Maladaptive Daydreaming: where wild minds come to rest
Sorry for the corny title, I couldn't resist it. hahahaha
I'm in my late 20's. I used to be a somewhat active member of this site 7~8 years ago and hadn't thought about it for many years. It just came into my mind when I saw Cordellia's email saying that the site would close soon. I just googled "wild minds" to see if the surviving members had moved to another site or if WM was really gone and I'm glad it's still around (even if I don't think I will be coming here regularly).
I'm a little sad to see that the virtual personas (aka my WM friends) with whom I had many conversations in the chat when I felt most lonely are long gone and haven't posted anything (or presumable haven't been active at all) for many years now, as well. I might never talk to them again or the might not even remember me at all. But I'm also happy for them, maybe they "outgrew" maladaptive daydreaming or maybe they found strategies to cope and no longer needed support, good for them!
I still maladaptive-daydream from time to time when I feel powerless or stuck and very often plan for "discussions" that may never happen whispering my responses and can spend literally hours doing that; but than I feel guilty about what I percieve to be wasted time. But I feel that I have been able to "outgrow" maladaptive-daydreaming -to some extent- thanks to psychotherapy (with a psychiatrist) and medication. And I actually notice that my attention has a strong correlation with my dosage when I adjust dosage or change meds.
That been said, maladaptive-daydreaming is not my only problem: I am chronically depressed. My point is: if you feel you might be depressed too, I would strongly recommend getting psychiatrical treatment for the depression as it might unexpectedly help with maladaptive daydreaming. For me it was unexpected. I tried to explain the concept of mdd to a psychologist once and she really couldn't even grasp it. My own psychiatrist with whom I have developed a strong patient-doctor relationship and who I really respect, wrote mdd off as an "over-active imagination", but the meds that she has prescribed for depression over the years have consistently helped with mdd symptoms. I would even say mdd-treatment could be considered and off-the-label use for anti-depressants.
And even if you're not depressed (or you don't think you are), if you're desperate because mdd has taken control over your life maybe you should give it [anti-depressants] a try or you might regret it later. Part of my depression comes from the realisation that had I not been so busy daydreaming and had I taken advantage of opportunties that were given to me to get a higher education I would be more successful and therefore have a somewhat better life.
Paroxetine is also used to treat compulsive-behavior so it might help with mdd (at least it helps me). And Wellbutrin is also used to help smokers stop smoking (impulse control) so it might help with mdd (at least it helps me, but less than paroxetine. That being said you should really think it through before taking any medication as they might have long-lasting (or even permanet) unwanted effects. Also, not because it worked for me it means it's gonna work for you.
I know this [mediation, psychotherapy] might not be an option for many people as it was not an option for myself when I was active on this site because I was in high school and had no money. This is just for informational purposes, so that you at the very least know that meds *might help* if you had never thought about it. Also, I'm no doctor so take my "medical" advice with a grain of salt and at the very least do your own google-reasearch before blindly taking adviece from strangers on the Internet.
I don't know where to fit this in my post so I'll just put it here. I would recommend the book Tiny Habits by BJ Fogg because it *might* (or it might not) help you understand what drives your behavior and how to modify behaviors that you wan't to get rid of (or limit) as maladaptive-daydreaming, though identifying the cues for dd can be hard. I'm currently reading it and it seems more applicable than other "self-help" books like The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg (which I read). Even if it doesn't help your mdd specificaly, you might still get something valuable from it.
Hello, I am a Mum to a MDD but I have also had some of these these traits myself. I found that I spent less time ruminating on events or fantasy events after a lot of therapy and CBT. I am still a ruminator!! But I have more control over it. I also realised I did this when i was board too, like a habit. But as the rumination was often negative it doesn't help my mood. If I am going to use DD as a soothing technique at least it has to be kind and lovely to myself, not something that winds me up.
I do more MDD when I am stressed and when i am unhappy. It's a signal that things are not OK.
It's interesting to hear about which medication you have tried as this may be an option for my D at some point.