Maladaptive Daydreaming: where wild minds come to rest
I started living in a dream world when I was seven years old. My family had just moved at the beginning of the summer to a new state, taking me away from the only friends and home I'd ever known. I was painfully shy, afraid to talk to people and make new friends. I liked to read, so I started turning the characters in the books I read into my "friends." I had this whole other world, where it was easy to talk to people, everyone loved me, and I was one hell of a dancer. I remember creating choreography in my head, playing songs over and over until I got it right. Then I would spend hours in my room trying to do those dance moves for an imaginary audience.
Daydreaming stuck with my through childhood. The intensity level dropped once I started school and interacted with other kids, but I would still retreat to my daydreams when I was sad. As a teenager I began to imagine myself with a different body, a different name, in a different place with more accepting people. It was always the opposite of whatever I was dealing with at the time.
As an adult, I would still turn to these daydreams, most often to lull myself to sleep, or to figure out how "perfect me" would handle a situation. I never really thought of these daydreams as a problem, I just figured I had an active imagination.
More recently though, I've found myself daydreaming in a way that is much more like when I started. I will spend hours off in a different world. I'm currently unemployed, and I don't get out or interact with people much. Yes, I am lonely, I will admit that, and daydreaming is a way to try to curb that loneliness. While I enjoy my daydreams, they're becoming troubling. I feel like they're taking over my life, in a way. I drift off when my son is talking to me (he is an adult, so he's not in danger or anything at least), I wander around the house in a daze. I daydream to fall asleep, and then my mind takes off again soon after I wake up. I've been previously diagnosed with depression and anxiety, and the daydreaming is actually making it worse. I don't want to tell the few people I know about it because its too embarrassing. I'm nearing wits end and I don't know what to do. I'm wondering if going back on antidepressants might help. I know what I really need is support, so I was glad to find this site.
Hope this wasn't too long. Just needed to get that out.
I have had MD for over 60 yrs and just recently was able to put a name this horrible fantasy world addiction. I started when I was about 7 yrs old ,..my mom wanted a boy instead of a girl ....therefore I was rejected , left out of most activities and events in the family. I started day-dreaming that I was popular and accepted ( as a movie actress or singer or just someone that was special and loved) and this has lasted most of my life.
Through prayer and connecting to prayer lines ,..God has truly blessed me and is enabling me to learn how to really live in reality ( it is a process). A process that is well worth every effort put into it. It is difficult at times but , God let's me know that I am truly loved and accepted by the ONLY ONE that really count , God ,our Father, creator of all mankind.
As I read His Word and meditate on what He is saying to me thru the scripture , I am strengthened by the day. And it is a day by day journey in deliverance.
I can Identify with what you are going through,..and my heart goes out to you .
I will keep you in my prayers each day , and will believe that our God , who can be touched with the feeling of our infirmities, will come right where you are,and bring deliverance and peace into your life.
I, also, encourage you to pray and read psalm 91 each day , and believe with me for your victory and mine, in Jesus Name.
God Bless You
Wow that must be very tough. My solution to when I'm feeling in a sort of rut is to find some way to ground myself. MDD is an extremely difficult condition/addiction and you've very brave for standing up to it and openly sharing your experiences. Please keep in mind that there still is hope for your real life to become more fulfilling, enjoyable, and meaningful. What helps me when I'm struggling with the fact that MDD has taken away so much of my time and focus is to step back, be easy, kind, and forgiving to myself, and start to see what little things I can do in my real life to make myself happy. Maybe it might just be watering my plants in the backyard or going for a jog, but whatever the action may be, I make sure to be grateful for my ability to perform the action.
Once my mood starts improving, I take advantage of the extra energy to perform more intensive tasks. I have written on my wall some goals in real life that would really make life fun and meaningful. These goals could range from keeping a healthy backyard, learning a language, joining a club of like-minded individuals, or writing a book. Setting goals is really critical to living a happy life.
I hope this helps, and I wish you the best of luck! We're all here for you if you ever need anything!
Welcome! I started around the same age as well and I only recently found out that I wasn't the only one who went through this. I'm still young, only 19, and I don't know how I'll transition into the adult world with my DD. Like you, they're like my security blanket. They comfort me and have helped me through everything in my life. I also have clinical depression and have been on antidepressants since I was 11, I've noticed no effects on my daydreaming. Don't be afraid to tell people. The ones I've told have been understanding. While they'll never fully get it or understand it, I just want them to know. I don't think they judge me for it but if anyone ever does, they aren't work it.
Best of luck!
You've hit upon something important here- "i don't want to tell anyone because its embarrassing".
The fact that like all mental health sufferers, those of us who are MDDers -we have a great sense of shame because of it. I think my singlehood has been primarily been because of body shame, trust issues, and the shame of MDD.
Until I found this forum (its been some years now) I was convinced I was a nutjob. I'm approaching 40 and wondering about the very little time left for possible parenthood, but I no longer feel (MDD) that any child... damn I can't even say.... That MDD might be inheritable.
My dad was paralyzed and severely depressed for 10 years. He died. He was abusive to us. So you can understand why I was concerned.
Go to a doctor. You have previously battled depression and anxiety, so who knows maybe they might be paying a small visit again.