Wild Minds Network

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just a question. I have ADHD, i was diagnosed 3 weeks ago, and it totally explains my "maladaptive daydreaming". Maybe for all of you daydreamers, there might be a chemical imbalance in your brain causing this. because this is not at all normal. well maybe a little. but not really, no it isn't . I just want to know why some of you don't take medicine for it (assuming you don't) i mean have u guys gone to see a psychiatrist or something because i did, and it helped. I just want to know what you daydreamers do about this, do you just accept the fact you have it and not do anything because honestly you can't help yourself with this kind of problem, you can't just not daydream or say "today im not going to daydream". I've tried this before i got diognosed. It failed i couldn't help it, nobody can, you can't work against your brain. its useless and a waste of time. medication however can because it can provide your brain with what it's missing. i've started medication (adderall xr) it helps me focus more, i dont necessarily stop daydreaming but the stimulant helps me focus so much that i forget all about it. Im hoping to get a higher dosage, because this disorder has ruined me, all of my life i've been misunderstood and discriminated. Honestly i don't consider myself a "maladaptive daydreamer" anymore. It's ADHD (for me), if i didn't have ADHD i wouldn't daydream. I don't think maladaptive daydreaming is a disorder, its more of a coping skill for a bigger problem that i think some of you don't know yet. I've read stories about older adults who still suffer from this, it just doesn't make sense to me. At that point you should have realized that something is wrong with ur brain. and maladaptive daydreaming isn't explained, for example we know we daydream but why? because its a coping skill, right. but why is it normal people dont do this. Something's wrong with your brain, its neurological. My biggest regret in life is not finding this out sooner. because i had to live undiagnosed for 14 years. i used to think people just hated me. because i couldn't control what i was doing. for 14 years i've been kicked out of schools or had to leave because of my behavior. And most recently now. It just makes me upset, sad and really hurt. Ok so overall my question is; Do you think its from adhd or any other disorder and if you do, do you take medication for it and if you dont why not. Also how come im the only figuring this out and im only 14, i mean i would've thought someone would catch on sooner or later, but i guess not.

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I don't think MDD can be pinpointed to just one thing, there are many contributing factors involved. I was diagnosed with adult onset ADD when I was in my mid-twenties, but had been daydreaming since I was a child. I take medication to assist in coping with the symptoms of ADD, but I still daydream because it's something I enjoy.

I think that MDD is definitely a product of other issues (at least when it reaches a point where it interrupts and effects your daily life), but I also don't think its as simple as it being just a product of ADHD, or something which can be fixed through therapy or medication.

 Personally I have a mix of anxiety disorders (though predominantly social anxiety), and this I feel definitely is what moved my normal daydreams as a child onto something which is more intense and such a massive coping mechanism for me. However, because this behaviour is still relatively unknown, when I mentioned it to a psychologist it was simply brushed away, and after reading several other responses on this website I gather that's the case for a lot of people as well. Similarly medication isn't always available to everyone. Just as it wasn't deemed necessary for me to take any, there are plenty of people who MDD and don't have a diagnosable disorder, but its instead a product of maybe dissatisfaction in their daily lives, or maybe just being shy or awkward around other people, so hence simply medicating the problem isn't always the solution. That being said, its great that you've found a way of concentrating and no longer being distracted by such intense daydreams :) I hope that all continues!

Sorry kid but you got almost everything wrong. You're pretty young and I have no idea what your psychiatrist told you before putting you on ADHD medication but you'll need much more than amphetamine fix to deal with an issue like MD - if you have MD in the first place. 


First of all, saying that maladaptive daydreaming is a consequence of a chemical imbalance is like saying heartbreak is a chemical imbalance. Sure, both mess up your brain on a chemical level just as everything in this world alters brain chemistry but the cause is somewhere else. Far, far away from where you think it is. MD is a coping mechanism and you don't solve those with drugs. You may treat underlying illness with drugs but MD is something that has to be dealt with by you and only you.
Second, MD and ADHD daydreams are two completely different types of daydreaming, different types of disorders. ADD daydreams are zoning out caused by a lack of stimulation - maladaptive daydreams are stimulants. Third, yes, you can work against your brain. If a meth addict can come clean, then why can't your regular maladaptive daydreamer do it too? If ADHD medication works for you, perfect. But ADHD is not MD, keep that in mind.

I have ADD and I took stimulants to cope with it. Some days all my stimulants did was make me OMG SO FOCUSED on my daydreams rather than the work I was supposed to be doing so it's not the one and final answer.

I am sure everyone who MDDs does not necessarily have ADD or ADHD,  I certainly do not and have MDD'd since a very young child and am now in my late 60's.  Other posts here have made me think that while certainly it does happen, it is not the sole factor.  As Eretaia expressed above, the two might not even be related.

I don't have ADHD.  I was tested.  I have other issues, but I know this is different.  MD BECAME a coping mechanism at points in my life when I needed it, however it was/is not always one.  I've been daydreaming since birth.  I have not needed to cope since birth.  After years of self-discovery, I have grown to be part of the outer world more, but is my daydreaming gone?  Nope.  Have I always used it to cope?  Certainly not!  In fact, in my worst moments, I CANNOT daydream.  I can't. I'm too obsessed with resolving the issue at hand.  Now that I've grown a lot, I live in both worlds.  The outer world is hard, but still I can't escape to my inner world when I'm struggling.  In fact, it is only when I'm relatively calm and at peace that I can even get into my elaborate fantasy world, and I do it because I enjoy it and to add some enrichment.  It no longer takes away from my life, but it is a way to inwardly stimulate myself.  My characters get into great debates and feel a range of emotions that just make me stronger.  

Your theory may be correct for some, but it is definitely not correct for all.  Be careful about generalizing.  Lots of people try, and the fact is, it just doesn't work.   

my therapist says i daydream because of my ADHD and therefore doesn't help with my daydreaming, in fact she doesn't believe that it's maladaptive she thinks its adaptive and thinks its a great coping mechanism. And i do have real daydreams not just zoning out (ADHD "daydreams") but i do have that too. but i too have been daydreaming for as long as could remember. there hasnt been a time in my life where i havent daydream. i would run back and forth while dreaming about a different world if that makes sense. I, now, have characters that i daydream about. i could never let them go. i could never stop daydreaming ever and i dont want too. my characters are apart of me. but medicine helps me forget about them for a while, to do productive things and to focus, so i was just suggesting that if medicine works the same for me as it does for a person that has to work really hard to stop daydreaming. then why do they go through all the trouble and years of working, when i can just take a pill and be fine. And im not saying i stop daydreaming completely but its like i don't think about it, if that makes sense.

Cordellia Amethyste Rose said:

I don't have ADHD.  I was tested.  I have other issues, but I know this is different.  MD BECAME a coping mechanism at points in my life when I needed it, however it was/is not always one.  I've been daydreaming since birth.  I have not needed to cope since birth.  After years of self-discovery, I have grown to be part of the outer world more, but is my daydreaming gone?  Nope.  Have I always used it to cope?  Certainly not!  In fact, in my worst moments, I CANNOT daydream.  I can't. I'm too obsessed with resolving the issue at hand.  Now that I've grown a lot, I live in both worlds.  The outer world is hard, but still I can't escape to my inner world when I'm struggling.  In fact, it is only when I'm relatively calm and at peace that I can even get into my elaborate fantasy world, and I do it because I enjoy it and to add some enrichment.  It no longer takes away from my life, but it is a way to inwardly stimulate myself.  My characters get into great debates and feel a range of emotions that just make me stronger.  

Your theory may be correct for some, but it is definitely not correct for all.  Be careful about generalizing.  Lots of people try, and the fact is, it just doesn't work.   

I would suggest not saying "something is wrong with your brain." It's a coping mechanism for lots of people, not necessarily a chemical imbalance.

For me, it's just a trait.  For some, it is or becomes a coping mechanism, but it isn't that way for everyone.  Some people I've run across on here say they've had great lives and nothing to "cope" with.  Some are just creative, and our fantasy can be our art.  Like anything in this world, it can have positives and negatives.  For me, I've come so far with it on my own journey that it's become just a way to exercise my brain.  


I was justing saying that if i was normal (if something wasn't wrong with my brain), i wouldn't daydream. That's just my theory. But i don't feel like it's a coping mechanism for me, i mean at one point in my life it probably was, most definitely, but now it's apart of me, i wouldn't be me if i didn't daydream. But sometimes i wonder, if i didn't have what i have, would i be a normal person.  
Tara Lynn said:

I would suggest not saying "something is wrong with your brain." It's a coping mechanism for lots of people, not necessarily a chemical imbalance.


i didn't say maladaptive daydreaming was a chemical imbalance (or maybe i did) but i certainly didn't mean it like that. I honestly think that maladaptive daydreaming is caused by a bigger problem, not necessarily a chemical imbalance. but i feel that it's like that for me. Also i have both daydreams, I run back and forth, while fantasying about my "perfect" world or whatever, and i do zone out, not necessarily daydreaming but i'm "out". Both have caused huge problems in my life. It just makes me mad that i, and other people have to go through this. That i have to live with this for the rest of my life, i just want a cure not necessarily to end the daydreams because i feel like that's impossible. But something, possibly medicine, that helps me not daydream so much. Because i can't help myself, it's too hard, because everything i do, triggers them, and me having depression and social anxiety doesn't help. i need something to help me.
Eretaia said:

Sorry kid but you got almost everything wrong. You're pretty young and I have no idea what your psychiatrist told you before putting you on ADHD medication but you'll need much more than amphetamine fix to deal with an issue like MD - if you have MD in the first place. 


First of all, saying that maladaptive daydreaming is a consequence of a chemical imbalance is like saying heartbreak is a chemical imbalance. Sure, both mess up your brain on a chemical level just as everything in this world alters brain chemistry but the cause is somewhere else. Far, far away from where you think it is. MD is a coping mechanism and you don't solve those with drugs. You may treat underlying illness with drugs but MD is something that has to be dealt with by you and only you.
Second, MD and ADHD daydreams are two completely different types of daydreaming, different types of disorders. ADD daydreams are zoning out caused by a lack of stimulation - maladaptive daydreams are stimulants. Third, yes, you can work against your brain. If a meth addict can come clean, then why can't your regular maladaptive daydreamer do it too? If ADHD medication works for you, perfect. But ADHD is not MD, keep that in mind.

you mentioned how people "suffer" from daydreaming, but... did it ever occur to you that maybe some people actually like it? therefore, they wouldn't take medication or look for help. that's how it is for me, anyway.

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