chapter  5
Nightmares Are Real
Pages 25

The disintegrated portions continue to exist in a chaotic way and have been well termed by Ferenczi as "repressed insanity"— a new and important concept in psychoanalysis. This condition reveals itself in nightmares or sleep dramatizations, as though the psyche were haunted by its tragedy and forever seeking to repair and restore its damaged unity and soundness. An outstanding symptom with many neurotics is the frequent experience of nightmare. The imagination fails utterly to act as a "shock absorber" and what remains is pure shock, unadulterated by any fantasies of relief, escape, or amelioration. These dreams are always of painful content and intensity, and constitute what is called nightmare. The psychotic, on the other hand, is a person whose injury probably having been greater has been unable to make a satisfactory adaptation to reality and whose compensation for this failure and misfortune is a kind of dream-life, in which fantasy predominates over reality.