Just last night I dreamed I was rushing around, harried, while a woman sat on the toilet in my bathroom. She was eating a sandwich. My clothes were on the bathroom floor and each time I looked into the room to see if the woman was finished crapping and eating, the toilet had leaked more and more water, soaking my clothes and filling the room. I was aware that, at some point, the apartment would completely fill with water. I was confused, fearful, and wishing that woman would hurry up so we could get the hell out of there.

While this isn't an entirely traditional drowning dream, it fits the bill. In dreams, according to dreamdoctor.com, "water is a universal symbol for emotions, and how water behaves in a dream is always significant."

If water is rising in one's dream, it means emotions are rising. According to Portland psychotherapist Jason Kuttner, "a drowning dream has to do with being emotionally overwhelmed. It's a metaphor for life; you're not able to stay on top of things, like finances, relationships, etc. I think it's different, however, when someone else is drowningÉ that refers more to feeling powerless to help a loved one."

If water is sweeping you away, it means you're being swept up by your emotions and need to take a step back and analyze problems rationally.

Further, cloudy water indicates a lack of emotional clarity, meaning you can't decipher how you feel about a certain problem.

Tidal waves represent specific problems that loom in the distance.

Analyzing my own dream about the overflowing toilet, it shows that my emotional level is rising--and not in a good way, because the rising water is a threat. Also, the water in the dream is dirty toilet water, which means there are corrupt people around me or I fear emotional contamination.

At the other end of the spectrum, water can be a positive dream symbol. If, for example, you're bathing or swimming in clean, clear water, or relaxing by a bubbling brook--that's good. This represents what dreamdoctor.com interprets as "a comfortable immersion in one's emotions"--rather than drowning in them. Sweet dreams!