Sleepers’ Insights on a Troubled Economy

The economy can affect our waking lives—how about our dreams?

A journalist from California, who specializes in mental health reporting, wanted to know the impact of California’s economic woes on the people there.  Her husband is a political analyst, so it was easy for her to put her field of knowledge with his and come up with a question:  Are attitudes about the economy reflected in people’s dreams?  Her question reached our staff at dreamschool.org, where people all over the world submit their dreams for interpretations.  Because she asked about dreamers in her state, we reviewed the dreams sent to us from California to explore the connections between dreams and the California economy.  Here’s what we found.

First, some background on California’s economic conditions.  It is the most populous state, with an estimated 37 million[i] people; it has the biggest economy[ii] of all the states in the union.  From January 2008 to August 2010, its unemployment rate has climbed from 5.9% to 12.8%[iii], third highest in the nation.  A Field Poll released October 5, 2010,shows that 93% of California voters believe the state is in bad economic times and 70% of Californians expect their own financial situation to remain the same or worsen in the future.  This is the longest period of poor economic numbers in the poll’s history.[iv]

Since 2008, when the present economic changes started manifesting, polls, surveys, interviews with mental health workers, and even the number of people with mental problems showing up at places like homeless shelters and jails all show there has been a rise in stress and mental problems.