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what methods have you tried to apply to get yourself to stop dreaming

I've read in this forum of people trying to stay away from things that trigger them to go into a fantasy world like music, some stopped eating certain food

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For years I'd try to guilt myself out of it..... I'd berate myself for lying around all day & try to force myself not to do it. I'd chastise myself every time I'd start to daydream & try and force myself to just wake up. I still find myself doing this because I get so frustrated that even now I can't stop. It doesn't work though.

The only thing that does work is distraction. When I start something new I get this thrilling burst of inspiration. It doesn't last though, and I sink back. Inspiration ebbs and flows. I always daydream, but this is the only time I'm able to daydream minimally. Sometimes I'll get bored with my story lines. I still try and relive them until I start to feel physically ill. At this point I have to force myself to do something else, or I'll just sink deeper & deeper & feel weird & out of touch with reality. I'll stop for awhile but it doesn't last long.
I'm exactly the same. Guilt myself out of it. Tell myself I should be trying harder with the real world instead of choosing the easy option.

Music is a huge trigger for me. When music is playing I'm almost guaranteed to be 'elsewhere'. Getting an iPod was probably a bad move for me. I'm almost permanently hooked up. Every now and then I try to give it up for a while but I've never managed more than a day or two.

I totally agree with this:

"Sometimes I'll get bored with my story lines. I still try and relive them until I start to feel physically ill. At this point I have to force myself to do something else, or I'll just sink deeper & deeper & feel weird & out of touch with reality."

I get quite upset when a particular storyline fails me. Something that I've got so much out of in the past. Always sad to say goodbye. Sometimes then things quieten down for a bit, but then something I read, or see on TV, or some situation I find myself in in the real world will spark a new story and we're off again.
Sarah I can totally feel you on this one. Music is actually almost necessary for me to daydream. My ipod headphones broke and I have spent months on public transportation with no music. I actually want to continue not using my ipod b/c it helps me not daydream.
music is the thing that helps me daydream its my trigger - if i hear a new song that i like ill daydream more. to control it i open the curtains in my house as i cant do it as well where people can see me as i feel self conscious pacing or in case i lough out loud etc. I try to keep busy and try to go on the internet a lot to distract myself but already im dying to get off the computer and pick up my ipod. its impossible to control - you will always end up doing it again no matter what you try to do - even with no music you will learn to do it without - even if you keep busy you will always find time to do it even if your walking down the street of lying in bed at night. this is something that we like to believe we can stop but we CANT STOP IT EVER and thats when i cry out for a cure because the scary fact is it cant be helped and what if it gets worse? what if its the early signs of dementia or what if those crazy old guys who talk to themself walking down the street were just like us once?? what if we get swallowed up in our fantasy world and cant separate real life so that in the real world we look like those insane people that you only see in movie asylums and were all too busy in fantasy land thinking that we're these great popular rich and loved people??? i want help!
It's ok, Sky. We're working on help. I've done my time sobbing over the keyboard, and now I'm helping to take some action. It's going to be a loooooooong, slow process, but at least we've got someone working on it.

sky said:
music is the thing that helps me daydream its my trigger - if i hear a new song that i like ill daydream more. to control it i open the curtains in my house as i cant do it as well where people can see me as i feel self conscious pacing or in case i lough out loud etc. I try to keep busy and try to go on the internet a lot to distract myself but already im dying to get off the computer and pick up my ipod. its impossible to control - you will always end up doing it again no matter what you try to do - even with no music you will learn to do it without - even if you keep busy you will always find time to do it even if your walking down the street of lying in bed at night. this is something that we like to believe we can stop but we CANT STOP IT EVER and thats when i cry out for a cure because the scary fact is it cant be helped and what if it gets worse? what if its the early signs of dementia or what if those crazy old guys who talk to themself walking down the street were just like us once?? what if we get swallowed up in our fantasy world and cant separate real life so that in the real world we look like those insane people that you only see in movie asylums and were all too busy in fantasy land thinking that we're these great popular rich and loved people??? i want help!
"what if those crazy old guys who talk to themself walking down the street were just like us once?? what if we get swallowed up in our fantasy world and cant separate real life so that in the real world we look like those insane people that you only see in movie asylums and were all too busy in fantasy land thinking that we're these great popular rich and loved people?"

This is something that really frightens me too. There was a guy who used to work in our office who had bad learning difficulties and lived in care. He used to talk to himself as he went about his job and he also shared clearly untrue stories about what he'd been doing over the weekend or whatever.

His stories of how he spent his weekend were incredibly similar to how I'd spent my weekend *in my head*. The only difference between me and this man who was (deemed mentally ill, in need of care, humoured, or mocked or just pitied by people) was that he hadn't the sense to keep quiet about it.

I sometimes talk to myself and I often worry that I'll forget that there's someone in the house, or not notice that when someone comes home and they'll hear me. What if one day I forget to hide it? I'm *this close* to being 'the village idiot'. It's scary. If the daydreams can come without my say so, maybe I'll start broadcasting them without meaning to?
i think a key point is that we know the difference between reality and fantasy...if you read the studies on this thing they make a point of that. im not saying that this cant deteriorate into something worse but i keep myself from fearing that kind of insanity by holding on to the fact that i can tell the difference between what real in life and whats in my head.



Sarah said:
"what if those crazy old guys who talk to themself walking down the street were just like us once?? what if we get swallowed up in our fantasy world and cant separate real life so that in the real world we look like those insane people that you only see in movie asylums and were all too busy in fantasy land thinking that we're these great popular rich and loved people?"

This is something that really frightens me too. There was a guy who used to work in our office who had bad learning difficulties and lived in care. He used to talk to himself as he went about his job and he also shared clearly untrue stories about what he'd been doing over the weekend or whatever.

His stories of how he spent his weekend were incredibly similar to how I'd spent my weekend *in my head*. The only difference between me and this man who was (deemed mentally ill, in need of care, humoured, or mocked or just pitied by people) was that he hadn't the sense to keep quiet about it.

I sometimes talk to myself and I often worry that I'll forget that there's someone in the house, or not notice that when someone comes home and they'll hear me. What if one day I forget to hide it? I'm *this close* to being 'the village idiot'. It's scary. If the daydreams can come without my say so, maybe I'll start broadcasting them without meaning to?
kathleen said:
i think a key point is that we know the difference between reality and fantasy...if you read the studies on this thing they make a point of that. im not saying that this cant deteriorate into something worse but i keep myself from fearing that kind of insanity by holding on to the fact that i can tell the difference between what real in life and whats in my head.



This is a great point. I've taken intro to Psychology (I avoided it for years out of fear of figuring myself out) and maladaptive daydreaming sounds a lot like schizoid personality disorder. My instructor said, "You know, these people would rather sit down and daydream all day instead of getting anything done. They'll sit down and think of how great of a world leader they'd be and how other countries would benefit from their rule and on and on and on." If you can no longer tell the difference between the real world and your fantasy one, you'd probably have schizophrenia. That is a disorder that scares me to death. It's sorta like what sky was saying about people in insane asylums. My psych professor called it "howling at the moon." He acted the disorder out in front of the class -- basically acting erratic and unstable.

I feel that by coming here and wanting to get help, we're moving away from and not towards dementia or schizophrenia. A cure or a better way to manage is possible. I need to make a research book myself on the topic. Something needs to be done.
Obviously I can't diagnose any of you.......and many disorders overlap..............but this is NOT the same thing as Schizoid Personality Disorder. I spent years looking into many many disorders including that one, and none of them matched my symptoms enough. They all fit just a small part, and I knew there was something more to this. I saw multiple doctors & underwent a full neuro-psych exam. They all told me I had one thing or another, and they all ruled out Schizoid Personality Disorder and everything else but symptoms like Anxiety, Depression, and OCD. All doctors you see will diagnose you with something. That's their job, but remember this disorder doesn't officially exist yet, so they can't diagnose you with it even if you have it. Almost no one knows about this. It's brand new. Listen to everyone & anyone you want to........but listen to yourself first. If you know you have something different, don't let them tell you otherwise. If I'd listened to my doctors & accepted their diagnoses as the full & complete truth like they told me it was.....then this site wouldn't exist, I wouldn't be in contact with Cynthia, and all the wonderful progress I've made wouldn't have happened. Just be careful & don't be afraid to be your own advocate.

Devonte said:
kathleen said:
i think a key point is that we know the difference between reality and fantasy...if you read the studies on this thing they make a point of that. im not saying that this cant deteriorate into something worse but i keep myself from fearing that kind of insanity by holding on to the fact that i can tell the difference between what real in life and whats in my head.



This is a great point. I've taken intro to Psychology (I avoided it for years out of fear of figuring myself out) and maladaptive daydreaming sounds a lot like schizoid personality disorder. My instructor said, "You know, these people would rather sit down and daydream all day instead of getting anything done. They'll sit down and think of how great of a world leader they'd be and how other countries would benefit from their rule and on and on and on." If you can no longer tell the difference between the real world and your fantasy one, you'd probably have schizophrenia. That is a disorder that scares me to death. It's sorta like what sky was saying about people in insane asylums. My psych professor called it "howling at the moon." He acted the disorder out in front of the class -- basically acting erratic and unstable.

I feel that by coming here and wanting to get help, we're moving away from and not towards dementia or schizophrenia. A cure or a better way to manage is possible. I need to make a research book myself on the topic. Something needs to be done.
P.S. If you're interested in learning more about disorders you do or don't have, check out the DSM. Even though it's incomplete in my opinion, it's still a very interesting read.
Haha Sarah, I already talk, um, not to myself, but out loud. I talk out loud in public. But I only do it because I find it humorous. Are you refering to just talking aloud or speaking things that are in your daydream? Because that stuff I keep to myself.

I can't imagine not being able to discern between fantasy and reality, unless I actually had visuals or was paranoid. Of course, anyone that lives solely in thier inner world would be completely comfortable with themselves as they wouldn't get feedback from the outside world. What I mean is, whether other people think someone is crazy or not, it doesn't make any difference to that person. I guess, maybe, as long as you are concerned with what other people are thinking, you know you haven't been lost in your own world. I wouldn't really worry about it, but I would love to find people like us who are age 50 and above.

Back on the topic, I'm not sure I've ever seen this as a real problem. I don't know, maybe it's because I can do stuff while I'm in another land. Like right now I'm listening to a Braveheart song and imagining a great battle taking place, but it's not distracting me from writing this. Maybe it's different with others? Like I've said elsewhere, my fantasies aren't as detailed as others. I can say that there have been periods of time in which I completely focus my mind on nothingness. I listen to myself breathing. It looks like I'm in deep thought, but there's really nothing there. You might try that. Or sometimes when I'm around others, I will stare off in the distance and focus intently on someone's conversation. You can practice how you focus your attention.
I came across SPD when I was wandering around the internet a year or two ago looking for something that explained my eccentricities and thought this sounded pretty close. On the wikipedia entry for it, there's this table of overt and covert symptoms, which I haven't seen anywhere else. When I first read it I cried. It got closer to 'me' than anything else had before.

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