Maladaptive Daydreaming: where wild minds come to rest
Hi Guys! I'm just new here so there's still little that I know of about this condition.. Can you help me out?
Before finding out about Maladaptive Daydreaming, I've always thought that there is something in me, maybe my personality and thinking, that is different and I just don't know what it is so I kept on searching the answer until I came up to this forum.
When I was a kid, I remember I had made up fairytale stories in my head and I thought it was me being imaginative. It wasn't a problem before. But now as I grow up, I think it's becoming more of a habit and a stress-reliever. I still can control it though. My daydreams aren't really that bizarre and are close to reality but there are times when I unintentionally start daydreaming when I'm bored and alone. Actually, I'm beginning to pace and mumble the imaginary dialogues. I also daydream while working (simple tasks like washing dishes), if I do daydream, the task that I'm doing at the moment seems to get finished slower than it should be. Whenever I study too, I take 30-40% of the time studying, while daydreaming, which should have been just a break, takes up 60-70% of my time.
Other symptoms that's bugging me are as follows:
*concentration problems, ( Something like when I am thinking of a problem/daydreaming, I lost track with my work at the same time.. or if you are giving me complex directions may or may not be interesting to me, I can get lost easily... I thought I had A.D.D. but I am not hyperactive/active)
*hearing problems ( Well this, It's hard to explain but sometimes to me noise from my surrounding would sound louder than the voice of the person in front of me so at times I lipread when I listen to someone. Also, when someone is talking to me, I would reply 'what?' and just a millisecond after even before the person could repeat what she said, I'ld finally understand what she meant.. I thought I had the condition called Auditory Processing Disorder but I realized my learning ability is quite good when I was a kid.)
*I'm becoming more introvert these days..
*Sometimes I get anhedonic (loss pleasure of doing things that I usually like)
I And, I'm still at my early 20s.
Do you think it's a form of M.D.?
And I know there are a lot of you guys who are middle-late adult with M.D.,
Just want to ask, did your condition worsen with time? Was it gradual?
Thanks for answering and Happy Holidays. :)
I'm 49 now and I daydream since I was 9 years old. There were only few times in my life, when I didn't daydream for weeks or months, usually I daydream more or less every day.
Like you, I have memory and concentration problems. I think they have worsened over the years. I write notes for every little thing. I can work, but I can't concentrate for longer periods of time.
It is interesting, that you mention hearing problems. You describe them the same way I have them. When I was younger, my parents accused me of not wanting to hear. As you mentioned, sometimes I would understand what they said shortly after hearing them. So they refused to repeat what they said. But I'm not sure, whether this has any relation to MDD. Maybe it is rather a physical problem, and it is just a co-incident that we both have this issue.
Like you, I'm rather an introverted person, but I have a family and social contacts - this hasn't changed much over the years.
What you say about getting anhedonic, this sounds a bit like a depression. I think this comes and goes - moodswings.
I hope this was a help for you and I wish you all the best!
The type of MDD you have described (not necessarily the other issues you mention) sound a lot like me. I pace and mutter all the time. The scenarios I play through are highly unlikely but not physically impossible. As an example: if I'm MDDing while cooking, I'm cooking for someone who I've respected but might not have talked to in 20 years and I'll talk to them through the process.
Hope that helps. I think that once MDD is there in adulthood it's as harmful as it is going to be unless you make a conscious effort to make it worse. The fact that you are doing it in adulthood is the point and potentially the problem.
I'm 19, but I definitely know I grew to rely on it more and more. It used to be a hobby or a game as a kid, though I'm pretty sure even when I played pretend with my friends that what I did was different from them. They stopped when they left the playground (talking older kids who had already grown out of imaginary friends). No clue when you could say it started, because when it starts in early childhood it's difficult to pinpoint exactly when it started, but we're talking over a decade for me. I get really touchy when people (aka my therapist) refer to "Rith" as someone else, or my friends as imaginary, etc. To quote Dumbledore, "Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?"
Anyway, I do actually have ADHD, but mine is separate from MDD. I'm sure it doesn't help as MDD is one more distraction, but often the symptoms don't correlate. I have that sort of hearing "problem" as well. I've done every hearing test on the Internet and all of them say I have perfect hearing, but I have trouble understanding people when others don't have a problem, mostly with background noise but even when there isn't any. My dad has this issue, but more to do with hyper-focus, like the term in my psych text book "inattentive blindness."
Thanks for the replies Iris, Blair, Alex, the1andonlyAbber, ohmymagent?.
im doing fine with MDD since I concentrated on writing my daydreams down.
the only problem I have is my memory..
I find this really strange, it seems so connected, the hearing thing, the memory, the daydreaming. I have been diagnosed with ADD but I never talked about de MDD with my therapists.
Everything you have described is almost exactly what I go through...although I have done this for literally as long as I can remember, it also grew worse as I grew older and more addictive. I also have noticed similar problems lately with concentrating and I think that is getting worse. I have always been extremely introverted but I do have several very close friends. As for the anhedonia, what I have noticed lately is not necessarily that I don't enjoy doing certain things anymore, but that I enjoy daydreaming more... which is scary.
as you mature you try to find more balance in your life. Being out of balance can make you unhappy enough to motivate at least some change. Balance between fantasy and reality is hard for every one in a way. A lot of people lose their dreams and imagination completely and they can become drones. Others like MDD's day dream too much and get nothing done.
I'm 37 and have found myself coming more and more concerned with the things that I want to accomplish than simply escaping from the boredom I felt life was. Those things partially feel like a new escape attempt (I want to make games) but they are more real than fantasy. And I do still daydream but less frequent there is simply less room for it, I have too much other stuff to do. Things that bother me emotionally demand my attention more than the need for entertainment, so I tend more towards problem solving and less towards escape. My daydreams are more realistic often, featuring me talking to another person, or having intimacy (less realistic but it's about a real person, eehee).
As someone introverted, I have become more extraverted, because I wanted to adapt and liked being with people from time to time, as boring, difficult and disappointing as it could be but still. I do feel that as I simply just explored, talking or reading, travelling a bit, I gradually got more interested in the outside world. Generally it's more easy for me to make contact with new people because I developed more and more a sense of humor and a broad range of interests. But I am still not a very outgoing person I don't like clubs for instance.
You mention becoming more introverted. I don't see this necessarily as bad as this may be important in this phase of your life where you need to explore that side and many beautiful things could come out of it. Now that I have received more input from the world I feel I have a deeper understanding of things and I can use it to my advantage. But I want to again become more introvert in a way, when it comes to work, it is my natural state and where I have my "superpower". Let other people do their boring things and let me create my unboring things.
It really sounds like you do have ADD to me because you don't need to be hyperactive for that although there are combined types of ADHD and ADD. Your imaginative brain is obviously working overtime at the cost of productivity. Losing interest in something after a while is also common since ADD's are both more easily distracted by new things and have trouble sticking with someone that gets a bit more boring after a while (it helps to accept a bit of boredom, embrace that not everything is super exciting, such is life...).
ADD seems very closely related to MDD and having that separate label is not always helpful. It's just that MDD is more about that imaginative part of the brain where ADD is just more about a lack of dopamine which makes it harder to concentrate and motivate yourself. Read my post about ADD. ADD's are like the introverted sisters of extraverted ADHD's.