Me:  female, early 20s, not American/English, fantasizing since I was 8 years old, for hours and hours a day, about celebrities, made up people, myself.

Usual content: love, feeling secure, sexuality, getting allll the attention, being the greatest, the best.

Spinning around in my room to music.

 

My solutions:

 

1.  Therapy. I found out I have/had social phobia, depression, PTSS (sexual abuse in my childhood) and the symptoms of avoidant personality disorder (never got the diagnosis).

In my therapy I learned to cope with my anxiety and depression by FEELING bad emotions (sadness, anger, hate, loneliness, etc). Instead of avoiding those feelings, I had to FEEL it and acknowledge I had them. Lots of tears; writing letters, confronting people, etc.; SCARY as heck, but worth it. Go see a counselor and tell them everything!

 

2. I took a mindfulness course. If you don't know what it is: learning to live in the now. Please look it up!! More so than therapy this course was awesome! I would recommend it to EVVVVVERYONE with MD. I truly believe it's *the* solution for MD. You are 'forced' to live right here, right now. There is no room for any fantasies anymore. It's awesome.

A mindfulness course can be spiritual, but I didn't want that. Be sure that when you look for mindfulness courses, you find a down to earth approach to it. (I’m a Christian, so I didn’t want to do the spiritual approach).

 

3. Reducing fantasizing one by one: first getting rid of fantasies which had NOTHING to do with my own life. All the made up stories were gone: this was surprisingly easy (once I had truly made up my mind that I wanted to quit). I continued for a couple weeks to strictly fantasize about an improved me (the way I hoped to be in 10-20 years). Next step was to get rid of those fantasies (about me in 10-20 years), because they were just as fake as the fantasies about me being different people.

Now I only allow myself to fantasize about pretty much exactly the way I am today. This last type of fantasy I consider to be normal: I fantasize about future events that will actually happen, or conversations I have with people I actually know. This type of fantasizing can be very useful I believe: because you force yourself to think about what you actually believe & helps you to practice for the real thing. After talking to friends about this, I found out lots of ‘normal’ people fantasize about themselves, so I don't think I want to change this last part.

The first few weeks after deciding not to fantasize about celebrities / made up people /myself in 10-20 years, was more than anything: strange. Not nessecarily depressing. I felt just weird. Now (about 5 months later) it has become normal. I no longer have the urge to fantasize about anyone other than myself.

DON'T try to end all of your fantasies all at once. I have tried that twice before and it didn't last longer than a week. Fantasizing can be very useful, because it helps you THINK about life, which is normal.

 

4. Meeting new people and DO stuff in my real life. Once you get rid of the fantasies, you will realize how empty your life really is: you need to FEEL this and acknowledge this feeling. This feeling sucks, but hopefully it will motivate you to do stuff. Lately I've been meeting a lot of people (I am currently searching for a new church. So I’m meeting a lot of people in different churches). If you're not religious, you could start doing sports, or just do something you like where you will meet new people on a regular basis. You need to fill the time you spent fantasizing on REAL things.

 

5. Prayer: Yes, I am a Christian and I believe God played a big role in all of this. However, if you are not a believer, I truly believe you can make great changes by doing the first 4 things.

I am still not 100% cured, because I do still spin around while fantasizing about myself. This is gonna be the next step. Not sure yet how I'm gonna do that, but I'm up for the challenge :-)

 

Oh and btw: I used NO medications!

 

I hope this will help people.

Let me know if you have questions.

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I forgot to mention how incredibly rich your life becomes once you stop fantasizing. You may think you're gonna lose something so great once you stop fantasizing, but there is sooooooo much awesomeness in this world that you DON'T want to miss. Life's great. =)

I plan to sign up for a mindfulness course offered through my workplace. I've heard great things and meditation makes so much sense -- forcing your mind to live in the present -- for MD people. Challenging but amazing potential. I'm not religious but I still think this is a great idea.

Great decision, I wish you the best, Lauren

Congrats! ;) It must have been a painful process but I'm so glad you're doing well. I'm 20 and have some pretty similar problems as well.

I'm one of those weirdos who stopped MD cold turkey and in exchange all the underlying problems slapped me in the face; moreover, I discovered I had issues which I never noticed before. It all happened two months ago, and for the first time in my life, I willingly quit my defense mechanisms, and instead tried experiencing all the negative emotions one by one and this process is still in course. I feel terrible and so heavily depressed but I know it’s a process I have to go through. The urge to daydream is still there, yet I can always resist the temptation because I realized that it’s not MD that’s the core problem – it’s all the hidden issues that MD prevented me from addressing.   

I recently took a few psychotherapy sessions just to reaffirm my doubts and I was confirmed I had similar issues: moderate depression, low self-esteem, issues with closeness and intimacy, unconscious suppression of emotions, vulnerability, loneliness and so on. I assume some of those also classify as avoidant issues but I wasn’t given the diagnosis either. I’m full aware that MD allowed me to relive these repressed emotions through daydream characters which ideally weren’t me and now it’s finally time to allow myself to feel them. Just like you, I was told I had to get in touch with all the emotions I was unconsciously running away from. And for this I’d need a therapy except I can’t pay for one because they are ridiculously expensive.

By the way, what kind of therapy did you take and how long did it last? People here usually take CBT but I was told that psychoanalytic is the best one.

Thank you for your congrats!

 

It’s great to hear that you are also busy to live life without the fantasies! Don’t give up. Congrats to you as well for the progress you’re making!

 

In all honesty: I was surprised at how little it really hurt; but I took my time with it. It made sense to end it one by one. I think most people with MD have different storylines; try to get rid of the really crazy ones first – the ones that have truly nothing to do with your real life. And try to make it more and more normal/real. Again, I think fantasizing is also just a normal way to THINK about life, which is a great thing! So you don't want to end it all at once.      I also never made the decision: “From now on I’m never gonna fantasize again; it’s over”. One day I just had the courage to think: “Today I’m not gonna fantasize about so and so”. I had made it through the day, and the next day I said to myself: “Let’s try again today”. One day without fantasies you can handle, but (the thought of) the rest of your life without fantasies is too hard.

 

It also really helped having to go see my counselor a couple of days later again; it motivated me so that I could tell him: "I made it a week without fantasizing!".  If you don't have the money for therapy, I hope you can find a friend/someone you trust, and make weekly appointments, just to have someone to tell your progress/difficulty of the week, which can motivate you even more.

 

To answer your question: I got both CBT and psychotherapy. I’ve had CBT for about 4-5 months (every other week, 1 hour). And now I've had psychotherapy for about a year (every week, 1 hour). Now for a couple of weeks I've been going every other week, because I am doing so well (yay!). So in total I have had therapy for 1,5 years and counting. CBT is very nice and practical for  anxiety issues; but in all honesty, things didn't really started to change until I got psychotherapy. So if you don't really have the money, I would suggest to buy some good books about CBT (and hopefully, talk to people about it). CBT is for the most part: doing exersizes, taking a look at your thought processes, challenging yourself at doing things you are scared of while monotoring your fear, etc. Psychotherapy really helps you with dealing with deep rooted feelings, your past, etc.; deep stuff. It's more trying to recognize and feel all the bad stuff in you. It's far more serious AND exhausting, but I would suggest you to do this.

 

I’m sorry to hear it’s so expensive in America; in my country health care is a lot cheaper/easier to get I guess.

 

Btw; please don’t call yourself a weirdo! That’s one of the first things you would learn in therapy; don’t bring yourself down, if you’re gonna do it, you allow others to do so. You are very brave for making the decision to stop! :-)

Thank you so much for your encouragement and kind words! ;)

You're absolutely right about having someone to talk to. It may sound overrated but having someone to talk to about inner problems is a enormous help to a MD-er. After all, we're used on living our lives alone with imaginary characters that we lost a criteria for objectivity. I felt so relieved after talking to a psychotherapist for the first time. It was so painfully strange to talk about myself because I grew so used on keeping things to myself and being secretive. I was always hiding MD from others so I was never truly honest with myself either. And to be honest, I never realized how lonely I really was until I started talking out loud about MD.

 

Wow, 1,5 years of therapy is awesome for a condition like MD which consumes entire lives. Plus your sessions weren't much frequent either so it was a really fast process! You were probably very motivated! :) I was told that psychoanalytic psychotherapy is usually required 2 times a week over a course of two years minimally. Unless you're really motivated so it may take a lot less time to see the effects. Anyways, I already experienced some improvements during past two months so I guess I have some driving force to keep me going as well.

Oh, a question: during the time when your MD was intense, did you have trouble experiencing pleasure from real life events?

PS. I'm not American either. I'm from Southern Europe but I think that psychoanalytic therapy is expensive everywhere. :)

Yes, I was *very* motivated ;-)

Twice a week for two years is quite a lot, wow. My prognosis for psychotherapy was 2 years once a week. Now that I have been going for 1 year, I've made so much progress, I am not sure I'm gonna need another year... But the thought to quit is quite scary.

 

To answer your question: From 8 to about 17 years old I was very content with my intense MD; I wasn't very happy in real life, but I don't think I was depressed. At least, not severly.

Then when I was about 17 years old it started to bug me that I had no social life, and I wanted to quit it, but I dídn't know how, and I got depressed. I was severly depressed for about 3-4 years after that (diagnosis). I believe my depression stopped around the time I started to end my MD (4-6 months ago). I've still got my ups and downs, but I'm definitly not depressed anymore. Hope this answers your question!

 

Good to talk to people like this! Wish these kind of sites were around 10 years ago... ;-)

As for me, my MD started to bug me 2 months ago and I'm 20 now, haha. I wish I had realized it earlier, but oh well, there's no use crying over spilled milk now. I screwed up my teen years but hopefully I won't screw up the rest of my life. I'm dealing quite well with MD so far. It's the underlying issues that I have to sort out now.

So you managed to beat depression without medicines? You really have my congratulations. :)

Indeed, we have a whole life ahead of us... :-) Gotta make the best of that.

 

& yes i did, no medicines. As far as depression goes; i'm against using medicines for it. Not everyone agrees with me on this, but i feel like that's the easy way out. If you take medicines for depression, you are still not dealing with the actual issue.

I'm so happy to say I now have made the step to quit the spinning around part of my fantasies as well. Some people rock in a chair or move around... I spinned around in my room.

How I did it.... I thought one day:  I'm not gonna do it today.  Then the next day I thought; "Let's try again today". etc. It's really one day at a time.  Hopefully this will motivate someone... :-)

i had my first CBT session today and my therapist told me that i didnt have md and that i just had an active mind so im verry happy to hear that 

I am defintintly improving in realizing when im day dreaming. Now when I realize I stop it and then I try to find the trigger usally televison or music. I will try some therapy

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