I've been living in a fantasy world for all my life. I'm 29 years old, and my life is nowhere near normal.
On the outside I'm quiet, creative, somewhat abrasive, contradictory, emotional, loving, silly, and just a little odd.
On the inside is a secret world that could rival that of any fantasy fiction novelist. I've thought about writing it down, but the details are too intricate. I wouldn't know where to begin.
Besides, halfway through I'd start daydreaming again.
On the surface, this might seem ordinary & pleasant enough.....but when you spend as much time daydreaming as I have it becomes far more than a stress-relieving pass-time. I've literally been doing it since I was a baby. As I grew, the fantasies became more intricate. It's true that I had a life I didn't want to participate, and this did help me cope.......but the more I grew the more I daydreamed. I'd spend hours doing it each day. Plus I learned how to daydream while doing any mundane activity. It was like a drug that I had full access to anytime anywhere. I couldn't read, do chores, walk down the street, or anything without daydreaming. I can't tell you the number of times I've walked out in traffic, nearly getting myself killed because I wasn't paying enough attention. For the most part I learned to do both, daydream & live simultaneously, but just like above the outside activity always suffers. I started doing poorly in school as I couldn't focus on what I was reading for more than a split second. Not your ordinary attention deficit problem, I'd zone out & go into a zombie-like daze the instant I tried to do anything. This world was my reality. I had a very stimulating fulfilling life, with friends, family, work, and school. Everything I ever wanted was there. The exterior world was just an outer shell, an outer world that seemed so harsh & fake in comparison. I never learned how to live in it. I never developed friendships or learned how to drive. My senses never became habituated to the outside world either. Certain sounds to this day are too horrible even to imagine. I'd pound on my ears just to drown them out. Same thing for certain sensations.
Now I'm almost 30. Finally about 2 1/2 years ago I had enough & started searching for an answer. It was hard to admit this problem, which I was so ashamed of because it's my fault. It's not alcohol, it's MY drug that's hurt me. I posted in an online forum & heard countless possibilities. All of them seemed somewhat possible, but none fit exactly. Desperate for some sort of name to put on this, I checked them out one by one. I spoke to numerous doctors & underwent a full neuropsychological exam. All had some possibilities but none knew of any that fit this exact problem. Many of my symptoms (depression, anxiety, OCD, lack of concentration, trouble sleeping, lack of social skills) are found in other disorders........but none of them quite fit. Besides, the doctors ruled them out for other reasons anyway. I've been searching desperately for a long time. I can tell you with absolute certainty that there exists no disorder that matches what I have. I can also tell you that it's not just a combination of all these "little" disorders either. It's something deeper, and it needs a name.
Doctors don't know everything. The DSM is not complete. The world is evolving, and psychology needs to evolve with it.
We need to be our own advocates. If no one else has the answer then we need to find it ourselves. I'm not normal, and I'm not giving up. I know there are other people out there with this. I've seen countless posts already. Come join me. Let's talk about it. Or don't. Just come & rest, knowing there are others like you.
This forum isn't just for Maladaptive Daydreamers. Many disorders do overlap. Feel free to discuss any that you like. Let's keep the dialog going.