What Does Drowning In A Dream Mean?

Dreaming of being submerged in water can signify rebirth, and this is also an archetype in dream psychology, which is synonymous with the image of being in the womb. Drowning in a dream is either a really stressful experience or a tranquil one, and there’s no in between. You wake up stressed, confused, or strangely calm. 

When it comes to finding the meaning behind your dream of drowning, there’s a few questions to answer. Did you survive? Were you pulled out, or did you escape by yourself? Did you save someone else from drowning? Water in dreams represents emotions, and the bigger the body of water, the deeper these emotions run. If the water was cloudy or dirty, this suggests the future has a lot of problems in store for you. Dreaming of struggling against drowning or against letting the water into your airways mirrors great stress you’re experiencing in your waking life. 

In older dream interpretation, dreams about drowning suggest you’re anxious about the future and what horrible things it might have for you, or you’re struggling to keep your “head above water”. Dreaming of drowning mirrors emotions of being overwhelmed or struggling with something in your life, maybe your professional life has gotten really busy or really quiet, or one of the relationships in your life is suffering. 

Drowning in a dream usually indicates you’re suffering from a negative emotion which is affecting your outlook and your judgment, and you need to confront it. This dream is often your subconscious’s way of sorting through the emotions you’re overwhelmed by, taking a little of the burden off your shoulders. 

What does Drowning in a Dream Mean?

After waking up from a vivid dream, we often question why it happened in the first place. The drowning dream is one of those, and one which can linger long after you’ve woken up. Drowning dreams essentially point to inner emotions that are nevertheless affecting your life, usually caused by life’s bigger worries, and a dream of drowning is your way of both expressing these feelings and separating them. You might have been ignoring how you feel, or you’ve kept silent about it, or you feel you can’t decide on something right now.

When you dream of dying from drowning, this is reflecting a new start or a journey which will transform your life. You’ll shed your present self and go through a rebirth of sorts. If you find yourself panicking in your drowning dream, this points to a new emotional period in your life, and the worse your panic, the bigger the change will be. Dreaming of drifting in water but not dying indicates you often find your emotions to be the biggest hurdle life throws, not the situations that create these emotions. What’s the water in your dream resembling? Love? Loss? Hurt? Anger? A mixture of these? The more you struggle in your dream, the more these emotions will affect you in the future, and it’s important to look at the causes. 

Carl Jung wrote that water in a dream is an archetype (see also Character Archetypes And Meaning) of the emotions we experience, and drowning suggests they are overwhelming you, and this dream is a warning to drop your problems, just for a minute. Find a deep breath. Dreaming of other people drowning indicates you’re trying to work through a deep-rooted issue. If you dream of drowning in a bath, this indicates there are parts of you that you haven’t discovered yet. Drowning in the sea (see also Water Dreams Interpretation And Meaning) in your dream suggests your emotions are stopping you from living your best life. You aren’t confronting them in order to move on. Dreaming of drowning in a swamp can point to deep-rooted anxieties which are affecting your confidence and your ability to adapt to changing situations.  

Dreaming of rescuing someone from drowning indicates that other people will soon seek you out for your help, they see you as a pillar of support in their life. If you dream of a child drowning (see also what does dreaming of a drowning child mean?), this signifies you feel a lack of security in your life, or it can represent your inner child or your past self. If you have a nightmare about a child drowning in a pool, this suggests your emotions are threatening to overwhelm you, and this is an anxiety dream on top of everything else.

What does it Mean to Dream of Saving Someone from Drowning?

No matter the dream, the details you can remember about your dreams help inform the meaning. If you or the drowning victim wasn’t dead after escaping the water, this dream is focusing on your emotions and the impact they’re having on your waking life. If you or someone else performs CPR or another form of treatment in your dream, this signifies that a horrible period in your life will turn out for the better. Dreaming of saving someone you know in waking life from drowning reflects a current anxiety about them, and how you want to help. You might not be able to help them with their problem in your day, so your subconscious fulfills this desire in your dream. If you dream of saving someone you don’t know, this suggests your observational skills of other people will be useful soon. It can also indicate that you’re worried about the future, and this dream is trying to give you a sense of control that you feel you need.

What does it Mean to Dream of a Child Drowning?

Dreaming of a child drowning or nearly drowning can be a horrible nightmare, and you may wake with the anxiety that filled your dream. This dream is – surprisingly enough – an anxiety dream. You’re worried about losing something or someone precious to you, and this reflects the love you have for them, or you’re going through a tough time in life, and you’re expecting a worst-case scenario to hit, and this dream is providing you with one of those. 

What does a Dream about Drowning in the Ocean Mean?

Any body of water in dreams stands for your emotional state and wellbeing, and the larger the water, the deeper the picture, and the deeper the emotion runs. Dreaming about drowning in the ocean reflects how you’re struggling with your emotions, and they’re overwhelming you, clouding your judgment and perception of the world and yourself. Responsibilities are ruling your life, and you feel you have no time for your hobbies or your family. You’re in the middle of a horrible situation which you can’t see past, and until it’s over, you’ll continue to struggle through. 

If you dream of falling from a ship and subsequently drown, you fear being left behind or someone you love abandoning you. This dream can also mirror a loss you’ve experienced, or the fear of one, and the hole left behind. If the people who left you behind in your dream are people present in your life, it can suggest there’s a rift between the two of you, or you expect it’s only a matter of time. Is it time to talk to them, or is it better letting go? This dream indicates you’re suffering from an imbalance, and you may need to drop something that no longer enriches your life, whether this is a relationship, a job, or an old way of thinking, you need to decide whether it’s worth holding on to them.

What does Drowning Under a Wave Mean in a Dream?

Dreaming of being swept under a wave or pulled under by a tide reflects feeling helpless in your waking life. There may be something you’re struggling to process or make sense of, and this dream is an outlet for those feelings. If you dreamed of being thrown against rocks or the water was particularly vicious, this suggests you’ll encounter problems at the hands of others. It may be a warning dream, where your subconscious is telling you to be wary when it comes to other people, and while you may trust them to some degree, don’t hand them anything they could use against you.

What does it Mean to Have a Recurring Dream about Drowning?

If dreams of drowning are feeling like repeats of a bad TV show, this suggests you have difficulty processing your emotions. It might be that you’re unaware of the cause itself, and your subconscious is telling you it needs more than time to heal. If you have a long-held fear of being abandoned, it might be stopping you from forming connections with other people. Relationships might fizzle out because you don’t fancy being hurt again, and to guard yourself you keep people from getting close to you. If this fear isn’t confronted, you might find yourself being jealous, possessive, or controlling in order to avoid being lonely, and that’s not a nice place to be.

What does Drowning in a Swimming Pool Mean in a Dream?

Dreaming of drowning in a swimming pool suggests you’ve set needless expectations for yourself, or you’ve limited your potential in some way, or you’ve forgotten your strength and how capable you are. Swimming pools are man-made, and are made to a plan. Perhaps a plan you’re trying to stick to is limiting your freedom, or what you can actually do. Maybe a lifestyle doesn’t suit you, or your career isn’t what you really want, or you feel trapped in a relationship. 

What does it Mean to Dream of Drowning Alone?

Dreaming of drowning alone, either in a pool or in the sea, is your subconscious trying to warn you. In some way, you feel your life doesn’t fit who you are, or you feel your choices lately don’t reflect your sense of self. You may feel like you’re lacking in support, or, you can’t turn to those you love for help. Perhaps you’re worried someone doesn’t see you for who you are, or, if you ask for help, you won’t get it. Remember, there’s only one way to find out.

What does it Mean to Drown in a Pool Near Other People in a Dream?

Dreaming of drowning in a pool where you’re surrounded by people suggests you desperately need to change your lifestyle, and other people know this just as well as you do. Have you been indulging in lazy habits that will harm your health? Have you been holding onto destructive behavior as a coping mechanism for something? Have you been clinging onto a failing relationship or a job where you’d be better off trying something else? Whatever the cause, others have noticed that you’re struggling, but only you can help yourself here. If you dream of other people drowning with you, this problem in your waking life affects other people as well as you. As this dream is full of water which embodies emotions and inner thoughts, these will have an impact. Maybe work has gone through a major overhaul, or a loss has affected you and others.

Dreaming of drowning near a crowd and not receiving help may reflect waking life where you are surrounded by people, but you still feel alone. This signals that there’s a lack of close connections in your life, or those you have feel like they’ve faded away. Maybe it’s time you did something about that. 

What do Natural Disaster Dreams Signify?

Dreams of natural disasters (see also disaster dream symbols) signify intense emotions that you haven’t created by overthinking. They’re natural products of situations in your waking life, and you shouldn’t try to control them or push them down, as it’ll make dealing with them worse. That’s not to say you can’t control your actions, or you’ll let your emotions dictate your actions, but allow yourself to feel. A dream involving natural disasters with water such as a flood or tsunami symbolizes repressed feelings, or a past situation that has come back to haunt you. Something in your past may be holding you back from getting the best out of your future, and pushing them away or ignoring them will only make it worse. 

Dreaming of natural disasters can also suggest the future will bring forth a torrent of emotion that you’ll struggle to cope with, or a set of decisions that will have no right answer will leave you feeling powerless. You can’t argue with a tsunami. Alternatively, dreams of natural disasters or the aftermath can suggest that the worst the present has to offer is behind you. You’ve got through the hard part of the journey you’re on, and you’ll soon be able to rest and take stock of how you and the people around you are doing. You’ll be able to unpack the emotions that have been overwhelming you, and moving on will be a great relief. These dreams can also suggest these intense emotions are naturally part of life, and you’ll get through them, like others do. Once you’re past them, they may have given you a better perspective, or a greater resilience for problems ahead.

How to Decode Your Dream of Drowning

In order to decode your drowning dream, you need to look closely at the details as that can change the entire meaning of the dream. For example, dreaming of a drunk person drowning reflects questionable coping methods or using denial to silence stress. If you dream of a car falling into water, this may mean you need to take things easier, or you’re about to lose something that you feel defines you.

If you dream of drowning while your hands were tied, this reflects how your current circumstances or your problems were out of your control to start with, and they’re not your fault. It also indicates – strangely – you have the power to alter these things, or how much these events affect you. You don’t have to feel like you can’t breathe in waking life, and there are things you can do to mitigate this feeling. You don’t have to be caught up in negative emotions, no matter how distracting or horrible they can be. There’s always something good to find.


Dreams of drowning can carry various meanings, but the devil’s in the details with these dreams, and the circumstances within. Looking at the state of the water will tell you how you’re doing subconsciously, and how well you can make sense of events in your waking life. The water within dreams usually mirrors your emotions, and how well you cope with the challenges life’s throwing your way. Your emotions within the dream can also inform the meaning, and turn what may have been a nightmare into a respite of sorts. Dreams where you drown may be reminding you of your own resilience, though you might currently feel overwhelmed or helpless, you’re far from either. Dreaming of drowning can also suggest you need to be able to adapt more. Stop fighting change, and you might find that things become much easier. 

Dreaming of nearly drowning suggests that your support system will come in handy soon, and will save you a lot of pain in the future. If you dreamed of drowning and then dying (see dream of someone dying), this signals a new phase of your life, where you’ll shed your present self for a stronger version, and you’ll appreciate things for what they are, not despairing at what they can’t be. If you felt drowning in your dream was a peaceful experience, or you felt content and didn’t fight the water in your dream, any problems which have been causing a lot of negative emotions will soon subside, and you’ll be grateful for the rest. You’ll enjoy a quiet period in the near future, where you can collect your thoughts and gather yourself back together for the tasks ahead. 

In Your Dream, You May Have

  • Seen a loved one drown
  • Fought for air
  • Rescued other people from drowning
  • Rescued yourself from drowning
  • Saw yourself drown
  • Tried to climb from the water
  • Tried to breathe through the water
  • Someone else rescued you from drowning

Positive Changes Are Coming If

  • You saved someone from drowning
  • You didn’t die in the dream
  • You died, but felt completely at ease
  • Someone saved you from drowning

Feelings You May Have Encountered During Your Drowning Dream

Scared. Terrified. Peaceful. Desperate for air. Drowsy. Content. Outraged. Angry.


Leave a Comment