Our expert says:
Some people do seem to be naturally a bit more probne to have nightmares, and some situations may create this temporarily ( some meds when started, or when one is coming off them, for instance ) Yes if you keep feeding your imagination with dramatic and morbid material, that would be more likely to turn up in your dreams, just as, I suppose, too heavy a diet of rom-coms could lead to nightmares of Catherine Heigl.
In PTSD there may be daytime flashbacks or nightmares but very much related to the content of the original traumatic experience.
Feeding on more wholesome and happy material might beneficially influence your dream content, as could getting more involved in real-life activities and less wrapped up in fantasy material. ANd some people can learn methods of acively influencing dream content, so you can deliberately turn a nasty ending into a more pleasant one.
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