Afraid to try lucid dreaming

Hello all, please take a moment to read this, I need some help.

I have never intentionally induced an LD before, and I am very interested in trying it. There’s just one problem…I’m not sure exactly how to explain this, but I have a tendency to have schizophrenic thoughts during the night. I’m not as bad as hearing voices or having actual hallucinations, but when I’m in the dark I have a tendency to become uncontrollably paranoid. I’ll get a paralyzingly horrifying feeling that someone or something is with me, and no matter how much I tell myself that I’m just imagining it, for the life of me I cannot seem to shake this feeling. I’m not sure if this simply means I’m over active or if there is something else. I guess you could say I’m afraid of the dark, but that doesn’t seem to capture quite what I feel. The thought that there is some ghost or demon in the room with me becomes so INTENSE that I can actually start to feel nauseous or begin to feel my skin crawling. Much like the feeling you get when you are actually being watched. In my head I begin to see gruesome demons or ghosts, but I’m not technically hallucinating them…

I’m sorry to ramble, but that is very important to this discussion. I desperately would like to try lucid dreaming, but right when I get to the point where I am about to fall asleep: I get the thoughts. What if I enter a lucid dream and I see one of these demons or ghosts? These thoughts are nothing short of traumatizing, and that’s when I am awake and conscious. When you are dreaming, everything becomes more alive and vivid. I I were to accidentally lose control of an LD, even just for a second, I could be face to face with one of my worst fears.

Now I have read a lot about LD’ing. I know you’re in control, I know nothing can hurt you. You are dreaming, and fully aware. However you need to know that my mind is not only very fragile, but it can also be VERY dark. If I were to enter an LD, I don’t know if I would be able to handle it because of the constant fear of losing control. I have heard about lucid nightmares, where you are still lucid but your subconscious takes over and plays you a nightmare. You know you’re dreaming still, but your subconscious mind shows you some sort of message.

Some people call lucid nightmares a learning opportunity. A way to confront your fears face to face. But I don’t know if I am quite ready for something like that yet. These thoughts and “hallucinations” I get are very realistic and traumatizing to me. An even if I am 100% aware that I’m dreaming, I feel that if I saw one in a lucid dream I would still panic like a small child.

What does this mean for me? Could It just mean that I’m not cut out for lucid dreaming? Or is there a way to get past it?

Surely I can’t be the only person here who has come across this problem. If anybody has some stories/advice to give me, I would be forever grateful. Please, I want to try lucid dreaming so bad. I have heard that you can even teach yourself to do amazing things in real life through use of LD’s an I would love it if there was a way for me to try this without having that constant fear in the back of my mind.

I hope you have some good advice for me, thank you so much for reading this :smile:

I’m not a psychologist or a schizophrenic, but I’ll say what I can and I apologize in advance if I completely misunderstand your problem. I’ll start by noting that you say your fears usually kick in when it’s dark, but in an LD, you’re probably going to be somewhere with plenty of visual input, not in a dark, enclosed area. This means that the fear shouldn’t happen in the first place! However, I’ll continue to talk under the impression that the rest of your problem is present, in case I simply don’t know enough about you to draw conclusions.

You say that no matter how much you tell yourself your hallucinations aren’t real, you can’t shake the thought. However, the idea behind lucidity is that you have a firm understanding of things not being real while in the dream. You shouldn’t NEED to convince yourself of this fact after becoming lucid. Admittedly, that realization doesn’t mean that everything bad goes away all the time, but lucid nightmares are very, very rare compared to normal lucid dreams and it’d be like refusing to go outside in the rain because lightning can strike a person. I sincerely believe that if you go into LDing with a good lucid goal, your focus will be entirely on that and not on the rare bad cases, thus helping to keep any bad things at bay.

“What if I enter a lucid dream and I see one of these demons or ghosts,” you ask? If that complete and total understanding is there, then it’s not a nightmare at all. Those things will become no different than your other dream characters if you so choose – and from the way you talk, I suggest you DO choose that! Kids with mundane fears are often taught to overcome them by being forced to face them down, e.g., I used to be scared to death of roller coasters until my parents finally forced me onto one, after which I still didn’t like them but was no longer scared of them. The same principle applies here: if you find such a thing in your dream, don’t shy away from it, and perhaps even get to know it! If you befriended such a thing in a dream, it wouldn’t seem like a malevolent presence in waking life, or if you somehow bested it in a dream, it wouldn’t seem insurmountable if you dealt with it in waking life.

I understand that you say that you “don’t know if [you are] quite ready for something like that yet,” but there’s no way to get more ready. You simply “do”. Again, go into LDing looking at the fun side, and the bad side likely won’t show up at all, but that “bad” side is only what you make it if it does appear. It won’t seem dark to you in the LD, so the fears from waking life darkness needn’t apply. Don’t repeatedly tell yourself things about lucidity; know them and believe them wholeheartedly.

EDIT: Actually, give us something to work with. With everything you’ve read about LDing, can you tell us something you’d really like to do in an LD?

I appreciate your response, it actually helped quite a bit. As for the darkness thing, i was more referring to when I’m in my room with my eyes closed. I’ll get that uneasy feeling which makes it tough to focus on other things, such as becoming lucid. I’m more concerned that with that on my mind as I’m falling asleep, the uneasy feeling may carry over into my dreams.

Normally I avoid this by scrolling through (you may or may not have heard of this) ifunny in bed until I fall asleep. Looking at funny pictures helps take my mind off everything until I’m tired enough to sleep. I’m not sure if being on my phone will hinder my chances of becoming lucid.

Your connection between lucid nightmares and the lightning strike takes a tremendous amount of weight off my shoulders. I was under the impression that those were a very common thing, so thank you for straightening that out!

As for lucid goals, I’ve heard of people dreaming that they were doing something like training with a professional athlete, and then when they woke up they found themselves to be MUCH better at what they were practicing in that dream. I realize some of that may come from confidence, but it seems like something I’d love to try anyway. Maybe I could lucid dream about perfecting my drum skills. Who knows? It may help! So just something like that

There is a lot of prep work that you will do before learning how to lucid dream. Keeping a dream journal, meditation, reality checking during your waking state etc… You will learn to become more aware of not just your environment but of your thoughts and feeling as well. So, in practicing lucid dreaming you will gain an understanding of what is causing you anxiety at night and learn how to deal with it.

Even if you encountered such creatures as you described the worst that would happen to you is you will wake up. Just like you would from any nightmare. As you become more skilled you will become less afraid and my choose to simply dispel the beings or change the dream. As you gain even more skill you will have the ability to learn from your dreams and curiously explore what they represent and gain even further understanding of what you are afraid of.

Good luck I hope things get better for you.

Given your goal of wanting to practice drumming to carry it into waking life, it seems like you really want to use LDing to better yourself. Keep that in mind! If the worst-case scenario does happen and you face your fear, you need only remember that you’re there trying to better yourself, and use that knowledge to either ignore, face, or resolve your fear as discussed previously.

Other common lucid dream goals for first-timers tend to involve fantasy, such as the ever-popular first goal of flight, changing shape, having some other power, or visiting a fantastic landscape. These types of goals resolve your problem in the other way I mentioned: they have a really, really sharp focus on the positive emotional state of the LD, making it extremely unlikely for the dream to turn sour.

It’s 3:00 AM here, so I won’t be on to talk any longer tonight, but I wish you the best of luck for LDs tonight. milod789’s post is insightful as well, although I don’t think you need to wait to get some level of skill to deal with nightmares – that implies being weak to them at first, which is what you definitely don’t want to be dwelling on. Otherwise, I agree with the general idea of his post.

That is very true. You don’t need to attain any specific level of skill to deal with nightmares or any strong emotion. I didn’t phrase that well at all. But sometimes I do like to describe things into achievable goals so if the first thing you try doesn’t work then people will not get too frustrated and give up on something. But now that I read it again geez you might think o crap all that is going to take me forever to learn all of that. and give up before you even try. Good thing thorn was here to catch it.

He is also correct about fantasy fulfilment. You may well be to busy flying or what ever to think about or even care about your fears. I am sure you will find that nearly all of your lucid dreams are positive and exhilarating experience that carries on well into waking life. In fact most people don’t have a nightmare in a lucid dream. The way it is more likely to play out is that you have a non lucid dream/nightmare and become lucid because you recognize it as a dream and become lucid. At that point you can deal with the situation in whatever way you want as thorn mentioned.

Have happy dreams and thanks thorn for explaining my post better.

Thanks everyone for the help! You’ve all motivated me quite a bit and I think I’m ready to give It a shot! Sorry I couldn’t reply quicker I posted this at like 3am and couldn’t stay awake hahaha

I used to have a similar problem, I was afraid that I would lose control of my dream and my mind would show me something scary. It actually happened to me several times, and it was pretty scary. One time, I was having a lucid dream when I suddenly lost control. I was teleported to my bedroom and found myself face to face with a demon. However, I didn’t get scared this time, I just got mad that my mind was doing this to me. I could barely move or see, but I forced myself out of my bed and started shouting at it. "Fine! I see how it is! Bring it on! :grrr: " The demon disappeared. Since then I am no longer afraid and have maintained complete control of the few DILDs I’ve had.

Basically the point I’m trying to make is if you see a ghost in a dream, you can either ask it why its trying to scare you or just tell it to hit the road. It may or may not come back but you at least won’t be afraid of it anymore. :smile:

I have a concept that nothing will herat me in my dream,so I’m afraid of noting.When i suffer SP,I will tell myself that I’m the master of my own dream,and I can get out of my body and have a good LD.

I don’t have any experience confronting anything scary yet, but just keep in mind… What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger :wink:

After all, it’s YOUR dream. Even if you’re terrified by it, it’s still your dream. Even if you lose control, it’s not going to be able to do anything to you but look scary. It doesn’t matter if you can convince yourself that that’s true, as long as it’s true you can throw yourself in there without worrying.

You’ll probably cuss yourself out once you finally stand face to face with a demon, but I can guarantee you it’ll work :wink: