Why They Fail -or- Health Care's Failure to Communicate

Health Care Reform

In a May 28, 2012 Toronto Star article by Chantaie Allick, Liam Casey and Jennifer Pagliaro the headline reads "Why we fail: For the 1 in 5 Canadians with mental illness, the journey to recovery mirrors struggles inside their minds. The Star goes inside the system to show how and why it fails patients in diagnosis, treatment and after-care." 

Working (out of medical centres) within the Canadian health care system as a private provider for 23 years, I can tell you the reader that a variety of cases over the years clearly explains why health care systems are failing. The medical problem also clearly extends beyond the borders Canada, into the global village. Many dreams sent to the IIDR from around the planet speak about the education and health care problems found in our dreams. Read, "Health Care Reform in the Global Village." 

One case of a woman referred to me who had seen a variety of medical professionals, not one had asked about her dreams. Had they, the professional would have immediately known the reason she was suffering. It's not rocket science, dream interpretation can follow medical scientific symptom reading and diagnostic protocols. The Psychodynamic Diagnostic Manual (PDM) is designed for such a psychoanalytic symptom reading. 

A man who was thought to have psychological problems was referred by a medical professional to me, again his dreams were not medically discussed. When I saw the gentleman, he reported dreams that were bizarre to say the least, the dreams pointed to a breathing problem, so I referred him to a sleep clinic. The report I received back from the clinic two weeks later stated, that the man stopped breathing while sleeping for 2 minutes at a time. He was suffering from sleep apnea. Is it surprising that his daily thoughts and his nightly dreams were bizarre?

My list of cases could go on and on. The health care system is for the most part not asking and not communicating about dreams and nightmares, nor are they treating them effectively. This is the primary cause why the system is failing. The article reports that; "Mental health problems cost Canada at least $50 billion per year...." How does that translate to the whole population on the planet? The medical profession is failing, because they have for the most part forgotten the innate age old wisdom of the communication platform of the dream.

This interpretation synoptically talks about the dream as a medical tool for the medical humanities, as an endoscopic tool which provides insight into the inner world of the functioning of mind and body. It also provides insights into a person's psychosocial development, interpersonal communication and memories. By doing so, often the causes and effects of stress and trauma are revealed. The deleterious workings of stress and traumatic injury, has been found to be pervasive in our dreams. 

Dream vision is a underutilized medical tool that could aid differential diagnosis and treatment. Utilizing dreams from a medical perspective can in itself have a cathartic effect. It says that the person is interested in the other person's inner world and the whole self. Only in one case in the last 23 years have I seen a patient that was truly afraid of "my prying eyes", the reason the person was resistant, was because she was trying to hide a serious crime.

The Kafkaesque -or- A Symptom Reading of Dream Vision 

The dream as a medical tool is invaluable, in the sense that the text can provide information about the functioning of cognition, emotion and the sensori-motor systems. Many dreams sent to the IIDR speak in the dystopian and symptomatic voice of the Kafkaesque. A symptom reading of dreams can take on many psychosomatic forms, here is an anthology collected by the IIDR of a variety of problems and symptoms; 

  1. Pain and suffering can take on many faces, "The Body in Pain"
  2. The dystopian Kafkaesque dreams of existence haunts our collective dreams, here is a symptomatic dream from Kafka himself, "The Transmutation of Franz Kafka
  3. The Kafkaesque of everyday life is given voice in, "Takin Care of Business"
  4. The dystopian imagination of the Kafkaesque is synoptically featured in, "Black Comedy"
  5. The stress of everyday life can often causes nightmares, "Symptom Reading of Nightmares
  6. To combat stress, stress management is necessary, "Stress Management"
  7. A female student who feels academically indoctrinated, "The Seminary Student"
  8. A woman who is feeling Post-partum, "Rock a-Bye-Baby
  9. A woman with PMS, "Psychological Differences"
  10. A man who receives distressing news, "The London Underground"
  11. A woman who speaks for everyone ever bullied and humiliated, "History of Persecution in Dreams"
  12. A man with a problem with pornography, "Confessions of a Porn Addict
  13. The long term psychological effects of war, "Trauma and Personal Injury"
  14. Problems with Alcohol, "Alcoholics Anonymous"
  15. The effects of drugs on a person's life and dreams, "Requiem for a Dream"
  16. The dreams of those suffering depersonalization and derealization, "What is Real?"
  17. The private madness of people, "Schizotypal Masks of Sanity"  

Further Reading: 

  • Joseph Natterson (ed), "The Dream in Clinical Practice"
  • Alan Monat and Richard S. Lazarus (eds), "Stress and Coping: An Anthology


All material Copyright 2006 International Institute for Dream Research. All rights reserved.