Maladaptive Daydreaming: where wild minds come to rest
Sorry for the long post. You can skip to TLDR at bottom if its too long. Thank you.
Hello I am new to this community. I am a twenty-something student. I have been Maladaptive daydreaming for over 10 years now. It started in my childhood.
I seriously want to stop. It has affected so much of my life and I don't think I can continue living my life like this.
I have made several attempts in the past to stop. I have failed everytime.
But here I am starting over yet again. However, this time I am a bit more hopeful.
I have been reading this book called "Power of Habit" by Charles Duhigg (really great read) that has expanded my understanding of addiction and habits in general. Although the principles the book mentions are concerning smoking/alcohol/drug addiction. I feel like I can apply them to MDD as well.
I have not felt this hopeful in a long time.
Now onto why I joined WMN. I need a community. In the book, the author talks about Alcoholic Annonymous. He states the effectiveness of AA lies in its ability to provide connection and a community. People you can talk to and who keep you accountable.
I am serious about quittting MDD this time. So I am going all the way. No half-assing.
But I don't have anyone to talk to about this around me. Nobody knows that I struggle with this. And I'm afraid if I tell them they'll think I'm crazy.
So that's how I found this place. That's why I came here. I am looking for a group of people, a community who I can talk to about my troubles and finally be free of this disease.
Please let me know if anyone is interested in being friends/mutuals (?) Sorry I'm new so i don't know the exact term.
TLDR; Read the book Power of Habit. It mentions that in order to effectively quit a habit/addiction one of the things you need is a community or group of like minded people who can help each other stay accountable and stay motivated. So i came here looking for such a group of people. Please let me know if any one is interested in being friends/mutuals (?)
I hope you are able to find the support and team you are looking for. I have read posts here from others that wish to reduce or stop MDD. I understand that it must be painful to feel unhappy due to MDD. The posts here are quite touching.
I came to this site to see what others were experiencing with the intricate daydreaming. What I actually discovered is that I don’t think I have MDD. I’ve taken a couple of online quizzes that support that too. While I do use the intricate dd as entertainment or comfort, it doesn’t and hasn’t prevented me from accomplishing what i want in life. I graduated from college with honors and got a doctorate degree where I run my own business. I’ve recently lost a lot of weight, started great healthy eating plan, joined a gym, met some great people, vacationed with a small group of old friends, shared and bonded some new relationships and feel overall really energized and happy. I have things I want to work on, but dd won’t prevent that. I therefore, don’t consider the dd as maladaptive in my life.
I am curious about something. Have you ever tried to live your life doing all the things you want to do, even with the daydreaming? I’ve tried to imagine how doing it keeps someone from doing activities. So, can you take the daydreaming with you? Mine have always been mobile and I can pop them on or turn them off as needed. I’m just trying to wrap my brain around it.
It's good that you're trying to quit MD! I must tell you, that it's Maladaptive. Although it seemed so wonderful when I was in my youth. I never realized that it was a life sucking disease, and it lied to me. It also effected my whole life. When I planned to start my life anew, the pandemic broke out. I also fell behind in my career. Now I have to start over.
I started MD, well, I was so different from the norm and I didn't fit into groups, plus I was extremely quiet around people. But I wasn't making any friends. Others would see how Quiet I was, and avoid being my friend, finding me all weird, stupid looking and mute. I had no idea how I was making everybody feel from the outside, because I lived in my head all the time! I had a habit into dwelling in worlds that weren't ever there.
To top it, because it's so maladaptive, I'm barely the grown up I should be today. It messed things up for me. I'm surprised that I can overcome what I've done, and do better next time. It's amazing how people can get inside your head..and know what's going on. Like you're an open book. Something I thought was making me happy, ended up not making me happy.
Yeah, when I was a student, everybody called my name and laughed at me, because I was very quiet and wouldn't interact with them. They thought I was being hostile, when really, I was daydreaming. And my dad was angry at my report card.
I am a 30-something who started MD 25 years ago. I foolishly picked this up when I was 12, crossing from 6th grade to 7. I didn't think MD was a mental illness, nor a disease. Since I was just a kid, it was like stepping into happy land. I believed it was the beginning of something so very wonderful. What I didn't come to realize is "they were just daydreams" that were distracting me from life itself. I didn't talk much, so I didn't tell my parents, but people could sniff it by noticing how I'd laugh for nothing, make weird faces, and talk to air, and not even listen up in class. In spite, MD was making me feel so good, I didn't understand that it was a mental disorder and an addiction that was really swallowing up my entire life—to an extent I wasn't going to be a happy person. A family member found out what the hell I was up to, made an outburst and controlled me. My adulthood was completely delayed and not "happening." My career life and relationship life both suffered the consequences. Today, I wake up and realize what I've done was not intelligent and might've ruined everything. I never even married and had kids. Everything I have hoped for just went up in smoke, because I simply chose not to be here.
My fist occupation suffered and discontinued during the pandemic. Now I'm starting from ground zero, wondering what I'll be doing with my life now. Yes, I could read Power of Habit if it covers points that relates to me. Although I tried living my life doing all the things I wanted to do, even when daydreaming. It was a bust and people couldn't help but analyze my lack of ability to communicate and interact with others—let alone, I seemed someplace else too. The reactions were sometimes not pleasant. I tried camp leadership training, even serving ice cream and coffee, and believe it or not, not only did customers and staff not find me friendly, they could read out the dazed look in my eyes! After that I did a lot of remote computer work...
Thanks for sharing your experiences with attempting to function with MDD distracting. That must be very hard. I can only guess that I developed my dd habits in a different way. And, therefore the impact of them is different on me. I hope that a therapist can help. There is still a great potential for a wonderful life ahead.
You're only a twenty-something realizing MD is not a good way to go. I'm 37 and come to realize what MD had done to my life. It's actually extremely worrisome. I still can't entirely take care of myself. Somebody feeds and supports me. Can you believe that? I happen to have Asperger syndrome too. Sometimes people stare at me like I'm from another planet with my actions. I'm not the standard adult I believed I was going to be. In fact, others are always evaluating me. It's a chip on my shoulder everyday. MD confides you that things will get better. They don't! It just makes your life situations go down south and fills you with big regret down the road. So It's great you're seeking therapy now.
OK, my daydreaming was maladaptive. It was a form of a habit as well. It grew on me and I stupidly fed it. It distracted my attention on life. I didn't resolve my problems with my feet nailed to the ground. I chose to keep on dreaming, for dreaming. As much as I wanted aspects of my DD to come true—nothing about it was real. So now I stare face to face with the absolute truth. I have to rebuild my life now. Start over from scratch. Get new hobbies and interests. Find a circle of new friends. Like somebody that picked up a habit that ultimately screwed them over.
Yes! Pretty much exactly this. A habit I used to distract and/entertain me that seemed harmless fun but ultimately screwed me over. This is pretty much how I would sum it up as well.
I have been trying to do pretty much the same thing as you as well. One of the things I read about in the book was identifying the trigger to your habit and then keeping the same trigger but changing the routine. So I realized that a strong trigger for my daydreaming was music.
In the past when I attempted to stop listening to music it was always backfired and I was never successful.
Now I turn on my regualr daydreaming music but instead of daydreaming I have started to knit or practice my typing. Both old hobbies of mine that I used to enjoy.
It's been 4 days since the last time I have daydreamed with music. So far so good. Hopefully I can resist the urge to cave in.
I support you on your efforts as well. I hope it all goes well for you.