Maladaptive Daydreaming: where wild minds come to rest
Hello everyone! I have been a lurker for some time, but I think it is time for me to share my story, as well as a self-diagnosed disorder, which I believe goes hand in hand with my MD.
I am a married, 35 year-old mother of one. I've had MD for as long as I can remember. I remember being a little girl and longing for bedtime so that I could dream my little scenarios with no constant interruptions. It has never stopped since then. It has now become my "comfort zone". I've always been an unhappy, depressed person, although I have been great at hiding it. When I'm feeling really down, all I have to do is daydream. It's like a warm cozy blanket that surrounds me and makes everything better. I am totally addicted, but I have no intention of stopping or slowing down, as I get such pleasure and comfort doing so.
MD is truly like my happy pill. It's what keeps me going through the day. Without it, I think I would fall apart. I tried 2 different anti-depressants for a while many years ago, and although my mood got better, it felt very fake, and completely surreal (and I was still daydreaming a lot). It was an unpleasant feeling so I stopped taking them. I've always known there was something wrong with me, and that's where the depersonalization disorder comes into the picture.
Per Wikipedia, it is a dissociative disorder in which the sufferer is affected by persistent or recurrent feelings of depersonalization . Diagnostic criteria include persistent or recurrent experiences of feeling detached from one's mental processes or body. The symptoms include a sense of automation, going through the motions of life but not experiencing it, feeling as though one is in a movie, feeling as though one is in a dream, feeling a disconnection from one's body; out-of-body experience, a detachment from one's body, environment and difficulty relating oneself to reality.
A person with this disorder has no problem differentiating between what's real and what's not. It's just a strong feeling that we are not supposed to be part of that reality, including the body we are trapped in. Does that make sense?
I have NEVER recognized myself in the mirror. NEVER. When I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror or in pictures, it feels like I'm looking at someone else, even after 35 years! There is a complete disconnect. I remember telling my aunt when I was about 8 years-old that I did not feel like myself. I feel like I am this little ball of energy inside this foreign body. My physical appearance, my voice, my personality, my life are NOT mine. For example, I spent the morning talking to another mom at the playground while my daughter was playing. It was highly irritating, because here I was, having a nice conversation, yet it felt like it was not me talking, like I was just an observer, even though words where coming out of my mouth. It can get very debilitating at times, and that's where MD "helps". That's when I project who I think I really am. Can anybody relate?
That sounds a lot like me! Often times, I will think until I start to get this unpleasant feeling of detachment from the world, like I don't exist. I call it "The Haze", because I start to see everything through a haze. I wonder what anyone or anything at all is, and if I'm even real. I feel like everything is just a movie that I'm watching on a screen, and it starts to scare me. In addition to this, I also have depression, but I feel like the haze is the worst possible sensation that I can go through, because it's not just a bad feeling, but a complete death of my feelings altogether, and I can't stand it. I would rather be depressed than be in the haze.