Where wild minds come to rest
I have recently met someone I like a lot and we are moving towards a relationship, but I found myself incorporating him into my daydreams and I feel that the way I see him and interact with him in my daydreams is affecting our actual relationship. I have been trying to curb my daydreaming on my own for a little while now. I only found out the elaborate and lengthy daydreams id been creating for 6 years was actually maladaptive daydreaming last summer. I am in-between counseling for anxiety atm, moving away from regular talking therapy to CBT to properly kick anxiety out the way. Being in between counsellors means im only having monthly follow ups with no intensive work, I haven't mentioned my daydreaming to my counsellor but I feel like it may be starting to get slightly out of hand and I don't think a CBT therapist could do much, but if I mention it to my current counsellor and she wants to work on it with me then that means I can't start CBT. basically im in a bit of a pickle and need some advice on how to start the process of reigning in my daydreams on my own.
I hope this answer doesn't sound glib but I have been indulging in MDD since I was a small boy. I've had periods where I've stopped for a while but then just got back into it. I used to think, when I'm 16 I'll stop, when I'm 18 I'll stop, when I'm thirty I'll stop but never have. Like many people I find if I've something important to do, such as study, I'll end up doing it more, wasting hours and not concentrating properly. Recently ( for several months) I found myself doing it way more than usual to the point I though' there must be a name/condition for this/is it just me?' and low and behold I came across this site and all the literature related to it.
Once I started to read it up on it I came to the conclusion that I have Maladaptive Daydreaming Disorder . I am a happily married regular guy, no trauma in my past and outwardly very normal. No one knows I have been doing this and I wouldn't want to confess it. After I indulge in it I often have thought to myself 'what are you doing you weirdo, imagine if you had to stand in front of your family, friends etc and do it and explain to the that your essentially pretending/daydreaming your involved in ww2 in the Battle for Normandy and your with your platoon of fellow soldiers fighting the Germans or some other such fantasy. Your a grown man for heaven sake!. As much as my wife is very understanding (and maybe I'm not as sensitive and compassionate) I can't help but think if I told her about it she would secretly think 'I'm married to a nutter'. If the shoe were on the other foot I would definitely think my wife a bit bonkers (in a nice non harmful kind of way and I'd still love her). Perhaps it is a good way to stop to think about how our partners would react.
Any how after I read up on it I became even more uncomfortable with the whole idea of MMD. It is quite a unpleasant feeling to realise you have a mental disorder. I don't mean that to sound disrespectful to people with mental disorders but for myself it was somewhat of a turning point. I decided right there and then that I was going to stop doing it. Just cut it out cold turkey as it were. I basically have decided I don't want a label, particularly a mental disorder label, even if I'm the only person that knows about it. I basically feel like I'm doing an adult version of what my 3 1/2 year old daughter does. Do I want her to grow out of make believe pretending before me? It's only been two weeks but I haven't done it since. Every time I have the urge I just find my self telling myself 'no, stop, do you want to be a weirdo that goes around mumbling to yourself playing armies in your head or just a normal guy going for a walk taking in the surroundings'. If I'm home I make a point of doing something else so that I'm not standing around free to indulge. So far it seems to be working for me. It isn't easy but the way I see it is I'm in control of my mind not some rogue part of me that wants to do this strange MMD thing.
Anyway, I don't know if that helps, but it seems to be working so far for me. It's not easy, I have lots of urges to do it again, but I'm really determined to put a stop to it.
I did think about day dreaming a character, drill sergeant type of affair, that would tell me to stop and grow up every time I started it but realised that would probably be like drinking beer to get over a whiskey addiction.
Best of luck to you, I hope you can reign it in and have a successful relationship.
I found living with MDD was a gut-wrenching and disheartening ordeal. I used to daydream as a small kid myself, and did believe I'd grow out of it. It finally slowed down to a quit as I approached my thirties, I guess, because I really had no choice. Looking back at a life of vivid daydreaming, living fictional lives each day, I realized I was never with my friends and family.
So, I kept on hearing "Are you on another planet?" or "Are you listening to me?!"
My MDD got started when I just couldn't fit into other crowds. I was the misfit who failed to make any friends and wondered about the halls all by myself. I was very shy and extremely quiet. My peers often blared my name, because they thought I was
a total loser. I thought that I'd grow out of being the strong silent type, but it turned out I became a very shy and quiet adult. So, everyone else just ignored that I existed, that I was even there. My family even stopped behaving like I wasn't around them anymore, because I just wasn't talking.
So I began to daydream more and more, simply to get away from my unwanted situations. Just recently, I realized that I can live in other worlds all I want, but it's not going to bring in new relationships and get people to notice me for once. It was time to wake up and literally 'work very hard' to put a stop to all of this. This means 'talking up for myself,' so others will actually know how I feel about everything. Basically, I used to think MDD was a comfort to make me feel better, when really it was pulling me away from my loved ones, making me all quieter and my real life even worse, even ruining my opportunity for relationships.