Was Anna O.'s black snake hallucination a sleep paralysis nightmare? Dreams, memories, and trauma

Author
Powell, Russ
Nielsen, T.A.
Faculty Advisor
Date
1998
Keywords
emotional trauma , hallucinations , nightmares , paralysis , sleep wake disorders , dreaming , memory
Abstract (summary)
This article offers a new interpretation of what J. Breuer believed was the precipitating event in Anna 0.'s illness: a terrifying hallucination of a black snake attacking her ailing father. This event has been variously interpreted as indicating an underlying psychodynamic conflict, as a temporal lobe seizure, and as an hypnotic confabulation. The authors argue, however, that the hallucination—during which Anna O.'s arm was reportedly 'asleep' due to nerve blockage—was probably a sleep paralysis nightmare. Sleep paralysis nightmares continue to be overlooked or misdiagnosed in clinical practice, and, in recent years, have been implicated in the controversy surrounding memories of trauma and sexual abuse.
Publication Information
Powell, R. A., & Nielsen, T. A. (1998). Was Anna O.’s black snake hallucination a sleep paralysis nightmare? Dreams, memories, and trauma. Psychiatry: Interpersonal and Biological Processes, 61, 239-248.
DOI
Notes
Item Type
Article
Language
English
Rights
All Rights Reserved