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Manufacturing Dreams

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the starring-leonardo-dicaprio dept.

Medicine 114

New submitter geekgirl09 sends in a story from Wired about the U.S. Army's efforts to develop methods for digitally manufacturing dreams to soothe combat vets who suffer from PTSD. From the article: "Fifty-two percent of combat veterans with PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) reported having nightmares fairly often, according to the National Vietnam Veterans’ Readjustment Study. ... So the researchers will ask troops to take control of the 'creation of the customized healing imagery (therapeutic dreams) to counter the impact of nightmares,' according to a military contracting document. The hope is that these 'power dreams' can be watched from laptops and 'home training and 3-D goggles work to gradually enhance the strength of these new neurological images.'"

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Obligatory (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | more than 2 years ago | (#37825118)

Inception Reference

Re:Obligatory (4, Funny)

redback (15527) | more than 2 years ago | (#37825138)

Nested Inception references?

Re:Obligatory (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37825290)

Obligatory nested Inception references.

Re:Obligatory (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37825332)

how do you know that the parent wasn't a nested inception reference?

Re:Obligatory (5, Funny)

Cryacin (657549) | more than 2 years ago | (#37825472)

It's not turtles all the way down you know. Eventually you hit Tortoise and the SVN repository.

Re:Obligatory (1)

derGoldstein (1494129) | more than 2 years ago | (#37828294)

Because the top stopped spinning.

Re:Obligatory (1)

Lisandro (799651) | about 2 years ago | (#37831756)

Oooh i see what you did right there!

Re:Obligatory (3, Insightful)

Lord_of_the_nerf (895604) | more than 2 years ago | (#37825294)

The reference article beat you to it.

Obscure (2)

EdZ (755139) | more than 2 years ago | (#37825878)

Paprika reference.

Dr Chiba was a therapist, so it's relevant too!

Re:Obligatory (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37826382)

COBB: Because it's never just a dream. And a face full of glass hurts like hell, doesn't it? While we're in it, it's real.

ARTHUR: That's why the military developed dream sharing-a training program where soldiers could strangle, stab and shoot each other, then wake up.

Re:Obligatory (1)

MisterSquid (231834) | more than 2 years ago | (#37827508)

Inception? This is the apparatus imagined by Donnie Darko and his cute new girlfriend.

Your brain is dirty (1)

plover (150551) | more than 2 years ago | (#37825140)

Your brain is dirty. Let me wash that for you.

There, isn't that better now?

And don't ask where the mud came from.

Re:Your brain is dirty (1)

joocemann (1273720) | more than 2 years ago | (#37825976)

Better yet...

Sir, to us observing, YOU are not right. I know you don't understand why YOU are wrong, but we are here to help.

What we are now about to do to YOU will make YOU right. Do you understand? You're wrong because we say so. YOU'll be right when we fix it. Get me?

Ok. Put this device on and follow these procedures. In no time, we will have YOUR brain working the way we say its supposed to.

Done! Thanks for watching Fox News!

Re:Your brain is dirty (1)

V!NCENT (1105021) | more than 2 years ago | (#37829470)

People with PTSD see nothing but horror. Dreams can been seen as in images, but they won't feel so happy.

All they need is a MDMA pill and actually feel happy, so they can remember what real happyness actually is. It has proved to work, but then some nutjobs banned it because "OMG drugs!111 one one eleven".

BTW... MDMA was developped by the US army.

Hollywood has taken over (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37825162)

The modern western world has gotten itself into a fix where reality doesn't really matter anymore and thanks to our political overlords our money and the money of our kids are poured into the fix as fast as possible. It may be better if the muslins take over.

Re:Hollywood has taken over (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37825206)

muslins? Oh sheet!

Re:Hollywood has taken over (1)

mug funky (910186) | more than 2 years ago | (#37825250)

perhaps GP was referring to the KKK?

Re:Hollywood has taken over (1)

Canazza (1428553) | more than 2 years ago | (#37825422)

or perhaps it was just a simple typo.

I say that, even though I really hate fruit based cereals...

Can't wait for a diagnosis like: (2)

Lord_of_the_nerf (895604) | more than 2 years ago | (#37825278)

"Soldier, I'm recommending six-weeks of dreams about puppies."

Re:Can't wait for a diagnosis like: (1)

Cryacin (657549) | more than 2 years ago | (#37825482)

No, you can't shoot them...

Re:Can't wait for a diagnosis like: (1)

ThatsMyNick (2004126) | more than 2 years ago | (#37825516)

Can I atleast kick them?

Re:Can't wait for a diagnosis like: (1)

Cryacin (657549) | more than 2 years ago | (#37825876)

No, Jimmy. Don't play with your dinner.

This therapy can pay for itself . . . (1)

StefanJ (88986) | more than 2 years ago | (#37825282)

. . . if the dreams have product placements.

"Hey, can you stop at that Walgreen's? Gotta pick up some Always Infinity(tm) pads, a Snuggie now-with-improved-fit, and case of refreshing Moxie."


Re:This therapy can pay for itself . . . (1)

siddesu (698447) | more than 2 years ago | (#37825462)

Product placements? Meh. How about an adventurous incognito trip to Mars?

Re:This therapy can pay for itself . . . (1)

joocemann (1273720) | more than 2 years ago | (#37825942)

See you at the party, Richter!

Re:This therapy can pay for itself . . . (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#37826940)

Lightspeed Briefs! For the discriminating crotch.

Already done (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37825292)

An A.I. connected to Remote Neural Monitoring is already capable of this. Normally, it is used to induce the exact opposite effect,

Re:Already done (1)

lawnboy5-O (772026) | more than 2 years ago | (#37825840)

"AI today is about as smart as a cockroach - a stupid cockroach" - Michio Kaku

Re:Already done (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37826156)

Michio Kaku wouldn't have the clearance to speak from a position of knowledge. The OP is correct.

Re:Already done (1)

FiloEleven (602040) | more than 2 years ago | (#37828072)

This the 21st century equivalent of the ghost story.

Practical side-applications...? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37825302)

Can they make dreams for the downtrodden out there who will be locked out college - [] - or those who will become the indentured servants to the rising upper elite class when their own dreams are crushed?

Re:Practical side-applications...? (1)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 2 years ago | (#37825356)

Can they make dreams for the downtrodden out there who will be locked out college - [] - or those who will become the indentured servants to the rising upper elite class when their own dreams are crushed?

They can, but you can't afford them. Maybe if you didn't get yourself $100,000 in debt pursuing a useless degree, you'd be better off.
But hey - if you were smart enough to figure that out you wouldn't have needed college.

Re:Practical side-applications...? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37825376)

No, they should make dreams for the suckers who rack up massive debts getting a college education they can't really afford, then spend the rest of their life working at mcdonald's trying to pay it off.

Re:Practical side-applications...? (1)

DigiTechGuy (1747636) | more than 2 years ago | (#37830304)

I wish I would have been "locked out college", it would ahve saved me wasting over $100k to not learn a damn thing that I could apply at work, and not even have a degree since I ran out of money... After being lied to, classes cancelled, overbilled, changed $21k for six months of not being allowed to sign up for classes, and tuition hikes around $10k per year. Ron Paul is on the money, attack the problem at the source by cutting taxpayer funding for these schools, then they will have to bring prices back to reasonable levels.

Lucid Dreaming (2)

djh2400 (1362925) | more than 2 years ago | (#37825352)

What about lucid dreaming [] ? Is it a viable (and/or cheaper) option compared to these "therapeutic dreams"?

It seems to me that the best dreams would be those which can be experienced and directed as one wishes.

Re:Lucid Dreaming (1)

siddesu (698447) | more than 2 years ago | (#37825444)

Lucid dreaming is vastly overrated. Lewd dreaming, on the other hand ...

Re:Lucid Dreaming (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37828854)

Lucid dreaming is vastly overrated. Lewd dreaming, on the other hand ...

Speaking from personal experience, as soon as you realize that Lucid Dreaming is not only real, but pretty damn easy to train yourself to do.... Lewd Lucid Dreaming is the natural and immediate extension.

Re:Lucid Dreaming (1)

siddesu (698447) | more than 2 years ago | (#37828920)

Time to power up my Arduino REM detector, I guess.

Re:Lucid Dreaming (1, Troll)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 2 years ago | (#37825736)

Lucid Dreaming is a strange and complicated skill, and Science typically does not measure strange and complicated skill. It kinda scares science.They lump it all under Placebo Effect and try to wash it away.

There's like 20 esoteric mental skills that are relevant here, but of course if you ridicule them enough you can ignore them.

Re:Lucid Dreaming (3, Insightful)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 2 years ago | (#37825928)

It's not Science (TM) is scared of them, it's that they're really, really hard to reproduce reliably under lab conditions. Even if you get one person that can reliably do it, it's then even harder to find another person to do it under the same circumstances. End result: you end up with a lot of anecdotes, no data, no theory, no predictions and no way to measure things consistently.

That's why you don't hear science dealing with it.

Re:Lucid Dreaming (1)

IonOtter (629215) | more than 2 years ago | (#37827006)

That's why you don't hear science dealing with it.

i.e. They're scared.

How you define "scared"-no funding, lack of respect, disbarment, subject to ridicule-all boils down to not wanting to risk something for the research.

Ask a mountain climber why they climb the mountain, and sometimes you'll get the answer, "Because it's there." A scientist, if they are true to the idea of science and it does no harm, should answer no different.

Re:Lucid Dreaming (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 2 years ago | (#37827104)

Poor mountain climbers have to climb hills. Scientists who can't get funding have to jerk off while they cry bitter tears into their pillow and dream of science.

Re:Lucid Dreaming (3, Insightful)

bky1701 (979071) | more than 2 years ago | (#37827110)

You must be afraid of Gnomes! You aren't making an effort to prove they exist.

Re:Lucid Dreaming (1)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 2 years ago | (#37827852)


I don't think you understand how science works....

Re:Lucid Dreaming (1)

rasmusbr (2186518) | more than 2 years ago | (#37827474)

I googled "lucid dreaming skeptic" and was unable to find anyone claiming that it is not a real phenomenon, except a reference to some article from 1959. I also found an article from 1991 that gives an overview of the science up to then: Lucid Dreaming: Awake in Your Sleep?.

The reason why there isn't more research on lucid dreaming could be that lucid dreaming is not recognized as a problem by those who experience it.

Re:Lucid Dreaming (1)

redcaboodle (622288) | more than 2 years ago | (#37826714)

Takes ages to master and what works with one person does not work with the next. So far there is no reason to believe that every person at every stage of life can even learn to dream like that. Plus you need to be able to embrace your dreams, so if you start up with bad nightmares your brain has even less incentive to dwell on those.

Once you do master it, it's a swell way to spend a night. It's not like you have complete control like a movie director but you can nudge it and even avoid themes that you do not want to dream. It's somewhat odd when you notice you are dreaming because you are speaking with dead people and can actively choose to continue the dream.

I learned lucid dreaming by the time I was 18 when it was still: "Don't be ridiculous. You cannot control dreams." and haven't had what felt like a nightmare since. Got burned at the stake for not knowing when to keep my mouth shut the other night and noticed it was totally unreal since my brain could not find a memory of pain strong enough. I can feel pain in dreams so I suppose my memory just links to past experiences. It's like watching a really well done movie - you are experiencing the scene and still deep down you know it is not real without having to vocalize the thought. More intense, of course, but that is the general idea.

What worked for me was trying to remember my dreams as often as possible but even so it took years.

Re:Lucid Dreaming (1)

ancienthart (924862) | more than 2 years ago | (#37829478)

Takes ages to master ...

Speak for yourself. :P

I always thought I didn't dream/couldn't remember them, because I had such strong control over them that it was just "imagining in bed". Until as a teen, some strong symbolism showed up and I thought - "Hey, I'M DREAMING HERE!"

At that point it was a matter of trying stuff out. Transformation and dream flying are so cool. :D

Re:Lucid Dreaming (1)

rtb61 (674572) | more than 2 years ago | (#37828524)

Dreams do provide a function. They are a past collation of events and emotional states and meant to provide the solutions to future problems in order to achieve better emotional states or avoid actions they result in worse emotional states. Evolution means that dreams are still bound to basic nomadic hunter gatherer requirements and do not cope well with, a more modern complex world, artificial inputs from media and psychopathically driven wars (at the core of all wars are psychopaths).

Lucid dreaming is just were portions of the mind usually less active during dream states are more active hence you consciously influence the dream and have greater recollection of it.

For those people suffering from nightmares simply put them in more healthy, socially supportive and less competitive communities through their waking moments. Communities based on high competition and complete economic failure if you cant compete, (designed by and for psychopaths, hmm, they crop up again) sustain bad emotional states hence the nightmares.

Socialist concepts like a complete welfare net, universal healthcare, unlimited unemployment benefits, public housing and a proper minimum wage, will ease the emotional burdens and provide the outcomes sought.

So how is it possible to watch those 3D goggles (1)

Hentes (2461350) | more than 2 years ago | (#37825374)

while they are asleep?

Re:So how is it possible to watch those 3D goggles (1)

brokeninside (34168) | more than 2 years ago | (#37826736)

That was my first question. So I read the article. They seem to be using "manufactured dreams" as an equivocal term for "digitally created video watched while awake."

In a way, I'm a bit relieved. The idea of dreams being artificially implanted in one's head is quite properly terrifying.

In another way, I'm a bit disappointed. With the ability to decipher images from the brain [] , it's a short leap to being able to implant images in the brain.

Re:So how is it possible to watch those 3D goggles (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37827400)

The goggles, they do nothing!

Lightspeed briefs? (1)

Ossifer (703813) | more than 2 years ago | (#37825388)

Why is it I suddenly want to buy a 3-pack?

Pr0n Potential (1)

0xG (712423) | more than 2 years ago | (#37825410)

Some of the most successful technologies are the ones adopted by the pornography industry.
I'd say that this one has real potential!

Dreaming is a Private Thing (2)

quark101 (865412) | more than 2 years ago | (#37825412)

This reminds me of the Isaac Asimov story Dreaming is a Private Thing [] where dreams are manufactured and sold as one of the ultimate forms of entertainment. Instead of looking at some of the obvious implications that might spring to mind, Asimov (as he often did) looks instead at the lives of the people who produce the dreams that are then recorded for others to view, and what life might be like for such a person.

What the article talks about is, of course, very different then the story, but with advances in brain imaging and research it may one day be a possibility.

Re:Dreaming is a Private Thing (1)

martas (1439879) | about 2 years ago | (#37831406)

Surprised nobody has mentioned Brave New World yet. If a reliable way of influencing dreams is discovered, the potential implications could be immense.

MDMA? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37825446)

I thought MDMA was proven to be most effective for PTSD?

Re:MDMA? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37827254)

MDMA doesn't provide the same potential for abuse.

As an added bonus (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37825452)

They'll get rid of that pesky conscience, too, while they're in there.

what they've become?? (1)

Eponymous Hero (2090636) | more than 2 years ago | (#37825466)

“During our conscious hours, most can hide what they have become,” according to a presentation delivered to the Uniformed Services Academy of Family Physicians, a nonprofit group.

What they've become?!? Shouldn't we address that instead? What do they mean, "what they've become?"

Re:what they've become?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37827268)

They mean that young men are specifically trained and "programmed?" to operate at the edge of hell. At their age they may spend 25% of their lives in this state. When they are successful (not dead) they get to return to society. - Now they spend the rest of their lives fighting what their brains and reflexes have been hard wired for. Unfortunately all the shrinks and pills in the world can't fix this problem because the dirty little secret is that soldiers aren't supposed to return from battle.
Wars should be fought by politicians - often.

Only if it features... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37825502)

Denise Milani! Hell, I'd pay for for the dreams to be created, nooooo problem :D

Step 1 ... (1)

PPH (736903) | more than 2 years ago | (#37825520)

... license likeness of Lara Croft.

Suddenly, I'm at peace with all that shooting and ass-kicking violence.

given the state of Veterans Affairs (1)

nimbius (983462) | more than 2 years ago | (#37825554)

the entire project feels like a power dream.

Re:given the state of Veterans Affairs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37825760)

Are you high or just ignorant? The VA is on the cutting edge in multiple areas of patient care. They might not have the top 1% of surgeons, but as an organization they do extremely well.

How About (1)

juancnuno (946732) | more than 2 years ago | (#37825562)

How about we don't send people to war in the first place?

robo soldiers are not ready yet (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | more than 2 years ago | (#37825640)

robo soldiers are not ready yet

Re:robo soldiers are not ready yet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37825770)

yes they are []

Re:How About (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37826336)

How about we don't send people to war in the first place?

If we could get everyone in the world to agree to this, we wouldn't need the agreement in the first place.

Re:How About (1)

metacell (523607) | more than 2 years ago | (#37828342)

We could try to start a lot fewer wars, though.

Re:How About (4, Interesting)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 2 years ago | (#37826490)

War is not the only cause of PTSD, a freind of mine wittnesed a horrific industrial accident where his mate was crushed by large steel rollers up to his waist. The top half of the victims body balloned because all his organs and blood were forced into his chest. He was still alive for several minutes while trapped in the rollers. My friend has been a miserable ball of anxiety attacks and nightmares since then, and that was over a decade ago.

Re:How About (1)

hackertourist (2202674) | more than 2 years ago | (#37829224)

-1, Too much information.

Thanks for tainting my dreams, bud.

Re:How About (1)

sorak (246725) | more than 2 years ago | (#37830366)

How about we don't send people to war in the first place?

Some wars are necessary, and the technology can be useful for those who are in wars that are justifiable. I don't want to get into any argument about our current wars, but I can say that if a civil war breaks out in some foreign country, it may be the result of citizens trying to overthrow a dictator, and, even if we are not involved in that war, we can still use the technology to aid those who were. At this point, we're not even talking about taking sides. This would be like treating a bullet wound; you just do it, regardless of which side the injured represents.

Re:How About (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37830752)

...and then we'll eradicate depression by never being sad.

If only there was a way..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37825594) kill people without the side effects.

Try Soma (1)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 2 years ago | (#37825734)

Why see shades of gray,
why be a loner?
Try another Soma. SOMA! []

Life's good,
shut up!

File this under AVE (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 2 years ago | (#37825758)

Sounds like this would technically be an AVE (Audio-visual entrainment) [] device.

From a Significan Other's perspective ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37825808)

... I approve. It was not fun having my gf wake up in cold-sweats or yelling in her sleep. If something like this could allow her to have a restful night's sleep, I'm all for it!

Source Code? (1)

Skinkie (815924) | more than 2 years ago | (#37825978)

They claim this isn't the sequel of Inception. But that movie wasn't at all what came to me. Source Code [] actually is. Though reading dreams was posted on Slashdot recently the whole interaction with the brain seems to be a terrain that is finally being discovered. Although I wonder, why the target isn't about removing bad dreams, by inducing the patient with beta blockers so while living the dream, the dream cannot be stored again.

Utt3rly Riddickulus (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37825998)

The proposition that one can create therapy for ones' PTSD presupposes a level of understanding that's not present for those that are suffering this dysfunction.

So where does the illusion of therapeutic fantasy arise, or is this just a naked attempt to find out how best to reward the people we send to suffer for the cause? Is this just an covert means by which to encourage soldiers construct self tailored virtual R&R environments in order to minimize out-of-theatre transport costs for warriors who need a break from the battlefield?

The best way to help soldiers is to keep them out of harm's way to begin with.

Dream Recall + Lucid Dreaming (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37826786)

Getting past my own (non-military) nightmares required learning two key techniques: Remembering my nightmares (rather than mainly the feelings), and learning to create or control my dreams (AKA Lucid Dreaming).

In my own case, I had great trouble remembering much about the dreams themselves, generally awakening with only feelings of terror and maybe a snapshot of the last moments of the dream that occurred before I awoke. The terror itself (or recoiling from it) seemed to wall me off from the majority of the dream content.

One key for me to remembering my dreams was learning how to return to consciousness without 'falling into' the terror. Or, more accurately, to become able to work at saving the dream while simultaneously feeling terror. Just remembering the dream did much to lessen the terror: It became less of an unknown.

Quite often, upon falling asleep again, I'd immediately return to a nightmare. With time, I learned how to fall to sleep slower, to 'set the stage' in my mind for something I'd like to dream about (often the plot from a recent movie or book), then 'walk into the dream' as I gradually fell to sleep.

I know those descriptions are simplistic. I suspect each person needing such techniques will have their own wrinkles in how they acquire them.

The key for me was solid psychological support from a truly talented psychotherapist (not a psychologist or psychiatrist). The field of psychology has more crap in it than any other field I can think of, with the possible exception of politics. So much of the field is dominated by the DSM that few practitioners seem to know how best to use it, and instead seem to use it as a hammer, where every patient becomes a nail.

The most important underlying concept for me was neuroplasticity: Our brains are continually rewiring themselves (forming new memories is the most obvious example), and we can consciously affect, and even direct, key aspects of that ongoing process. We can literally change our brains, and thus our minds. Doing so requires dedicated learning combined with focused application.

Quite often, nightmares are based on 'known' memories, where instead of simply recalling them, we relive them. So the 'front door' to accessing the unconscious mind is to first work with the conscious mind. It isn't hard to find a particularly powerful memory that we tend to relive rather than merely recall. The problem is that the experience of reliving a memory creates a *new* memory of the event! The ever-efficient brain, rather than storing the event separately, instead emphasizes the existing memory, intensifying the emotional content. Making the next 'reliving' event even more intense.

I won't go into the process of 'de-intensifying' a memory, other than to say that this is a skill that can be built like any other, such as learning how to play an instrument or learning to juggle. Once learned, and learned well, it can operate at a reflexive level. This is when it becomes a tool useful for helping reduce then eliminate nightmares.

I'm certain there are many different paths leading to the same goal and result. I only know the one that worked for me, and I don't know if what I experienced is a general process or a unique result. What I do know is that it never would have happened if I had given up after the first dozen useless 'mental health professionals' and stopped seeking help. I had to kiss lots of psycho-frogs before I found a good one. A good one who took me off all meds, helped me turn my mind into a powerful tool of self-discovery and self-treatment, who helped me take a 360-degree view of my life rather than focusing only on the main problem.

I now have a very rich dream world I enjoy visiting almost every night. Though I did have to give up reading Steven King.

One final note: I'm taking the online Stanford AI class, and since it's been 25 years since I graduated college, I'm a bit rusty at absorbing the concepts and details. I am able to use lucid dreaming to explore the information in my sleep, awaking each morning with a better grasp of the material than I had the night before. And, since I love the material, my dreams are all good.

better idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37826872)

How bout old men not sending me to the middle of fsck'n nowhere to fight people who would much rather blow themselves up.

At least Washington LED his troops into battle, I think it's time to add that to the bill of rights. That would slow the bastards down.
  I prefer to be anonymous, but i was never a coward. Look at what you have done.

Bad dreams have a purpose... (1)

cmeans (81143) | more than 2 years ago | (#37827040)

Maybe it would be a better idea to leverage the bad dreams...which are, among other things, ways that we cope with the real world or things in it that we're "afraid" of. I would think that simply denying/blocking someone's ability to have the bad dreams could be worse. We need to learn how to work with how things work, rather than assume they're wrong and try to change them.

Sometimes we're able to process the bad dreams and move forward, sometimes that's not as easy as it sounds...especially for those with PTSD. Forcing someone to have good dreams sounds like giving them a kind-of blocks the pain receptors (as I understand it) rather than fixing the actual problem.

Advil is OK for some things, but it won't fix a broken leg.

Re:Bad dreams have a purpose... (1)

CPTreese (2114124) | more than 2 years ago | (#37830442)

unfortunately no one really knows how to "fix" PTSD. Right now I'm going through some sort of immersion therapy where they ask me to describe the traumas in detail, with the goal being that I eventually get a little more callused to the events. Seems a lot like pushing someone off a cliff in the hopes that it helps them get over their fear of heights.

I would compare a dreaming machine more to a strong opioid than Advil. It doesn't fix a broken leg and it isn't a good long-term fix but it sure makes the nights a hell of a lot more bearable. Unfortunately it also makes abuse possible, but hell, what doesn't?

For people suffering from wife and kids (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37827108)

Can't wait for this to become affordable for regular home use

I have a better cure for PTSD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37827598)

How about we stop fighting wars so people won't have to witness unspeakable horrors? Idealistic, I know. How about this one: Friends don't let friends join the military.

Re:I have a better cure for PTSD (1)

orphiuchus (1146483) | more than 2 years ago | (#37827718)

What about non-military PTSD sufferers? Rape victims for instance?

The New American Dream (1)

Tuqui (96668) | more than 2 years ago | (#37827616)

They'll call the project "The New American Dream".

Re:The New American Dream (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37828140)

American Dream V2.0?

What is wrong with good old LSD or all natural marijuana?

Hmm... (1)

teakillsnoopy (516514) | more than 2 years ago | (#37827820)

How about not making nightmares that cause nightmares in the first place. But I'm just talking crazy.... Adam

The march of progress (1)

Internetuser1248 (1787630) | more than 2 years ago | (#37828844)

Seems like we have come a long way. The nazis had the same issue with their soldiers being traumatised by their actions. Not having digital technology they tried to mitigate the amount of trauma experienced by the soldiers. This lead to mechanisation of the killing process, for example the use of gas chambers instead of firing squads. They tried to get other prisoners to bury the dead as well, or to shovel them into cremation ovens. This way those traumatised were in the next batch to be killed and the soldiers were spared. There may be a point where we want to say that the trauma is a sign that the soldiers are being pushed too far, and rather than seeking medicinal or mechanical solutions to the problem, perhaps we should look at wars we are engaged in and what our soldiers are being ordered to do.

Re:The march of progress (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37829372)

The parent comment is excellent and deserves modding up.

Artificial Dreams Also Being Used for Torture (1)

Roark Meets Dent (650119) | more than 2 years ago | (#37828878)

Many citizens of western countries have had their brains covertly implanted with advanced neurotechnology. A large number are reporting that they are being tortured remotely. Symptoms included artificially-induced dreams in addition to involuntary limb movement, pain center stimulation, voices and images inserted into their consciousness, and other forms of "experimentation." For more information, please see Sweet Dreams (Electronically Forced Into Your Brain Wirelessly) []

Re:Artificial Dreams Also Being Used for Torture (1)

LanMan04 (790429) | about 2 years ago | (#37832528)


How about (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37829140)

...don't sending them to hunt unicorns and non-existent WMDs?
Problem solved. Oh wait, since they are there, might as well exchange some oil for 'democracy'.

Max Headroom (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37829306)

Not a single reference to Max Headroom? Come on, if not on /., where else?

#1 choice is wet dreams (1)

George_Ou (849225) | more than 2 years ago | (#37829608)

#1 choice would be authentic wet dreams with the choice of partner(s).

Seemed like a good idea.... (1)

wjousts (1529427) | more than 2 years ago | (#37829992)

...until I saw this part:

The computer program for soldiers to build out imaginary worlds and avatars on will be based on the virtual world Second Life.

So you wake up from a nightmare, stick your 3D glasses on and immediately get assaulted with flying penises?

Seen the "Shit" (1)

CPTreese (2114124) | more than 2 years ago | (#37830340)

I was in Iraq during the surge in an area called "the triangle of death." I thought it was hyperbole until I got there. I'm still being treated for PTSD and I would love to try the dreaming machine. Can you throw in flying? I haven't flown in my dreams since I was a kid.

This is highly disturbing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37831362)

"You just sit over there and relax while I project these thoughts into your mind, soldier."

so now (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37832408)

we can have more needless wars?

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