middle of our windows and can no longer drive. Suddenly water starts to come in the car and my father is trying everythino to move the car. I woke up then and now im extremely curious because I have never dreamed something quite like this. I would appreciate any replies . Thank you


    -Beatrice 2014-12-14 14:32:40

    I had a similar dream like this too. Except it’s my dad and I only. He’s the driver, I’m the passenger. We are driving, and then we hit a lake. I tell my dad we need to open the doors at the same time so the water can flow in evenly so it’ll sink lower. He opens the door before I do and the water gushes in. I open my door and get out in time after my dad. The car fills with water and the car sinks. Then we’re both standing on a highway overlooking the lake.


-kate 2014-12-12 3:08:51

I had two dreams in the same week that I was drowning, in one I was on a boat but fell off and none could help me and it felt like I was watching the whole thing but I still saw from my own point of view. I went deep under clear water and suddenly was at the surface holding onto something. I wasn’t afraid or acting like myself in the dream. The other dream was different because I was alone but it seemed like the same place, and I didn’t fall into the water I was just sinking but I was watching myself. I have anxiety and depression so I can see how that plays a part in the dreams, but since then I’ve just had random dreams, that just change places and people and colors so that it makes even less sense than ever before. Drowning is starting to sound comforting.


-Kelsey 2014-12-16 15:09:38

I dreamt that I was at my gyms pool. I kept diving for this shinning penny like object and I remember thinking “I’m running out of air…” An old friend of mine swam above me as if she didn’t see me. I just thought “the water is too deep…I wouldn’t make it to the top.” I paused the penny in hand. Should I just give up??? I wondered too my self….”no. I can make it.” I thought to myself and i swam to the top just as I was about to slip…


-Erin 2014-12-17 21:51:04

In my dream I wasnt in it. I observed from infront of people and at different angles like camera shots in a movie. It was in a huge church with an inverted cross where the normal cross would be found above the alter and red lit candles everywhere in silver holders. People filled the rows chanting something I couldnt understand as the priest walked up the isle to the alter wjere there stood three people. Two in black standing either side of a woman in white in laber. The priest chanted and everyone grew louder as the woman tried to say something. She would keep saying please over and over not being able to say anything else. Then they finished after a while and I saw the womans face and she said with tears running down her face please kill me then I saw the seats. No one was there. There was pools of blood and blood beside the woman. Only the priest remained. Then behind the woman was a skeleton then I saw the skull unhinge its jaw and black smome come from it and cover the woman. A blood curdling scream came from her and she fell lifelessly. I could feel she died. Then the smoke rushed round the church ceiling the back to the skeleton only the body of the woman was there instead and the skeleton was gone. The baby was then left on the alter screaming and kicking. Covered in bright red blood. The the priest walked up to the baby that seemed to be at my feet now and picked it up. He looked at me with the most evil crinkled smile the left throught the church doord and the doors opened and closed for him. I woke as the doors slamed shut and when I wome I jolted up and felt smothered. What does this mean?


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