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Interpreting Dream Symbols: Wheelchair

wheelchair dream

Interpret the dream meaning of a wheelchairwheelchair dream

A wheelchair in a dream can symbolize restriction. Movement is restricted for someone in a wheelchair, and movement in a dream can symbolize movement in your life.

For example, a teenager might dream about being in a wheelchair when pushed into a certain course of study or occupation by an authority figure. Coercion restricts one’s choices. Or think of movement in the literal sense. Mom and dad take the car keys, restricting the mobility of their child, or your car breaks down. Being pushed in a wheelchair can symbolize feeling pushed around.

A physical disability that requires the use of a wheelchair can be a physical representation of a personal situation. You feel disabled in some way, perhaps emotionally, personally, or financially, or you have a personal weakness. Disability and weakness can limit you. Then again, the dream might be about overcoming adversity, limits, or weakness.

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Along this line, think of the symbolism as possibly related to obstacles, feeling hampered or helpless, or at a disadvantage. For example, you dream about racing in a wheelchair against someone on a motorcycle, symbolizing being at a disadvantage.

A wheelchair might symbolize being treated as if you have a disability or personal weakness, not necessarily that you have one. This idea of how you are treated may be the case when you dream about being forced into a wheelchair. For example, people with autism can feel that they’re treated differently and dream about it as being strapped into a wheelchair, when they actually function just fine.

A wheelchair can symbolize special consideration. For example, a young man dreams about being in a wheelchair at a martial-arts tournament. He really is taking martial arts and expects special consideration, such as a person in a wheelchair might receive. The dream is showing him that he is overdoing it. He doesn’t actually need special consideration, he’s just trying to avoid having to do everything the other students do.

Excerpted from my book The Dream Interpretation Dictionary: Symbols, Signs, and Meanings.

Update: Check out this post at Reddit Dreams: Wheelchair dream. Key detail: Dreamer knows he doesn’t really need a wheelchair. Read my discussion with him (I’m RadOwl).

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8 thoughts on “Interpreting Dream Symbols: Wheelchair”

  1. My dream was i was driving down a road and had to slow down because a young girl in front of me with black hair in a wheel chair ,was moving but at a slow pace, i had to go around her. ….

    1. This dream presents an interesting possibility for the use of wheelchair symbolism. Something is slowing you down. Driving in a car is a common dream theme associated with day to day movement and progress of life. With that in mind, consider what it means to be slowed down because of someone in a wheelchair:

        It could mean that someone in your life is slowing you down.

        A situation is moving too slowly for your liking.

        The needs of your inner child, represented as the girl in a wheelchair (people in wheelchairs often have special needs), would slow down your life if you decided to meet them.

      Since you are female (judging by your name) and the person in the chair is female and young, it raises the last possibility up the list of likelihood. I’ve had a number of dreams like this when my life is really busy and I don’t want to stop to take care of basic needs. The young parts of yourself are still alive within you, under layers of time. They need you to recognize their needs and meet them as an adult. Sometimes it’s as simple as slowing down and taking a break, do something for fun. Or perhaps the girl represents a part of you that feels left out of your adult life and it wants to recognized and helped.

  2. I am disabled .. congestive heart failure ..
    here lately I have been dreaming of cows and horses no people at all ..
    the cows and horses were strays that would come up to me
    from out of no where as if they were looking for comfort
    as in me petting on them and talking to them ..
    what does this mean? ..

    1. When you give comfort in a dream, it can be a way of giving comfort to yourself. Since you are disabled, you can see how you might need to comfort yourself. Cows and horses have a variety of possible meanings used in dreams — they are beasts of burden that are strong — so perhaps the dream is trying to remind you that you have the strength to meet your challenges.

  3. Hi
    I just read your post on Wheelchair dreams, I’ve had only one about 6 yrs ago. I won’t get to far into the nasty details, first which is really weird, I was just thinking about this dream the other day, a voila your post appears. I had what I thought was a friend for a very long time, then I noticed to things she was doing and saying, her nick name is Eye Witness News because she snoops into everyone’s business. What she was saying to me wasn’t very nice, so I had to take a big step back and when I did the Wheelchair dream came, so here it goes. The dreams was all in colour like watching a t.v show, in a back parking lot of her building I was walking towards her and her husband, they had a I Pad in their hands, I asked what they were doing and they showed me my life, (this woman didn’t like my husband) as I’m swiping through I noticed my husband wasn’t in any of the pictures from small, to teen age, to my Wedding, then just myself and my kids. I asked where did you get this and where’s my husband? When I looked down the parking lots what I thought I seen was a man with pure hatred, it gave me the shivers. I repeated myself, they wouldn’t answer me but as I looked again it was and old ugly witch sitting in a wheelchair I started to walk towards her, her eyes as blue as the sky got lighter and lighter almost like a white, I asked where’s my husband? Who are you? Now I’m right in front of her, her face was so contorted with rage, her exact words were “Do you recognize me now b***ch?

    Reading your post I would agree 100% a physical representation of a personal situation. Why was this woman hell bent in trying to break me and my husband up, accusing him of an affair, just saying lol. Anyways I felt there was more to this dream, almost precognitive, last year while out in a public place, I felt someone coming up behind me a cold chill ran up my spine, as this group of people past me, yes it was this nasty trouble maker being pushed in a wheelchair, she is now an amputee.

    Do I feel bad for her, that’s really hard to say, I believe any wrong doings she has done is between her and the Lord up above, I’ve never wished harm or illness towards anyone. I walked away from the situation as soon as I had the dream, I won’t have toxic people in my life, did I learn anything from this, yes, my karma was to stop feeling bad for other people because I was naive. Just wondering what your feed back will be on this one. Sorry for being so long winded, you actually got the short version.


    1. Wow, that’s some dramatic imagery and action. The witch’s face contorted in rage. …A safe bet is that everything you see in a dream is a projection of something about yourself, and in this case my best guess is the woman is a projection of your perceptions of your old friend, Eye Witness, and your feelings about her meddling in your marriage. You saw something about her true nature, but the imagery is also colored by your feelings.

      …Then you actually see her in a wheelchair. I am careful about attributing anything to karma because of the whole “judge not” thing. You never know what’s between a person and their creator. Some of the yuckiest people have deeper reasons for being the way they are.

      You do seem to be challenged personally by this experience, and I agree: never wish harm or ill of anyone. Seeing her in the wheelchair brings the situation full circle. You don’t have to feel bad for her, nor do you want to feel like she got what was coming. I’d just wish her the best. The reality she is living through sucks.

  4. I had dreams before about wheelchairs. I worked in the nursing home at the time and I saw all these wheelchairs flat and they was like “parked” in the hallway. Lot’s of them lined up against to the wall…

    1. Talk about taking on new meaning. I imagine that being around people in wheelchairs at work raised all sorts of thoughts and feelings in you.

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