There really is one ultimate truth that transcends all cultures and civilizations. Whether a person lives nowadays in an unrelenting metropolis, digitally connected 24/7 and never far from the blinking of lights, or someone who lived 6,000 years ago in a small village deep in the woods that never even learned of the existence of people beyond their small clan, no matter what sciences or mythologies they absorbed to explain the world to themselves, life itself remains a mystery at its core. Look at all the similarities and all the differences between all the ways that people have used religion and politics to organize their societies. Both the similarities and these differences prove that no one can know, or has ever known, ultimately what is really going on.
Dreams may be life’s greatest mystery of all. Everyone experiences it, whether they enjoy it or not, and whether they remember their dreams or not. It is always a challenge to explain to anyone how real a dream felt. Words always fall short compared to the immersive sense of realism that we feel in our dreams, even when they are bizarre and surprising.
But of course, dreams are culturally defined in many ways. The cuisine common to one culture is less likely to appear in the dreams of someone living in another culture,and when you think about it, the meaning of cuisine may not even translate from one culture to another. A meal may represent community in one culture and privilege in another. Furthermore, the ever-accelerating advancements in technologies expand our dreams in some ways, literally adding new objects and making new capabilities common. No one in the rain forest 1,000 years ago dreamt of a smartphone, and if they did, they had no real world model that provided them with the language to tell anyone about it.
People With Disabilities Dream Differently
These analogies are crude, but they do give us a rough template to understand how people with disabilities dream differently than the rest of us. Numerous studies over the last few years have proven that this is in fact the case. There are still a lot of questions, but some things are certain.
It is probably no surprise that people who have been blind since birth have fewer visual impressions in their dreams. The old wives’ tale about how when one loses a sense, the other senses all sharpen to compensate, seems to be given some credence, at least in the world of dreams. People who have been blind since birth report that their dreams make greater auditory, tactile, gustatory, and olfactory impressions when compared to the dreams of sighted people. And the increased intensity that comes with this variation of heightened sensory impressions, brings with it heightened emotional resonance and realism.
Other contradictory examples provide a different view of the dream life of people born blind, proving that there is no one simple answer for all people and circumstances. People born paralyzed report that in their dreams they often run and walk, and people who are unable to communicate verbally frequently report that they can do so easily in their dreams.
People With Hearing Loss feel Their Dreams More Intensely
In one recent dream study, 80% of the deaf participants experienced no indication of their impairment in their dreams. The study looked at how exactly hearing loss affects various aspects of dreaming, and researchers were surprised to find that their findings appeared to suggest that the overall intensity of dreams are amplified among people with hearing loss. Their dreams have more vivid colors. The spaces in their dreams have a greater sense of depth. Consequently, their ability to recall their dreams is considerably intensified.
The study also considered the emotional content of dreams. Given the profound effect that hearing loss has on one’s emotional, psychological, and social experiences, it only makes sense that these tensions were the recurring themes of their dreams.
The study concludes that people with hearing loss experience their dreams more intensely – both impressionistically and thematically. These intensifications provoke greater emotional response, which leads to more vivid and more frequent recall.
Hearing loss is not just one common experience. Everyone’s experience is unique, just as everyone themselves is unique. And when it is treated with the appropriate seriousness, it is by no means a sentence to a diminished quality of life. Considering how people with hearing loss dream differently, for example, shows the range of possibilities for exactly how hearing loss can change your experience of the world. Make an appointment with one of our specialists today to take action to guarantee that you are the master of your own destiny instead of being subject to it.
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