A father and his son playing at a public park.

Beyond the Dream: The Emotional Toll of Lost Illusions on Mental Health

Last Updated: April 18, 2023By Tags: , , , ,

Dreams have long been a source of wonder and mystery, often serving as a canvas for our deepest desires and fears. But what happens when a dream blurs the lines between reality and illusion, leaving a lasting impact on our lives?

As one man’s story illustrates, the illusion of a lost life, even if it was just a dream, can have profound effects on a person’s well-being and perception of reality.

My last semester at a certain college I was assaulted by a football player for walking where he was trying to drive (note he was 325lbs I was 120lbs), while unconscious on the ground I lived a different life.

I met a wonderful young lady, she made my heart skip and my face red, I pursued her for months and dispatched a few jerk boyfriends before I finally won her over, after two years we got married and almost immediately she bore me a daughter.

I had a great job and my wife didn’t have to work outside of the house, when my daughter was two she [my wife] bore me a son. My son was the joy of my life, I would walk into his room every morning before I left for work and doted on him and my daughter.

One day while sitting on the couch I noticed that the perspective of the lamp was odd, like inverted. It was still in 3D but… just.. wrong. (It was a square lamp base, red with gold trim on 4 legs and a white square shade). I was transfixed, I couldn’t look away from it. I stayed up all night staring at it, the next morning I didn’t go to work, something was just not right about that lamp.

I stopped eating, I left the couch only to use the bathroom at first, soon I stopped that too as I wasn’t eating or drinking. I stared at the fucking lamp for 3 days before my wife got really worried, she had someone come and try to talk to me, by this time my cognizance was breaking up and my wife was freaking out. She took the kids to her mother’s house just before I had my epiphany…. the lamp is not real…. the house is not real, my wife, my kids… none of that is real… the last 10 years of my life are not fucking real!

The lamp started to grow wider and deeper, it was still inverted dimensions, it took up my entire perspective and all I could see was red, I heard voices, screams, all kinds of weird noises and I became aware of pain…. a fucking shit ton of pain… the first words I said were “I’m missing teeth” and opened my eyes. I was laying on my back on the sidewalk surrounded by people that I didn’t know, lots were freaking out, I was completely confused.

at some point a cop scooped me up, dragged/walked me across the sidewalk and grass and threw me face down in the back of a cop car, I was still confused.

I was taken to the hospital by the cop (seems he didn’t want to wait for the ambulance to arrive) and give CT scans and shit..

I went through about 3 years of horrid depression, I was grieving the loss of my wife and children and dealing with the knowledge that they never existed, I was scared that I was going insane as I would cry myself to sleep hoping I would see her in my dreams. I never have, but sometimes I see my son, usually just a glimpse out of my peripheral vision, he is perpetually 5 years old and I can never hear what he says.


For this man, the illusion of a lost life began during his last semester in college. After being brutally assaulted by a football player for inadvertently crossing his path, he found himself unconscious on the ground, only to wake up in an entirely different life.

In this dream-like existence, he met a wonderful woman, pursued her relentlessly, got married, and had two children. He had a fulfilling job, and life seemed perfect. However, his sense of reality was shattered when he became fixated on an inverted lamp’s perspective, realizing that his entire life was an illusion.

The aftermath of this surreal experience was profound. Even though it was just a dream, the impact on his mental and emotional well-being was significant. He went through a period of deep depression, grieving the loss of a life that never truly existed.

The lines between reality and illusion became blurred, and he questioned his sanity. He longed to see his wife and children again, even if it was just in his dreams, but he could only catch fleeting glimpses of his son, always at the edge of his vision.

This story raises intriguing questions about the complexities of the human mind and the power of perception.

How can a dream have such a lasting impact on a person’s emotions, thoughts, and behaviors? What happens when the line between reality and illusion becomes blurred?

The truth is, the human mind is a complex and fragile entity, capable of creating vivid and immersive experiences, even within the realm of dreams.

The experience of the illusion of a lost life, even if it was just a dream, highlights the subjective nature of reality and the profound effects it can have on an individual’s mental and emotional well-being.

Our perceptions shape our reality, and when our perceptions are altered, it can have a ripple effect on our entire being. The man in this story struggled to reconcile the dream with his waking life, grappling with the fragility of reality and the unreliability of perception.

This story also serves as a reminder of the importance of mental health and the need for support and understanding for those who go through similar experiences.

The impact of dreams and illusions on our emotions and thoughts should not be dismissed, as they can have a profound effect on our well-being. It’s crucial to acknowledge and validate the emotions and struggles of individuals who may have experienced similar illusions, providing them with the necessary support and resources to navigate through their unique journeys.

The illusion of a lost life, even if it was just a dream, can have a significant impact on a person’s mental and emotional well-being. It challenges our perceptions of reality and highlights the complexities of the human mind. It’s a reminder of the subjective nature of reality and the need for empathy and support for those who go through such experiences.

As we continue to unravel the mysteries of the mind, stories like this serve as a poignant reminder of the profound effects that illusions, even in the form of dreams, can have on our lives.

About the Author: Ammie-Marie Littke

Minimalist. Adventure seeker. Prefer experiences over things. Scientifically curious. Technological enthusiast. Independent voter. Songwriter. Avid music fan (80's music trivia whiz). Active concert goer. Michigan Wolverines fan. Beach snob. Borderline fashionista, but also in love with flare jeans.

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