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I've been a maladaptive daydreamer for a very long time now, and it has both hindered and helped me in many ways. However, the biggest hindrance that has recently emerged is that the lines between daydream and reality have become blurred. It has helped me because I don't have to space out to see that dream, but rather, I can "see" my characters in real life. I still daydream very, very frequently, but the lucid daydreams have become increasingly frequent.  

      For example, I'll be sitting in class, and suddenly, I'm back in my advanced english class, being evaluated for a more advanced program by one of my characters. I'm still me, and everyone else is still there, and the work is the same, but my characters become present as well. The weirdest part is that my characters aren't really seen, they're almost imagined in a sense. Kind of like how you can picture a gigantic tower being built when looking at an open field, but not truly seeing it. I can hear them conversing to me in my head, and I'll have a conversation with them without actually talking.

   I really hope you get what I'm trying to say, because it's incredibly difficult to explain. I can't not see them either, they are always present, kind of like how you can walk beside somebody in silence and still be aware of their presence. It's very odd, and I was wondering if anyone has experienced that or if anyone is willing to share their thoughts on it.

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yup - I know exactly what you mean - I do this too. I used to do it at work a lot but now, just at home or when I'm driving alone.

So what you're describing is basically maladaptive daydreaming, but involuntarily, since you cannot make them go away, am I correct? I think it's normal (read: an awesome imagination skill) to be able to "see" them. I can see my characters as well. Not like hallucinations, but I can make them stand next to actual people, or let them take off my coat or whatever. I don't actually see them, and sometimes I haven't even defined their hair color or whatever, but I still "see" them. Same with hearing, feeling their touches, their breath, smelling things; it's simply a fantastic skill to possess. But the moment you cannot make them go away, it becomes frightening, right? 

For me what helped, was to go some time without daydreaming. And not just a day, but months. I tried for a year but I gave up around the fifth month, because I needed my coping style back (or maybe I'm just weak idk). It won't be the same for everyone, but for me mainly the first couple days were the hardest. Daydreaming is a habit, and for you the habit has become uncontrollable (like biting your nails). But once you break the automatic habit during the first couple of days, which is a hard thing to do but it should be possible with some tricks as well as falling and trying again, it'll be easier. Like biting your nails, you'll start noticing you're about to bite your nails before you actually do it. Then you can try to not daydream a couple months and flow back into reality.

Of course, I started DD'ing again after a couple months for reasons. It should be okay to do that. Well, for me it was, as daydreaming was a voluntary thing again. Basically I think of daydreaming as a narrowing spiral. You start with a lot of control and overview, but as you get further into it, you gradually start losing control and it's a clever thing to step out of the spiral before you are dragged in too far and lose all control. 

Sorry for the many words, I hope I helped you a bit. Feel free to pm me if this doesn't make sense and you wish to talk about it more. Good luck with the issue! 

Hmmm....no, not exactly - for me, it's more like imaginary friends when you're a kid - you know, we act like they are here when they really aren't.



Marlies said:

So what you're describing is basically maladaptive daydreaming, but involuntarily, since you cannot make them go away, am I correct? I think it's normal (read: an awesome imagination skill) to be able to "see" them. I can see my characters as well. Not like hallucinations, but I can make them stand next to actual people, or let them take off my coat or whatever. I don't actually see them, and sometimes I haven't even defined their hair color or whatever, but I still "see" them. Same with hearing, feeling their touches, their breath, smelling things; it's simply a fantastic skill to possess. But the moment you cannot make them go away, it becomes frightening, right? 

For me what helped, was to go some time without daydreaming. And not just a day, but months. I tried for a year but I gave up around the fifth month, because I needed my coping style back (or maybe I'm just weak idk). It won't be the same for everyone, but for me mainly the first couple days were the hardest. Daydreaming is a habit, and for you the habit has become uncontrollable (like biting your nails). But once you break the automatic habit during the first couple of days, which is a hard thing to do but it should be possible with some tricks as well as falling and trying again, it'll be easier. Like biting your nails, you'll start noticing you're about to bite your nails before you actually do it. Then you can try to not daydream a couple months and flow back into reality.

Of course, I started DD'ing again after a couple months for reasons. It should be okay to do that. Well, for me it was, as daydreaming was a voluntary thing again. Basically I think of daydreaming as a narrowing spiral. You start with a lot of control and overview, but as you get further into it, you gradually start losing control and it's a clever thing to step out of the spiral before you are dragged in too far and lose all control. 

Sorry for the many words, I hope I helped you a bit. Feel free to pm me if this doesn't make sense and you wish to talk about it more. Good luck with the issue! 

Thank you so much for replying. I understand what you're saying here. You've described it perfectly, actually. I will take your advice and attempt to ween myself off of it, I hope it works! I'm uncertain if I'll be able to go without daydreaming for a while, but I suppose there's no harm in trying. Thanks again!

- Bella

This sounds so much more advanced and powerful than anything I've ever been through, and not in a good way. I doubt that daydreams and reality starting to blend together in your perception can be a good sign of any kind.



Source said:

This sounds so much more advanced and powerful than anything I've ever been through, and not in a good way. I doubt that daydreams and reality starting to blend together in your perception can be a good sign of any kind.


It really enforces the whole "maladaptive" aspect of the condition, doesn't it?

Bella Valenti said:



Source said:

This sounds so much more advanced and powerful than anything I've ever been through, and not in a good way. I doubt that daydreams and reality starting to blend together in your perception can be a good sign of any kind.


It really enforces the whole "maladaptive" aspect of the condition, doesn't it?
I agree on this. There is daydreaming, which is what everyone does occasionally, whether they acknowledge it or not. Then there's people who daydream a lot, zone out etc., but still control it and have no issues. In this context, I think daydreaming a lot would be zoning out during classes or when you're tired, but not hours per day. And then there's maladaptive daydreaming, where the struggle becomes real. Either you can't control your daydreams anymore, or it's become an addiction, or it's in some other way that your daydreams affect your life in such a way your daily activities are disturbed and you consider your daydreaming a problem. Think of daydreaming while driving, and thus being less able to focus on the road, therefore making driving more dangerous for you and others. 
I'd like to add that all the above is just my interpretation. Maladaptive daydreaming has not yet become a diagnosis, let alone it has been defined, so none of us can really say what it is. Basically, if you consider your daydreaming maladaptive, you're an MDD. 

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