Do you get overly emotional over certain book/TV show/movie characters as if they were real?

Hello everyone from a 20 year-old student. I'd like to pose a question. Although I have known for MD for quite a while, my hands are shaking as I'm writing this because I finally realized that there might be something wrong with me.

At the age of eleven or twelve, I could get immersed in certain books or shows to a considerable extent; when certain character would die, I'd feel grief as if a real person died. Moreover, I'd care deeply for some of them and feel profound emotions. I was constantly thinking about them. At this period, they were there as a passive dream -  they simply existed for me without me trying to reconstruct or change the course of a book, and some time later, they became source of my active daydreaming.

The point is: my attachment to fictional characters (which usually happen to be animated as silly as it sounds) feels as a real and sincere emotion. However, my daydreams do not always include them personally - rather, they are always there as a constant presence, a guidance, and my mind thinks about them all the time. By the way, I only felt this a few times, towards a small number of characters. I never made up my own characters, instead, it was always fictional ones of others.

So, the question is: do you get overly emotional over certain book/TV show/movie characters (which are or grow to be a focus of your MD) as if they were real? I assume this question only applies to those whose source of MD are fictional characters.

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A large part of my internal world involves having very deep connections or relationships with fictional characters. This could be a friendship I have developed or a more romantic relationship. A character I once liked from a video game died and I couldn't eat for a week. In fact I think I would throw up if I tried to eat. It felt like I had really lost that person and even though I could always go back and play the game when that character was alive I knew what was inevitably going to happen. The character in which I am currently involved with is from a TV show which has ended and I won't watch the end because I know that's it. There's nothing more to come after that. 

Emotions for me only seem to really exist in my daydreams. In the real world I rarely experience emotions and struggle to feel connected to anybody so yes. Fictional characters or people who are not from this reality I do develop emotions for as if they were real.

Thank you for your reply.

Ah. That is exactly how I feel, I understand your words. Do you think this could be another condition, or it's simply a part of MD? For me, I think I first started feeling profound emotions for them as a child, and eventually it culminated into MD. I devoted all my world to them, for me they were kind of real, and I made all kind of irrational conclusions about me and them and now that I look at it, some of those feel ridiculous. Also, I could never believe that they were a non-existent fantasy. On an emotional level, I truly believed it was real, although it was just, yes, classical maladaptive daydreaming. The fact that they were animated never really bothered me.

im very similar to m.hunter.

emotions for me are more real and much easier to feel in my daydreams.in real life my emotions are more based on the fact that i know HOW i ought to feel so pretend.

now if i watch certain films etc....the happiness,sadness ,dispare etc....i feel is real.i carnt explain why,probably my way of staying safe.

people in my life i try to always be kind to,dont like confrontation or arguments,but actual attachments to them are kind of take it or leave it.i dont tend to miss people etc...yet can be glad to see them if that makes sence.

if i watch wuthering heights like some people may sit with a tissue,i have a bucket by my side as chances are i will cry so bad i will be sick.

little women is another one.

same as there are some films that i truly feelm so happy i dance around the room in genuine happiness.

well i will leave it there other than to say if there is something terribly wrong with you...YOUR NOT ALONE.

best wishes always 

Thanks, Sue. I wish I didn't understand what you are saying, but I understand it perfectly well. The part of MD that is traumatizing me most is that I don't have some particular emotions towards outer world either. I'm sorry if the question is too personal, but is there any person in your real life who you feel sincere and profound and fulfilling emotions for?

sue peake said:

im very similar to m.hunter.

emotions for me are more real and much easier to feel in my daydreams.in real life my emotions are more based on the fact that i know HOW i ought to feel so pretend.

now if i watch certain films etc....the happiness,sadness ,dispare etc....i feel is real.i carnt explain why,probably my way of staying safe.

people in my life i try to always be kind to,dont like confrontation or arguments,but actual attachments to them are kind of take it or leave it.i dont tend to miss people etc...yet can be glad to see them if that makes sence.

if i watch wuthering heights like some people may sit with a tissue,i have a bucket by my side as chances are i will cry so bad i will be sick.

little women is another one.

same as there are some films that i truly feelm so happy i dance around the room in genuine happiness.

well i will leave it there other than to say if there is something terribly wrong with you...YOUR NOT ALONE.

best wishes always 

yeh probably my son and one of my brothers.

off course i love my daughter too,my other brothers,sister,husband,some friends but its not the same.

dont get me wrong i know what love is(i think) as i used to have emotions.infact when i was a child i was always told off for being too emotional.always crying,feeling hurt about everything.

its kind of like,bit by bit as bad things have happened to me a little at a time things inside me died.now i dont really feel.

the last straw was my mum dying.

i used to have panick attacks.the night my mum died i had a really bad one,since then i have never had one.dont feel anything anymore i feel dead inside and its like pretend all the time.

i feel bvad sometimes when people hug me and say i love you as i just think .........whatever!

i just dont.....feel it.

This is something I've struggled with a lot as a daydreamer. Back when I was daydreaming (in the last 2-3 years I've stopped daydreaming; before that I daydreamed continuously since age 13; I'm 34 now), I used to get really, really troubled by the fact that my emotional compass was inverted. The world that I cared about, that I reacted to, that was alive and real to me, was my internal one. Inside, in my daydreams, I ran the gamut of emotions. In the outside world, in my real life, I was unreactive and passive. I had very little feeling for things going on in reality. I lived just going through the motions. For me to have cared strongly about some event would have been out of character, so to speak.

If I had to care about something in reality, I quickly turned it into something my fantasy characters were experiencing. I always overlaid fantasy and daydream onto any experience in reality that required my full presence. This went on for years.

I don't want to judge where anyone else is with this, but eventually, as I began realizing that I had to end my daydreaming life, I was not happy about this inverted emotional compass. I knew that it was not natural. The emotional richness of my daydream world was a natural consequence of caring about it. Fine. I actually created the whole inverted compass. I had to accept that. Reason told me that if I just cared about reality, the emotional richness and experience would invert again and unfold for me in reality.

I experienced a powerful tug of war for a long time, months maybe. Caring about something in my real life sucked the emotional viability from my daydream world. This was very difficult to do. It was as though I was slowly starving my daydreams of their essential fuel: love and care. These made my daydreaming world valid. Without them, I knew my daydreams would dissipate into nothingness. Turning the emotions off was like unplugging the electricity and watching all the lights and colors fade into black. To willingly reject the world that had been so real to me was like erasing myself from existence.

The inversion of the emotional compass back to reality didn't happen overnight. It took time to build up a framework of my own experience in the world, one that referred to me, not one of my daydream characters. But it did prove to be a formula that worked. When I cared about reality, it cared about me. When I finally started to love life, real life, it loved me back.

I become very involved with books as well.  When I was in grade school (I'm 43 now) I would imagine myself in a relationship with a favorite character.  I think books are an easy fantasy to delve into because the plot, characters and details are already in existence.  We don't have to create anything, we just have to insert ourselves into it.

I know I do, and I thank you a million for posting this! If you hadn't said anything, I would have been continuing to quietly wonder if I were on my own or not. And don't be ashamed; My emotional connection mostly applies to animated fictional characters as well. :)

Thank you, Catauxgory. Thank you. Thank you.

You have no idea what it means to me to read your post. It is a conclusion I came to as well and currently I'm trying to carry it out, although I fear the outcome. What made me realize my MD is torturing me badly is the fact that I feel split in two - I can have emotions for either reality or daydreams but NOT both at the same time - at least this is how my mind reacts to it. If I live in s fantasy world, I am emotionless over real one, I show little interest in people I should be caring about and this is the bit that feels so immensely wrong to me. Vice versa, in rare occasions, if I am into real world, my fantasy world fades and I experience emotions for real people, my family at least, emotions which I had almost forgotten and that now feel so weird to me yet still somehow familiar. However, these phases last a short amount of time and I fall into fantasy again because my mind is used to work in that state. So I want to invert this. For sake of my family. If I feed off my daydreams, in reality I'm like an emotionless machine. I don't know how to love. I feel like an emotionless alien who has fallen among humans who know how to love so easily. I envy people who can feel the little joys of life. But enough of this. Enough. I need to get a grip of reality again and I'm not scared of pain, of being hurt, of being thrown into reality - I'm scared of my mind, if it'll ever be able to snap out of this wandering state.

So, Catauxgory, are you now completely free of MD? And once again, thank you for the encouraging post.

Catauxgory said:

This is something I've struggled with a lot as a daydreamer. Back when I was daydreaming (in the last 2-3 years I've stopped daydreaming; before that I daydreamed continuously since age 13; I'm 34 now), I used to get really, really troubled by the fact that my emotional compass was inverted. The world that I cared about, that I reacted to, that was alive and real to me, was my internal one. Inside, in my daydreams, I ran the gamut of emotions. In the outside world, in my real life, I was unreactive and passive. I had very little feeling for things going on in reality. I lived just going through the motions. For me to have cared strongly about some event would have been out of character, so to speak.

If I had to care about something in reality, I quickly turned it into something my fantasy characters were experiencing. I always overlaid fantasy and daydream onto any experience in reality that required my full presence. This went on for years.

I don't want to judge where anyone else is with this, but eventually, as I began realizing that I had to end my daydreaming life, I was not happy about this inverted emotional compass. I knew that it was not natural. The emotional richness of my daydream world was a natural consequence of caring about it. Fine. I actually created the whole inverted compass. I had to accept that. Reason told me that if I just cared about reality, the emotional richness and experience would invert again and unfold for me in reality.

I experienced a powerful tug of war for a long time, months maybe. Caring about something in my real life sucked the emotional viability from my daydream world. This was very difficult to do. It was as though I was slowly starving my daydreams of their essential fuel: love and care. These made my daydreaming world valid. Without them, I knew my daydreams would dissipate into nothingness. Turning the emotions off was like unplugging the electricity and watching all the lights and colors fade into black. To willingly reject the world that had been so real to me was like erasing myself from existence.

The inversion of the emotional compass back to reality didn't happen overnight. It took time to build up a framework of my own experience in the world, one that referred to me, not one of my daydream characters. But it did prove to be a formula that worked. When I cared about reality, it cared about me. When I finally started to love life, real life, it loved me back.

Yes when I read books I want the best for the character I know its not real but I just want a good ending I cry when something sad happens
Veeeeeerrrry much so. If there's a character in a book who bugs me, I rant about the character as though they were a real person in my life. They ask me why I care. I just do. Books, movies, and such just get me really worked up :P

Yes, I actually got so attached to one character that I called in on a radio show when they were interviewing the TV show's screen writer. They let me talk to her and I said "Will you ever bring the character back?" They said "Probably not. But never say never." And lone behold they did!! :D

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