Maladaptive Daydreaming: where wild minds come to rest
My name is Dylan, I'm 25 now and only recently became aware that I'm not the only person in the world that does this thing we're calling maladaptive daydreaming.
I've been at it since as far back as I can remember, there was no turning point for me unlike allot of you, it's just something I've always done but I can say for certain that it's becoming more frequent as time goes on.
I had a very happy childhood, there's nothing I should have wanted to "escape" from and yet I've always felt this need to immerse myself in these fantastical adventures. Sure I've always had friends and family and good health but the urge jump into fantasy land has always been so strong I've never been able to resist.
At first I had to move physically to really get into it, I would run in circles, sometimes for several minutes, sometimes for hours, it must have looked so weird to people who saw me but over time I developed the ability to do it without moving at all.
Now it happens automatically, often I don't even notice I've been daydreaming until I've spent my whole day doing it. It's gotten in the way of school and work and everything else as I'm sure many of you can relate to.
I sometimes worry I'll never live up to my potential in life. I've always been interested in drawing and writing but it's getting harder and harder to concentrate enough to build a career or to do anything really.
I'm optomistic though. I've gone through my share of depression and guilt and now I'm trying really hard to force myself to be more "normal" and get some things done. I'll never want to stop completely but for now I really have to learn some ways to tone it down a bit and foccus on the most important years of my life.
I'm really happy to learn that I'm not alone here. You people must know what I've gone through better than anyone else and I look forward to talking to you and learning more about this troublesome yet wonderful thing we all share.
I'm in my thirties and I know that MD has prevented me from living up to my "potential". I think back to all the things I wanted to do but instead I daydreamed about it. Everything is achievable in my daydream world. With this said, generally speaking, I still enjoy my life (when I'm in it) and have friends and family that care about. Like everyone I have my ups and downs along with inner struggles.
Life isn't prefect and neither are we. Sometimes you just have to accept who you are but realized that change is possible but you have to want it. Good luck with your MD :o)
My daydreaming hasnt gotten as severe, but i am worried that it will. I've had several attempts to stop it.. and they worked from a peroid of a week to a couple months. Of course, things always happen. I get bored, I need escape, or maybe i just crave the excitment of it all.. i dont know. but i do it again. I guess now is the time for us to get self disciplined eh? :P
Oh man the triggers suggestion is the hardest one for me. All the things I love are triggers and are honestly most forms of entertainment. My triggers are music, movies and books. Music inspires me emotionally, movies and books give me great story lines.
How do I avoid all that? I could just sit and stare at a wall but that would just lead to boredom and daydreaming. Vicious damn cycle!
Cordellia Amethyste Rose said:I agree, making them more productive doesn't help them go away. In fact it can make them worse. I still think it's a good idea, though, because we're probably not going to ever stop completely. Hopefully we'll get out of our heads enough to live outer lives that are fulfilling enough that we won't need this as much........but when we do daydream we want to it to help us and not hurt us. I work through a lot of great things in my daydreams. It's like free therapy plus a great, strong conversation all in one. I mean most people have to go out and find people to have really enriching conversations that we can have in our own heads. We need to harness the good while figuring out how to keep it under control. I mean it's just thinking after all..........we shouldn't outlaw thinking. Thinking is a good thing. Thinking obsessively and not doing anything else is the problem.
I started a form awhile back "What helps?" If anyone gets a chance, I'd really like to pool ideas there for people to reference. There are a few questions to help you think, but you can post whatever you want. If anything helps you, please share so others can see and benefit. Otherwise these forums can be kinda hard to search for a newcomer who's panicking and needing ideas.
Ideas that have come up:
-recognizing triggers and limiting access to them.
-distracting yourself whenever you're starting to daydream too much or have an unproductive daydream.
-focus on activities in the outside world that you really love & trying to get into them more to keep you focused.
I think there's a good lesson in this. Many people are complacent in their lives and get stuck. They don't focus on doing what they love & work themselves into deep ruts. They may not turn to a fantasy world and let it become a big problem like it does with us...........but having a group of people for whom living a fulfilling life is so necessary just to stay afloat may provide an interesting model for the world. It's not just nice to do things you love.....it can have consequences if you don't. Non-daydreamers are just asleep and don't notice. At least we're trying to build something nice somewhere.
I can't say this enough: We're not defective. Our brains work differently. This has many gifts as well as many tough challenges. If we can harness the good in it and learn to manage the bad, we're better off than those who never had it to begin with.
I feel MD has inhibited my potential life as well. I am good at drawing and writing as well. I also I could have been good at many "useful" skills if it wasn't for my involuntary daydreaming.
Hi... April isn’t my real name. I’ve never talked to anyone about this before - I am so embarrassed/ashamed of my daydreaming addiction (I know I shouldn’t be, haven’t quite gotten to the acceptance stage yet...). Anyway, I’m 23 and really lost, scared, confused, feel completely helpless. I have tried a few things – keeping a diary and analysing triggers and the causes behind the daydreams, going to a psychologist for my depression, alternative therapy, time plans and goal setting, reading self help books...
I mainly daydream because I am lonely... I have always been very shy, quiet, socially awkward, and hate being around people most of the time. I don’t have a lot of friends (God, there’s really only 2 people I hang out with :-( I don’t feel I am capable of making new friends... I’ve avoided the whole facebook/twitter/online craze, so I’ve never joined a forum like this before (apologies in advance for anything stupid I do/say :-)
Anyway, my plan is to join some clubs/take some courses/get a part time job/talk to people online... (I’m not working or studying right now, which keeps me isolated, which I actually love, but it’s so not healthy...) Anyway, that’s (part of) my life story...