Maladaptive Daydreaming: where wild minds come to rest
This is going to be a long post, and if you're like me you have a short attention span so I really appreciate anyone that reads this. I want to get some things off my chest with people who might understand.
There are some elements of Maladaptive Daydreaming Disorder that I've read about that seem like they fit and others that don't. So I want to know from the other people on here what they think- do I have MDD?
Basically my mind is always wandering. I have this running conversation in my head almost 100% of the time where it's like I'm talking to somebody. That's the way my mind "thinks"- I don't usually (if ever) think in the context of addressing myself, it's always like I'm talking to someone else.
Sometimes it's just a generic person where I don't even picture someone else, sometimes I think about someone I know, and sometimes I think about talking to a celebrity or a person I made up.
I don't typically have daydreams the way a lot of other people I've heard from do. I would say sometimes (maybe 10-20% of the time) I'll think about achieving a specific goal and talking to someone about it, thus fulfilling a more traditional daydream. These can be lofty goals and ambitions, for example, I used to always think about talking to Oprah on her show about tackling hardship the way her guests would.
Daydreams where there's a plot, characters, specific imagery happen sometimes but are more rare. The more typical is the conversations with my family, friends, a therapist I've had, or a generic imaginary person talking about my day, my feelings, or my opinions and ideas.
Like a lot of MDDers when I'm alone I tend to mouth out or whisper the words from my conversations or make hand gestures like I would if I was having a conversation. I don't typically do something like walk back and forth or anything specific like I've heard from other people. This can be embarrassing if I'm in my car or another semi-public place if I think someone else might see me.
Sometimes I feel like I'm drowning into this pull towards the "conversations" going on in my mind. It happens not only when I studied in school or at jobs, but when I'm talking to people (real people), watching a movie, or working on chores at home. I miss details from the plots of movies and things that people say to me ALL THE TIME and even though I'm not an "unintelligent" person, I sometimes feel like it because I seem incompetent.
I've gone through depression and have struggled in work and school. Basically all of my free time will be eaten up by zoning out while I think about these imaginary conversations for hours on end or mindlessly surf the internet (another problem of mine).
I'm constantly late to things because I'll be daydreaming instead of getting ready, and I also kind of lack an "urgency button" where I feel inclined to hurry up. There's things that I want to do- get a college degree, write a novel, keep my living space clean, get out more and make new friends, read books, do art projects, and the like but this sucks all of my time and energy away.
Does anyone relate to this? Does it sound like MDD?
Zoning out all the time whether you like it or not: check.
Imaginary actions leaking into real world gestures: check.
Energy drain: check.
Disrupted attention: check.
Free time speeding by like a damn race car: check.
Looks like it as I see it, but don't take my word for it. If this kind of stuff was easy to pinpoint it wouldn't cause nearly as much trouble.
I'm no expert, but it sounds to me it is your `internal voice' being over intrusive rather than daydreaming as such. Having an internal voice is normal, apparently it helps with creativity and is part of being human - there was an article in the New Scientist awhile ago where it explained the positive side of all those conversations going on in your mind. I'd send you a link but I think its behind a paywall, but it was explaining how it is a positive phenomenon and something that enhances your mind rather than not. They say it starts with young children and will continue throughout your life, so maybe it is a byproduct of your intelligence and creativity?
Maladaptive daydreaming I think is where you fantasise about things, imaginary scenarios and fantasy worlds pretty much constantly, and from what you describe yours is more rooted in the real world. You don't say how old you are, but struggling with time keeping, lacking any kind of urgency and continually surfing the internet etc is normal amongst young people (I have 3 kids so I know!) so you mustn't be too hard on yourself.
Maybe your problem is you are depressed and too self critical basically, everyone always think they should do things better with their life and they are not good enough, I might be wrong but perhaps tackle the easier things first like getting up on time first, I know its all easier said than done.
My problem in contrast is from the moment I wake up in the morning until I go to sleep at night I daydream continually. I even function on a normal level and no-one knows, and I wish I didn't. I've a feeling if I were to give it up I would have to go cold turkey and it would be really hard....