Dreaming about your own death can indeed scare you. But, as in other dreams, these images convey more about your personality. One obvious way to understand our suppressed feelings is by interpreting these often morbid images.
In this article, we present an elaborate guide on various perspectives regarding dreams about your own death, and the symbols they represent will help you decipher the meanings.
Freud’s Concept of Death
In a 1920 essay, ‘Beyond the Pleasure Principle,’ Freud derives a concept of two innate drives of life and death. Every human personality is made of life and death drives which stand for positive and negative outlooks. One’s inclination toward either of the drives reflects their cognitive perception.
Later, modern psychoanalysts dubbed them Eros and Thanatos, the two Greek gods representing life and death.
In the same essay, Freud theorizes that death and destruction entice human beings. He further asserts, “the aim of all life is death.”
Moreover, when an individual manifests this death drive in their behavior, it results in aggression. But, an inward execution of death drive leads a person to self-harm and suicide. Freud’s observation of World War I soldiers affirmed his theories.
The psychoanalyst concludes that every human has an innate death drive, which life instincts strongly suppress. They wish to suffer the sadist pleasure of dying in their dreams. According to Freud, this desire for death is “something that would seem more primitive, more elementary, more instinctual than the pleasure principle which it overrides.”
Spiritual And Mythological Interpretations of Death
Every religion or spiritual sect harbors multiple concepts of death. These varied ideas affect your dreams and influence your thoughts. Some of such dream interpretations are:
In the religious spectrum of Hinduism, death and life are two sides of the same coin. They’re complimentary to each other. Hindus believe death is at the core of human existence as the soul lives on beyond the boundaries of the material paradigm.
In the Bhagavad Gita, it’s said, “As a man casts off his worn-out clothes and takes on new ones, so does the embodied soul cast off his worn-out body.” This soul is born in multiple bodies, and the cycle continues until it receives moksha, the ultimate freedom from the struggle of human existence.
Eminent pundits believe this cycle of reincarnation is the result of karma, the “law of cause and effect which teaches that all actions have corresponding results.” Once the soul serves its purpose and has undergone the drudgery of mortal life, it gets its final release.
The Buddhist concept of death is similar to that of the Hindu concept. They consider the dynamics of life and death as a continuum, and the spirit continues to live on either of the six separate planes. They, too, believe in reincarnation of the soul and that death is the only way out of this vicious cycle of rebirth.
Buddhists look at death from a positive perspective. According to their spiritual teachings, death is “the greatest of all teachers” and “the most important manifestation of impermanence.” Therefore, Buddhist philosophy encourages its followers to accept death as an integral reality of life.
Just as in any Asian religious sect, Islam defines death as a transition between the two realms of living and death. It’s a ceremony that passes from one world to the other. According to the Quran, several incidents occur in the afterlife, and death represents the onset of a new phase.
Read More: What Does it Mean When You Dream About Someone Dying?
What do Dreams About Your Own Death Symbolize?
Death connotes the end of a trying phase. But, when seen beneath the veneer of surface interpretations, notice a dying light of your consciousness seeking help. Not all death-related dreams featuring you can be negative; some may imply new and steady beginnings.
What follows is a list of probable dream symbols that represent your inner concept of death drives:
1. A Fresh Start
Death doesn’t always imply a negative closure. At times certain toxic relationships need to end for healthy bonds to form. Dreams about your death may indicate your inner urge to escape a suffocating situation and start anew.
The varying circumstances can depend on your real-life incidents. The dream can be a calling to accept a new job prospect or move to a less-traversed city. All in all, this positive dream segment foresees auspicious change and personal growth coming your way.
2. Anxiety or Stress
Heinous dreams about your own death can point to an unhealthy mental condition. Excessive anxiety and stress at the workplace or your personal life can make you feel exhausted. When these conditions are left unheeded, they accumulate and cloud your judgment. Acute cases of anxiety might push you into the extremities of self-harm.
The root cause of such extreme emotions generally arises from an oversense of responsibility or your cautiousness towards how people behave with you. Stress gets a better grip on the human mind when people try to please everyone and fail miserably every time. The dream is a coherent anticipation of your urge to kill yourself because the pressure is too much to bear.
Being a ‘yesman’ can also cause a deep pool of such feelings to stir up.
3. Adjusting With Death
Losing a loving associate can have a depressing effect on the mind. Are you in denial of their death? Such thoughts can upend your mental equilibrium, and the constant idea of reuniting with them can haunt you.
Second, you can conjure mental images of your death when suffering from deadly disorders. Fatigue and physical agony can demotivate one to live further. Before such negative thoughts overpower you, look toward life beyond this struggle.
4. Fear of The Unknown
Uncertainty and the fear of the unknown are closely associated with death. Many wonders what comes after death. Myths and theological concepts worldwide offer different ideas, but none is standard.
In your current situation, if things aren’t going according to plan, an erratic discomfort has set in. Several people share their opinions, but they don’t fit your bill.
Under such circumstances, your grow desires to step away from such an indecisive and confusing phase of life. It leads to dreaming about your death.
5. Unexpected Transition
When you confront an unexpected transitive phase, there’s a chance you may dream of your death. Just as a jeweler melts gold to mold it into precious jewelry, this transition can have similar effects on you. It may require you to shred your age-old inhibitions and unlearn everything you amassed.
It implies a part of your old self is about to die. And the dream segment is a reminder of that.
Whether it’s your professional life or private, such an unexpected change can positively affect your growth. However, the process can make you uncomfortable as it demands you to step out of your comfort zone. Remember, the faster you get accustomed to this change, the better its effect on you.
6. Personal Lacking
Dreaming about someone overlooking you as you die symbolizes missing characteristics. There are reasons why you like that person. Once you identify those characteristics, you’ll know how to imbibe them in yourself.
These characteristics are what you don’t have. Subconsciously you feel the absence of these characteristics can prevent you from succeeding.
As you continue to put other people’s needs before yours, you forget to take care of yourself. In the long run, this will allow others to take your care for granted and not return the same favor. Dreams concerning your death are warnings from your conscience, asking you to stop.
When a person ignores their requirements, the body and mind may revolt. Dream images are only a sign telling how the dreamer ends up if they don’t make the right decision. It’s best to pay attention to them before it’s too late and you indulge in self-pampering rituals.
5 Scenarios of Dreams About Your Own Death: Interpretation And Meanings
Famous psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud has remarked that dreams are the “royal roads to the unconscious” (Interpretation of Dreams). In simpler words, dreams are the wee passage through which you can dive deep into the intricate workings of the human psyche.
Here are five common dream scenarios that concern your death, and their interpretations are:
1. Dreams About Your Own Death
No wonder dreams about your death can leave you reeling in thoughts. Various facets and incidents of your life can evoke such strong images in your mind. Psychologists recommend dreamers study these scenes carefully and identify what to expect or avoid.
A common interpretation of this dream sequence shows an upcoming transition that will transform you for good. For the first time, you’ll learn to prioritize your necessities over others. After being emotionally exploited over a long period, a particular incident is about to change your dynamics with others.
Not all change is negative, but some are positive enough to mold your future and reality for the better. Accept these transitions even if it seems scary at the beginning. Remember, stepping out of your comfort zone and embracing the new version of yourself will open several doors of opportunities.
2. Dream About You Dying as a Child
The motif of a child dying in dreams often connotes the destruction of innocence and simplicity. Psychology theorists often consider this a painful image as a child’s death directly associates with a person coming to terms with grim reality. Dreams concerning your death as a child point to the inner struggle.
Life has burdened you with many responsibilities, and there’s hardly time left for leisure. With multiple problems and next to pointless obligations to deal with, you’re drowning in the abyss of adult duties. Meanwhile, you’ve stopped cherishing the little things around you or enjoying your hobbies.
Consider this a warning from the weary mind that advises rest.
On a positive note, however, the death of the inner child symbolizes how much experience you’ve gained over time. Now, hardly anything fazes you from the target, and neither does anything frivolous fool you. With keen observation, you can see through every trap.
3. Dreams About Dying From Suicide
From a general perspective, suicide signifies an individual’s wish to quit. There is ample reason that triggers one to take such drastic steps. When you dream of dying from suicide, it explains the strong desire to live free.
If recent situations have grown turbulent at the workplace or home, such dream instances can recur. A toxic environment can adversely affect a person’s mental health, pushing them to take extreme measures. It can be the subconscious’ way of warning about how you feel about certain people or situations.
Another interpretation depicts the lack of love and care one feels. Emotional distancing from your partner or parents can often give rise to such images in dreams. Either sit down for a heart-to-heart to resolve the issue or cut ties with them.
4. Dreams About Your Own Death From Car Crash
Dreaming of death in a car accident implies an upcoming situation will provoke and expose your vulnerability. To avoid undesirable incidents, ensure you’re resolute and don’t give in to provocation.
Some psychologists may add that car casualties signify an individual’s emotional preparedness. Mishaps in your life have killed your older vulnerable self. But now you’re ready to face the struggles of daily life.
From a different perspective, a car represents the human mind. And car accidents highlight the consequences of living breathlessly. Even if a person runs after money and success to support their family, they tend to lose out on several more permanent elements. Taking actionable steps to reconnect with the family can save them from mental breakdowns early in life.
5. Dream About Dying From Falling
The dream sequence of death from falling signifies the potential consequences of over-ambition. You have exceeded your capabilities and couldn’t go any further but yet trudged on. The obstacles became too much to handle, thus the symbolism of death.
If your death in dreams occurred because of someone pushing you, it embodies betrayal. Someone, your greatest confidant, couldn’t tolerate your success and wanted you gone. Watch out for such company around and subtly maintain a distance from them. Moreover, consider practicing a low profile at social gatherings.
Psychoanalysts may refer to the lack of personal space as an appropriate interpretation. Too much intrusion in your private life is causing distress to your mental health. In such a situation, speak up for yourself and spend some time alone.
Also Read: What Does it Mean When Someone Dies in Your Dream?
Dreams are a reflection of an individual’s real-life situation and thoughts. Whatever a person goes through and how they cope with difficulties get subsequently portrayed on the dreamscape.
Dream psychologists decipher these imaginary sequences to help patients identify the problem causing them distress. Beneath the layers of fragmentary images lies the subconscious and an individual’s true self. However, these perceptions are a result of the surrounding environment.
As much as spiritual beliefs influence your dream sequences, popular political opinions have a similar effect. Therefore, when interpreting dreams, ensure you pay attention to minute details that change dream meanings.
An enthusiastic dream journaler who has connected sleep-time visions with real-life occurrences in the past and present, Karandeep believes in tapping into the subconscious and demystifying strengths, insecurities, and deep-rooted desires. Besides identifying the interconnectedness of dreams in his personalized dream journal, he continues to study the significance of celestial objects and their relation to mythological tales that keep modern society intrigued about past civilizations.