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J Affect Disord ; 304: 12-19, 2022 05 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1683225


BACKGROUND: Trauma experience increases the risk of suicidal ideation, but little is known about potentially psychological mechanisms underlying this relationship. This study aims to examine the relationship between coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)-related traumatic event (CTE) exposure and suicidal ideation among hospital workers, and identify mediating roles of sleep disturbances in this relationship. METHODS: Workers in seven designated hospitals in Wuhan, China, were invited to participate in an online survey from May 27, 2020, to July 31, 2020. Participants completed a self-report questionnaire to evaluate demographic characteristics, level of CTE exposures, nightmare frequency, insomnia severity, symptoms of depression and anxiety, and suicidal ideation. A series of correlation analyses were performed, and a mediation model was generated to examine correlations between CTE exposure, sleep disturbances, and suicidal ideation. RESULTS: A total of 16,220 hospital workers were included in the final analysis, 13.3% of them reported suicidal ideation in the past month. CTE exposure was significantly associated with insomnia severity, nightmare frequency, and suicidal ideation. After controlling potential confounders, nightmares but not insomnia, depression, or anxiety were shown to be independent risk factors for suicidal ideation. Pathway analyses showed that the relationship between CTE exposure and suicidal ideation was fully mediated by nightmares (proportion mediated 66.4%) after adjusting for demographic characteristics and psychological confounders. LIMITATIONS: Cross-sectional design precluded the investigation of causal relationships. CONCLUSIONS: CTE exposure increases risk of hospital workers' suicidal ideation that is mediated by nightmares, suggesting nightmares intervention might be considered as a component when developing suicide prevention strategies.

COVID-19 , Sleep Initiation and Maintenance Disorders , Cross-Sectional Studies , Dreams/psychology , Humans , Sleep Initiation and Maintenance Disorders/epidemiology , Suicidal Ideation
PLoS One ; 16(11): e0259040, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1533417


BACKGROUND: An upsurge in dream and nightmare frequency has been noted since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic and research shows increases in levels of stress, depression and anxiety during this time. Growing evidence suggests that dream content has a bi-directional relationship with psychopathology, and that dreams react to new, personally significant and emotional experiences. The first lockdown experience was an acute event, characterized by a combination of several unprecedent factors (new pandemic, threat of disease, global uncertainty, the experience of social isolation and exposure to stressful information) that resulted in a large-scale disruption of life routines. This study aimed at investigating changes in dream, bad dream and nightmare recall; most prevalent dream themes; and the relationship between dreams, bad dreams, nightmares and symptoms of stress, depression and anxiety during the first COVID-19 lockdown (April-May 2020) through a national online survey. METHODS: 968 participants completed an online survey. Dream themes were measured using the Typical Dreams Questionnaire; stress levels were measured by the Cohen's Perceived Stress Scale; symptoms of anxiety were assessed by Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD-7) scale; and symptoms of depression were assessed using the Quick Inventory of Depressive Symptomatology. RESULTS: 34% (328) of participants reported increased dream recall during the lockdown. The most common dream themes were centered around the topics of 1) inefficacy (e.g., trying again and again, arriving late), 2) human threat (e.g., being chased, attacked); 3) death; and 4) pandemic imagery (e.g., being separated from loved ones, being sick). Dream, bad dream and nightmare frequency was highest in individuals with moderate to severe stress levels. Frequency of bad dreams, nightmares, and dreams about the pandemic, inefficacy, and death were associated with higher levels of stress, as well as with greater symptoms of depression and anxiety. CONCLUSIONS: Results support theories of dream formation, environmental susceptibility and stress reactivity. Dream content during the lockdown broadly reflected existential concerns and was associated with increased symptoms of mental health indices.

Anxiety/etiology , COVID-19/complications , Depression/etiology , Dreams/psychology , Mental Health/trends , Mental Recall/physiology , Quarantine/psychology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Anxiety/psychology , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , Canada/epidemiology , Child , Depression/psychology , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Surveys and Questionnaires , Young Adult
Conscious Cogn ; 87: 103051, 2021 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-921869


Ninety-one dreams collected during the Covid-19 pandemic (the epidemic-situation sample) were compared with ninety-one dreams collected before the start of the epidemic (the non-epidemic-situation sample). The dreams were classified according to their content, using methods based on previous studies. The frequency of themes was compared to predictions that would be anticipated by three contemporary theories of dreaming: 1) threat simulation theory (TST); 2) incorporation continuity hypothesis (ICH); and 3) social simulation theory (SST). The epidemic-situation sample dreamed more of threatening events than the non-epidemic-situation sample (supporting the TST) and more of non-aggression threatening events, possibly due to the hyperassociation during sleep. However, the epidemic-situation sample did not show a greater prevalence of illness events in dreams (not supporting the ICH). Additionally, there was no significant difference in social neutral and positive events in dreams between the two samples as would have been predicted by the SST.

Aggression/psychology , Association , COVID-19 , Dreams/psychology , Fear/psychology , Psychological Theory , Social Behavior , Adolescent , Female , Humans , Male , Qualitative Research , Young Adult