A recent study conducted by the European Science Foundation suggested that brain activity during lucid dreaming is similar to that during psychosis, leading researchers to suggest that dream therapy may be useful in the treatment of certain psychiatric problems.
The research is interesting because dream therapy has fallen out of favor among psychology researchers, although training a patient in lucid dreaming can sometimes help with nightmares. Lucid dreaming is an unusual dream-state in which you are aware when you are dreaming, making it a strange hybrid state straddling the boundaries between dreaming and waking consciousness. Electrical activity observed in the brain of those who are lucid dreaming is very similar to forms of psychotic illness such as schizophrenia.
This discovery may help to shed light on how healthy dreaming deviates from pathological conditions such as psychiatric disorders.
More specifically, the data confirms a connection between lucid dreaming and psychological dissociation; a state in which the person loses concscious control over his or her men processes. More specifically, the dissociated person loses control of emotional reaction and logical thinking. This psychological condition has been observed in certain people even during waking consciousness, such as in the case of depersonalization, pseudoseizures and psychosis. The researchers theorized that paranoid delusions and certain hallucinations may occur when brain activity associated with dissociative dreaming is re-enacted in threatening situations and emerges in waking consciousness.