Maladaptive Daydreaming: where wild minds come to rest
When I used to have theraphy years ago my therapist tried hard and pushed me a little to spill the contents of my daydreams. But I never could.
I felt a strange mixture of discomfirt and resistance for no reason at all. I couldn't share my daydreams with anybody close to me too when they asked me out of concern. There is always some resistance which I'm unable to understand what it actually is.
Do others feel this? Are you able to share the contents of your daydreams with people you know comfirtably?
Nobody's gonna understand it unless more people start speaking about it ;)
good point who are better teachers than us who knows more about it? we are the best teachers . Its good to think about what knowledge we have and can change in the world with that and not focus on what we dont have or missed - for everything we missed we gained knowledge in something else and we should share that with the world we just need to find the courage to do that and the internet makes it easier
I'm new to the group. I have no difficulty talking in detail about my thoughts/daydreams with my analyst. (He's my lifeline and knows more about me than I do. I have no secrets from him, as that would undermine our work.)
My therapy of choice is classical Freudian psychoanalysis. I have complex symptoms (a wide variety of symptoms, which can change over time).
My recent symptoms include intrusive and distracting thoughts, which somewhat resemble Maladaptive Daydreaming.
But there are some differences:
I have about 20 different themes or scenarios, and they repeat with some variations, like reruns of a TV show. With some effort I can often use analytic technique to figure out what caused the intrusive thought / daydream.
I do not experience any pleasure from these, while Dr Somer uses pleasure as a defining criteria. If I'm doing something fun, the thought/daydream can spoil the fun, by distracting.
My recent symptoms are close to MD, but not exactly the same. I'm very interested in reading discussions on the website, and learning more about MD.
I wish to be supportive of all participants here, and thank you for the opportunity to share, to learn, to feel supported, and not to feel alone and alienated.
First, I just want to say hi-- I'm a new member and this is the first time I'm saying anything.
The only person I told about having this compulsive fantasy life is a doctor I've been seeing for years. She was interested and as soon as she asked for more information, I shut it down. It feels extremely private to me. I don't think I'd ever want to share the contents of these daydreams.
I think it's pretty clear what's going on --why I fantasize what I fantasize, what I get out of the particular content and why I do it at all. I don't want to share this content--but I do appreciate having found this group and knowing other people do the same thing. I was surprised when, a couple of years ago, I finally went online trying to find something about this--so surprised to find it had a name, so comforted to know other people had the same or similar thing going on as I do.
So thanks to everyone in this forum.
Hi there, Klein. Welcome! I can relate to how you're feeling. I was kind of releived when I found this website and resources to help me understand what I'm going through.
I highly recommend reading thorugh Eli Somer's papers as well as a 5 part blog from Eretaia titled - A Guide to Maladaptive Daydreaming. Personally the latter provided a lot of insights when it comes to knowing what I need to do to recover.
Thanks for replying!
Thanks too for the recommendations. Where do I find Eli Somer's papers? and also the other you recommend?
I don't think of MDD as an illness from which I need to recover; I don't think it's helpful to pathologize it. It's a response to pain in one's life; a way of escape. So it's a question of getting help in your life or finding a way yourself. But yes, I find MD addictive, like sugar. Sugar addiction is not an illness, it's a symptom of a problem.
I think it's one response of countless responses (drinking, doing drugs, eating compulsively, etc.) to times when life feels unbearable. Being a creative person, I create stories in my head as escape and compensation for what's missing in my life.
As a youth, when music came on, I used to dance to my daydreams. Visuals in my head would flow and compose to the beat and sensation of the rhythm. They'd structure into a sequential world accompanied with the song, giving me this warm and fuzzy, and misty feeling in my head and body. It fooled me to believe that my life was going to be amazing and happy. Regards, on the outside I looked dazed and out of it, and people have wondered if I was quite alright.
It all changed when I arrived home after a job interview, and my mom screamed at me, when I didn't do something reasonable for her that was very important. She assumed my head was "on mars" and I wasn't paying attention in life. As the years past, I didn't achieve all my future goals and licked up to my mom, who constantly bickered that she wanted me in psychiatry. She was so firm, and even warned me about screwing up in all my jobs, as she could tell I was always dreaming. So I never got far and whatever dreams I experienced in my youth was total bogus.
Let's be frank. I started MDD when I was 12, and it grew on me. And why, because I was a lonely misfit who didn't have a place in adolescent society. It grew on me, and lead me to a problematic adulthood. I had no idea what I was doing was so harmful!
Sometimes, I still feel myself cracking up at funny thoughts when I'm working and brushing my teeth. Luckily, nobody is in the same room as me.
My dream life has its highs and lows, like you, they are not always happy escapes. At times, they can look nightmarish, depending on my mood. I faced moments and situations in my life that struck a nerve, and my dreams suddenly turned dark. Your dreams manifest according to how you currently feel and what you want in life. Trouble is I took my dream life way too seriously, and nearly got myself lost in them, which put me into hot water with others in real life.
To richen up the scenario. I also have Asperger syndrome, which makes it difficult to interact with people properly, so it made my life lonely. Which is horrible and shouldn't happen to anybody. People started to stare at my Asperger traits (my lack of eye contract, extremely quiet and anti-verbal demeanour, and my clumsiness, and forgetfulness). So if I felt like daydreaming—it was much easier to get caught doing this—because I made it way too evident, with how I carried on around others. This just heated up the matter further. I got so fraught by this that I quit altogether—yet even today, people complain that I wonder and don't pay attention.
I find that most people don't like me as they don't understand me. They just make a hard judgement and turn the cold shoulder. It doesn't matter how smart and talented you are. It doesn't mean you are going to be liked. People like people are approachable, happy and talkative. Apparently when I was very young, I wasn't old enough to figure this out. I often think I had false hopes growing up as a kid.
My life has really been an emotional rollercoaster of uncertainties, perplexities and mysteries. When covid came along, I was kind of glad, as I can spend time to reflect and heal myself of old pains, and come out a better person, with better understanding of the world around me.
I think people were so upset around me, and acted like assholes, because I didn't think about how I was behaving around them, nor how they took my appearance at first glance—when I was living in the land of Jessica.