Hi all,

This came up in my Facebook news feed, not sure why.  I have long thought of MDD as an addiction and from knowing myself and reading many posts here, MDDers do tend to be socially isolated.  Now I admit that is a "chicken or egg" question, does the MDD cause the social isolation or does the social isolation cause the MDD?

Now this article is about drug addiction (and she mentions gambling addiction) but I thought other members might find it interesting and I would love to hear comments.


xx Alta

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Well I think my maladaptive daydreaming is related to my childhood and trouble connecting socially along with my trauma and neglect. I think that may have caused my maladaptive daydreaming problem however currently I have plenty of social interaction and I still daydream a lot and during my social interactions. My job requires me to speak and be social with people for 8 hours a day and yet I still daydream a lot, I think i is more complicated than just lack of social activity.

I do think that MDD is created by social issues or problems at a young age, even with a social life now I still daydream all of the time.

That makes sense.  I also DDd from a young age but had quite a happy childhood, and from what I have read here, not all of MDDers suffered trauma.

I wondered about that too.  Right now I am a rather socially isolated, a combination of age, retirement and family far away but for much of my life I worked, was married, had friends and still DDd.

Anyway, thought it might be of interest.  Alta

True, and I am online a lot too as I have a rather off the mainstream hobby shared by no one I know in real life.  But the article seemed to suggest that the online interaction wasn't satisfying enough. 

I see that a lot, and to me it is sort of true and sort of not.  When you are with people in person the conversations tend to be shallower but their presence is important.  Online, the best convos really go to the heart of things but you miss the personal 'vibe' or whatever that is.

But from my own experience being lost in our DD worlds does make us somewhat reluctant to interact.  Less controllable, less interesting etc.  And surely there is the 'chicken and egg' thing, does MDD cause social isolation (to any extent) or does social isolation cause us to DD??  I am sure that I don't know, but I do wonder.

Yes that article is making the rounds. I think it is true that addictions are worse for people who are self-medicating in order to avoid/escape a problem.  I disagree that the solution is social interaction. Social interaction is stressful for me, and I want to drink a lot when I'm social.  Moreover, memories of social interactions that were embarrassing or painful are among the main things that drive me to escape with daydreaming or alcohol.  

For me, what makes me feel best, is calm, focused and productive activity that is carried out deliberately.  Sometimes this involves working with someone else or spending real, quality time with loved ones.  Other times it involves me working by myself on my own pursuits.  I don't want to escape, then.  I think this article was just written by an extrovert who feels that way during social interaction.  Or it could just be a part of the new focus on how "we need community" that loads of urban dwelling academics seem to claim as an answer to all society's ills.  Being a part of a "community" is often really stressful and unhealthy.  

Good points.  I am also an introvert and to much socializing makes me stressed and drained.

I read that post yesterday and bookmarked for when I can concentrate enough to be able to read it. Yeah right.  I think from what I've read so far that it is on the right track.

My MD started during my childhood. The catalyst for it was loneliness, but I believe there were other factors involved as well.

Just being social doesn't imply being intimate. You can be surrounded by others and still feel lonely, and while i do think isolation can trigger excessive rumination and daydreaming, I don't think it's necessarily the cause of MDD. I've noticed that some individuals daydream as a reaction to situations beyond their control, and that once the situation improves, their excessive daydreaming seems to subside.

For others it's less about the circumstances and more about a persistent feeling that one is fundamentally incompatible with the people around them, either that one is socially unwanted or unacceptable, or that there is something deeply flawed in one's self as to make one feel incapable of fully participating in or enjoying life. While one feels resentment at being treated poorly, the other feels hopeless at not being ideal.

Excessive daydreaming might feel like an addiction in the sense that the article's author uses it, because it implies a sense of rejection by society. However I'm not sure that's the whole story. Maybe there are people who are predisposed to developing an addiction, like alcoholism, and if that's the case then maybe something like excessive fantasizing may also be partially inherited.


MatthewR:  Your first paragraph:  true.  Once I was forced by my boss to go and work in another section for several months.  The other section didn't want me, the work was confusing and stirred up nothing but hostility (I was asked to reorganize the office space!) and I have never daydreamed so obsessively  in my life!

Your second paragraph: That does seem likely and fits my experience and some that I have read here.  We humans are never very honest with other.  We never find out why people turn away from us, and it turns us back on ourselves.  I am not sure if I would want someone to be blunt and 'this and this about you puts me off' or not.

I still think it is a form of addiction.  Partly because when I stop for periods the initial part is a real detox with screaming levels of anxiety.  And I think that all that emotion generated by daydreams is what we get addicted to, well, that and the barrier between us and what we find hard to face.

You know I am absolutely terrible when it comes to social situations of all kinds.  This has been going on ever since I can remember. I was homeschooled from 4th to 9th grade though, but I always sucked at the social scene. No matter what. For some reason I can only feel comfortable around a certain person or two. I would only speak to that certain person and sometimes they weren't even good to me you know? I am horrible in groups though. I will be trying to speak to a group and everytime I am in the middle of saying something, someone just starts speaking right when I say something. Also some people flat out ignore me. Is there just something about me that others can see that I can't?

I feel like when i talk to others they start to feel uncomfortable. I sometimes feel like there is a wasteland inside of me where nothing lives or grows, and the more that people sense this they start to pull away. It's hard to develop intimacy with a person who is struggling just to get out of bed. I think the social dis-connection gets worse because it gets harder and harder to relate to others. I think at that point, daydreaming is like an addiction in that it keeps you distracted from yourself. Your mind is elevated even as your body deteriorates. At some point you become so closed off that there is nothing to talk about except the dreariness of life in a little room. And who wants to talk about that?  

Yes Matthew r what you say resonates with me.  I had a difficult childhood and I know my MDD  started very early as a coping mechanism.  My father was a brutal man  and I often wonder how my mother coped. Now, I see that she  no doubt coping by MDDing. She had jerky movements, always a smile on her face and muttering to herself.  People described her as "vague"  However, she had an important job, coped very well in day to day living.  I see many of my characteristics in her. Maybe we inherited "coping mechanisms"  I "push" myself into social interactions.  However, many times I find myself day dreaming.  I have been keeping a diary where I record the  daily amount of daydreaming . I am determine to control this. 


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