Maladaptive Daydreaming: where wild minds come to rest
Along with the grandiose fantasies that I come up with revolving around myself (gorgeous, famous, etc.), the intricate webs that I weave around fictional characters in literature and movies, and the characters that I create in my own mind, another theme tends to occasionally creep into my head and seep into my daydreams like blood through dressing: Tragedy.
This is going to sound awful and it makes me feel like a horrible person, but I sometimes create scenarios in my mind in which I am diagnoased with a terminal illness. The entire daydream will revolve around my diagnosis, my initial reaction, other peoples' reactions, my coping mechanisms and, ultimately, my death (very rarely do I survive in these fantasies with a clean bill of health). I imagine my funeral and of how the world goes on without me in it; people still talking about me long after I've passed away, etc. If that's not bad enough, I actually create mental images of myself ravaged with disease; bald and wearing a beanie to cover my head, frail, etc.
I have always felt absolutely horrible and ashamed of these daydreams in particular. In reality, I am terrified of being diagnosed with cancer or lupus or any other type of illness (one of my problems with anxiety is a fear of doctors, and I'm also a hypochondriac; I panic over the tiniest cough and automatically assume it's a life-threatening illness. I refuse to go to the doctor for a simple check-up because I'm convinced he'll discover that I'm dying). I don't ever want to be sick in that way and I don't want to die. I've seen countless numbers of people suffer and die excruciatingly slow deaths and I would never ever want to suffer in that way. But in my daydreams, I feel like I am allowed to imagine such things happening to myself.
Gosh, this really makes me feel like a bad, evil person. I haven't daydreamt anything like this in over a year (I stopped because it made me feel so freaking ashamed and evil), but I'm frightened this type of daydream will pop into my head again someday.
Am I the only person who has done this?
P.S. I apologize if I've offended anyone with this post. It wasn't my intention, and I truly am sorry if anyone has ever personally experienced some type of horrible illness.
I've done the same thing as well. The latest dream did not involve my presence, but my coworkers gathering to learn that the baby I was pregnant with was stillborn.
slightly off-topic: I've never fantasized about myself being famous, but always being on the fringes of fame - a member of a film crew that has an affair and love-child with a famous actor; a good figure-skater or dancer who is watched by the object of her affection.
One thing that particularly disturbs me about my self-absorbed fantasies is that I have some strange urge for attention and might some day play these desires out in real life in the form of Munchhausen's or Munchhausen's by Proxy or something. Am I an attention-seeking time bomb waiting to explode?
It happens to me too..
Many of my daydreams will never happen in real life by construction. e.g., I daydream modified past events, so they can never exist (or you can travel in time :)
in my opinion, one motivation because daydreams exists is to experiment things that you can't do.
(is common in common-people to daydream violent images when they are angry)
and i written it for you because i get easily bored:
don't fear your past dreams
they are totally useless
don't fear what they means
they are flow of consciousness.
oh i'm not a psychologist nor a medical.
Reply to Heidi - Everyone is basically self-centered. Our DD's simply allow us to express it in more creative, colorful ways. Most people spend hours every day thinking about themselves; it's just things like ruminating about past conversations, thinking about what I'm going to wear tomorrow, etc. How dull.
My DD's are mostly romantic - funny, initially I assumed everyone's were - but I create really painful scenarios also - unrequited love, stillborn babies, etc. It makes my DD's seem more real.
This topic reminds me of a recurring daydream I have every time a member of my family gets sick and has to go to the ER. You see, my father died of cancer when I was fourteen and we spent a ton of time carting him back and forth to the hospital, watching his hair fall out, all that gruesome stuff... So now whenever someone gets sick, I play out in my mind what will happen if they have some sort of terminal condition. For the most minor medical conditions, I'll begin thinking of what I'll say to them before they die, what I'll say at their funeral, how I'll go on in life, etc. It's gotten to the point where hospitals quite literally terrify me.
And, for the record, I don't think you're a bad person in the slightest! Despite my terror of hospitals, I often think of scenarios similar to the one you just described. It makes me feel guilty, when I take into consideration the sort of pain my father must have gone through in his final days, but sometimes you just can't control what you think about. And, as others here have said, it might be a basic process to make us less afraid of that looming possibility. So there's no reason to be hard on yourself :)