Dreams About Drowning and Their Meanings

Updated on July 31, 2019
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Sunny is fascinated by dream interpretation and studies dream symbolism.

What Does It Mean to Dream About Drowning?

Dreams of drowning represent the fear of losing oneself or losing control. According to psychologist Carl Jung, drowning is a symbolic archetype, and drowning dreams indicate that you're feeling overwhelmed in your work or in your relationship. You are probably inundated with emotional turmoil from someone or something, and dreaming about drowning is a warning for you to take a step back and pull away from whatever is keeping you down.

Dr. Holly Counts, Psy.D explains that drowning dreams are an indication of fears or concerns in your waking life that you have not faced directly. She advises to deal with the concern in your waking state in order to stop the dreams from haunting you.

Drowning Dreams Can Symbolize . . .

  • Feeling overwhelmed with work, with a relationship, or with finances: Are you working more hours? Are you taking on more projects than you can handle? Do you have an unresolved issue with your spouse, children, or a family member? All of these situations and more can cause a heavy amount of stress and make you feel like you are literally drowning. You long for fresh air, for resolution, for freedom.
  • No hope left: If you're in a tough situation, a drowning dream may be mirroring your feelings of hopelessness.
  • Losing control: It's common to dream of drowning when you feel powerless or weak, or you think you've come to a dead end with something you're working on or with a relationship you're in. These dreams symbolize you're being pulled in a negative direction.
  • Losing yourself: If you recently undertaken a new hobby or job, or even a new partner, you may be giving yourself too much and find a way to separate yourself from the thing that's bringing you down.
  • Rebirth: Being in water symbolizes a return to your mother's womb. The classic psychological analysis describes drowning in a water as symbol of rebirth.

A Drowning Child

If you dream of a drowning child, you are feeling helpless, vulnerable, and unprotected. There is something vulnerable in your waking life that you fear losing forever.

If you save the child, then you are going to succeed in salvaging what you are losing.

If it is your own daughter or son, then your dream is sending you a message that you are neglecting them in some way. You may lose them if you don't make an effort to focus on their happiness.

A Family Member, Spouse, or Friend Is Drowning

Seeing someone close to you drown indicates you're about to lose something very precious to you. This may also indicate a relationship that was once close but is going to grow farther apart.

Saving Someone From Drowning

To dream of saving someone from drowning indicates that you have control and the power to alter your life.

On the other hand, failing to save someone signifies that a situation is out of your control. You cannot fix something that is going wrong in your life, and you may need to be more prepared if a troubling situation arises.

If you see someone drowning and you idly watch and have no desire to save this person, then you are completely emotionally detached from something that you should be more attached to.

Drowning Someone

If you a trying to drown someone, then you must have something or someone in your waking life you are trying to hide or keep hidden. You are trying to erase this thing or person from your life forever.

This may also represent an effort to try to repress your feelings.

Surviving a Drowning

To dream that you survive drowning on your own symbolizes great strength and resilience in the face of adversity. You are able to handle even the most burdening of situations.

If someone saves you while you're drowning, this indicates that you are dependent. If the person who saves you is someone you know, then your subconscious is telling you to trust this person.

Drowning in . . .

A Pool

To dream of drowning in a pool symbolizes a sudden change in your calm life. If you survive, the change is positive. If you have trouble breathing or you die, then the change is going to be negative.

An Ocean

If you are being pushed back and forth, then you're able to handle the ebb and flow, even if life can be challenging.

If you are floating out in the ocean and feel helpless, it is a reflection of abandonment and loneliness. In your waking life, you may feel like you are pursuing something on your own or you are left to carry the burden by yourself.

If you dream of waves continually crashing into you, this is a sign that hurtful actions and harm are going to come into your life.

A Bathtub

The bathtub represents cleansing of oneself. Seeing yourself drown in a tub filled with your own sweat and filth means that you are sinking deeper into bad habits or negative characteristics that you should be getting rid of.

A Car

Drowning in a car symbolizes failed plans. You will not reach your goals or you will take a detour for better or for worse.

A Boat

Your life is sinking or going down a negative path, and you are unable to face the facts. This is a warning that you should hop out of the boat (your comfort zone) and swim to shore (do something!).

A River

Being enveloped and suffocated by the rapids of a river means you are unable to handle the ongoing responsibilities in your life.

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.

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