Maladaptive Daydreaming: where wild minds come to rest
Joined this network sometime ago but haven't been active for quite a while. However, lately I have been considering to what extent I have maladaptive daydreaming.
I don't disappear for hours or days on end, but if I added up all the mini-dream episodes I have per day or week, I think the tally would be substantial enough. Still, while the quantity of time spent daydreaming might be more than desirable, I don't think that is the real issue for me. I think the real issue is that my daydreaming dissociates me from reality and acts as a substitute for activities and relationships I could have in the real world. Don't get me wrong - clearly some of the things I daydream about can't simply be transcribed into reality -but insofar as many of my daydreams are indirect expressions of needs and desires that I could fulfil, my daydreams take up time and energy (including emotional energy) that I could exert on living my life rather than dreaming about it.
I do believe there can be a lot of positives to daydreaming, but, obviously, as we all know, there can be damaging aspects to it too. I sometimes find it tricky to know clearly at which point my daydreaming is no longer positive, for I can find there are simultaneously positive and negative aspects to it(I do wonder if even for those who suffer from extreme maladaptive daydreaming there aren't still some positives from the experience, which makes it hard to be motivated to change, even though one knows the negatives outweigh the positives)
Final thing: in therapy I have been working through issues connected to neglect, as I was emotionally neglected as a child. I have traced the beginning of my maladaptive dreaming to childhood, and to spending hours and hours lost in my imagination, play acting, running around in worlds of my own creation, acting our characters, and so on. In one sense, I could be simply described as a child who had an active imagination. However, it was something that I also did to deal with the anxiety of my mother's absence, of feelings of isolation, and ultimately a way to soothe and fulfil my emotional needs. Unfortunately, this tendency to daydream never entirely left me, and I have still looked for emotional and relationship needs in my interior world of daydreams rather than in reality.
Anyway, looking forward to connecting with others. Very happy to chat, so feel free to get in contact.
The line between regular behaviour and a mental problem can be subtle. Usually, it is helpful to ask oneself the question: is my life getting worse because of it?
MD is more than daydreaming too much or for too long, MD is feeling the need of it when you're not doing it.
I was thinking, what if we decide one day of the week to chat? A regular meeting?
Hi Valeria. Thanks for reaching out. Yes a chat would be great this week. I'm based in Melbourne, Australia but happy to do early morning or evening if that suits your time zone better?
I live in Italy... (CET) I was thinking more of a fixed day of the week for everybody in here to chat, but time zones can be difficult! Maybe we can just fix a day, like Wednesday and no matter what time it is, someone will be around? I can be here like on Wednesday evenings one hour.
You're ten hours behind me. Could do, say, 9 pm your time - that would probably be the earliest I could go from my end