Nightmares in Childhood Associated With Later Psychosis


Children who reported experiencing frequent nightmares between 2.5 and 9 years of age were significantly more likely to report psychotic experiences at age 12, regardless of sex, family adversity, emotional or behavioral problems, IQ or potential neurological problems, according to research published in the journal Sleep.

Abstract →

Fisher, H., Tanya Lereya, S., Thompson, A., Lewis, G., Zammit, S., Wolke, D., Childhood Parasomnias and Psychotic Experiences at Age 12 Years in a United Kingdom Birth Cohort. Sleep. 2014; 37(3):475-482

Of further interest:
Childhood nightmares may point to looming health issues (BBC Health)
Childhood nightmares could foreshadow mental health issues (Daily Dose)
Nightmares Can Be Early Sign of Mental Illness: Study (Newsmax Health)
Childhood Nightmares May Lead to Psychosis, Say Scientists (International Business Times)

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Kermit Cole
Kermit Cole, MFT, founding editor of Mad in America, works in Santa Fe, New Mexico as a couples and family therapist. Inspired by Open Dialogue, he works as part of a team and consults with couples and families that have members identified as patients. His work in residential treatment — largely with severely traumatized and/or "psychotic" clients — led to an appreciation of the power and beauty of systemic philosophy and practice, as the alternative to the prevailing focus on individual pathology. A former film-maker, he has undergraduate and master's degrees in psychology from Harvard University, as well as an MFT degree from the Council for Relationships in Philadelphia. He is a doctoral candidate with the Taos Institute and the Free University of Brussels. You can reach him at [email protected].