Maladaptive Daydreaming: where wild minds come to rest
My name is James, I am 39, from Los Angeles. I've had MDD since I was about 12, and it really kind of started with how I wanted my life to go. My mother kidnapped us when I was 6 months old, then when my Father finally managed to rescue us from the cult we lived a pretty normal life until I was 8 or 9 and my Father married an abusive woman. She was married to her from 1990-2010, so for the good majority of my childhood I had a childhood that was based in fear, intimidation, anger. While I was fortunate to never go hungry, there was a giant instability in the house... almost like living on top of an active volcano, you never knew when it was going to go off.
I noticed around age 12 that I started to create this fantasy worlds where I could escape the hell from which I was currently living: The physical and emotional abuse at home, the bullying at school. I did have a short attention span as a child, and to be honest was kinda lazy, so I did not get really good grades. Fast forward 27 years later I still have MDD. I'm not at all minimizing anyone else's trauma that they've been through, but I've been through a lot of myself including homelessness, and losing a beloved sibling to a murder, that I feel that MDD is my way to cope. But my earliest memories are of my Dad at 39-40, and I couldn't imagine my Dad having MDD with all that he went through.
I'd like to stop MDD so that I can work on success in my own life, but I don't know where to start. That's why I was thrilled to see that there are other people like me. Because I LITERALLY thought I was the only one Earth that did this.
On the bright side, MDD has taught me a lot about myself. And it has peaked my curiosity any many cases to allow me to expand my knowledge and get to know new things.
I hope to talk to you all more.
Glad to see you on here, and glad you discovered this place.
Hi James. I'm so sorry to hear about all you've been through. I only found out what MDD was last night and like you I'm so relieved to know I'm not the only one!
Hi James. Wow - What an ordeal you've gone through. I am one of those people who daydreams for pleasure and usually to soothe myself out of boredom or feelings of inadequacy. I can pinpoint some of the reasons from early childhood that continued into my youth, but nothing like what you've gone through.
I found that one of the ways to get control over my obsessive daydreaming was actually finding out what MD was, and finding groups like this online. Once I actually could put a name on it, and read about MD, it was sort of diminishing its power over me as this mysterious, dirty thing that I felt like I was doing. I only found out about it in 2014 and I'm 46 now.
Once I realized what it was, I shifted gears from doing it, to reading about it. That alone is one of the first steps to my own journey of coping. I may not ever have the strength or ability to remove daydreaming from my life, but I have learned to live with it, and manage it a lot better. I wish the same for you! :)
Hi James, I really wish you all the best. I'm sorry that life has been difficult on you, but things can get better. I hope in this forum you'll feel supported!
I was also bullied at school and had almost no friends, so I built a fantasy world to get what I wasn't getting in real life: friends, love, adventure. Like you said, you can find a lot about yourself from your daydreams. Therapy did wonders for me because I was given a lot of techniques to cope with all my past traumas, to develop more self esteem, and to be more assertive with people. There are a lot of resources here and online that can be helpful too.
Theaxe has made a good point; I also thought that I was doing something I should be ashamed of that I couldn't stop. When you find out that it has a name and that other people have it it's so relieving. I think it's the most common feeling upon finding this forum, relief.