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Recurring Dreams
Being Chased

They’re after you again. You may be stalked with agonizing suspense; or you may race for your life in breathless panic. The things after you may be monsters, wild animals, or a serial killer. Many people are chased by blobs. There is an escalation of threat, a sense of losing ground to increasing danger throughout the dream. Many people feel such panic that they awaken spontaneously, while others gain some temporary security, but wonder if the monster will come back later.
  • Most Common Meaning: Recurring chase dreams seem to arise in response to periods of pressure and anxiety in waking life. When a particular situation strikes a familiar cord or vulnerability with the dreamer he may have a recurrence of the chase scenario. For many, dreams of being chased originated in childhood and continue into adulthood; generally decreasing in frequency with maturity. One of the most common metaphors for the sensation of threat in the dreamer's life in the dream of being chased. The subconscious mind tends to scan for threat or any condition that makes us feel unsafe, and to link that sensation to early times in life when we may have felt unsafe. Thus these dreams often contain scenes, characters, or settings from early childhood that seem incongruous to current life contexts. Many of us had elements in childhood, such as abuse, intimidation, or simply unpleasantness from which we felt the need to escape. Keep in mind that the subjective experience of threat is all that is necessary for a child to develop these nightmares. The actual catalyst for such dreams need not be the stuff of high drama. Children are entirely vulnerable to the situation in which they find themselves, so their feelings of helplessness can be quite strong despite fairly "normal" conditions. Many people who have suffered a loss, trauma, or frightening near-miss may find lesser events of a vaguely similar nature bring residual fears to the surface. Consciously acknowledging fears may sometimes diffuse the bottled-up tension that becomes channeled into chase dreams. Writing and sharing these dreams with trusted friends can be a great help in reducing their recurrence.

  • Useful Questions:
    • Question whether you are keeping yourself in a relationship, a job, a group or a location that is inappropriate for you.

Sometimes we hold ourselves in the line of fire unnecessarily. Consider whether the pressure you place on yourself is part of the "Monster" that won't get off your back. It is easy to internalize the expectations of others and then to torture ourselves with them.


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