Maladaptive Daydreaming: where wild minds come to rest
Hi, I'm new here. I must say I'm somewhat relieved to finally find others like me - I've been looking for an answer for years. I'm 53 and this seems to have started for me early in childhood as well - about 6 or 7. I had a great childhood - no abuse, neglect, mental health problems and such, But I also have many of the issues others have posted about, although not as severe as some. My question is: Does anyone else feel there may be a genetic predisposition involved?
I suppose it might be difficult to determine as so many of us never speak to others, much less family members about MD. However, I noticed many of us have several common conditions in addition to MD - OCD, autism, anxiety, ADD, etc. In my own family I have a nephew with mild OCD, a daughter and niece with autism, a son and another daughter with ADD and a grandson with ADHD. I, myself, have a generalized anxiety disorder given to occasional full blown panic attacks and although I was never diagnosed, I suspect ADD. (when I was growing up it wasn't called ADD/ ADHD - it was called OLB: Obnoxious Little Brat...)
Recently, my older brother passed away and as I was going through some of his personal items, I found many writings that were quite fantastical - rewrites of childhood memories that as a sibling I know simply didn't happen: such as him breaking an ankle at age 12 and crawling home for help - I was only 2 years younger and I certainly would have remembered that! He had so many of these writings it leads me to believe he also secretly had MD. It just makes me a little sad I never knew before. But as so many of us experience shame or guilt related to MD it leads us to hide the condition from even our closest family and friends.
I'm trying to work up the courage to ask other family members I suspect might also have MD and to be honest, I wonder if they would even confess to it if they did have it - I'm not sure I would have admitted it if someone directly asked me just a few months ago. After given it some thought and finding this site, I have realized that it really isn't anything to be ashamed of anymore than any other condition - I would just be careful who I spoke to as not everyone I know may not be sensitive to issues around MD.
I think there could be a predisposition to it, whether it be genetic or some womb development brain develops minutely differently or something, but it doesn't necessarily mean you'll have it. The only mental thing I know in my family history is my brother and father both had depression as a teen and 'grew out' of it at around 18, 20-ish. We live in New Zealand, though, and my ext. family is in Switzerland, and no one's said anything, so I've no idea if anyone has any mental conditions (except for my cousin, but that's unrelated.)
Finally spoke to my younger brother whether he might also be a DDer - says he used to DD a bit when younger, but said the military pretty much stomped him out of it (He spent nearly 20 years in the Air Force.) I did tell him in some detail about my MDD and he was very kind about it. We had a nice conversation, even though I felt a bit awkward discussing it with him. I also told him my suspicions regarding my older brother who is recently deceased and he agreed it was quite possible he might have had the same condition. I think I'll wait until after the holidays to approach any other family members about MDD - and with some, I imagine I may have to approach it in a less direct way. Hope I don't chicken out...or worse, regret bringing up the topic.