Wild Minds Network

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Fear and the Real Reason I Daydream

This is a long post, but here it goes...

Dd’ing is something i’ve done all my life. I started when i was 4 or 5 and just kept doing it. It’s fine for a child but problematic for an adult.

This is not to say that daydreaming is bad, but that dd’ing excessively serves a purpose that is unhealthy for me. Daydreaming is a way to get what i want without trying, to have great moments in my imagination without risking rejection, and to feel powerful without any possibility of defeat.

When i first joined this site, i agreed with many people that MDD is a gift, something that makes us special and which is deserving of more attention from the scientific community. However, as i read more literature about “neurosis” and how older psychologists treated it, i have to say that this ‘startling new discovery’ called Maladaptive Daydreaming is really no different than hundreds of other behaviors that have been known to psychiatrists for the purpose of delaying growth and development. That is, MDD is a fancy way to say we daydream to get out of responsibility. 

I don’t know everyone’s story, but i can speak for myself. If i’m being honest, then yes, i have to admit, that my daydreaming—my frantic pacing and plot-building and sweeping emotional highs—was just a distraction to keep me from actively living my life. Now that i’m waking up from my compulsive fantasizing, I can say without a doubt that my life sucks, and i’ve got nothing to show for it. I HATE DD’ING, I HATE MYSELF.

Self-hate, melancholy, anxiety, feelings of inferiority together with vanity, perfectionism, and a holier-than-thou attitude—all of this is simply a way to avoid recognizing the obvious burden of taking responsibility for myself and my limitations. Worse, its a way for me to dictate, dominate, or generally impose on others—people have to walk on eggshells around me. Why? For the above reason, it’s letting me have what i want without any struggle. And if it fails, then it’s not my fault. I’m sick…i can’t do anything…You don’t understand my depression…I suffer all the time…I am different and can’t be treated like others…bla bla bla… This is just what i tell myself to get away from life.

What i didn’t know, and what i learned from being in some very humiliating circumstances recently, is that all along….all my life…I’ve maintained a neurotic claim to have something…I FEEL I AM ENTITLED TO BE KEPT SAFE. This is the secret formula for understanding all of my behaviors and all of my “problems.”    

Analyzing the content of my daydreams reveals this theme. I am fundamentally insecure and feel small next to the universe which threatens to destroy me. Well, duh, the universe is big and nothing is certain…everybody knows that…but for whatever reason i developed a personality that is motivated to find safety and stability and that means surrendering my own autonomy and confidence in myself. I present a false image of one who needs to be cared for so that i can receive an excuse for the demands that others impose on me.

It’s really that simple. I remember being in therapy and telling the psychiatrist that i was sad. But after several sessions, i couldn’t quite explain why i felt like that. My psych said, “It seems like you’re looking for a reason to be sad.” And it was true. In the end, i was just searching for a reason to be in therapy in the first place. So there it is…I’m not defective…i’m just mortal.

I don’t have all the things i’d like. I wish i was more attractive, had more education, a better upbringing, etc. but doesn’t everyone feel that way? And then i say, “Well, i’ve got it worse than you!” But that’s not true, it might feel like that, but its really not true. In reality, i’m just too comfortable in my own excuses to accept the hard work needed to make myself happy. I’d rather just be grumpy and negative and bitter.

So that’s it. I’m really sick of my daydreams. Stuff i used to do is no longer appealing. I feel so sick and angry. I’m very hurt and lonely. I’ve wasted time and i’ve lost friends, and it’s just so discouraging. I’ve hurt people because of my insecurities, accused people of things, been paranoid, and i’ve just been awful in so many ways. I regret it. I wish i could change everything, but i can’t, because that’s life, and dd’ing about it isn’t going to solve anything.

If you’ve read this far, thank you. It’s just been disappointing living this way, year after year. I’m jealous of what others have, and I really yearn to have more relationships. Being isolated is terrible on your mental health. Now that i think i know what the real problem is i hope i can finally get over this habit. It’s never too late, of course, but, ugh…some things just can’t be reversed and getting older is a reality we all have to face.

So, this is my story. Maybe its similar to yours. But this is the reason why i compulsively daydream. The solution for me is simple, too: COURAGE. Good luck, everyone! Take care, and thanks for reading.

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Comment by Teca =^.^= on April 12, 2017 at 1:01pm

good. you have opened your eyes, welcome! I'm glad for you. 

Comment by Haroun on March 31, 2017 at 9:39am
I feel exactly the same I think that it's not easy to deal with MD but it's worthy I think that without MD my life will be totally different and that's what I really want for I truly believe that I'm the only one responsible for this and I'm working to stop and I make a big progress but the problem is that I have BAC exams after two mouths and I need to focus on my education but dealing with MD take a lot of time and I don't think I can study hard and deal with MD at the same time so I don't what to do
Comment by Eretaia on March 31, 2017 at 2:14am

Time for some alchemy: :))

'The nigredo of the process of individuation on the other hand is a subjectively experienced process brought about by the subject's painful, growing awareness of his shadow aspects'. It could be described as a moment of maximum despair, that is a prerequisite to personal development. As individuation unfolds, so 'confrontation with the shadow produces at first a dead balance, a standstill that hampers moral decisions and makes convictions ineffective or even impossible...nigredo, tenebrositas, chaos, melancholia'. Here is 'the darkest time, the time of despair, disillusionment, envious attacks; the time when Eros and Superego are at daggers drawn, and there seems no way forward...nigredo, the blackening'.

Consequently, (as Jung knew from personal experience) 'in this time of descent—one, three, seven years, more or less—genuine courage and strength are required', with no certainty of emergence. Nevertheless, Jung remained of the opinion that while 'no one should deny the danger of the descent ... every descent is followed by an ascent ...enantiodromia'; and assimilation of—rather than possession by—the shadow becomes at last a real possibility.

'We begin to travel [up] through the healing spirals...straight up'. Here the struggle is to retain awareness of the shadow, but not identification with it. 'Non-identification demands considerable moral effort...prevents a descent into that darkness'; but though 'the conscious mind is liable to be submerged at any moment in the unconscious... understanding acts like a life-saver. It integrates the unconscious'—reincorporates the shadow into the personality, producing a stronger, wider consciousness than before. 'Assimilation of the shadow gives a man body, so to speak', and provides thereby a launching-pad for further individuation. 'The integration of the shadow, or the realisation of the personal unconscious, marks the first stage of the analytic process.

Fall of illusion is undoubtedly the most positive thing that can happen to anyone who is dealing with severe MD. If you don't hit the bottom, it's nearly impossible you'd be motivated to ever stand up again. It's such a detoxing moment, which one cannot even take time to appreciate at the moment of its happening because it is too overwhelming, too painful, but give it time and work through it and it will wash away so many insecurities and false convictions.

Comment by MatthewR on March 30, 2017 at 9:14pm

@ Source - I'm tempted to turn away from the implications. It's only now that i realize what i've been doing to myself and the colossal price that i paid to maintain this illusion. The person i've really betrayed is me. It's just difficult to accept this right now.

But i think i know what happened. I can't make excuses for it. All my life i've lived under the pretense that i deserve protection. I'm afraid of the world and people, so I feel like i should be kept safe, like a child is kept safe by parents. That's silly to imagine now that i'm older, but i think that's the real delusion. Daydreaming is a symptom, but not the real reason I'm stuck in life.

I still need to sort through some things and come up with real plans. The important thing, as Source says, is to go forward. I've lost time, and that hurts, but it'll be worse if i ignore this and just throw myself back in the hole. Once again, I'm very grateful for all your comments. Thank you! 

Comment by Mantle on March 30, 2017 at 3:25pm

You just woke up from the (possibly) longest, worst metaphysical hangover in your life. It's normal to feel disoriented and disadvantaged at first, what with all the time that went down the drain and all the rest. Maybe you feel betrayed too?

That feeling of loss is a telltale sign of the stage you just reached. Now (if my guesswork is right) you have not only the knowledge, but also the understanding of the colossal price of your mass daydreaming. But these aren't news, are they?

Thinking of it as another stepping stone for an even higher level might be a good idea, but don't take my word for it, you'll have to figure that out on your own. All that matters now is how you're going to act from this point forward.

Don't let the importance of this discovery be eclipsed by the weight of its implications. Give yourself the pat on the back that you deserve, many never make it to this point.

Comment by maro on March 29, 2017 at 3:26am

Yup Courage :) ....give urself a Hug bcuz it is what stays with you all the time...I know it is tiring sometimes to accept reality but being honest is the best thing we can do to ourself ..Alot of time have been wasted already

Comment by MatthewR on March 28, 2017 at 10:44pm

Thank you all for your comments. Like Source said, I think i did hit the wall, finally. Without the daydreams, my life is quite pathetic, and i have to admit that I am the only one responsible for making it that way. I can improve, but there's also this hard reality of where i am and how much is simply not possible anymore. I feel the loss of something, like some part of me is dead. I know it was just an ideal life that i wanted, but sometimes i think the lie is still better than the reality. I hope this feeling will pass.

@Tasniiem - I did a search for that book and found lots of good reviews. I'll look more into it. Thank you! 

Comment by Mantle on March 27, 2017 at 3:12pm

I wrote a comment under another post some time ago, talking about a spiral of events and an inevitable center. This is what I meant, and strikingly similar to what happened to me. You've hit the wall at long last, have you?

Comment by tasniiem chandraa on March 27, 2017 at 11:44am
Seek help. I did. My psychiatrist was a very helpful lady. I havent stopped dding but i definately lessened it. She also gave me a very nice book mind over mood. Its CBT for people like us. All this help and it dint even financially strain me. Plus no drugs! So yes i believe its worth seeking help and trying.
Comment by honey successfull on March 27, 2017 at 7:46am

i think that what you have posted is what we all experience on a daily basis,as daydreamers we are often tired,bored confused and angry at ourselves. Your not alone my dear. i hope that someday we will all be able to hold our head up high and deafet MD

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