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Do you have conscious control over your daydreams?

I've gathered from a few things people have said here, they go to Youtube for more ideas on what to daydream and movies and books and so on.


I am influenced occassionally by certain things--if there is a TV show I really relate to for instance, but it's got to be something that resonates with me in a really big way for some reason. 


But my brain just makes up whatever it wants to.  I go into my head and I have no control over what I daydream or what the storyline or characters are going to be.  I couldn't change it or direct it if I wanted to.  If it incorporates, say, some characters in a TV show, I don't have any control over that.  And the storyline itself is just whatever my unconscious conjurs up, not much different from night time dreaming in a lot of ways. 


And when it changes to something else, I don't have control over that, either.


It's different depending on what kind of place I'm in emotionally, also.  But they generally go along a certain theme even though they are different.


Does anyone else have this, or do you have some aspect of control or influence over what you daydream?


I also get a "compulsion" to do it, I don't really know what it is, or how to describe it, all I know is I have to.


Sometimes a lot less, right now more than in a long time, but it's never a "do I feel like doing this?" type of thing.  I just have to. 

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Well, I also feel my daydreaming like a compulsion to be sincere, but I find I control it a lot more than you do, in fact, apart from the fact of "when" (which I hardly can fight), with the "what about" I do get full control, I choose the setting, the characters and the plot, or if there's not a plot, the scene or the "theme", and I can control the path it takes (allowing naturality and some improvisation, as sometimes some character "seems" to take decisions on it's own) at all times. Seriously, being the control freak I'm am it makes me anxious just to think about not being able to have control about my daydreams.


I'm curious, Carrie, do you like the way it works with you? I mean, do you feel trapped by it for not being able to "direct" you daydreams,  or do you enjoy it that way?

That's interesting...I pretty much have total control about WHAT I think about, but.....I seem compelled to DO it when I really need to be doing something else....like sleeping:(
(I do this daydreaming mess when I am in bed TRYING to sleep about 98-99% of the time.)

Since I can remember my daydreaming has been related with something what was either currently happening in my life or some celebrities, people well known etc. But it always "turn on" without my conscious control over it.


Phoenix62 - I can't remeber when was the last time, when I felt asleep without daydreaming. I'm afraid I never did.

Well, I learnt, how to control some of my dreams. For example, I stopped dreaming before falling asleep - simply, running until I can hardly breath and then I'm so exhausted that I fall asleep immediately. Or, at work, I'm putting tough deadlines, so there is no time for other activities. I also learnt, that in periods of highest obsession I should not drive, because I can have an accident. So, I'm using public transport.

But except this, dreaming is a bit out of control. I'm coming from work and can spend a few hours in a row, thinking.  

It starts from a spark, like reading an article in newspaper or hearing some music. Then I feel I need to learn more about it, go to a book store or check information in Internet, it takes a lot of time to complete the dream, and it's very absorbing. In such days, I'm getting angry, if I can't get the information to complete the dream.

Devin I also have this trips in past very often - especially when I'm not happy with something I've just done or the conversation I've just had with somebody. Then I simply re-write the past in my head time and time again and I hate it, because I know there's nothing I can change now...

I have no conscious control. If I did I wouldnt mind it so much. It is with me as I eat,do housework,go to the bathroom,talk to my neighbour,you name it. I had to give up driving my car because it worsened as I got older and it was too dangerous. I could easily kill some road user because of my zoning out.Severe MD driving can be as bad as drunk driving if not worse. Its  this lack of control that makes it so exhausting I think. I cant even grieve properly after a bereavement. Its grieve for a second then dream then grieve again then dream. Its exhausting.( I also have avpd self deserting) I am in the middle of trying to find out where one ends and one begins. This is a line from the medical description of self deserting avoidants.


"These individuals immerse themselves in a surrogate fantasy
existence to avoid the discomfort of having to relate to others....and

More and more, they cannot tolerate being themselves and seek
to completely withdraw from their own conscious awareness, an existential abnegation
of selfhood."


There is an echo of one in the other however I have spent months and months reading about avoidants and the forum posts I read dont seem to go far enough to describe the level of daydreaming I experience. It actually makes me ill and pushes me to thoughts of suicide and thats not the sense I get from reading the avoidant forums.MD never leaves me NEVER.It is my entire existence. I am close to making the call that I have 2 disorders ie avpd and MD.MD is the worse by a mile and I dont say that lightly seeing as avpd ruins your life too. The reason I say this is because you get little breaks from avpd. You are not avpd symptomatic when you ....say go to the bathroom or put on some clothes or make a cup of tea. You are MD from dawn to dusk. It is so exhausting its just not funny.

Has anyone else studied the description of a self deserting avoidant just for curiousity?http://www.4degreez.com/disorder/forum/avoidant-shyness/1527-avpd-s...

What do you think of the surrogate fantasy part? This is where I struggle and get confused. I know I have this for sure but it just doesnt go far enough to satisfy me. Only the description of severe MD really hits the spot hence the possible idea that I have 2 disorders. I would love to hear from someone who had both to chat about where they thought one ends and one begins. Or maybe I just need to hear from severe MD people who tell me that they cant relate at all to self deserting avoidants just so I know that it is 2 separate conditions for sure. It is so weird having two medical conditions that are based on fantasy. That is why I struggle to pull them apart.

Julie Its interesting to hear it has affected your driving too! How do you explain to people why you wont drive? People go mad at me because I wont drive even though I have a licence. Never in a million years have I considered telling them.Its so unreal to hear someone else say that they cant drive because of daydreaming.

Actually, no-one asked. But if they did, I would say, I'm just de-concentrated today and I can cause an accident. Some people know about my day-dreaming, and, I'm sure, they would understand, what I mean. Those, who don't know, would probably think, I was drinking heavily last night, but I couldn't care less :)

In the past, I wasn't driving for years, despite having a licence. Just being afraid of de-concentration and accidents it may cause. One day, we were travelling a long distance, I was asked to drive, and said no. People thought, I had some phobia and didn't even asked, why.

But, actually, driving is good to improve concentration.

redhorse said:

Julie Its interesting to hear it has affected your driving too! How do you explain to people why you wont drive? People go mad at me because I wont drive even though I have a licence. Never in a million years have I considered telling them.Its so unreal to hear someone else say that they cant drive because of daydreaming.

Hi Julie. I am at the total non driving stage and have been for years. Its really interesting that you have managed to come back from that stage. Sometimes I just wonder should I go out there and just do it. Like yourself I am scared of the deconcentration and accidents I could cause. I might try a few refresher lessons and see how the reality feels after so many years. Its kind of motivated me now knowing that you can drive at least on some days after such a long absence. That could not have been easy.



Back to the question asked by Carrie Can you control your daydreaming? I have just found this post by cordelia and it sums it up exactly for me.


"It's hard to explain, but there's not a moment that I drift off to daydream. I'm walking around in a CONSTANT state of daydream & ONLY do external activities while daydreaming. Pulling myself out to think about something else is very difficult & only lasts for a few seconds. I'm constantly (as in every single minute) drifting right back. I'm daydreaming while doing this. That other world is always in the background & taking up the majority of my brainpower. On top of that, when I'm lying around I'll just daydream. I lie down to daydream for several hours a day, here & there. There are periods of external inspiration that will distract me out of it, and they feel SO GOOD.....but they're very short-lived. The only things I can do are the things that I can do while daydreaming. Consequently I'm only ever working at a small fraction of my capabilities. That's why it takes me so long to accomplish anything & I still have mail that has gone unopened for years, for example. Make sense? It's hard to explain. I've yet to meet anyone who has it this bad, at least so it seems."


Well you have now Cordelia because thats me!!!!!( However I have just read your posts about sensory problems and I haven't got any of that.) Its really hard to pin this down. Is this a separate disorder? Is it a secondary disorder that we develop to cope with a primary disorder? Like for example could your brain have developed MD to cope with your sensory problems(or others) and could my brain have developed MD to cope with avpd? Could someone else have developed it to cope with another pd or mental illness? Its very hard to get to the truth of this. Why do some of us mention other problems/disorders? Is that really just coincidence? I am flicking between the avpd forums and this one. Is anyone else flicking between 2 forums?

Daydreaming is an addiction, you never really have control over it. At least, you and I don't. I know what you are saying and experience it fully. Whenever I get this urge to daydream, even if it is at a most inconvenient time, I just "explode" right into. Consciously I may tell myself to stop, but it is always very difficult to do so. As soon as I try to stop it, it comes back flashing in my head a few seconds later.

Hi Feng. Do you think it is a stand alone condition or a manifestation of something else? I just dont know. I have been reading through the archives and I see some posts which come close to avpd in that people cant deal with other people or have a need to escape. Some of it looks very close to self deserting avpd.http://www.4degreez.com/disorder/forum/avoidant-shyness/1527-avpd-s...


I have not got a final view on this yet. Open to all ideas! I have posted about MD on the avpd forum today too. Im just searching for a link if there is one...or if there is one for some people. No replies yet.If no none replies in a few days(in a way I can relate to) I think I might have to take it that they are separate. Its a tough call  to make when they are both fantasy based disorders.

Personally, I think MD is mainly a symptom of another underlying problem. Reading through some of the posts of this forum give me the idea that some people develop MD because they want something to escape to when something in the real world gets rough. I guess it is a type of coping mechanism. For example, a few people here seemed to have been abused by one or both of their parents to some extent at a early age. Developing this ability to daydream about happy thoughts was a pain reliever at such a fragile stage. But over time, as your young mind grows and matures, this coping mechanism that we relied on constantly becomes embedded, almost permanently, into our mental construct. That is why, as adults, some of us feel powerless when trying to control MD.

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