Where wild minds come to rest
I have just very recently found out about maladaptive daydreaming never heard of it before but thought is this me? If I try and explain what I do I’d be interested in anyone’s view.
Since I can remember I have always been inside my head. As a child I would still be awake till late daydreaming and I would get so involved I would speak in a loud whisper that I am sure my parents could hear, although as an adult they have never said anything to me. My husband I think knows I talk to myself and has mentioned it a few times and he has mentioned the face movement I do when talking but not moving the mouth.
I have always had what I called insomnia and blamed it on my over active mind being the reason I can’t get to sleep, although I have gotten better as I have got older.
I would say that I am constantly daydreaming, it can be conversations with people that most of the time I make up, sometimes arguments and they can be repetitive. It always involves me, and nearly always people I know, I might be charming and funny, or it might be about starting a new relationship. I had a crush a little while ago and I made up all kinds of ways we got together and this went on for months, in fact I still dip in and out of it now. I will sometimes just be in my head but I can start talking in a loud whisper or gesturing too, sometimes I will look to the imaginary person I am having the conversation with. I know people look at me sometimes as my face is moving with the talking although I’m not opening my mouth.
I do not at any point think it’s real life though and I don’t feel I neglect responsibilities or relationships, I have quite a full social life and good friends and family. I have done some mediation but find it so difficult not to daydream, in fact nearly impossible. The one thing I have learned from meditation is to try and be in the moment more and find it helps a bit, when walking my dog I try and look around and be present, it’s not easy though. I find it all exhausting and I wish I didn’t do this.
So do I have maladaptive daydreaming, are there mild to extreme forms of it? Is there anything that helps manage it? Sorry a lot of questions but this is all new to me.
The keyword you need to consider here is "maladaptive". Daydreaming by itself is totally good and totally normal, until it becomes so much that it interferes with your normal scope of life, which would make it maladaptive. You state that you don't neglect responsibilities or relationships. This, by itself, is a really good sign that you're daydreaming in a healthy manner. You might be more of an Immersive Daydreamer rather than a Maladaptive one. You also mentioned that you have a full social life with good friends and family. This is yet another great sign. Most maladaptive daydreamers wouldn't make the necessary time to carve out such a social life, as they would prefer to be more absorbed in their inner world. Although, you did say you find it (daydreaming) exhausting and wish you didn't do it. This would play into the maladaptive model. Do I personally think you are full blown maladaptive daydreamer, no. If anything, you are more of an immersive daydreamer with minor maladaptive traits.
I totally agree with everything Finrod said. He diagnosed you pretty well.
My daydreaming is worse than you. I have to push myself to do my chords and I sometimes don't listen to my husband because of it. I also smile or smile like something is funny. I have to lie to my husband why I smile, pretending it is sometimes else. He is the only one that have noticed me smiling for no reasons. A few times, people told me I looked so sad. I know I should't daydream in public, but I can't help it.
I hate to go to work. Daydreaming helps me going through my day. Nobody knows I'm daydreaming in a obssessive way. I guess I'm not too bad at not showing it, only few leaks every now and then.
Sorry everyone, I didn't realise anyone had responded. From what you say it does look like im more a Immersive Daydreamer but i do stop what I am doing to daydream and I do think i am daydreaming all the time. it's good to know im not alone though. thanks for your responses.
Eric, i have not long been separated from my husband and have been doing the same as you for last two years, daydreaming about finding happiness with someone else. I actually think i may have found happiness which is great. I hope you sort things out, if you are being abused maybe it is time to move on and start a new adventure.
I would say you and I are in a similar situation Pepper. Been trying to figure this out for a while and I've really just now realized I've been doing this for years. Doesn't affect my work, relationships or social life, but it is a constant in my life.
I guess in some ways, it's helped me visualize things I want and I always tend to get them, so maybe that's a positive.
My marriage has been a disaster in the last 2 years though and I found myself way more immersed in my daydreams than ever before. I suppose it's a coping mechanism, finding happiness in my head for now. It really doesn't solve anything though and can't fix real world problems.
Trying to figure out now if I want to continue with my wife. God she's gorgeous, but she's verbally and mentally abusive and I can do better. Just hard to let go of 20 years and hard to accept this as my life I guess. Pretty scary stuff.