I found this group after stumbling upon a website about Maladaptive Daydreaming when I googled "I spend all my time fantasizing that I have a different life."

As long as I can remember, I've had an active and powerfully rich fantasy life. It seemed to really blossom in puberty when most of my play with friends involved "fake lives" where we pretended to be grown ups. I persisted in fantasizing about a fake life long after my friends grew tired of acting them out. I spent most of adolescences fantasizing about dating and falling in love. Even after that happened, I fantasized about different visions of my future, or intricate romance plots that were completely alternate realities in which an ideal version of me had a totally different life and relationship(s). I think this ties into my deep involvement with online fan communities and journaling: I'm more intimate and close to people who are far away -- people I've never met in real life -- than I am with closeby friends, even though I'm dying for really good friends IRL. Every time I change schools or jobs, I immediately start fantasizing about a different/better situation. I think I've been depressed most of my life, too. It all kind of clicked together into a big picture of lifelong depression and daydreaming when I read the articles about MD. And now I'm here. 

I don't really know what to do, I just know that I want to be content with my life as it is. I don't want to spend my time wishing life were different: I want to either MAKE it different or love it as is.

-- Lauren

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Hi Lauren! Welcome!

Well, I know how you feel. The good news is, you aren't nessecarily doomed to carry this all your life. The bad news is, it won't be easy at all-and might feel impossible. But since you have decided you want something to change, you're on the right path. :)

There is not a foolproof way to get rid of MD (at least not yet). For many people who can keep it under control, it is a constant battle. But I've heard of people who were actually cured, too. Here, in the site, we're discussing it and throwing in ideas. There are several posts with suggestions, so looking around the site might help you.

My personal suggestion is to start by doing some thorough analyzing of your daydreams. How are they diffrent from your real life? Are they more adventurous? Happier? Feel safer from the danger of rejection? Do you have more friends, a better salary, a better social standing? Are you fearless inside your world? This will help you understand your own desires better. There is nothing wrong with wanting a diffrent life, if you ask me! (Fighting for that diffrent life is what started getting me out of MD and depression-but it took a loooooooot of analyzing to discover what I really want, before starting to fight for it. I'm getting better every day right now. I cannot be 100% sure about what would work for you, though)

About the positives of the situation, you have a great tool that may aid your imagination. Also, you have a "safe place" where anything can be the way you dream it. Not everyone can get so much into a beautiful dreamworld. But these are also reasons about MD being addictive, and hard to let go. You could love it, but it sounds like you aren't content with things as they are. Therfore, I'd suggest to do your research :)

One way or another, don't give up :)

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