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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This is so motivating. I know it was written a year ago- but gosh it just makes me want to vow to try harder. I am truly inspired by your story Mevve. I am planning on starting therapy, and hope to do something similar to what you did. How did you decide to do CBT therapy first then psychotherapy? did someone suggest it to you? Im very interested in depth psychology and want to start off with jungian psychotherapy and EMDR. Whenever I have gone to therapy its always been a great relief, and even fun- Im often excited to go to a session and get disappointed when it ends, lol.

Anyways I know its been forever since this was posted. Hope your still doing awesome and continued to grow and do better! 

Hi Writerspeak!

It’s awesome to hear my story motivated you!  It's been a year since I wrote it indeed, but I'm still doing very well! I actually recently celebrated my 1 year anniversary for living without MD! Isn’t that cool... :-)  

 

To answer your question,  I started with CBT because at first the doctor thought I 'only' had a social phobia, which you can compare to being afraid of heights.  It's a fear you have, but it is not part of your personality. Once I started CBT my psychologist found out there was a lot more to me,  and I had quite some personality 'disorders' as well (depression, PTSS, and symptoms of avoidance personality disorder). To deal with those disorders I had to start psychotherapy as well. I think most people who have MD probably have been through *something* major in their life, which caused them to want to avoid all feelings and live in a perfect fantasy world. I really think most people with MD need some sort of psychotherapy. Although *any* kind of therapy is a good place to start.

 

I do want to tell you that, even though I stopped all the fantasies,  it's still my weakness (just like a recovering alcoholic can still feel like having a drink). I still have moments when I'm watching a movie or listening to some music, that I can feel like fantasizing. I could get a 'great' idea for a fantasy and it does take effort to decide not to fantasize. But I've been able to do so pretty much every time in the past year.

Also, in my older messages I wrote I have been going to a psychologist & psychotherapist  for 1,5 years,  now it's been 2,5 years. I definitely needed another year. I saw my psychotherapist  every 3 to 5 weeks this past year. Recently I actually told him that I feel like it's been enough & I want to see how I'm doing on my own.  We didn't completely end it- I can still visit him if I feel like I need to. But perhaps I won't ever do that again.  

So all in all, it took me 2,5 years to truly cope with everything of my past, including MD.

 

Well I wish you all the best & I think your choice for psychotherapy and EMDR is a good one. I’d love to hear from you again in some time to know how you are doing!

Congrats ! Thats awesome you have stopped for that long. The longest its been for me is like a month. 

We have similar diagnoses. Ive read a book on avoidant personality disorder, only because i thought my social anxiety was too odd- went further than what i read about. if anyone asked me, id say im more avoidant than socially anxious. i mean, i never get panic attacks. maybe once or twice. My bestest regret is i knew this for years and havent done much to get rid of it. the therapy i've done in the past was always short lived. the longest therapy i have had continously has been like 2-3 months. If the issue wasnt money, (and most of the time it was since i was in college with no job) it was because i felt the therapist was incompetent. now Im starting work in about a week or so- so Im looking for psychotherpists, but Im feeling so picky. I dont want to make a mistake like all those other times. Im considering asking a psychic too, lol. i just dont want to waste money- or time- with someone that isnt really good.

Its obvious its a whole lot easier to cope and quit DD with a therpist. But would you say you could have defeated it by yourself, alone? Like is it possible? I often get into guilt trips with myself (and others, parents, because they think i can control it) because I dont stop. Im wondering if its 'just a choice'. I feel like at times it is a choice, other times its really an addiction i cant control.

I'll def. let you know how everything goes with the therapy, once i get going.  Thanks for your feedback :)

I signed up to say thanku. After reading ur post i m feeling so much better. I always thought im psycho etc.
I am 22 years old i have almost same problem as you. and few weeks ago i realized by searching through internet that i have depression and anxiety. MD is ruining my life i have this problem since childhood. I really want to get rid of it so i can focus on my life goals specially on my studies. My exams is just starting after few days and my preparation is zero thanks to MD. My grades are so low and so many problem that i start to feel that im biggest loser on this planet.

After reading ur post i realizef that my trigger is Television music these are the big ones.

I want to ask that if i want to get rid of Md does that mean i have to quit tv and music forever or at least during treatment?

and i can't go to therapist for many reasons....can i help my self without getting therapy?

P.S my english is not good its my second language........ hope u understand my question...even i want to help myself there is so much problems in my way like i cant go out by myself etc...

@ Writerspeak

 

Wow having stopped for a month is a pretty long time as well.

I understand money can be a real problem. I know I'm very fortunate to live in a country with good insurances.  As far as being picky, I think it can be a good thing.  You need to feel comfortable with someone, if you're gonna tell them personal details.

If I may give you advice, please don't visit a psychic. Really try to stick with regular professional help. This is a real problem, and needs help from a person who learned for it.

 

To answer your question about whether or not you can stop on your own:    I think my therapist helped me deal with my past, and with  the reasons why I fantasized so much. He didn't help me actually end my daydreams (ending it was my own choice,  and I only informed him about my progress every week). As I learned more about *why* I was doing it (feeling lonely, anxious, depressed) and the reasons why I had those feelings (things that happened in my past, sexual abuse),  I felt like I no longer needed the daydreams. 

 

 The daydreams functioned as a security blanket, to me.  I needed the daydreaming to feel save in this 'scary' world.  But as you start to see why you feel scared etc. you realize you are not *protecting* yourself from this world with your daydreams,  but *excluding* yourself from it.  There's a difference.  As I started to learn how I can really protect myself from this world (by feeling more confident about myself,  learning to be assertive, learning to speak up, etc),  I realized I no longer needed a perfect world in my mind,  because I could now become the person I was in my fantasies, in real life.

 

You control what you think about,  not your therapist. Therefore, stopping the fantasies is  indeed a choice. But since there is a reason why you started to fantasize (probably: to be able to cope with this world),  you first need to equip yourself with skills (probably: self confidence, assertiveness, etc)  to really be able to deal with the real world.

Hope that makes sense to you!

@ Mona

 

Hi Mona!

Thank you, for saying thank you! ;-) It's very nice reading I could help you in some small way.

I want to encourage you; even though you hate MD and feel like it's ruining your life,  someday there's really gonna be a day you  can live without it. I can totally relate to how you're feeling,  and it really does sometimes feel like things won’t ever be different,  but I feel like,  if it can change for me (and my MD was very bad...), it can change for anyone... :-)

To answer your question,  whether you should stop watching tv or listen to music.  I don't think so. You, on your own, are *probably* not gonna be able to quit MD. Therefore,  giving yourself rules like "Oh, i can't do this anymore. And as of now, I'm no longer doing that anymore" isn't gonna work.  It's just like a person who always eats too much, decides one day to be healthy, exercise a lot, and lose weight;   99% chance he/she is gonna fail.  And that is because there is a *cause*  for your MD. There is a reason why you started to fantasize,  and a reason why you still use it in your every day life.  And ONLY when you deal with that reason,  I believe,  can you slowly start to end MD. Just like the person who has a lifelong habit of eating too much  has  an underlying reason as to WHY he/she feels like they need the food. 

I believe,  the most common reasons for all these kinds of addictions,  is feeling lonely, depressed, anxious, unloved.  And only when you no longer feel that way, you can start to end the fantasies.  Read my message to Writerspeak above;  to me the fantasies functioned as a security blanket.  Only when you no longer need something to protect you in this world,  can you end the fantasies.

 

Therefore,  I personally believe you really need  SOMEONE with whom you can start to end this MD. If you cannot go to see a therapist,  tell someone in your community (friends, family, church, etc) in whom you can confide.  I have tried to end MD on my own twice, and I failed twice. My personal experience is that you cannot do this on your own.

 

I wish you all the best, and will pray for you.


 
Mona said:

I signed up to say thanku. After reading ur post i m feeling so much better. I always thought im psycho etc.
I am 22 years old i have almost same problem as you. and few weeks ago i realized by searching through internet that i have depression and anxiety. MD is ruining my life i have this problem since childhood. I really want to get rid of it so i can focus on my life goals specially on my studies. My exams is just starting after few days and my preparation is zero thanks to MD. My grades are so low and so many problem that i start to feel that im biggest loser on this planet.

After reading ur post i realizef that my trigger is Television music these are the big ones.

I want to ask that if i want to get rid of Md does that mean i have to quit tv and music forever or at least during treatment?

and i can't go to therapist for many reasons....can i help my self without getting therapy?

P.S my english is not good its my second language........ hope u understand my question...even i want to help myself there is so much problems in my way like i cant go out by myself etc...

 

Thanks Mevve, that makes alot of sense. It sounds like you are saying quitting daydreaming is a choice but its easier to make that choice once you deal with the reasons why your daydreaming in the first place. This is still a relief for me, it means once i am in therapy it will be a whole lot easier- not just DD but my social anxieties etc as well. How long would you say you were in therapy before things really started improving? not just DD, but your social life as well? I heard it takes a month or so to start noticing improvement.

Mevve said:

@ Writerspeak

 

Wow having stopped for a month is a pretty long time as well.

I understand money can be a real problem. I know I'm very fortunate to live in a country with good insurances.  As far as being picky, I think it can be a good thing.  You need to feel comfortable with someone, if you're gonna tell them personal details.

If I may give you advice, please don't visit a psychic. Really try to stick with regular professional help. This is a real problem, and needs help from a person who learned for it.

 

To answer your question about whether or not you can stop on your own:    I think my therapist helped me deal with my past, and with  the reasons why I fantasized so much. He didn't help me actually end my daydreams (ending it was my own choice,  and I only informed him about my progress every week). As I learned more about *why* I was doing it (feeling lonely, anxious, depressed) and the reasons why I had those feelings (things that happened in my past, sexual abuse),  I felt like I no longer needed the daydreams. 

 

 The daydreams functioned as a security blanket, to me.  I needed the daydreaming to feel save in this 'scary' world.  But as you start to see why you feel scared etc. you realize you are not *protecting* yourself from this world with your daydreams,  but *excluding* yourself from it.  There's a difference.  As I started to learn how I can really protect myself from this world (by feeling more confident about myself,  learning to be assertive, learning to speak up, etc),  I realized I no longer needed a perfect world in my mind,  because I could now become the person I was in my fantasies, in real life.

 

You control what you think about,  not your therapist. Therefore, stopping the fantasies is  indeed a choice. But since there is a reason why you started to fantasize (probably: to be able to cope with this world),  you first need to equip yourself with skills (probably: self confidence, assertiveness, etc)  to really be able to deal with the real world.

Hope that makes sense to you!

O my, I just discovered 3 days ago that something was wrong with my 'real world'. I love day dreaming, have done it since i was little as many people from here/internet have mentioned. To me it was just a beautiful world where i could escape unpleasant realities of this world and create myself a perfect one. I day dream about different things but mostly love. Being single, all the 20+ years of my life, i day dreamed about boyfriends, meeting my prince charming and all of that, you get the picture. It was all good, i knew it was not real, i knew none of it would be real in real life but i love dreaming about it, it makes me happy. Until 3 days ago, where something happened and in a snap of a second i realized how daydreaming has been hurting my life. Somehow, my brain interpreted my daydreams a reality,and even though i know it was not reality, my daydreams left a trail in my brain causing it to take it as maybe a little bit of a reality(well at least i think it did).

Now, don't get me wrong, i 100% know my fantasy world is not real, but that moment made me realize how day dreaming was messing me up. I started looking in the past and how daydreaming have ruined my chances of having a real relationship, it was like a slap in the face, i was shocked on how much i have missed out while day dreaming. day dreaming did not hurt my work life, or my ability to make new strong friendships, but when it comes to my love life, it is another story. Today, i decided to google about it and see if there are other people like me and see what they do to make it go away. I am amazed by the fact that i am not the only one. 

Since 3 days ago, i realize that being aware of what i am doing  and stopping the daydreams as soon as i am aware of them will help me stop and these tips reinforced my belief about mindfulness being the key to stopping MD.

Thanks so much for the tips :)

Dear all, I know I am answering to a quite old posted message, but I just wanted to share this with you as it is in the same direction as what Mevve says in her message.  I have been in a therapy since July of this year and also treated  for social phobia and avoidant personnality disorder and since my therapy is working fine, I have realized that my MDD has diminished a lot. In this therapay I am "forced" to  have contact with reality, with people, face my fears and treat them by "forcing" to live them. It is done very softly and in a graduate manner. Thanx to that I am little by little withdrawing my dream world and living real life and some of my dreams in real life.  I must confess, I have started to find real life quite nice and interesting. I am also very motivated to find things to do when I feel the need to start fantazising. It is also very clear in my mind now, that dreams are dreams, and even if they help me  a lot and I love them dearly, they are dreams, and they will never replace real experience...  there ... I just wanted to share this with you, for I am so happy, it is happening !!  I do not take real medicine, but my doctor gave me a slight antidepressant plant  ( St-John's wort) very well known here in Europe (the most sold natural antidepressant in the world) and it helps me to improve my mood and therefore to increase my motivation.

I wish you all the best for this coming new year !!!  Kim

Hi Merve,

Ive been thinking along the same lines recently . You know therapy and hopefully joining a spiritual(Not religious) order after that.

Ill be 29 next month and as you mentioned someplace that a person is really nothing because the fantasies arent true , atleast I can relate to that but Im reallly afraid.

Like u I too suffer from pathological anxiety and the associated problems that come along with it.

Ive been in therapy for almost ten years but it hasnt helped me , I dont know why probably I had a bad therapist or I've been a bad client whatever the reason.

Anyway your post gives me a heart , so thankyou :)

@ writerspeak

Yes, you summarized what I mean pretty well!
For me things really started to improve after about a year. Of course things started to change before that, but I have had many relapses with my social anxiety and self confidence. Only now after 2,5 years of therapy I feel like a different person.
My social life unfortunately is still not the best. I have made quite some improvements, but I'm not there yet. I am more confident, but the friends I used to have & I don't match very well anymore. Therefore I've been busy for a long time now to find new friends, but that's been difficult.

I hope you will see results faster than I, but just be focused on the process for now. It took years to become the way you are today, so you're not going to change overnight. I wish you all the best. :-)

Hi Ciara!

That's so wonderful to read! It must be very encouraging for others to read MD can be overcome... :-)
I wish you all the best. Enjoy the real world! ;-)


 
Ciara said:

Congrats Mevve! My MD is almost gone too and I have to say that it's because of everything you listed.

I went to therapy, I started living in the present, I stopped dreaming about the future me and dream more about how I really am in the present (which I think is normal), started to actively live life and I too turned to my faith and God.

However, for me, none of this happened at the same time. And I lost my MD by accident really. I just thought it was a forever thing and I accepted it. But I've been able to overcome it and it has made me so much more happier. I still daydream (and pace) , but I think I dd like a regular person now.

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