Maladaptive Daydreaming: where wild minds come to rest
Or another way to word this question would be: What changes have you noticed when you stop DDing...or at least planned DDs?
I have started about 3 days ago stopping DDing altogether; and what i mean by that is no planned DDs at all and the ones i catch myself in, ill allow, but stop them as soon as im aware im in them. Also as soon as i start thinking about the fact i want to stop ill actually tell myself to focus as much as i can on what im doing; like if im washing my hands ill concentrate as hard as i can to feel the tempurature of the water and the feeling of my hands rubbing together, my feet on the floor in standing position etc. to practice being more mindful. The expression 'Do one thing everyday that scares you' has also helped me a little because feeling uncomfortable in any way means you're in reality; daydreaming is trying to make ourselves comfortable by escaping reality. And it could be anything; like i hate taking off my makeup with those cold makeup remover wipes but i force myself to stay with reality and feel how cold it is and feel the feelings of discomfort. Thats just a small one though, lol...that may just be meaningless to some people...the thing ive noticed though, is that those feelings of mild dicomfort are the exact feelings i have everytime i stop a DD, it feels like 'entering reality'. Personally i think that everytime we feel that, we are rewiring our brains...and that would definatly be good!
So far i feel a tiny bit less awkward socially and possibly a little happier but it could just be a placebo. For me i think seeing changes is going to mean completly retraining my brain's way of thinking because i'm finding it hard to just think about a certain topic without it turning into an imaginary conversation or something. But as of now, its really weird but i think i may be feeling a tiny bit more intigrated into reality; like my situations and concerns of things ACTUALLY going on seem to have a slightly hightened significance as if by magic...and this is helping with having motivation to complete tasks...its hard to explain but once again it may just be a placebo.
So have any of you guys tried stopping and seen any type of result at all? Ive seen a few people mention being less awkard socially...
ive stopped completely a few times and i feel alot less socially awkward and enjoy life alot more..the longer i go without dding the less impulse i feel to do it however each time ive stopped ive started again usually because ive kind of forgotten the feeling of DDing and want to see if i can still do it..then i fall back into old habits. usually when i stop after a few days i start to feel depressed and asthough life is boring and not enough, it always feels weird to me to think that this real life can exhist when i am not percieving and improving on it in my DD world, like when something really good happens i get a feeling like that of desperately needing to tell a friend a big secret..except instead of telling a friend i am introducing it into my DD life, i think it is possible to stop completely but very difficult because personally as i feel less and less awkward i forget about how awkward i felt before i stopped and wonder why i ever stopped, bit of a vicious circle
I've tried so many times to stop. I'm made a promise to myself last year before my 19th birthday that I would kick my daydreaming habit before I turn 20. I'm 6 months into 19 haven't made much improvement. I usually try to limit myself to one hour of daydreaming each day, and it works for a while until I get too confident and start letting myself daydream for longer periods, thinking I can stop whenever I want. Then I'm back to square one.
I am trying to stop right now. I decided I was doing it too often and am reminding myself to focus on real life. It does work, but takes a bit of effort. I find reading helps.
Strange thing is, I never do it socially - its always when Im alone or bored.
I have tried, I try everyday, every hour to stop. For me it is not a choice, it is an invasion into my mind. I agree that reading helps, or watching tv but either only helps for a short time. I find myself staring at the page of the book and realise I have DDing , I have to keep refocusing and rereading pages to stay focused. Until I just get worn out and give in to the DDs. I do it socially, anytime really. I find that the time I am focused on reality is much less the time in DDing.
Hey. I've had maladaptive daydreaming for about 12 years (I'm only 18) and I have been trying to stop daydreaming altogether for the past 6 months. Stop forever. Daydreaming has been a negative experience for me and pretty much took over my life for the past couple of years. Here's my experience so far. It's been good and bad. I mostly feel the way you do: every time we don't daydream and force ourselves to stay with the real world, we're kind of rewiring our brains.
When I first tried to stop daydreaming months ago, I was shocked by how hard it was. I kept catching myself falling back into my fantasies whenever I was alone, walking down the street, lying in bed, etc. When I finally started to make some progress, I felt better at first. I was able to go a whole day without daydreaming. Then, I hit a couple setbacks. My daydreams have always been an escape from my home life (which sucks. I won't go into it.). They kept me from thinking about things. When I stopped, I would frequently become depressed or feel numb and unhappy. I think it was partially withdraw symptoms from my "addiction" to daydreaming and partially that I'd never dealt with my real problems, and there was nothing to protect me from them now. Even after months, I'm still struggling with depression and dissociation along with having to consciously keep myself from daydreaming all the friggin time. It kind of sucks. But I think it's getting easier, and I'm getting better, gradually. When I have a good day, where I feel like I don't need to daydream and I'm content with the world, it makes all the effort worth it to me.
Lisa, I think you are right, that we have to accept our uncomfortable feelings, as DD is an escape from them. I dd every day, it's one of the first things I do in the morning, one of the last I do in the evening. I can't stop it by my own will. Five years ago I had 8 months without dd! I also thought that it has something to do with surpressed feelings, so I tried to think of my childhood, when it all started, tried to feel how unhappy I was during this time. As a child I couldn't understand my situation, couldn't help myself because I dependend on my parents like every child. But now I am grown up and could comfort this little child. This made me very sad - and happy. I was crying for weeks, but I was the happiest person in the world, because I had real feelings - good and bad.
Unfortunately this time passed and I fell back on DD when I had a severe problem with my mother.
I recommend the book from Alice Miller, "Das Drama des begabten Kindes" (I don't know the english title). Alice Miller was a polish/swiss psychologist, writing about the importance of childhood. Maybe it's a help for some.
I want to stop daydreaming, but haven't yet been able to. The way I control it is by setting myself challenges like don't daydream for the next two hours, don't daydream while so-and-so are at the house, etc. It's my short term fix, since the reward is excessive daydreaming. I once went a whole week using this way once. Earlier, I tried to quit 'cold turkey' and only lasted 2 days before the withdrawal symptoms had me back on my daily dose.
After that week long break from dd-ing I found that I could remember spoken instructions better. Normally my mum tells me to do a chore during the day, but I completely forget. After the break, I remembered easily. Also, the want to daydream was lessened significantly, even after my challenge was complete and I was 'allowed' to indulge. It was more out of habit, and less because of addiction that I fell back into it.
The mindfulness thing you mentioned sounded like a good idea. Out of curiosity, have you had any luck with md since you posted this last year?
Charlie I have been having the same problem! I have been trying to give up md but it's so difficult, i dont want to be alive, I just want to fall asleep and dream forever, whenever i wake up no matter how long I have been asleep I force myself back to sleep and spent the whiole day waiting til i am able to go back to sleep again. I feel very very depressed, I think that without md we need another way to escape from our lives because we have avoided our emotions for as long as we can remember, when i stop md i get so depressed,every second i am not crying i am holding back tears.
I didn't try to stop DD but I did try to limit it. I don't want to spend the whole day DDing because that would waste a lot of time. I was able to get more stuff done, but my personality hasn't changed. I'm still the socially awkward person.
As everyone have problem is same for me too but i have tired reading books which need focus for me that helping but still i cant read all day so still stuck with dd plz anyone tell me if meditation helps ??
That's been happening to me, too, especially the depression. I think it is withdrawal symptoms, because it definitely feels like they're getting less severe over the last couple weeks. Also the fighting with your brain thing takes a while to get used to, but hang in there!
Charlie Henderson said:
For the past 4 days I've tried to cut down my DD's by quite a bit, I deleted all my music and even cut my head phone cord with scissors so I couldn't use them :p and I'm not allowing myself on youtube.
I have noticed though 1. it's soooo difficult and it's like I'm fighting with my brain all the time and 2. I'm starting to have really intense and vivid night time dreams (sometimes about me daydreaming :s) I didn't get up until 10:30am today because every time I strirred my brain would say 'No don't wake up, you're enjoying this dream too much and you'll only have to face reality if you do.' So I kept drifting back off.
Oh I'm also starting to feel a bit depressed and like I can't be bothered to do anything (I'm still sat in my bath robe). I'm hoping this depressive state is just me going through withdrawal and not gonna stick around too long.