What Soundless Screaming in Your Dream Means: Top 4 Interpretations

Updated on June 26, 2020
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GA Anderson writes about mystical and psychological symbol interpretations and how to apply them to your dreams.

Edvard Munch Screaming Terror
Edvard Munch Screaming Terror | Source

What Does It Mean When You Can't Scream in Your Dream?

Dreaming that no sound comes out when you scream or yell is a dream that many people experience—you are not alone.

In both mystical and psychological interpretations, this dream is viewed as a sign of one or multiple of four emotions: anger, fear, frustration, or helplessness.

To understand the symbolism of this, it is important to determine how these basic interpretations apply specifically to your dreams.

It is also important to be aware that this type of dream (or nightmare) is different from not being able to scream, which symbolizes a different set of circumstances.

The first thing to consider is why you were screaming. This will help determine what it is you are feeling frustrated or overwhelmed about.

Composite Image Woman and Man Screaming
Composite Image Woman and Man Screaming | Source

What Does It Mean When You Scream in Your Dream?

What Are You Screaming At?

Although dream interpreters agree on the underlying feelings (frustration or helplessness) that are symbolized by soundless screams, to understand why you are having this dream means looking at its context.

Can you remember why you were screaming, or what you were screaming at?

Remembering that just screaming in a dream could mean anger or fear, it matters whether you were screaming at someone or something as if they weren't listening or if you were screaming to warn them.

If you were screaming at someone as if in anger, it could symbolize suppressed feelings of frustration. Something is going on in your life where people are not letting you express yourself or not listening to you when you do. This could also mean you have a sense that you aren't being taken seriously. You have a problem that no one will listen to or a solution that no one will take seriously.

No matter how hard you try to communicate, no one listens. It feels as if your words (screams) carried no sound at all. The soundlessness of your scream indicates a sense of suppressed frustration.

Think about what has been happening in your life recently. Have you tried to express a thought or feeling and been ignored? Is there an issue where you feel that no one is taking you seriously—as if your opinion doesn't matter? Or are you afraid to express a thought or feeling and feel oppressed? Any of these instances could lead to a sense of frustration, and even if you aren't conscious of it, your dream is telling you this suppressed frustration is there.

Think of recent events in your life. Your dream is telling you of a deep sense of frustration that is likely stronger than just one recent occasion. Is there an ongoing issue that fits this description?

Although this type of dream context can be unsettling, most people do not really think of it as a nightmare. If you feel yours is more of a nightmare than just a bad dream, then there may be another reason your screams make no sound. It could be a feeling of helplessness.

Dreams of feeling helpless.
Dreams of feeling helpless. | Source

Is Your Dream a Warning?

When you are screaming, does it feel like you are trying to scream a warning? Are you trying to scream a message, or are you just trying to get someone's attention?

If this feels like the case of your dream, it means something completely different than the explanations about feeling suppressed frustration. It means you are feeling a sense of helplessness.

This helplessness could be coming from several different sources. It may mean you think you are unable to help or that the needed help is something you can't do. It could also mean that your help is being refused or that your help can't get there in time.

Consider an instance of someone about to take an unknowing step into danger. You want to scream out a warning, but you know it is too late, or they are too far away to hear your warning, or even that they hear, but won't heed your warning. Any of these scenarios will give you that sense of helplessness that you may be feeling.

Are You Feeling Helpless or Overpowered in Your Dream?

There is another form of this helpless feeling, one that comes from feeling that what you are facing is just too big or powerful for you to handle. You are helpless to change or stop it, no matter what you do.

This feeling could be coming from a fear of danger or from facing a force you just don't feel you can handle.

Again, think of recent life events. Can you think of a danger you are worried about (or one you recently faced)? Or, is there a force like a job, relationship, or life change that you feel you are just not strong enough to resist? Has someone entered your life as a domineering force?

Any of these can give you that sense of helplessness. Are there clues in your dream that can help you decide? Look for other symbols in your dream that can help you answer these questions.

Paralyzed and helpless in your sleep.
Paralyzed and helpless in your sleep. | Source

You Can't Scream, Shout, or Move in Your Dream

You feel paralyzed—both in your dream and possibly for the first minute or two after you wake up.

As mentioned earlier, this is completely different from the dream symbolization that no sound comes out when you scream or shout. This feeling is related to what is called sleep paralysis, a condition that occurs when your body isn't transitioning smoothly into the different phases of sleep.

According to WebMD.com:

During sleep, your body alternates between REM (rapid eye movement) and NREM (non-rapid eye movement) sleep. One cycle of REM and NREM sleep lasts about 90 minutes. NREM sleep occurs first and takes up to 75% of your overall sleep time. During NREM sleep, your body relaxes and restores itself. At the end of NREM, your sleep shifts to REM.

In REM sleep, your body is relaxed and immobilized naturally, but this paralysis stops when you transition to NREM sleep. It is when your body doesn't handle this phase shift smoothly that the feeling of being paralyzed occurs, both in your dream and immediately upon waking, and your dreams take on the "paralyzed" symbolism.

There are several easily understood reasons for this, ranging from simple lack of sleep to mental disorders, but in all cases it is separate from the dream meaning of soundless screams. It is estimated that about four in ten people experience sleep paralysis at some time in their life.

Sleep Paralysis Explained

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This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

Questions & Answers

  • I dream of screaming out loud when dreaming as in fear. What could be the problem?

    You haven't offered enough dream information for an interpretation. However, fearful screaming is more indication of a nightmare than an interpretive dream.

  • I had a dream where two men broke into my house and attacked me, I wasn't trying to fight back and scream but no sound would come out my mouth what does this mean?

    Your dream of soundless screaming seems to clearly point to a feeling of helplessness. The seriousness of the details - two men breaking in, are a message that whatever life event you are feeling powerless about is a very serious one.

    Look for recent, (or expected) changes in your personal or work life. Is there a relationship change that you do not want, but feel you cannot stop? Is there a work situation where you must do something you do not want to do, or is there a coming work change that you cannot avoid? These could be things your inner-self is warning you about.

  • My daughter's deceased husband is screaming at her in dreams but no sound is coming out; what does this mean?

    A very simple dream interpretation of the scream with no sound is that your daughter doesn't understand what her deceased husband is trying to say.

    She has a feeling that there is a message but doesn't have the understanding to know what that message is. She is feeling helpless.

© 2018 ga anderson

Add Your Thoughts About This Dream Symbol Interpretation.

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    • profile image


      6 months ago

      I dreamt that there was a black cloud hanging very low and as I was showing my cousin the cloudy suddenly it had like 3 parts that looked like handshands or bats. It tried grabbing me and I was screaming help but no sound and as I tried to shout the name of jesus it came out but very faint. My throught was actually scratchy when I woke up. What does it mean. My uncle who passed away last year was also in my dream and he hugged me when he saw me.

    • profile image


      19 months ago

      It means you can't reach out there's something you can't face alone it's similar to trying to run but can't something Your scared to face! but you must let it out !

    • profile image


      2 years ago

      expressionism or forgetting one's own true self


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