Maladaptive Daydreaming: where wild minds come to rest
OK, so it's getting a little late here as I am typing this. Too late to get out and go anywhere to get a change of scenery. I am stuck in a daydream that is really starting to take over all of my waking hours. It's getting to be a problem. I am not getting anything done and the story line that I am stuck on is starting to upset me and give me headaches. The visuals keep flashing through my head even though I tell them to stop.
I went out shopping today with my best (and only) friend which was good and really helped at that moment in time. I worked out today as well to help ease the depression that I am also trying to keep under control. I am keeping the TV off because that has been a big trigger lately. I am not listening to music either which can be a trigger for me at any time.
But now I don't know what to do to stop this. For me, it is this time of the evening that is the hardest to deal with. It's too late to get out of the house and too early to go to sleep. I absolutely dread the hours between 6:00 and 9:00 pm when I am in a mood such as this one. I don't want to sit at the dinner table and make conversation. I haven't had much of an appetite in days anyway. As a matter of fact, I can't stand to have anyone in the immediate vicinity.
The pull of the DD is so strong right now that I want to totally ignore my family and go hide in my bedroom. Or I want to turn on the TV to the channels that I know will perpetuate the daydream. I made it through dinner OK but still have about 2 hours to go before bedtime and that seems like an eternity.
Does anyone else have a time of day that MDD seems to get worse or feel completely uncontrollable? If so, what do you do to get through?
Yep, my worst time is the evening too. I try not to avoid it though (for me that just makes me depressed and it gets harder to deal with). I often just switch daydreams. I've developed a purely fantasy one (which is the one that I always find myself dragged into) so to try and balance that I ended up with a completely aspirational one where I end up succeeding career-wise. I'm studying Creative Writing so I listen to music and picture scenes from TV shows that I'd end up creating or listening to obscure pieces of music (that in my head would be the theme tune) and imagining every little detail the opening titles of the shows would have. Bizarrely, it actually helps. Quite a few interesting ideas came my way because of it.
Basically, what I'm saying is try and harness it for your own good. Are there any daydreams that would help you in the line of work you want to progress in? Even in the most obscure way? Trying to pretend you don't have your MD will probably just make you miserable... I couldn't see anything wrong with embracing mine as long as I set myself boundaries.
I have a manual labor job and often work by myself, which means during the day I can daydream for 6-10 hours straight. By the time I get to the night, I've reached that point where I'm sick of the daydreams and have that headache you're talking about (have it right now), but it's still all I want to think about. Nothing is as interesting.
I've found that doing little tasks that require brain effort gave me a really nice break. I needed a new phone. I spent hours searching, comparing prices and services, and it was so...calming, I guess? to have that break. Of course, I find once I've had a break, I just want to get right back to it.
Sometimes, I have to force my body to move and do something when I feel like doing absolutely nothing. "Just pick up that canvas and start slapping some paint on it already!!" If I can just start, I find that I can usually get myself involved in it, or at least, get myself, say, 50% involved in it, leaving only 50% of my brain to daydream.
I suggest making a list of things that you know you want done, even if you are having a crazy hard time making yourself do them (because nothing is as interesting as DD). Just start them. Don't think about finishing them. Starting is the hardest part. Hope this helps.
Thanks so much to all who have replied. You've given me quite a lot to put into practice. So grateful for the information!!! Thanks again!!!!
Hi Sheena! You really hit the nail on the head with that last sentence. Coming out of the daydream really does hurt. It is such a contrast to the stress that I live with on a daily basis that it feels like someone slapped me hard across the face.
I find it difficult to stop at any time of the day.
But I don't really hate having MDD so its not really a big deal for me. I see it more as a unique gift we have, than of a curse.
But I do wish there was someone else with MDD that I knew in person so I wouldn't feel so alone with it.
1) Read- only in paper form. a book or newspaper. Get a load of mystery novels, so that when you are done reading, your MD is used up trying to figure out the suspects. Get in to classics, modern fiction especially romantic novels might also be a trigger. Or just read the entire newspaper.
2) Sing- yes, use some of the 6 to 9 time slot to sing. Can you play an instrument, if yes, even better. The brain will use all its energy process the lyrics you'll be belting out. Just start.
3) Arts & Craft or a new Exercise- Do yoga or weight training or dance. You're already working out, so you could take up a craft- water color painting, glass painting, sketching, knitting. Anything to keep your hands busy
All of this can be done in your bedroom.
The key thing is that you need to break your pattern.
@Tinkerbell I noticed this too. And u know what I discovered, that if u re-DD a scenario or a story that u have already DDed / or if u have a favorite DD which is not too action-based, then you will fall asleep easily.
It's important not to process or create new daydreams. Put your imagination to rest by going back to old scenarios, it'll keep the serotonin levels balanced.
Bedtime is the worst as the mind wanders and sometimes difficult to get asleep. Couldn't agree more with Aquarius that new daydreams tend to keep me awake.