Q:  Help! What to Do When A Dream Offers a Diagnosis?

I just had a scary dream in which I heard a voice tell me that I should see a doctor because I have something wrong in my heart. I trust my dreams and honor their messages when I can, but I recently had a physical and my (real) doctor said everything’s fine. My insurance only covers one annual checkup per year, and money is definitely an issue for me. I want to take care of my health, and I want to honor my dream, but I don’t want to spend money on an unnecessary doctor’s visit. On the other hand, if my dream is telling me something true, I should take action, right? What’s a dreamer to do?


Worried Dreamer

A: Dear Worried,

Some years ago, I dreamed that I looked up in the sky and saw clouds arranged in the shape of a great big heart —  not the organ that’s pumping away in my chest as I write these words, but the heart-shape of Valentines and emojis. But this one had a big gaping hole in it.

I was certain this dream meant I was suffering from heart disease, so I talked my doctor into referring me to a cardiologist, even though my recent checkup didn’t point toward any coronary issues.

Mind you, I tell people all the time that most dreams speak to us in symbolic language, and that taking dreams literally can be misguided — and even dangerous. Not to mention, in the case of medical tests: expensive.

Then again, I’ve heard some pretty convincing stories of people whose lives were saved because they insisted on having their doctor order tests to determine if they had some physical condition their dream hinted — or clearly announced — that they had.

So I didn’t take my own advice, and check out the metaphorical meaning of my dream first. Instead, after my hole-y heart dream I went to the cardiologist, and sure enough a battery of tests revealed that I did have a heart condition, albeit a very mild one that was easily managed with a few adjustments to my diet and lifestyle.

“If I wasn’t in immediate danger, why did I receive such a bold dream sign?” I asked friend.

She smiled  and shook her head.”Don’t you think,” she began, “that your dream might have been talking about your love life and not your physical health?”

Um, yeah, maybe. After all, at the time of the dream I’d recently suffered painful heartbreak. But I didn’t really want to think about, let alone talk about, that just then.

Which is why, I suppose, the dream was trying to get my attention. My heart did need tending to — and not only by a physician. My emotional heart was what really had a break in it.

So, back to you my worried dreamer. Here is my strictly non-medical opinion as to what you might want to do in response to this dream:

  1. Get to the heart of the matter. Remember, most dreams communicate to us in symbol, metaphor, and the language of emotion. Look at the state of your emotional heart: Is it aching? Has it recently been broken? Have you been attending to its needs for love and comfort?
  2. Check it out with a checkup. Dreams multitask. So, in addition to delving into the symbolic implications of your dream, take care of your physical health, too. Are you having any symptoms that could indicate heart trouble? If there’s any chance at all that your doctor overlooked something at your recent physical, give her a call, and talk over your concerns. Your insurance may even cover it, and even if it doesn’t go ahead anyway. Peace of mind is priceless. In the meantime, use this dream as a reminder to do everything you can to support the health of your heart through diet and exercise.
  3. Request a second opinion. Just as you should get a second medical opinion from your doctor, also ask your dream for more information. A follow up dream might help you narrow in on whether this one was pointing you toward a medical, or a psycho-spiritual condition.

And finally, direct some love and light to that heart of yours! Keeping calm and positive can help keep us healthy, too.

Dreamily yours,


REMINDERThe information on this site is for your general entertainment and knowledge only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you are seeking advice on diagnosing or treating a health condition or disease you should consult a qualified healthcare provider. 


© 2017 Tzivia Gover

Tzivia Gover, MFA, Certified Dream Professional
Author of Joy in Every Moment
The Mindful Way to a Good Night’s Sleep

If you’re ready to sleep and dream better, book a dreamwork consultation with me and I’ll help you learn to take a mindful approach to bedtime, and discover the meaning and messages in your dreams to support you all day long.

Let’s talk about your dreams

My book The Mindful Approach to a Good Night’s Sleep is chock full of information and exercises to support you in sleeping and dreaming better. Order yours now and give yourself the gift of a good night of sleep & dreams!The Mindful Way to a Good Night's Sleep book cover

Buy the book