A Patient’s Fears
The Dream: “I had rats for hair—long tails growing from my scalp with rats at the end. I was scared and started to pull them out but it hurt and I wasn’t sure if it would be dangerous to my health to pull them out.”
The Background: This dream occurred the day before the dreamer underwent a minor procedure to remove abnormal cells, which if left unchecked could become cancerous, from her body.
The Analysis: The dreamer’s emotions were mixed as she worried about the procedure but looked forward to the outcome. Her mind has taken this flood of emotions and simplified it into one image of a head full of rats, an image that is appropriate for multiple reasons. The rats represent her disgust as her own body creates something that could become malignant. Rats spark fear and carry germs which multiply, just like cancer multiplies and frightens. Although rats are not part of a human body, they are growing from her scalp. This represents the strange, foreign feeling the dreamer has about having something as part of her body that shouldn’t be there. Pulling the rats out, she desires to be rid of a part of her body, but is afraid of the pain of the procedure and any complications that may arise.