Hello everyone,

I understand from my research that there is a dispute between professional in psychology about whether MD is caused by childhood trauma, trauma at anytime or even some other cause (ie isolation). I believe that the cause of my symptoms/ MD began in my teenage years and I was hoping that you could maybe read my story below and give me your thoughts on whether MD is solely isolated to those who had trauma in their early childhood.

First of all, I want to clarify that I have always been a daydreamer and have always been seen as a bit “ditzy”. I am not stupid, I just was a very free-spirited child who liked drawing and dancing more than listening in class (coming into adulthood I wonder if I could have been displaying symptoms of ADD or a naturally formed MD). I have always been told by my mother that I had a traumatic birth, which I am not sure is completely relevant yet.

Speed into High School/ Secondary School and I went through a really strange kind of bullying. My ‘friends’ and myself all followed this kind of ring leader character in our friendship group, and even though I was absolutely terrified of her and also of my friends if they went along with what she said to me or said to do too me, I also desperately wanted to be her friend. One day I was hating my life so much that I couldn’t take it anymore and tried to leave the group and go with some other people, but my best friend and my other ‘friends’ convinced me to stay. Even though they would do what this girl said to do, putting sticky sweets in my hair, locking me outside in the rain and at worst pushing my head against a glass door- I still felt that I couldn’t possibly get away from them and that I had to stay. When I think about this experience overall, even 3 years later I still cry because it reminds me of how powerless I felt and how I cried for days in a year everyday. As a coping mechanism I began daydreaming whenever I had to be around them, to get away from the fear of whatever was coming next. At home I felt isolated and conscious I had hardly anyone to hang out with, so I imagined myself travelling the world and dreaming of friends that I wished I had, or standing up to the bullies.

I am desperate to no if I could still be considered to have MD from this experience in my life from ages 14-16 as it is definitely older than what most consider “childhood trauma” and what I should do about it. I told my family about my bullying after it happened because I was so ashamed at the time, but I don’t know how to approach telling them about MD or about how I was treated still affects me.

If anyone has any questions then I’ll rely as soon as I can and thank you so much for you time reading this!!!

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Ps. Sorry for the typos I was typing really fast :|

Actually, it is not necessary to have a trauma to become a MDer; the point you referenced to, was an old article and since then there are many MD cases that are reported to have no relation to trauma, including me, who self-identified as MDer but never experience any trauma before. If I am not wrong, the professor that published that article also realised that MD is not limited to childhood trauma in the next researches he conducted.

Teenage life is kinda strange; sometimes, for people like me(or us) that doesn't have the social skills to cope with friendships well, the urge of peer pressure would push our limits. We behave strangely, seeking a way to get along with people who we don't truly like, and after a few years when we look back, we often just wonder why tf we do that. All in all, this kind of frustration(during the teenage years) would very easily bring MD into play due to our imaginative character, as you said as a coping mechanism. Given that your case is more severe than mine, I truly feel the pain.

Thanks for your reply this was really informative!

Most of the people with MD never had any trauma. It's self-inhibition that's a prerequisite for developing MD. The same energy that would have been expressed outwards had you actively confronted the bullies back then got turned inwards and started animating your inner world. Your MD is how you come in touch with the lost courage that didn't get conjured when it was supposed to. You have the drive to change but your drive is misdirected and out of this misdirection MD is born. Even in cases of MD where more severe trauma was involved, MD stems not from the trauma itself but from powerlessness to express and confront whatever caused it. 

Wow so interesting! So do you think that the way I am as a child was a prerequisite for developing MD based on what you said?

Not necessarily. Kids are prone to daydreaming and living in their heads but these traits are nothing abnormal and are naturally outgrown. I would personally never consider the core defining characteristic of MD to be excess or procrastination but rather emotional dissociation. The moment you developed the tendency to conjure courage or high self-esteem in daydreams while failing to do the same in reality probably marked the onset of your MD. 

Some kids are more prone to avoidant tendencies, which puts them at risk of developing an addictive defense mechanism in order to come in touch with emotions they otherwise can't, but I think there has to be a particular trigger, which is usually inability to feel or express an important aspect of oneself - self-esteem, sexuality, speaking up, etc.

I don't think you can develop MD just like that, without a reason. Because when you fantasize, you are always returning to something; sometimes to a pleasant emotion, sometimes to an emotional release or simply to lack of anxiety or a sense of distraction.  Which means that these things are normally absent from the waking conscious, and MD is simply a response to that absence and an attempt to reverse it. 

My advice to you would be to analyze your daydreams, identify the emotions that drive your urges and try to remember the time you stopped experiencing them on your own skin and instead resorted to fantasy to experience them there. 

Nadia said:

Wow so interesting! So do you think that the way I am as a child was a prerequisite for developing MD based on what you said?

MD is an addiction and a coping mechanism. It's really hard for me to believe it's not connected to trauma. It certainly was with me. Perhaps some people don't recognize the trauma that caused them to go inward because it was such a part of their normal lives. But something cause you to 'escape'. I was about 9 years old when I started. We moved to a foreign country, my mother has NPD we moved almost every year. New schools new faces, no family I was isolated and miserable so I started to MD.


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