What Does Drowning in A Dream Mean?

Many dreams can leave you frightened and stressed, but none tops drowning dreams. These dreams are not only powerful but extremely horrifying.

Despite being safe under your comforter, the suffocation might feel quite real. You may find yourself startled with a racing heart and trying to catch your breath. What’s more, the feeling of panic and nervousness will linger after you wake up and throughout the day.

drowning dream meaning

If you recently saw yourself drowning in a dream, probably you’re wondering if there’s a reason for the dream. You’re right, there is an explanation.

By the end of this dream guide, you will determine what your dream means. So, join us as we search for answers to drowning dreams.

What Does Drowning in a Dream Mean?

In life, drowning is a metaphorical representation of feeling exhausted/overwhelmed. That’s why, it’s common to hear people say they’re drowning in home chores, work deadlines, or emails.

This means they have to deal with the weight of endless obligations, challenges in life, or emotions on a daily. And without a break or room to breathe, this weight threatens to crush them.

The same interpretation applies to drowning dreams. If you experience such a dream, chances are you’re dealing with a lot at work and home. This is taking a toll on your emotional state.

Through the dream, your subconscious mind can present you with a picture of your current situation and the consequences if you don’t take action soon.

A dream of drowning could also represent anxiety steaming from wrong investments, family disputes, relationship problems, or difficulties at work.

Another interpretation is the dream points to your relationship with water. Does the thought or sight of water bring rise to fear in you?

Yes, some people have an extreme fear of water, a condition referred to as aquaphobia. This fear can sometimes manifest in your dreams.

Sometimes, your unconscious mind may play out drowning experiences through a process of rehearsal theory to help you figure out what to do in such a situation in real life. This holds especially for people anxious about swimming in pools, lakes, or oceans.

But these are not the only possibilities. Below, we have highlighted other common meanings of dreams about drowning.

Feeling Hopeless

Are you facing a difficult time in your life? Maybe you’ve lost your job or don’t get along with your spouse. These situations may relate to your dreams of drowning.

In the REM stage of sleep, your subconscious tries to access your day-to-day events and experiences. When this happens, it brings them up as dreams.

Here, drowning implies you feel hopeless about the problems you are handling. Despite your efforts to swim to the surface to catch a breath, you still drown. This could mean the challenges are out of your control.

For instance, your close friend might need some help, but you cannot help him (or her) because you lack the means.


Dreams of drowning could represent a period of uncertainty or changes you don’t know how to feel about them. Probably an aspect of your life is changing, and you don’t know how to cope.

Everyone undergoes change and transformation – it’s part of growth. We don’t only mean physical transformation, but also psychological. But sometimes we find it hard to accept the changes in our walking life, especially if they seem sudden.

Keep in mind it’s futile to resist transformation. When you acknowledge this, you will cope easily with change and thrive.

A Feeling of Losing Control

Certain circumstances in your life may require you to adapt while staying the same. In such a scenario, it is easy to lose yourself.

For example, you might change your personality to fit in with a group at work or with friends in your circle. In the process, you might lose control over your life. That’s because your choices and actions depend on what others say.

The experience of drowning in the dream world could stand for your feeling of losing control. The dream means it’s time to take control of your life. Take responsibility for yourself and every decision you make. Nurture the relationship and career you desire.

Running Away from A Situation

If you see yourself drowning but also trying to stay afloat in a dream, it’s a sign you are trying so much to avoid something in your life.

Perhaps you are looking to get out of a toxic relationship but you are yet to find a way out. Or maybe you feel overwhelmed with your job and want to quit, but you haven’t mastered the courage yet.

Friends and family are an integral part of your life. However, when they’re toxic or unsupportive, they can mess with your mental health. For this reason, you may try to disentangle yourself or keep a distance from them.

The dream encourages you to always take a central role in your life. Keep fighting circumstances that don’t benefit you.


Are you struggling not to drown in your dream? You are probably struggling with something in your waking life. For instance, you might be struggling to find a romantic partner or attain your financial goals. Either way, your struggles are taking form in your dream world.

You might experience the same dream if there’s a dispute between you and a person you care for. Maybe the individual hurt you to the core through his (or her) words or action. You are struggling to cope with the emotional pain while looking for a way out.

Spiritual Meaning of (Someone) Drowning in A Dream

In spirituality, the dream of seeing yourself or someone else drowning could stand for helplessness, overwhelming emotions, and death. All these areas are part of your spiritual journey. Any issue that affected these areas might prevent you from attaining spiritual enlightenment.

Dreams of drowning in a lake, pond, or sea also point to something good happening in your life soon. It shows that your struggles will end. Therefore, don’t worry if things are currently not happening as you planned. Give them time and maintain a positive mind and you will see your dream coming to fruition.

Besides, the dream reminds you to get rid of negative emotions in your life. Take a break from work and go on a spiritual journey to connect with your inner soul and higher self. Don’t forget to meditate.

19 Common Dreams About Drowning

Common Dreams About Drowning

Dream of Drowning in Water

Have you ever been caught up in circles of emotions that threaten to overwhelm you? Did you feel like you are drowning in them?

Like water, emotions assume a fluid form. They often appear as waves that recede and flow and can feel up any available vessel.

If you feel overwhelmed by your thoughts and emotions, it’s possible to see yourself drowning in a lake, sea, or ocean.

Apart from emotions, water in your dream could represent elements or stressors weighing you down.

Dream of Someone Drowning

Seeing someone drowning in your dream and not being able to help them indicates trying to control things in real life you have no control over.

It also means you cannot decide for others. Sure, you can point people on the right path, but you cannot go on the journey with them.

So, if you can’t save a friend from doing something wrong, don’t blame yourself. Some things are not your responsibility. Just accept the person as a friend, but don’t decide for them. Remember, people learn best from their mistakes.

Dreams About Saving Someone from Drowning

The dream of rescuing someone from drowning is a good sign. Despite going through a difficult time, events will unfold well.

Saving a child from drowning suggests you worry about the people close to you. If it’s a stranger, the dream might imply that you’re emotional about your future.

Dream of Drowning in A Car

Your plans will likely face some complications. You might not reach your future objectives or goals. This might cause you sadness and depression.

However, if you come out of the car and save yourself, it means you will overcome any obstacle in your path, or your life will take a detour for the better.

Related: Dream About Driving Into Water Meaning

Dream of Drowning in A Car with Someone

A car in your dream symbolizes a life path. As said above, drowning in a car signals challenges in achieving your goals, desires, and aspiration.

But if you drown in a car with someone else, the dream might infer that you’re feeling carried away or losing control.

You feel like the individual is trying to push ideas upon you or influence your decisions. This holds, especially if that person was driving the car.

Dream About Drowning and Surviving

Surviving such a disaster shows your strength in conquering even the worst experiences in life. Despite your suffering, you still look forward to a new, brighter day filled with opportunities.

This dream could also symbolize your resilience in times of trouble. You don’t give up easily, no matter the situation. Furthermore, you approach every problem with a positive mindset and remain determined to learn from it.

Dream of Drowning Child

A dream of a child drowning can freak the hell out of you. But this dream comes with a hidden meaning.

If the kid seems like a stranger, the young individual stands for a young or creative responsibility. Maybe you’ve found yourself in a setting that forces you to cast aside your childish nature and face the harsh reality of adulthood.

But what if you see your child drowning, but you have no child in reality? Take this dream as a sign that your business venture or job might suffer. This could happen because of increased competition or a change in the environment.

Dream of Child Drowning in Pool/bathtub

Seeing a child drowning in a pool could mean you worry about someone acting irresponsibly. The swimming pool acts as a mirror to your emotions. Never allow your emotions to get the better of you.

Alternatively, the dream could stand for lack of creativity or irresponsible behavior by someone close to you, whether it’s your kid, younger brother, or friend.

Dream of a child drowning in a bathtub protends family troubles. Something in your family is a miss. However, you cannot talk about it honestly since your fear hurting others. Because of your caring nature, you are willing to sacrifice yourself to make your family happy. Sadly, not everyone sees or values your sacrifice.

Dream of Drowning in Ocean

Drowning in an ocean symbolizes loneliness and abandonment. You have no one to encourage you or offer you support.

Perhaps you lost the one person who always comes through for you. For this reason, you feel like you don’t belong anywhere and it’s killing you. Now you find it hard to pursue your life goals since you have to carry the burden all alone.

The loneliness is slowly consuming or drowning you.

Dream of Someone Drowning in A Pool

Seeing someone drowning in a swimming pool could suggest it’s time to take charge of your life. The dream reminds you that you are in control of your destiny. No one should dictate your happiness level.

If you rescue the person from dying, it shows that you have acknowledged the emotions or feelings represented by the individual and how they relate to your life.

Dream of Family Member Drowning

Family symbolizes love, care, and protection. When your family member drowns in your dream, it implies that you’ve lost an essential support system in your life.

If you don’t see eye to eye with your family member, it’s prime to change that. Sit down together and try to find a solution to the misunderstanding. Once solved, you can enjoy the benefits of having a family.

Dream of mother drowning suggests health and wellness issue. The problem might arise from your negative lifestyle.

On the other hand, seeing a brother or sister could imply losing something precious. It also stands for growing distance between you and your loved ones.

Dream of Loved One Drowning

You have unresolved issues with your spouse that are causing you a heavy deal of stress, making you feel like you’re drowning. If you’re in a toxic relationship, the dream shows your desire for fresh air or freedom.

Dream of Someone Drowning and Dying

Someone drowning and dying in a dream represents unforeseen problems. Something bad might happen to you soon. For instance, your business might take a hit, or you could lose someone close to you through an accident or violent action.

The dream serves as a warning to be careful. Watch your actions and words to avoid heated confrontations or accidents.

Dream of Dog Drowning

In dreams, dogs represent loyalty and friendship. A dream about your furry friend drowning could suggest friendship troubles.

Perhaps you have wronged your friend, or it’s the other way around. Because of this, your friendship is suffering. If that’s the case, it’s time to make amends or put aside your differences. Keep in mind there’s nothing important as friendship.

Dream of Drowning in Sand

Although you have been pushed to a limit by your troubles, expect some positive change. You will go through self-renewal and finally realize your greatest desires and goals.

Similarly, the dream portends growth and creative energy. You will have time to start afresh and plan your life according to your future goals. You will also enjoy freedom, life balance, and awareness.

Dream of Escaping Drowning

The dream of escaping drowning shows your desire for affection. If you have a friendly personality, you thrive around others.

While you might not like being the center of attention, you want to be part of something bigger than yourself. And you often withdraw into yourself when you’re not surrounded by people.

Dream of Drowning in Dirty Water

The people in your circle don’t have your best interest at heart. So, your subconscious mind is trying to warn you about their bad intentions.

If you don’t cut them out of your life soon, they will drag you down a dark path and you might lose everything you’ve worked to gain.

Related: Dirty Water Dream Meaning and Interpretation

Dreams of Drowning in Lake

Let go of your old behaviors to attain happiness. Otherwise, you will not grow and develop into a better version of yourself.

This dream is a sign of changing your current path in life. Figure out your priorities and create a plan to pursue them.

Dream of Someone Drowning You

Dream of someone trying to drown you encourages you to re-examine your associations in life. Determine which relationships are not healthy and causing your vast amounts of stress.

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Bottom Line

As we wrap up, there are many scenarios of drowning dreams, each with different meanings and interpretations.

However, most of these dreams hold a lot of importance. Generally, they point to your emotional state, relationships, and other aspects of your life. Also, these dreams present you with a chance to reflect on what’s going on in your life.

The best way to determine the meaning of your dream is to write everything you remember about the vision on your notepad. What feelings did you feel when drowning? What happened to you after drowning? Remember, every detail counts. 

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