The one possible side-effect of taking Abilify that I have developed is having disturbing dreams. I dream every night, and, except for occasional nights when I dream of still-living people — like work colleagues and former friends — my dreams have been filled with people in my life who are dead: my parents, my ex-husband, my cousin Lorraine, one of my former boyfriends, my former boss, and even a guy I dated my freshman year in college who, I heard, died years later on an operating table. I was surprised that I even remembered him, as well as his name.
My dreams are fraught with frustration, as I navigate Escher-like landscapes in which I rarely find a way to get where I want to go. The landscapes, based vaguely on places I have worked, lived, and danced, and are dark and distorted. The people I encounter (not just the dead ones) make me feel uneasy, as though I know they don’t really like me.
I am always trying to get someplace, and I always can’t find where I parked my car. My efforts are thwarted by people and circumstances over which I have no control.
When I first started taking Abililfy, I had actual nightmares in which I was afraid for my life. I would wind up forcing myself to wake up, and then I would lie there trying to figure out from where it was all coming.
There was a time, before I developed (and solved) a Circadian Rhythm problem, that I always had vivid dreams filled with color and sound and engaging adventures. I still dream in color, and often hear sounds, including conversations, the actual words I can’t remember after I awake. It feels like I’m living in some alternate dystopian reality. It is all too real and unnerving.
I hope other dreams will come — sweet dreams the realities of which are comforting rather than disturbing. For now, I will continue to try to figure out why I am always lost and searching and why there there are all of these dead people complicating my dream life.
Hi Elaine crossed your blog from Feb 2016 re benefits of medical marihuana and then saw this post re dreams from post affects of abilify. Very interested in communication with you. Do you have an email. We r moving back to mass and we have a lot in common re age and challenges. Ty for sharing