Home Spirituality What Does It Mean When You Can’t Scream in a Dream?

What Does It Mean When You Can’t Scream in a Dream?

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When you are having a dangerous, terrifying dream, one of the worst things to experience is an inability to scream. All you want to do is scare away the danger and express yourself, but you open your mouth and no sound comes out. If you keep having this problem in your dream, it could mean a number of things. We will cover what screaming and an inability to scream may mean in your dreams.

What it means when you can't scream in your dream

What Does It Mean When You Scream in a Dream?

An actual scream in your dream will generally represent fear or anger. This type of emotion is pent up within you, and it is trying to get out. To hear that someone is screaming in your dream generally means that a friend or family member needs your help in real life.

If you are yelling in your dream, it also represents a sense of anger. If no one can hear you yelling, then it means that you feel as if your feelings are overlooked in your waking life. It can also means that you feel like your opinion does not count and no one listens to you in real life. If you hear demonic yelling in your dream, it shows that something or someone from your past is still haunting your present.

What Does It Mean When You Can’t Scream in a Dream?

Screaming in a dream means one thing, but you also need to know what it means when you can’t scream in a dream as well. Unlike normal screaming, this does not represent fear or anger. It shows that you feel frustrated or helpless in a certain situation. It may feel like you are trying to get someone’s attention, but they are not listening to you or do not care. Basically, your dream is showing how difficult communication is becoming for you. If this is the case, it is important to learn how to identify your feelings and confront them in your waking life.

Sometimes, dreaming that you cannot scream is a sign that you are unable to express your feelings properly. There are emotions within you that want to come out, but you do not feel like you can constructively express them. This does not necessarily mean that you have to actually express those emotions in real life for the dreams to go away.

Sometimes, there are emotions that are not appropriate or necessary to tell someone. At the same time, you need to find a constructive way to deal with them. Journaling, meditation and other options can help you learn how to constructively handle these emotions. Some people find that screaming in real life makes these dreams go away. Grab a pillow or go to an isolated spot. When you are in the middle of nowhere, scream your lungs out and let all of your feelings go. If you cannot find a place to let your screams out, try to divert that energy and emotion through exercise.

Often, these dreams can also mean that you feel like people are suppressing you in real life. You want to have your own thoughts and make decisions about your life, but you feel unable to. You might be stuck in a job you hate and are unable to leave. You could be dealing with a dead-end relationship, a difficult neighbor or another problem that you cannot escape from. In these cases, the only way to really make the dreams go away is by solving your real-life problem.

An Alternative Reason

Interestingly, this is one of the few dream types that can actually show a real-life condition. There is a type of REM paralysis that can cause you to feel like screaming, but be completely unable to. Known as sleep paralysis, this is a way that nature is trying to protect us from acting out or moving in the dream. It would be extremely dangerous to try to scream, run or fly in real life while you are actually dreaming. Your body has mechanisms to stop this from happening. If you start to wake up from a dream while you are still engaged in sleep paralysis, then you may dream that you are unable to scream or move.

Your dreams can mean that you are just stuck in this in-between stage of sleep paralysis. You are unable to scream because your mind is starting to wake up slightly, so it realizes that you are not actually able to scream in real life.

It is also entirely possible that your inability to scream is caused by how you feel in real life. You may be trying to hold back your feelings or feel stymied in some way. Like most dreams, there are options if you would like this kind of dream to stop. You have to figure out the underlying cause that is making the dreams happen. Once you know why you feel this way, you can start to make changes in your real life so that the dreams stop happening.

64 COMMENTS

  1. Thank you so much for this article! I usually get extremely scared when I have this type of dream. I just had one right now! I have to figure out What in my life is causing these dreams.

    • Thank you for sharing your positive comment. Reduce stress in your life. Abstain from consuming violent and dramatic media. You will find that negative dreams will diminish as you continue to share your positive energy with the world. Have a great day, Sam!

  2. I have a lot of dream that i am crying but there is no sounds out and its hurts in my thorox and sometimes i am leteraly crying while sleeping. I read before that i was because i don’t know how to express my feelings… i don’t know how to handle this… yes at some point i have a lot of fruatration and difficuties in handling life… but i keep trying to figure out this but still i was locked in this situations…. i don’t know what should i do. But thank you for the information you shared.

    • Your dreams are reflections of your emotional influences and concerns. The emotional feelings and physical reactions that affect your waking life are signs of how strong these influences are. You may need to make a decision in your life to reduce stress in your life. Perhaps strengthen your relationships with other people in your life. Have a great day, Rose!

  3. I don’t scream it someone else screaming at me but I can’t see in these types of dreams and right after it’s over I wake up with tarable filling

    • These dreams are reflections of your various social and emotional connections. It is possible that these screams are signs of the uncertainty and confusion that may be in your life. Allow the negative aspects of these dreams to fade. Share your kindness and compassion with everyone in your life, as this will bring positive people and energy into the world. Have a great day, Caleb!

  4. I had a dream i couldnt move my arms and legs. I was trying to wake up and could not. It took a good 5 minutes to physically woke up. I got up and sat on my couch and went back to bed. The same dream occured again. I ended up sleeping on the couch sitting down for fear i wont wake up again. I would like to know whats going on here? Whats the meaning of all this?

    • A number of people experience this dream because of sleep apnea, so it might be a problem that you should look into.

  5. Thanks so much for the information. Just had one of those dreams now. I was so scared. I was screaming for help but had no voice. Its lasted for few minutes then i woke up.

    • Thank you for sharing your insights and experiences. We always appreciate when members of our community share their thoughts and feelings. Please share more of your supportive comments in the future. Have a great day, Nadz!

  6. Hello. I had 6 dreams last night where something grabs me. It is scary and hurts when I’m being held by it. I am trying to scream for help also knowing I need to wake up. The last few dreams were in my actual room. I have had similar dreams many times also in my room, sensing it was coming before the painful grab. I do not sleep well and I am becoming to afraid to sleep. I pray for help in the dream and tell it to go to the light as if I know it’s something bad. I’ve never replied to these before but sure would love some help! Thank you

    • These dreams may be reflections of a variety of aspects of in your life. Ensure that you abstain from consuming violent and dramatic media, as this may cause them dreams to occur less frequently. Perhaps that there is a stress in your life you will will benefit from interacting with less. Something may make you feel insecure when you should feel secure, and you will want to make whatever decision that you can to ensure that you feel safe and content. Have a great day, Elisse!

  7. I just had a dream that I was laying in bed sleeping & I woke up to someone sitting in my room staring at my child & although the person was just sitting there not doing anything, I tried to scream for help in fear they would do something to either myself or my child but nothing came out when I tried to scream. I have a dream of not being able to scream in scary or traumatic situations so often that I feel like when it’s time to scream in a real situation that needs attention, that nothing will come out.

    • This type of dream may show a sense of frustration or helplessness. It may also show that you feel unable to express your feelings in real life. The presence of someone else and the scary situation seem to indicate a sense of fear as well. Since your child is present in the dream, the fear may be about your child or all of the dangers that your child faces in the outside world, and your frustration that you cannot always protect him or her.

  8. Just. Had a 3 part dream 1st part playing with a childhood friend. Nbd second i was. In the television series the 100 (preety cool) 3rd part. Im. Laying down in my bed. And i felt something comi g to grab me from behind my neck. Before it did and was unable to move or scream. I get this. Once – twice a week

    • Your first dream is a reflection of your previous social connection with your childhood friend. Your second is a manifestation of the media that you consume. The third may be a reflection of a fear in your life. All three dreams will guide you to share your kindness and compassion with the world. This will bring positive people and energy into your life. Have a great day, Viktor!

  9. I face the same problem but the difference is that i try hard
    to scream in my dream and in my dream my voice doesn’t come out, but in reality people hear me scream sometimes loud sometimes low, whenever i have these types of dream, my mom and dad hear my screaming and they wake me up, and the one difference is that i know that this is my dream but i cannot do anything as i can’t use my hands legs or mouth, and i just wish someone would wake me up From couple of years i am having these all problems.. Don’t know whether this is sleep paralysis or something else

    • Your description of your experiences sounds like you may be experiencing sleep paralysis. Many people have similar experiences. It may be linked to sleep apnea, so you may want to speak with a medical professional about your symptoms and request a sleep study. If you have sleep paralysis in the future, then you may find benefit in relaxing your mind when you want to scream. You may find benefit in reducing stress, as you will wake up and breathe after the paralysis passed. Best of luck, Shubham!

  10. Excellent article, thank you. I often dream that I am trying to speak to my husband about something he is doing in my dream that I am unhappy about. Last night he left our son at the top of a hill in a strange town and we all traveled into the town and wouldn’t go back for him. I spoke my upset, but no sound, I shouted- still no sound. Finally, I screamed and cried, still no sound and he knew what I was upset about but would not go to find him even though I was panicking.

    • This dream is a reflection of various influences in your life. You will find benefit in abstaining from consuming violent and dramatic media. If this dream is a reflection of your partner’s behaviors in your waking life, then speak with him about your thoughts and feelings. If not, then allow the negative aspects of this dream to fade. Have a great day, Elizabeth!

  11. Hey so I had a dream where it was long, but i’m cutting it to the end. My family were fishing in this deserted area, and my little brother walked up these stairs, and my mom told him to be careful because the stairs were crooked. He stepped on it anyway, not knowing what it meant (he’s 10 yrs old and has autism) and he fell down to the ocean (we were in the middle of the ocean. The water was green and I knew there were sharks swimming around so I tried to yell for my parents, but only a whisper came out. Then it ended there. (This was today)

    I’ve also had continuous dreams and each time someone dies in them;; first was my cat, he died because we had to leave him because there was a huge disaster

    And for the third one, my dad died;; I was an actor and I was about to perform a script, but we went out for drinks and we talked to the cashier and as he went to get his drink, he got stabbed in the back and it wouldn’t let me scream, my voice broke out and all I would hear is a whisper.

    • Death in dreams is often a sign of transformation. This could be a transformation in your relationship with the other person (or cat), or it might just reflect the transformation that is going on within yourself. As you grow older, it is only natural for your personality to change and for you to take on more responsibilities. Death in these dreams may just indicate that you yourself are transforming and changing. In some cases, like the dream with your brother, the dream may also show that you are afraid of what could happen to harm the people/animals you love and that you might be unable to stop it.

  12. I think I had this kind of dream twice already yet the second time around, I felt really strange about it. In the dream, I felt like I was a nobody to them. No matter how hard I try to scream or to just talk, my voice won’t come out. It was like my voice is hidden deep within me. In the dream, I kept on wondering why my voice won’t come out. It was really strange of me to dream about that. I can’t remember how that dream started because it was already in a situation where everyone is panicking.

    • Your dream may be a reflection of various aspects of your life. You may be concerned that there is something in your life preventing you from sharing your thoughts and feelings. The panic that was within your dream may be a sign that there is a confusion in your life. Allow this dream to influence you to determine what you want for your future. Ensure that this dream guides you to share your kindness and compassion with everyone in your life. Have a great day, Riza!

  13. I can’t exactly remember how my dream started because it was already in a situation where everyone is panicking. I tried talking to them then I realized I can’t hear my own voice. In the end, I found myself hiding in a dark corner, somewhere far away from them. I was really crying inside because I really want to help them but my own voice is keeping me from doing it. It was really scary. I felt helpless and useless.

    • Your dream may be a reflection of various aspects of your life. You may be concerned that there is something in your life preventing you from sharing your thoughts and feelings. The panic that was within your dream may be a sign that there is a confusion in your life. Allow this dream to influence you to determine what you want for your future. Ensure that this dream guides you to share your kindness and compassion with everyone in your life. Have a great day, Riza!

  14. I have these dreams all the time where I can’t move or talk, or scream at all. Then a spirit I would always see at a house I used to live in would come up to me and start screaming ineligible words at me. They don’t even sound like any language that I have ever heard. What could it mean? I am seriously getting scared from these dreams.

    • These dreams may be reflections of fears or concerns that you may have in your life. If these dreams enter the realm of your waking life, then you may be experiencing sleep paralysis. If this is the case, then you may want to speak with a medical professional or seek advice from other members of our community. Please share more of your experiences and insights in the future. Have a great day, Kaylena!

  15. I’m trying to figure out what exactly my dream means, The thing is I’ve had this type of dream once before yet there were a bunch of spiders piling on me and stuff. But that’s not the dream I wanna talk about the dream that I wanna talk about is one I had last night! This one consisted of me finding a cockroach and me and my friends were trying to catch it, when everything went wrong and it started flying around. I was so scared and I started to run away flapping my arms around trying to get away! I was also trying to scream all that came out was a raspy let out of air and a small meek exhale it was not by any means a scream. The cockroach was also trying to get in my mouth and I had turned away finally stopping the screaming and just trying to swat it away, but I couldn’t my limbs felt so heavy and everything was going so slow yet still fast. I kept pleading for someone to hit it or something! But nobody did and while I was in the midst of waking up the thing started to burrow into my back! I felt it and when I woke up it felt so real I even patted my back to make sure….It was really scary and if you could tell me something a bit more it would be appreciated! ;n;

    • Dreams about things that we fear, such as insects, are manifestations of fears or worries that we may have in our life. Insects may be representations of things that are not harmful, but that people choose to fear anyway. There may be something in your waking life that is causing you concern, but which actually has no power to harm you. Take this time to look inward and make changes in your life that bring your happiness. Ensure that you share your kindness and compassion with everyone in your life. Have a great day, Jenna!

  16. Thank you so much for this article ! I’ve struggled with sleep paralysis since my childhood, and it has become more prominent as I’m entering my twenties. I keep dreaming that someone is sitting on top of me and I cannot fight them off, neither can I scream. I struggle to make sense of this…

    • Thank you for sharing your experiences and insights. Many members of our community may have similar experiences, and they may be willing to share their thoughts and feelings. You may find benefit in wiggling your toes or thinking about small movements when you have future occurrences of sleep paralysis. Some people find sleeping on their side or stomach is beneficial. Have a great day, Babalwa!

  17. I had a dream this afternoon.In this dream, I am a with a friend. We were observing that theres a shadow of a clown handling a knife while were not looking but we saw it on a mirror. We had to ensure if this is true, thats why I grabbed a weapon. After that, I saw that there’s a shadow of a bunny with a knife on its hand behind me when I look through the mirror. After knowing that, a stuffed toy was behind me even tho it wasnt there while ago. I started attacking this stuff toy, but I feel so weak, and I couldnt even shout. I even spelled out the word D-e-m-o-n in order to shout, but I still cant. What is this all about?

    • Your dream may be a reflection of various influences in your life. You will find great benefit in abstaining from consuming violent and dramatic media. It is possible that your religious beliefs have appeared in your dream. Ensure that you share your kindness and compassion at all times, as this will bring you many benefits in the future. Have a great day, Jay!

    • There may be many reasons for your experiences. It is possible that your dream is particularly frightening. It is possible that you felt as though you were paralyzed. If you are have similar dreams, then it is possible that you are experiencing sleep paralysis. If you have trouble sleeping and these experiences happen frequently, then you may find benefit by shooting on your side. Have a great day, Jay!

  18. I’ve found your article extremely fascinating. For weeks now I’ve been having recurring dreams involving my estranged father & deceased mother. Old arguments & emotions surface but nothing ever gets resolved. I wake up feeling extremely drained & depressed which deeply affects my mood for some time afterwards.

    My siblings or children regularly appear as young children in these dreams too. I’m often very upset & angry as the children are misbehaving but I’m unable to chastise them, which infuriates me more to the point I lash out but unable to actually hit them.

    In both the above dreams I often wake myself up by shouting out & thrashing about.

    I also have frequent dreams that I’m trying to escape somebody trying to harm or attack me, where I get the type of sleep paralysis described above. I can’t run away and nor can I scream, at least not at first. But eventually I start to panic so much that I manage to force myself to actually scream out loud and wake up crying.

    I’d also be interested to understand why I can feel a physical presence in my bedroom whilst sleeping. It’s like I’m awake and can feel someone climbing onto my bed but I’m completely paralysed. Sometimes I’ll wake up properly with a panic attack and other times the fear subsides and drop back into a deeper sleep.

    • Your dreams are reflections of your familial and emotional relationships. The physical responses that you have when you wake up are indications of the strength of these feelings. Dreams of being harmed or chased may be indications of a worry or concern in your life. The presence and fear that you feel in your room may be an indication of a fear in your life. Ensure that this dream guides you in a positive direction. Share your kindness and compassion at all times, as this will honor your family members, reduce similar dreams, and draw positive people and energy into your life. Have a great day, Paula!

  19. What does it mean when you frequently dream about moving house, often back to previous places you’ve lived at? Sometimes it’s back to my childhood home in the 70s, where I can accurately recall the layout of the house & garden, plus the surrounding neighbourhood. It’s as though I’m replaying old memories in my dreams.

    The other house which frequently enters my dreams is where I raised my children when they were young. I’m moving back there but it looks different and has been redecorated. I’m upset at this and try to turn it back to how I remember it but something keeps getting in the way. Each time I go back in my dreams, a different scenario plays out but I’m consistently unhappy or angry for some reason.

    • The various settings of your dreams are reflections of your memories and influences. It seems that your negative emotions are appearing in these dreams for a reason. You should take this time to look inward. Remove stresses from your waking life. Ensure that you behave in a positive manner. You will find gret benefit in sharing your kindness and compassion at all times. Have a great day, Paula!

  20. I dream like I am screaming and there are people but not listening to me just like they are dead and in my dream I wake up many times but could not wake up in reality I try to flip on the button of lamp, tubelight in my dream but they don’t work it is all dark all around and I feel that there is someone behind me and make me scare and pull me down and make me scream and make me like I am in hell
    So can you help me out because I dreamt like this many time since childhood it’s like someone is playing with my mind
    Please help me

    • You have had these dreams since childhood, which may be an indication of a fear or concern that you have had for a long time. It seems that there may be a negative influence in your life. Take this time to look inward, as this will help guide your actions in a positive manner. If you have similar dreams in the future, then address the person or thing that is attempting to drag you down. This will help you understand the purpose of this dream. You will find great benefit in sharing your kindness and compassion at all times. Have a great day, Palakpuri!

  21. I have this experience of sleep paralysis I guess but There is someone whispering in my ears and actually don’t understand his whispered about (this someone has male’s voice) when I tried to say in my mind “In the name of Jesus Christ, my Lord” in order for me to wake up and move, there’s a voice of a woman screaming for help.. her voice get louder when In my mind I used to sign of the cross and the I woke up. Can you explain this? Im so curious about it. Thank you.

    • There are many people who experience sleep paralysis. Some experience demons and other do not. Some people find religious statements to be beneficial. You may want to speak with a medical professional about your symptoms. If you have similar experiences in the future, then ensure that you behave in a manner that is beneficial. Please share more of your insights and experiences in the future. Have a great day, Heart!

  22. I’m going through a depressed phase at the moment. It may be a side effect of the medication I’m on (Methotrexate) for my Rheumatoid arthritis and I’m struggling not to cry on a daily basis. My family is worried about me and I’m not acting normal (I’m 17). It’s the second time I’ve woken up from a dream in which I’m trying to scream. The first time I was being pushed down into the bed by a heavy force, and just now I woke up from a force pushing me back into the bed but not vertically this time, more diagonally. Both times I experienced this horrible fear which is making me try to scream. I keep trying until my voice sort of cracks and I wake up. I am stressed out about school but I have been before and nothing like this has happened… could it all be a side effect of the medication and depression? Or could it be the school work? I have a feeling it may also be related to this phobia I have (pendulaphobia) which I’ve given up trying to explain to my family or anyone because it’s a unique/ scary feeling I experience only when I experience the phobia. It’s been ignored and laughed at my whole life and I know that if someone could just experience it once they would help me find a solution to it but it’s very uncommon which is why there isn’t one out there, at least not on the internet.

    • You are dealing with a medical condition that may be influencing your dreams. However, what you are describing may be symptoms of sleep paralysis. There are many who have similar experiences as you do. If possible, you may want to address your thoughts with a medical professional or sleep specialist. This may help you better understand your health concerns. Best of luck, Anon!

  23. I am 14 and I had my first experience of this. Today, I had woken once to shut off my alarm and then I dozed off a bit and dreamt a light dream. It was something a tiny bit scary. And then I think there was some talk about “death”. Like, someone was saying” Death is a complete adrenaline rush” and then someone or maybe me said,” Everybody in their last moments on the earth speak rapidly in a language not of this world.” And just after this, I felt really scared and I changed the position of my arms in real life, I think and just after I changed the position of them, I was locked and I saw nothing but black, but not exactly, like when the cable goes off in a TV and there’s that irritating black-and-white kind of thing and my whole body was kind of tingling or more like vibrating and I was concious that this was paralysis and I tried calling my parents, I wished my father would come like he usually did to wake me up and I could tell him I was paralysed. I remembered my teacher telling me that if we remained calm and listened to our heartbeats it would keep is out of danger. So I started counting slowly in my head. Then I woke up and I was exhausted and really scared and I went to my parents and told them about it. I should also add that I was a little stressed about a few things I had to prepare for school. It was scary.

    • This dream was a reflection of various spiritual beliefs that you have in your life. You may have experienced sleep paralysis, which is a condition that affects many people. You may want to make an appointment with a medical professional about your symptoms. The stress in your life may have influenced this dream. Reduce stress in your life, and remove unnecessary worries and concerns. You will find great benefit in sharing your kindness and compassion at all times. Have a great day, Yashita!

  24. I just woke up to a night terror. I was being taken away by a bad man. In my dream my husband was asleep and I was trying to yell at him however I couldn’t get words to come out. I was grabbing him and I was fully aware in my dreams that he was asleep. I worked hard to get the words out. And apparently in real life I did grab his arm and screamed out “bad man”. I’ve never had a dream where I was trying to communicate outside of my dream. I have never been so terrified!!!!!!!!

    • Your dream was a manifestation of a concern or worry in your life. You don’t seem to recognize the man from your dream, which means that it may have been an amalgamation of various negative influences in your life. You will find great benefit in abstaining from consuming violent and dramatic media. If you experience similar dreams in the future, then address the person within your dream regarding their purpose. You will find great benefit in sharing your kindness and compassion at all times. Have a great day, Sarah!

    • Thank you for sharing your supportive comment. Please share more of your thoughts and feelings in the future. Have a great day, Manoj!

  25. I had a dream that I was trying to scream at, hit and bite my husband – I really was trying to hurt him but I couldn’t. I was very frustrated because he was causing me emotional pain and I wanted to make him hurt and feel the pain, but I was unable to phase him at all. Later in the dream I came upon two enormous snakes; red and black, poisonous. They were not aggressive but they were enormous, coiled on branches. They were slowly moving around. They never tried to strike, but I was frightened of them. I looked away, and looked back and they were completely gone. All that remained was the branch. It made me feel like I had hallucinated them.

    • Your emotional stress likely caused this dream to appear. If there is something that you need to address with your partner, then do so. The snakes could be indications of your concerns and worries. They may not be attacking, but rather simply causing you to be fearful. Make a decision about what you want for your future, and take whatever action you feel is appropriate. Have a great day, Amber!

  26. I dreamt I felt danger around me so I went and put kids in the car..when I got out of car after buckling seat belts an Asian man had a knife to My throat when I begged for my childrens life we managed to scuffle down the street I was trying to scream for help but was voice was barely There an I was not heard..I’ve woken traumatized 😭

    • Dreams about being attacked are often manifestations of your fears and concerns. You are aware of recent shootings and other violent events. The fight that you had with the man in your dream could be an indication of how you may behave in a similar situation. Spend additional time with your children, as this will nourish your relationships with them.

  27. I have a recurring dream where a demon comes in my room (like the one from the ring) and will climb up my bed. I try to scream but cant and instead i make this low moaning sound which comes thru and my husband wakes me up telling me I’m shaking and moaning. The nightmare leaves me terrified and at times i have to get up and walk around before i can try to go back to bed. There have been other dreams where someone is trying to kill me or hurt me and i cant scream, but do that low moaning thing and wake up making the moaning noise.

    • Your experiences are common for people who suffer from particularly powerful nightmares. It is clear that the media influences in your life impacted your dreams. You will find great benefit in abstaining from coming violent and dramatic media. Dreams about being chased may be signs that there are other stresses in your life that you are navigating as well. If you have similar dreams in the future, then address whoever or whatever is chasing you about their purpose within your dream.

  28. I have these dreams a lot. Just had 2 within a half hour last night. I know exactly why. No one ever wants to listen to me. They talk over me ignore what I’m saying or if I try and join in a conversation at work they tell my supervisor I’m taking then I get in trouble. No one gives a crap what I have to say or how I feel.

    • The dream seems to be reflecting the feelings you have in real life. You may feel as if your voice isn’t really heard at work, and other people are heard instead of you. Perhaps these dreams are a sign that you should speak up and make yourself heard more often.

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