Where wild minds come to rest
Last week I googled 'constant daydreaming' and found out about Maladaptive Daydreaming. I immediately became convinced that this is the condition I am suffering from: I experience basically every symptom that's linked with MD.
MD has been getting worse and worse for me the past five years. I feel more and more addicted to my own fantasies, Im constantly spending time and energy on them. It has gotten to the point where It's becoming difficult for me to focus 100% on a given task. Almost always there is some part of me that's in fantasy land, even when among friends, driving a car, or cooking dinner. And when I have and idle moment I immediately start to daydream. Im constantly having cool conversations with people that are not around. I spend hours in bed at night vividly making up cool scenarios, unable to stop and actually get some sleep. The moment I wake up in the morning the waterfall of thoughts and stories start again. I come across as distracted and forgetful, and it causes me to make mistakes. In general it makes me feel like Im losing touch with all aspects of my life, and what do I get back? Nothing more than a momentary good feeling followed by feelings of emptiness, tiredness and dullness.
How did I get to this point? Ive always had a lively imagination and the ability to consciously make up fantasies. For a big part of my life I experienced this more a gift than a curse: it was kinda my special place that I could enter and leave whenever I wanted. However in the last few years it has taken a turn for the worse. There was a period of loneliness for me coupled with some insecurities, and I responded by spending more and more time in my fantasies. Without realizing it the dreaming became more intense and a daily habit of mine, and eventually an addiction.
The annoying thing is is that I still remember the time when MD was not a (big) part of my life. I had more energy, more passion and more emotion. I slept so much better. I was more aware of the stuff that was happening around me. And most of all: there was silence in my head, pure silence. I still remember the person that actually heard the birds sing in the morning.
I want to find that young man again, desperately.
Do any of you succeed in reducing the amount and intensity of daydreams? If so please share because I've had enough of it.
Well you could try medication or CBT or just therapy in general, that might help change your thought process. Although I have been on many medications and had many years of therapy I am still struggling. Some feel that when their lives are full then they do not daydream as much, so maybe trying to find or deal with whatever is or was missing in your life could help.
welcome to wild minds.
I've found that once I started to socialize more in the real world(easier said than done), my daydreams and fantasies started to seem uninteresting and gradually, they stopped completely. There are other approaches you could try though with medication. I took anti-depressants once I was really into MD and it was a lot harder to daydream all together.
I'm new to the forum and just recently discovering MD myself, but it sounds like a big step to helping yourself is recognizing your triggers. If you can recognize what sets you off, maybe you can learn to anticipate your urge to daydream and preoccupy yourself with something else.
If you are daydreaming at night, try a guided meditation (I use the Meditation Oasis podcast). Having that voice guiding you through a meditation may help rather than trying to do it without any noise.
One thing I did this week to help me with some racing thoughts was go for a jog. I find I really have to focus on my breathing and I don't tend to daydream while jogging. I just sat out on a rock for a while and tried to enjoy the view and remind myself that the world and the reality I live in physically is beautiful and worthwhile. It does take an effort not to let my mind wander, but it was worth it. I had a little relief and a little mental silence.
There's a stickied thread on the main forum called "What Helps?" There's probably good advice in there, too.
Hey there, welcome to the forum. Your story sounds similar to mine, I'm also running on coffee and stimulants lately because daydreaming is getting in the way of sleep.
I am trying meditation and also some form of sport that stops me from daydreaming. For me it's not running, as I can perfectly well DD when I am running, but yoga and swordfighting seems to work. Back when I took ritalin I also could control going into and out of a daydream better, as if the capacity to switch worked better.
On the subject of falling asleep.
For falling asleep I use a drug/medicine called "Melatonine", a hormone that makes you feel sleepy. Some sorts of tea can help too. I watch videos from youtube in my bed, to distract my thoughts from fantasising. Watching videos is the most brainless activity I can do and it realy helps to stop the dreaming, as long as you are interested in the what you're watching. After some time I will get realy tired, then I put away my ps-vita (that I was using to watch youtube) and I fall asleep without a problem because their is nothing left in my head. Sometimes this fails and than I have to start watching videos again, and I repeat it untill it works. Mostly it works first trie though.
People told me (with great certainty) that doing a lot of sport in the day would make me sleep better. I have tried this multiple times. IT DOES NOT WORK FOR ME, at all!
The mind and the body should be equally tired to sleep and that is why people say this. But for me I think it's not the body that isn't tired that is the problem, it's my mind that never seems to get tired.
But maybe sport can help others to sleep better, do try it.
I did found out that, suddenly jumping out of bed and doing 20 push-ups can sometimes temporarly make you so exausted that you can't do anything but sleep. Sporting in the evening would be better than in the day than. Although someone told me that then your body would make adrennalin, that makes it even harder to sleep. Everyone needs to figure this out on its own I'm afraid.
Music also helps, in the same way as videos. The problem can be that at the same time music is a trigger for daydreams. Nevertheless, try this! If your mind is concentrating on music instead of dreams, this can help you, if it makes you fantasize even more, then you shouldn't do it.
Thanks guys, will try some of your ideas. last few days Ive been sleeping with the sound of a purring cat in the background. Whenever I start to dream I try to focus on the sound instead. Still too early for a verdict but I did sleep a bit better.
I try to stay away from music (huge trigger for me) but it's really diffcult :).
Medication is my last resort. Will try to clear my mind using other methods first.
nice story thank you for sharing i gave you some tips in private chat peace
I know that for me listening to music that I don't really understand (like the lyrics are in a different language or there aren't any at all) helps reduce the amount of daydreams I get. As well as writing the story of the daydreams I have down and it reduces the intensity. Hope it works for you too.