Dream of Being Kidnapped (8 Meanings + Reasons)

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Practical Psychology

Even in dreams, the thought of being kidnapped is an unsettling scenario. It's similar to a strange movie playing in your mind, where you're not in control of the situation. 

A dream of being kidnapped symbolizes the loss of control or the external pressures you face in your waking life. This dream may also indicate a desire for autonomy or a need to escape overwhelming situations. 

Beyond the surface, this dream may hold keys to understanding hidden fears, desires, and the intricate workings of your mind. Read this article to learn more about your dreams of being kidnapped. 

What Does it Mean If You Dream of Being Kidnapped

1) Loss of Control

the woman is balancing herself

The dream of being kidnapped illustrates the struggle to influence different aspects of yourself in reality. As you’re unable to change the unfolding events, a sense of helplessness takes over, leaving you all frustrated and anxious. 

Consider your professional life. Does the dream mirror a desire for control in your career? Perhaps you've been eager to excel in a particular project or even secure that coveted promotion, only to find that things didn't go as you anticipated.

The solution is to use your thoughts to empower yourself. Face challenges, take control where you can, and be more aware in situations where you usually feel helpless. If you want, you can also reflect on the shared imagery of the dream of fire in a house for additional insights. 

2) Anxiety about Conflicts

What would you do if you found yourself being kidnapped? Even just thinking about it can give you all the creeps. Luckily, it’s only a dream and that's not going to happen in real life. There’s a catch though. You have to pay attention to the symbolism of your dream of being kidnapped. 

The kidnapping scenario in dreams represents unresolved conflicts and the intricate dance of relationships within your life. Whereas the kidnappers reflect external influences or even aspects of yourself that you perceive as challenging. 

Take a closer look at the context of your dream. If the scenario involves a successful escape, it signifies an innate resilience within you. Your subconscious is saying you have the determination to break free from constraints and overcome challenges. 

3) Lack of Freedom 

Rather than viewing the kidnapping as a representation of conflicts, consider it as a metaphor for a perceived lack of freedom. Your dream of being kidnapped might be expressing a subconscious desire for autonomy and independence.

Reevaluate the dream's setting. If the abduction occurs in a known place, it may symbolize constraints within your everyday life. In an unfamiliar location, it could signify a yearning for unexplored territories and freedom from routine. 

As you explore the emotional landscape of the dream, pay attention to your feelings of frustration or suffocation. These emotions are key indicators of the internal conflict between the desire for autonomy and the perceived constraints in your waking life.

Likewise, the dream of being kidnapped shares symbolic parallels with the dream involving crabs. Exploring the dreams of crabs can also provide valuable insights, as both dreams convey a sense of feeling trapped and a deep yearning for freedom.

4) Need to Escape 

the woman is running away

When you dream of being kidnapped, your subconscious is telling you that you might be grappling with too much stress, pressure, or challenges. This dream is your cry for escape, a deep inner need to break free from whatever is squeezing the joy out of your days.

What overwhelms you in your waking life? It could be tight schedules, demanding relationships, or a heap of responsibilities. The dream wants you to recognize these stressors without explicitly feeling confined. 

Research also suggests that a one-day travel can have a profound impact on reducing overall stress in the body. Remember that a short getaway might be just the remedy you need. Plan a day trip or a weekend escape to rejuvenate your mind and body. 

You may also check out the dream of vacation. Whether it's a literal vacation or finding moments of serenity in your daily routine, giving yourself the gift of rejuvenation is vital to breaking free from the burdens of overwhelming stress.

5) Unresolved Issues 

Your recurrent dream of being kidnapped embodies the existence of forgotten matters in your life. This suggests that the unresolved issues may be silently influencing your waking existence.

This kidnapping dream is your signal to engage with unresolved matters and take deliberate steps toward resolution. This involves communication, reflection, or seeking solutions to the lingering challenges in your life.

Allocate time for self-reflection to gain clarity on your feelings and perspectives. Remember, the power to resolve these issues lies within your hands. By actively addressing them, you can free yourself from all the emotional weights you carry.

6) Fear of Manipulation

The dream of being kidnapped can also reflect an underlying fear of manipulation. It encapsulates a deep-seated worry about vulnerability to external forces that may exert influence against your will.

Your dream’s narrative revolves around a breach of trust. As a result, you may harbor anxieties that others, represented by the kidnapper, possess the ability to exploit your weaknesses.

Take time for self-reflection to identify situations triggering your fears. Engage in open communication with those you feel may be potential sources of concern. Take note that building trust through honest dialogue fosters a healthier interpersonal life and alleviates anxieties.

7) Reflection of a Traumatic Experience

Trauma can be triggered by various stimuli, and dreams serve as a medium for the mind to process these triggers. The dream of being kidnapped might occur when certain life events prompt the subconscious to revisit the trauma you experienced.

Any situation where personal safety is threatened, whether through witnessing violence or being in a dangerous condition, can be traumatic. The fear and vulnerability experienced during such events may be reflected in dreams.

Cultivate self-compassion by treating yourself with kindness and understanding. Acknowledge that healing is a gradual process, so be patient with yourself as you navigate the complexities of trauma recovery.

Given the interconnected nature of dreams, it's also worthwhile to extend your reflection into the dream of war. Both dreams involve elements of trauma, giving you different angles to understand the emotions in your subconscious mind.

8) Desire for Attention

Do you feel neglected in certain parts of your waking life? If so, then that could be the reason for your dream of being kidnapped. It's as if your subconscious is yearning for your emotional needs to be acknowledged.

This kidnapping dream may be a reflection of a desire to be seen and appreciated for your efforts, accomplishments, or even your emotions. Your inner self is signaling to you that acknowledgment and appreciation play a crucial role in fulfilling your emotional needs.

Take this as an opportunity to engage in open conversations with those around you. Foster a supportive environment and express your feelings and desires for connection. Only then, you can create a space where your efforts and emotions are acknowledged. 

Different Interpretations of the Dream of Being Kidnapped

Dream of Being Kidnapped by a Stranger

man bound in chains

Having a dream of being kidnapped is unnerving, but it's crucial to understand that dreams are complex and often symbolic. The dream doesn't predict an actual kidnapping but points to emotions you might be dealing with.

If you dream of being kidnapped by a stranger, it's as if your mind is expressing feelings of vulnerability or anxiety in your real life. This dream suggests that your waking life might be out of control, and your subconscious is processing a sense of uncertainty.

Dream of Being Kidnapped and Escaping

Dreaming of being kidnapped and escaping successfully holds significant symbolism. The moment of escape represents a positive twist, signifying resilience and the ability to overcome challenges.

It symbolizes your inner strength and capacity to regain control over aspects of your life. The dream of being kidnapped may also indicate a subconscious desire to break free from stressful situations or regain a sense of autonomy.

Dream of Being Kidnapped with Friend

The dream of being kidnapped with a friend may reflect concerns about the well-being of this particular relationship. The dream could point to underlying tensions, unresolved issues, or a fear of losing connection with your friend. 

This scenario also encourages reflection on the dynamics of your friendship. It’s like your mind wants you to consider how you and your friend handle shared difficulties and whether there are aspects of the relationship that require attention.

On a positive note, your dream might symbolize a shared journey of personal growth and development. The kidnapping dream could represent opportunities for personal transformation that both you and your friend are encountering.

Dream of being Kidnapped and Unable to Scream for Help

The inability to scream in a dream can indeed be incredibly frustrating. Your dream of being kidnapped while unable to scream amplifies the feelings of helplessness in waking life. 

This kidnapping dream symbolizes real-life challenges where expressing yourself may feel restricted. It suggests the importance of finding ways to break the silence and assert your voice in situations that cause turmoil.

Dream of being Kidnapped by a Known Person

The presence of a known person in your dream of being kidnapped symbolizes complex interpersonal dynamics, unresolved conflicts, or a breach of trust in your waking life. It's crucial to consider the nature of your relationship with this person and the emotions associated with it.

Dreaming of being kidnapped by a close friend or family member could indicate tensions within that connection. It may suggest a need for open communication and addressing any underlying conflicts.

Meanwhile, if the known person is a lover, then your dream symbolizes insecurities within your personal life. It could point to a fear of losing autonomy or needing to address power dynamics within your relationship. 

Spiritual Meaning of the Dream of Being Kidnapped


In Christianity, the dream of being kidnapped could be spiritually interpreted as a metaphorical struggle against the forces of darkness. Such dreams encourage believers to turn to the Bible for guidance, finding solace in verses like Ephesians 6:12. 

The specific verse states, "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms." 

This underscores the spiritual battles that individuals may face. It also emphasizes the need for reliance on divine strength and protection during times of adversity.

Chinese Culture

Within Chinese culture, the dream of being kidnapped is a symbolic warning against deception and betrayal. You have to exercise caution in your interactions and relationships, staying vigilant to discern deceitful elements. 

The interpretation aligns with the cultural emphasis on harmony and balance. It urges you to navigate relationships with mindfulness to maintain your integrity and well-being.

Japanese Tradition

The Japanese people associated the dream of being kidnapped with yūgen. This term represents the profound mysteries of life and the mind. Dreams like this encourage you to explore the deeper aspects of your psyche, encouraging self-reflection and introspection.

Rather than a negative occurrence, view this dream as an opportunity for spiritual growth. It also suggests that you need to embrace the enigmatic nature of your subconscious and embark on a journey of self-discovery.


Buddhists believe that the dream of being kidnapped is connected to themes of attachment and desire. As per the Buddhist philosophy, attachment to worldly concerns leads to suffering, and the kidnapping dreams reflect this struggle. 

In Buddhism, you have to cultivate detachment and embrace the impermanence of material existence. It emphasizes the importance of the right understanding and the right intention to overcome the illusions that bind you to the cycle of suffering.

Modern Day Interpretation

The dream of being kidnapped is a manifestation of the stress and pressures of contemporary life. It mirrors the challenges you face either at work, in relationships, or societal expectations. 

This interpretation encourages you to engage in self-reflection. It also highlights the significance of addressing these challenges for personal growth, mental well-being, and a more balanced life.

Reference this article:

Practical Psychology. (2023, December). Dream of Being Kidnapped (8 Meanings + Reasons). Retrieved from https://practicalpie.com/dream-of-being-kidnapped/.

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