Citation: Willie. "Steady On: An Experience with SSRIs (Paroxetine & Fluoxetine) & Dreams (exp53649)". Erowid.org. Oct 15, 2007. erowid.org/exp/53649
Serotonin is thought to be involved in the regulation of sleep. Not a great deal is known what relationship serotonin has with dreams, apart from the fact serotonin is thought to work on mood fluctuations, and dreams are thought to be a manifestation of mood. Paroxetine and fluvoxetine have both made me more sleepy, but a slightly more interesting and less tangible effect of serotonin is that which it has on dreams. Dreams seem more vivid and easier to remember when I am taking an SSRI, which is somewhat paradoxical because the meds also make the day slightly hazy, like someone has thrown a thin sheen of silk over me. I also experience perhaps three lucid dreams a month. Prior to taking SSRIís, I had never dreamed lucidly.
When I first started taking Paroxetine, a most peculiar thing happened, and even now it is both hard to explain and also conjure up the true essence of the experience. What I do remember is that it was disconcerting and intense. I had been on the meds for two weeks, and I was standing in front of the bathroom mirror brushing my teeth. I began to feel slightly light-headed, and had dejavu. This dejavu didnít so much pass as morph into a strong memory from a dream I had the prior week. In the dream I was struggling to figure out why my legs didnít belong to me, why I had dead persons legs attached to my torso. The dream wasnít unpleasant, just perplexing. While standing in front of the bathroom mirror, I found my vision getting hazy, and my movements were slow and clumsy. I looked down, and wondered again why I had the wrong legs. The feeling became intense, and I was worried I was going to faint. I steadied myself on the vanity. Slowly the feeling dissipated, and I became aware that it was just a waking dream. But while it was happening, I was sure it was real. It was only in retrospect I was able to make any objective assessment.
When I swapped over from paroxetine to fluvoxetine, I was hanging out some washing, and I felt light-headed. I remembered a dream I had had the previous week, where I was ďstonedĒ in the dream, and it wasnít an ordinary stoned feeling, it was dream-unique. At the washing line, I saw my friend Dre, he was foggy and in the distance. He had been in my dream. I had been telling him how I felt stoned, that it wasnít the usual feeling. I told the washing line Dre the same thing. I was overwhelmed by the dream sensation. I steadied myself on the washing line. It was just a waking dream.
Didnít happen before and hasnít since.
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