I had MD almost completely under control, or so I thought. I started therapy, addressed the things in my life that made me fantasize, gained some self-esteem, and I started spending my days in the real world instead of the fanstay one. I only daydreamt when I was bored, but I was able to go back to reality without problems. I really thought I was over it.

But now with COVID I've been working from home since March. My friends have left the city I live in, because they're working from their parents' home. I don't see my coworkers anymore, obviously -even though we have online meetings, it's not really the same. I can't visit my family, because they live in a different city, and here in Spain it's forbidden to go to another state. (I'm not criticizing it, I understand we're in the middle of a pandemic, I'm just saying what it is). 

So I feel isolated again, and I have started daydreaming again. I feel so bad about it, just when I thought I had it under control. Anyone else has experienced a worsening of their condition because of Covid? Let's chat about it! 

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Blanca,

Thank you so much for sharing. I relate so much to your struggles, and I feel your pain! Right before the pandemic started, I felt like I had regained control over my daydreams. I had also started therapy, and I was enjoying my reality for the first time in a long time. For once, I felt ready to step into life.

But when everything shut down, I started daydreaming again to cope with the stress and loneliness. I'm also working from home, living with my parents. I hardly ever see my friends, or even my siblings who work so much (outside the house) that I barely speak to them. My younger sister, who's my best friend, joined the army in June, and it's been agony living apart from her. 

It's safe to say this is the most isolated I've felt in my life, and it is severely damaging my mental health. Fantasized interactions with my daydream characters are really the only social interaction I get on a daily basis, and it has made me so dependent on maladaptive daydreaming again. I'm so frustrated with myself. I feel hopeless because I don't know how to improve my reality amidst the pandemic.

Blanca, I hope you find some comfort in knowing you're not alone. I hope things improve for you and anyone experiencing worsened symptoms in this lonely time.

Thanks Melanie for your kind words. The worst part is that this situation is not ending anytime soon and there is little we can do except trying to stay safe. This pandemic has hit us all in so many levels: not only the disease, but the economic crisis and the impact in our mental health, as you said. At least in this forum we can reach to each other and share experiences. I hope starting this conversation helps a little until things are back to normal or until we stop being so isolated.

Of course! Just reading your post and being able to talk in this forum helps so much. It does worry me that this situation won't end anytime soon, but if maintaining our sanity is all we can do, we'll have to put all our energy towards that. 

Oh yes!  Yep.  Even in my office at work.  I am far more isolated and I have a lot of time alone in my office.  It gets bad.  I get work done in big spurts in between slacking and immersive day dreaming.  Luckily, everyone just thinks I am thinking hard.  LOL  (I know not too funny, but kind of actually sort of).  I do manage to keep up with my work but I feel guilty on days where nothing gets done that was on my projects list.  

I have an unusual trait (I think it's unusual) that I use the internet and computer screen as a space to do my visualization (the cyberspace dreamscape).  I used to have all the basic symptoms of MD by themselves, but I found that I can keep the immersive fantasizing going while simultaneously role playing the main "persona" out of my day dreams online.  I know that sounds weird.  I haven't found any other maladaptive day dreamers who combined their MD with an internet addiction and role playing the way I have.  

The issue is, most of my work involves the computer and internet.  So I am on the keyboard, and my day dream persona, "Melian" wants to come out and have adventures and chat with people.  It's SO addictive like a drug, like crack or heroin.  I am definitely getting a huge dose of endorphins.  

With the covid stuff, I have far less people interrupting me and my meeting are, you guessed it, online.  I day dream my way through zoom meetings.  

Hi Blanca,

It is exactly the same for me, but I just want to share something my therapist told me that I thought might benefit us all. She said it's absolutely normal to experience a "relapse" of MD when we are isolated, but it doesn't mean it'll continue after covid. Your progress hasn't disappeared, but rather your brain is just going to the old familiar coping mechanism it knows.

She also told me not to feel guilty about it, and that it'll go away on its own once we get back to normal. Well, not go away completely, but go back to the state I was in previously. 

So I'm trying not to resist it, but to simply note when I get lost in my MD. Also, not going to lie, I do let myself enjoy it from times to times! For example, if I take a walk outside, I'll MD a bit, but I know that once I get back home, I get back to my everyday chores and work. It's normal to seek confort in imaginary relationships when we are lacking them IRL.

I hope everyone stays safe during these hard time. Please take care of yourself, and don't be too hard on yourself if you go back to MD! I work in a crisis line, and I can tell you that pretty much everyone is suffering from loneliness and sadness because of covid. We all have different ways to cope with it!! 

Mistgod, I totally hear you. I also think that sometimes the office world can be very cold and fake, so it makes us more prone to go to our inner fantasy world even in work hours. I once had a job where nobody cared about me because I was just an intern, so as you explained I spent the whole day in front of the computer daydreaming, because the job itself didn't need much concentration. Maybe it's also what happens to you, that the job isn't very stimulating?

Ariane, this is actually really helpful! I feel somewhat relieved. My therapist also told me that is important to not feel guilty about it.

Also, I am glad that you found a therapist who understands MD (my therapist also did, but many are still not aware of this condition) and that you have it under control in a way that you can enjoy and doesn't interfere with your life. I hope I can go back to this state.

Ariane,

Your post was reassuring! It's nice to think that I might return to how I was doing before the pandemic. It's awesome that you're able to control when you do and don't MD. I hope to have that self-control and ability to focus someday!

Hi Melanie,

I must say it's only recently that I have been able to "keep" my MD somewhat in check. And of course, there are still times when I go into MD without realizing it (music is an especially strong trigger for me). Chronic depression + MD is a deadly ennemy of getting tasks done lol! I still have a long road ahead of me! But it's not hopeless. We've got this, baby steps! :) 

Melanie said:

Ariane,

Your post was reassuring! It's nice to think that I might return to how I was doing before the pandemic. It's awesome that you're able to control when you do and don't MD. I hope to have that self-control and ability to focus someday!

Blanca, I am so glad if this was helpful for you!

And about my therapist, I was honestly so surprised. I had never talked about my MD before with previous therapists (I felt very ashamed and "crazy" for having it, and back then I didn't even know it had a name, so I thought maybe I was the only one doing this) but I got this therapist matched with me through work, and when I told her about it, she said "yeah of course!" like it was the most normal thing! 

She told me that a lot of people do it, and considering my personal background, she was not surprised in the least that it became one of my main coping mechanism. It was so relieving to have someone normalize it and not be weirded out by it!

I also have no doubt that you'll be able to get back to a state where it doesn't interfere with your life. We're only going through an exceptional situation right now.


Blanca Margatroid said:

Ariane, this is actually really helpful! I feel somewhat relieved. My therapist also told me that is important to not feel guilty about it.

Also, I am glad that you found a therapist who understands MD (my therapist also did, but many are still not aware of this condition) and that you have it under control in a way that you can enjoy and doesn't interfere with your life. I hope I can go back to this state.

For me my daydreaming habits have been no different. My husband and I work from home and our lives have been mainly the same routine. We did hit a bit of a lull in our business, but my routine maintained the same for the most part. I usually daydream more when I suddenly develop a new idea. That can happen anytime.

Hi Theaxe, so then you are really used to work from home! In my case we went from going to the office everyday to work from home and never see my colleagues again in months. It was a huge and sudden change.

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