Maladaptive Daydreaming: where wild minds come to rest
I've been researching daydreams, fantasy and imaginary friends for the last month or so - I'm writing a comic in which a girl has an imaginary friend and daydreams a lot, and my clicking about imaginary friends and excessive fantasy led me, via Cynthia Schupak, to this website and the understanding that, while my daydreaming patterns aren't usual, they're not the sign of being some sort of nutcase either (what a relief!).
Anyway, while I was looking I found a lot of links between excessive daydreaming and depression, with mentions of dissociation; while I'm not dissociative when I daydream normally, I do suffer from bouts of moderate to severe depression around twice a year, and at these times I find myself feeling like life is happening to someone else, or in a movie or something. At these times, my daydreams become more complete and truly encompass me; ironically, they're the only things that feel like reality.
I would love to hear from other depressive daydreamers, if you feel comfortable answering - do you have any dissociative symptoms? Does your daydreaming change when you're depressed?
Yay, I'm not the only one :-) I am constantly going through regular cycles of depression (now seeing a naturopath, seems to be linked to my menstrual cycle, sorry if that's too much info ;-)
I feel like 80% of the time I am in a dissociative state. I don't want to be a part of the "real world" and from a young age I have been able to disconnect from it. Like Helen Rose said, it's really hard to describe... I feel numb, like I'm not here, like my body is just running on auto pilot.
Sometimes I have these freaky moments where I think I am just completely insane - it's when I "come back". Nothing feels real,it's like I'm looking through someone elses eyes, and I want to go back to where I was before, when I wasnt aware of what was going on around me...
i am almost completely dissociative.
in day to day life. in sleep. in day dreams. I just dont
enjoy being myself at all.i have depression and used to have deathwish.
all the time. i wanted to escape this world (the real world) for good.
but im better now. but the daydreaming has never stopped. most of the times i still feel like i dont
exist. and i question if i even do. if i myself am not the figment of someones
overactive imagination. everything i want to acheive in life is a pipe dream.
rationally speaking. ive forgotten a lot of my past memories.
i cant remember anything before the age of 12. its like a huge blank.
but i dont care to remember. i dont need it anyways.
sometimes ive caught myself almost calling people by my characters names.
and i stopped that. but omg. that freaked me out.
most of the times im so open minded and have a huge range of
perspectives( due to all the different pov's of my characters in my head)
that in real life even, its ahrd to form my own opinions and passions about things.
but ive gotten so much better at that. Im still trying to figure out who
I am though. I dont feel certain about anything about myself.
I have the same problems you described...
Funny, when I was a teen, I was Dx with something different, and when (after a pretty severe depressive episode that landed me in a psych hospital) I explained to the doc the unreality of what was happening to me...I felt like I wasn't really there, life was happening to someone else....and I just wanted to FEEL something....then he started to realize he was treating me for the wrong problem...and gave the the right medicine....FINALLY!!
Now as to the MD, I seem to do it when I'm depressed, and not too much when I'm not. Make sense?
At the moment, I'm at war with a depressive episode, and I've been doing this MD thing, and it's not fun. Every time I find myself daydreaming, it takes a while to get my brain back to normal, so to speak-for a long time afterward, I feel like I'm not really "here" so to speak. It's a bit hard to explain, but...it is not a good thing. It worries me..
Sometimes I feel like I'm here but I'm not and I'm sure you know exactly what I mean. I call it brain fog. Sometimes it lasts for hours. I feel like a walking diagnosis sometimes. PTSD, Major Depressive Disorder, Seasonal Affective Disorder, these all from my psychiatrist and therapist. Now I get to add a new one, yay. Depression is such a horrible feeling and some people don't understand that you can't just 'suck it up' and feel better. Going home and isolating in my bed everyday after work and staying there til its time to go back, making excuses not to visit family, and crying for no particular reason. These are symptoms I've had. People with depression, rather than just situational depression, know how it really feels. That heaviness inside that makes it hard to get out of bed or sometimes even put one foot in front of the other. I agree that sometimes my daydreams are the only thing that feels real.
My daydreams are more intense and less controllable when I'm depressed. I'm diagnosed with Major Depression Recurrent.