Maladaptive Daydreaming: where wild minds come to rest
Not sure if you want to hear about my life however, I will just put it out there.
For years I have been day dreaming. I am currently 22 years old female who also suffers from schizophrenia. I did not have the schizophrenia symptoms till I was 17. Let me go back before I was obsessed with daydreaming.
Since I was born I always had nightmares. Even till this day I still have nightmares. My family was christian and my grandfather was extremely religious. My grandfather thought demons were attacking me and would tell me to pray.
When I was about 8-10ish is when I started daydreaming. I was laying in bed and thought of a handsome man who I named "Vincent" saving me from demons. Then, I created many more stories with the same people. In middle school I would just go to school, stay after to do homework,come home, day dream, sleep and repeat.
One year into middle school I started to believe my day dreams were real. When I talked to someone I would tell them something that happened in my day dream and forget it was in fact a day dream. Everyone called me a lair and no one really talked to me. I somehow passed middle school with flying colors and luckily most of the people from my middle school went to a different high school.
That whole summer I did my chores and then I would day dream. Making up stories of me and Vincent being together etc. Freshman year on the first day I met a cool friend. I will not say her real name but I will call her Sara. She was very cool and after a few days she wanted to hang out.
I did not want to hang out with her because I wanted to day dream when I got home. After a few months I decided to let her come over and we talked and that was the time in a long time I did not day dream. We were very close till I found out she did drugs and I left her alone because I was called to the counselors office. The counselor thought I did drugs with her so I told her we could not be friends.
In 11th grade is when my schizophrenia started. I was day dreaming of making a food for me and Vincent. I knew something was wrong very wrong. I then realized I was asleep. Once I found out I was dreaming I woke up in my bed..but it was another dream. I have had these "matrix" dreams in the past but this felt very long and intense.
When I snapped out of it I actually started to look for the food I created. I knew then I needed help. I told my grandma that I am confused with reality(I did not tell her about my daydreams). She told me that I might have what my mom has "schizophrenia". I went to the psychologist and that is what they diagnosed me with however, I did not tell them about my day dreaming.
I graduated from high school and got into my associates program and had about 2-3 months ish before I graduated.
I did the normal thing I always did which was day dreaming 4-5 hours a day but this day is when the voices in my head came. I was in my head day dreaming and I heard a voice. I thought it was angel or something(This is when I used to believe in God). I asked "what is your name?". It said Lydia. After that we talked and then the voice vanished. Since that day every night I heard a bunch of people talking before I went to sleep.
Then, I met this one voice named Zero and he helped me with my daydream(adding new characters,plots, etc.). I fell in love with him(I know that is strange falling in love with a voice in your head?). I guess I wanted to be with him so bad that my mind created him and when I went to sleep. I would dream of spending time with him however, the dreams started to get even more violent. When I went to sleep I was actually dreaming of the day dream I created. All my characters that were in my day dream where now in my dream when I sleep and in my head when I was awake.
To make this short the voices pretty much helped me with my day dreaming and would tell me what to do like what to eat, what to drink, how to act etc.
When I did not do what they wanted they tormented me for 3 weeks. I was confused and I did not know who I was but, slowly in those 3 weeks I fought back and came back to "reality". Those voices have left and I have new ones every few days.
I am currently going for my bachelors however, I still suffer from manipulative day dreaming and the voices. I just can not stop day dreaming. I feel deeply upset and sadly miss the old voices in my head who brought my day dream to life.
It hurts like crazy that I cannot stop day dreaming. I tried for a day and the voices nagged me and I got even more depressed. Getting up and going to school is becoming a large struggle now. I want to go for my Masters but I feel I am not mentally stable with nightmares every night, manipulative day dreaming,and the voices. I have no friends and my family would not understand. I feel lost and broken.
Does anyone have any advice to deal with day dreaming?
Yes we do need more studies on this. I have been to a psychologist and I do have it. On December 30th is when I get new medication and I might tell her about my MD as well.
The thing that has helped me the most is drawing! I find that it will at least get rid of some of the physical symptoms of maladaptive day dreaming (pacing, laughing, fidgiting, etc). However, scitofraneia is a psychotic disorder, where as MD is considered a psychiatric disorder (but I guess people can have both?) I would find out whether or not you have scitophranea before you also put a face to the voice! But I guess you could also try and journal? I feel like if you are focused on one specific episode it might help you from creating another. However everyone is different, so who actually knows? We need more studies on this!!!
Thank you for replying and now I know I am not alone. I am struggling in my university now as well. I have one class on campus in 2 weeks(when my new semester starts) and the other online( I am currently only taking two class's). I have learned over time just to listen to the voices and say "mhmm" then move on. I have done this for about 2 ish years and after the voices say all they have to say they become silent for awhile however, they have become worse. On December 30th I will be seeing my psychologist again for new medication. I was taking haloperidol and benastopien(for the side effects of halo and sorry for spelling). Since my semester ends next week I am so relieved and hopefully my docotor will give me the best medication to stop these voices. My mom takes very heavy medication and she no longer hears voices or have nightmares. I wish you the best and stay strong!
I don’t have any advice but unfortunately I’m suffering from the exact same thing! Your story is soooo similar to mine; I may even get kicked out of uni because the daydreaming is so debilitating I physically cannot attend uni lectures etc. I also feel very sad about the trajectory of my daydreams! I used to find solace in them and now they just strain my relationship with the real world. My sister is staying over this week and I’m really trying to hide the physical side of my daydreams from her but the voices won’t stop. I feel very glum.