Dreams About Being Kidnapped and Escaping (3 Meanings)

Although dreaming of being kidnapped can certainly be disconcerting, it usually indicates feelings of:

  • Being trapped in a situation,
  • Being helpless in the face of life’s many stresses, or
  • A fear of being alone.

However, if you manage to escape the kidnappers in your dream, it indicates that you see an escape on the horizon and should embrace upcoming transitions.

If you have recently awoken from a fast-paced dream involving a kidnapper or a daring escape, then this guide will try to explore the dream from several angles to help you better interpret its meaning and understand what’s going on.

Dreams About Being Kidnapped and Escaping

Dreams About Being Kidnapped: What do They Mean?

Dreams usually follow metaphoric narrative structures thatprovide insight into our subconscious psychological states of mind.

Dreaming of being kidnapped, with an emphasis on the kidnapping itself, can generally be interpreted as an anxiety-based dream, suggesting that you’re currently at odds with an upcoming life change.

To be kidnapped robs you of your agency and control—two qualities that are essential to a stable sense of self.

This dream may be a warning from your subconscious that you feel ill-equipped to deal with an upcoming challenge or change. The dream may also reflect feelings of helplessness in your current situation.

If you’re on the precipice of a new relationship or career but have reservations about the next steps, your dream suggests underlying anxiety that you’ll lose part of yourself—freedom, identity, individuality—to the expectations and obligations of others.

Assess whether this is what you truly want and act from your heart rather than expectation.

Dreams about Being Held Captive: What do They Mean?

Another common type of kidnapping dream centers on being held captive by your enemies.

These dreams are less focused on the violent act of being stolen away but, instead, focus on the claustrophobic confines and pains of being held against your will.

These dreams are best interpreted as a feeling of hopelessness and being trapped within your current situation.

When someone is held without agency, they are completely at the whim of their kidnappers, robbing them of control over the situation.

This can be interpreted as a feeling of being trapped by a relationship, job, or lifestyle that you no longer feel fulfilled by.

It can also suggest a fear of being alone or feeling isolated from others. When someone is kidnapped, they become socially isolated and cut off from their family and friends, creating intense feelings of loneliness and sorrow.

If you’re currently struggling with anxiety or depression, this dream may be a manifestation of your fear of abandonment.

Take time to search within yourself and assess whether the people in your life contribute to feelings of happiness and satisfaction.

If you find that you feel obligated rather than happy to have someone in your life, it may be time to cut ties and seek healthier relationships elsewhere.

On the other hand, if you’re in a good place mentally and emotionally, this dream may be a sign that you need to take some time for yourself.

Consider planning a vacation to break from the mundane routines of daily life and find release from the cage that you’ve built around yourself.

Dreams where you Escape: What do They Mean?

Whether you’re the one doing the kidnapping or the one being kidnapped, a dream with an emphasis on escape usually signifies a need or desire to break free from a current situation.

This is especially true if you’ve been thinking of making a significant life change, such as ending a relationship or leaving an unsatisfying job.

If you’re the one being kidnapped, this dream may be a direct response to feeling trapped, suffocated, or alone in your current circumstances.

If you’re the kidnapper, this dream may be a manifestation of suppressed anger, disappointment, or resentment towards someone in your life. You may feel that they are abandoning you and you’re only forcing them to stick around out of obligation rather than true love.

In either case, the dream is a clear indication that you feel the need to break free from your current situation.

If you’re unhappy in your job, relationship, or home life, this dream could be interpreted as a subconscious sign that it’s time to make a change.

What to Do After Having a Kidnapping Dream

If you’ve recently had a dream involving being kidnapped or escaping from your captors, take some time to sit with the dream and reflect on its meaning.

Consider what was going on in your life leading up to the dream and whether there were any major changes or challenges on the horizon.

Pay attention to how you felt in the dream and what emotions were associated with being kidnapped or escaping. These feelings can provide valuable clues about your current psychological state and what areas of your life need attention.

If you find yourself feeling scared or alone after the dream, take some time to assess your current relationships and social circle.

Make sure that the people in your life make you feel happy and supported. If you find that you’re in a toxic relationship, it may be time to take some steps to improve the situation or end the relationship altogether.

If you’re struggling to make a major life change, such as switching jobs or ending a relationship, the dream may also be a sign that you’re ready to take the next step.

Rather than suffocating in confinement, allow yourself the freedom to break free from your captive situation and embrace the upcoming transitions.


No one wakes from a kidnapping dream happy or at ease but, if you’re currently dealing with life challenges, the dream may be a way for your subconscious to work through hard feelings.

By understanding the symbolism behind the dream, you can start to work through your feelings and take the necessary steps to improve your current situation.