Maladaptive Daydreaming: where wild minds come to rest
My MD comes is waves. When its hitting hard I can't control it. I usually notice when I drift off on a normal day, but in those periods of time when it really hits me I really wont notice that I drift away. Also when it hits hard and I'm in public or around people and I have to stop daydreaming I can get really anxious.
I think even if there are a lot of moments where you can control it, which is good, it could still be MD because we all have it at different times and in different ways/ levels of severity. But then again maybe you are no longer having it. It all depends on how you are able to control it and if your mind allows it to stop.
OP:Not meant to be rude, but I don't think you can call yourself able to "control" MD, and here is why:
Take a more extreme comparison, our desire to MD is same as our desire to eat in everyday. We need to eat everyday, and you simply can't just tell yourself that you don't need a meal in one day. Of course, you can restrain your hunger for some hours and take your dinner one hour late, but you cannot skip dinner everyday. Or, let's say sleeping, you can sleep one hour late, but you cannot sleep only 4 hours in a consistent manner.
Same as MD. You may think that you can control when you start MD, but turns out that you are MDing as much, probably only a little less. You are just postponing your desire, eventually you would still MD for the same duration. So, imho the key to control MD is to find out the ultimate root cause of why you MD, instead of simply telling yourself to stop MDing, which simply won't work due to the reason above.
Thanks for the replies everyone. it is nice to be able to talk about this.
@Fishno07: Don't worry, I don't think you are rude, I am glad for opinions about this. Maybe I should provide you with my MD history..
I realize now that I had MD when I was a child. I probably did it out of boredom. I read so many books as a kid, it must have inspired me. It was not severe, I only did it when I couldn't sleep or in weekends when I was bored. I stopped MD'ing when I was 18 and moved out. I remember I told myself to stop doing it, because I was afraid of it getting worse and trigger some kind of mental illness. (I have a family member that has had psychotic periods/shizofrenia.. It make me think I could suffer the same, that scared me so much that I decided I should quit daydreaming.). Of course it helped that at the same time I changed environment (moving out, starting university and meeting new people, I also met my current partner around that time).
Now, 12 years later, my MD has come back. I think it was because I experienced (irrational) stress at work. I only recently found out that making up stories in my head has an actual name...
The stressfull event at work passed, but I still enjoy the daydreaming. It seems like I want to do it because of its attractiveness, not because to cope with the stress.
However, I feel a bit stressed out in thinking i might have mental issues...
My brain hurts from thinking about this :-)
(Are there people here whose MD suddenly popped up again after several years?)
I don't know if there are people whose md popped back up, but from your case, I know that the reason behind md can shift. I myself originally md because of boredom, now I md because of stress and limerence. The difference is my shift is continuous, while you had a time that md is not needed.
I guess that there is something other than the stress itself and I can relate on why your brain hurts from thinking. Sometimes, the md is easily confused with the depressed feelings of ourselves, simply because it is much easier to feel sad and lost as soon as the md stopped. I have made mistakes on this and thus unable to clarify my feelings for a period of time, and it was a very frustrating experience.
However, from what you have said, I am wondering how large is the effect of MDing imposed to you? imho, if it doesn't affect social life or occupy too much free time, it may even be fine to have a little bit MD, as it is indeed an effective coping mechanism. It seems to me that if you don't force yourself to think about MD, as long as all issues gone, you are one of the (lucky) guys who can pick up life without MD back again.
For me, I consciously control when I want to start MDing for a real session (mostly at night in bed as well). I will say though, I often start it because of cravings, not necessarily because I want to.
I find that throughout the day I space out all the time without noticing/being in control (in the shower, driving to work, talking to people etc.). Usually I snap out of it because I have to, but in these cases I can't control when it starts.
Thanks for your replies, it gives me some more food for thought.
Especially about the difference between wanting to daydream at own will, or daydreaming because of cravings, as Matt mentions above. I do not really which of the two I am experiencing..
@fishno7: the effect of MD on my social live is minimal I guess. I am in a long term relationship (living together), have a good job and meet regularly with family and friends. (Ok, 1 friend, I do not have many, but for me that is enough.) I hide the MD from my partner (and everyone else), this causes that I only daydream when he is not there, or when he will not notice.
Your comment made me realise I should probably dig a bit deeper about why the MD came back.
I remember telling myself sometimes in various cases that I wan’t stressing out, but later on I realised I was unconsciously having stress, causing headaches and such..
I hope you are right, that once the underlying issue is gone, I can move on without the MD again.
(I have mixed feelings about this, as I actually kind of enjoy the daydreams..)
Thanks again for taking the time to react.
I possibly have DID too and only one of my people does this intense fantasizing and because the person is autistic and only 'comes out' when we're home alone and we've finished getting the jobs done she tends to appear at a set time and do the fantasising for a set time.
For us it happens during the day when we're not expecting anyone and 'Kit' likes to pace and flap hands or bounce (we have a mini trampoline thingy for exercise) while doing it.
Breath and feel the air you breath
Feel the weight of your tongue
Feel the your shoes or whatever you are wearing with your toes
Look around you
And you will be back in reality again