Survey. Gathering Info. on MD PLEASE PARTICIPATE IF U CAN

The reason why im doing this is because MD is very vague. There isn't much info. on it.I want to perhaps do a project on this for my psychology class. Please answer these questions. I apologize beforehand if this is too unprofessional as this is the first time ive done anything like this.

-When did you first start experiencing MD?

-Describe your personality, are you  outgoing person or reserved?

-If your still in school what is your social status are you looked upon as a nerd or are you popular and well liked?

-Do you describe yourself as successful in real life?

-What triggers your MD?

-What subjects are you profecient in? (Math, English, History...)

-Do you find it hard to focus or does your mind easily wander?

To answer my own questions...

I started when I was young. I cant really remember but i think i always had the tendency to daydream.

I'm a very quiet and awkward person. I think the reason why MD is so severe is because of this.

Im probably considered an outcast and a loner.

Im only in highschool but i have somewhat good grades.

Anything. From music to my surrounding ambiance... 

Im good at English, History.

My mind wanders easily.

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-Probably around 6th grade. I remembered a world my friend and I created and I was hooked.

-A nerd/loner.

-Reserved. Awkward. Cold. Sarcastic. Naive. Vauge. Childish. Quiet.

-I'm only a freshman in highschool so I wouldn't know. But right now I'm not doing so well in some classes so, no, not at the moment.

-Stress, lonliness, anxiety, music, or a good book/Movie/TV show.

-I love and excel at ASL (American Sign Language)! If I'm frustrated and stressed, it feels good to talk to people without using my tearfilled, shaky voice...

-Heck yes! Unless I take some intrest in it, I'm escaping to my own world or just regular daydreaming...

The reason why im doing this is because MD is very vague. There isn't much info. on it.I want to perhaps do a project on this for my psychology class. Please answer these questions. I apologize beforehand if this is too unprofessional as this is the first time ive done anything like this.
-When did you first start experiencing MD?
A: I think 4 or 5 years

-Describe your personality, are you outgoing person or reserved?
A: I am reserved

-If your still in school what is your social status are you looked upon as a nerd or are you popular and well liked?
A: When i was at the school, got some years that i was almoust popular and others that i was a nerd.

-Do you describe yourself as successful in real life?
A: Yes and no, I have a good job, I live alone on my own house, but i don't have much success in the social life.

-What triggers your MD?
A: Music, TV, magazines, Things i see in the street, when i am felling hate or happiness, almoust everything

-What subjects are you profecient in? (Math, English, History...)
A:

-Do you find it hard to focus or does your mind easily wander?
A: I have difficult to get concentrated

-When did you first start experiencing MD?

Since i can Remember.

-Describe your personality, are you  outgoing person or reserved?

Im reserved with people i donnot know.

-If your still in school what is your social status are you looked upon as a nerd or are you popular and well liked?

I was not Popular, but wasnt Unpopular too, i had my close group of friends.

-Do you describe yourself as successful in real life?

In the Intelectual field iam very succesfull.

-What triggers your MD?

Music and Anxiety

-What subjects are you profecient in? (Math, English, History...)

History, and any Social Science.

-Do you find it hard to focus or does your mind easily wander?

When im alone it my DD clicks and pops like a Swiss Clock.

Okay, was part way through this then realized I'm rambling oh so so much, so I'll apologize now, and warn you it's really, really long.

-First start? Don't know. The average persons earliest memory is around 4 years old, and I'm not so good at figuring out when things happened, so I think all my life. If it started later, about 4 or 5, maybe 6 years old.

-I'm really reserved, I have 4 close friends, and can sometimes talk a lot around them, and with some people, for some reason I talk lots or just don't shut up, even though we're not actually friends. I take time, sometimes lots of time, sometimes not so much, to warm up to people, but then I can be kinda outgoing, for the fact that they normally have to text/call me first to organize stuff.

-I am still in school, and New Zealand (or at least my nice oversize school. Of 2600 students) there doesn't seem to be much of a social hierarchy like TV shows of American schools seem to have. Anyway, I'm sorta the girl most people say is really nice and quiet and stuff, because I am, have a few close friends (4 people I actually truly consider friends, and I'm close to all of them, and a couple of people I talk to sometimes, am quite friendly with, but not actually friends with them. ) and yeah. I was always somewhat smart, but my MD's gotten worse, and last year was the first time I was not in the extension, top or second-top maths class. And this year I quit math 'cause I finally can, so I guess slightly less popular, just because I'm quiet and take time to warm up to most people (for some reason, I can be really open with people I don't talk to that much. Strange, but ah well.)

-Successful how?... I've finally, finally figured out what I want to do when I'm older (so one of my DDs is based on that and around my future and stuff, and am doing some subjects this year that should help me get it, I'm starting more sports, but that's since I met one of my friends, who has nagged me to start more, other than just climbing once a week, which, at the time I didn't take seriously. Doing 6 subjects next year (If someone says I'm doing too much, make the school let me quit English this year! Please! Actually, nice thought. Maybe I could do my speech on MD, depending on what topic choices and things we have? I'll think about it again, if I remember, when we actually start on speeches.) But I procrastinate a lot too, which is really annoying. I've learned stuff recently, though, about my (now broken, probably over-heated graphics card) computer, and it's guts, and a little about my big brother's.

-Triggers? Mostly boredom and disinterest, like in maths, and a bit in English, but I also sometimes start in Martial Arts when Robin's explaining something, and it's so hard to concentrate, even though I really want to, and do enjoy it. Also being in bed and under the blanket, almost always before sleeping or before getting up. It also makes it harder to get to sleep.

-It's hard to say. in y11 the subjects I did were:

Maths, English (both compulsory) Art, Digital Media, Health, Science (general, the sciences split next year. Well, this year now.)

Maths I used to be really good at, but since we started algebra (yr 8 I didn't understand it at all, yr 9 I started understanding the basics) my maths started going down, and it took me longer and longer to learn the more complicated stuff, and I zoned out more and more, especially in y11, because the teacher, although good, talked in a tone not too far from a monotone, and didn't make the lesson interesting, so mixed with the MD, it was near impossible to concentrate.

English: I got worse, but could concentrate a little more than I did in maths, probably 'cause I knew we had to do group projects and stuff occasionally, but I got a bit worse over the year too.

Art: I actually improved in art over the year, but that's because we could diversify more (is that the right word?) but, while painting stuff, I had to concentrate enough so I didn't start painting the table or anything haha! but it didn't take much brain power to do, either. I actually don't know how much I daydreamed during art last year....

Digital Media: depends. On the photoshop part, I did decent, but on the web design (which includes some programming) I failed oh so so so miserably, just cause I hate programming and suck at it oh so bad. And I don't care about improving, either. It's too annoying. (oh, and there were more parts, but they were the main opposites of my liking. If that makes sense. photoshop, which I haven't actually done in a while, I somewhat like, and aren't too bad at it (not brilliant, though, I don't do it enough, nor do I have a good enough eye for it to be amazing) but I have improved a bit, and at school, I did learn a little, but most of it was the basics, so I tried to get through it quickly so I could do things of my choice. there's still and Evanescence wallpaper I started the very very basics of in DTM then planned to do it at home, never did. it'll still be saved somewhere, though.)

Health (not only sex ed, but being assertive, and Wellbeing and drugs/alcohol were there too. and the sex ed wasn't 'what is sex' but more'how to deal with so/so situation, and whether this choice was good or bad, what could've influenced it etc) Was quite interesting, but I did zone out sometimes, concentrated others, so yeah. I passed well enough, but some parts were so repetitive it made the tests so easy. And if I zoned out at one point, I would've repeated whatever we did very soon after anyway, so that was helpful!

Sciences: Chemistry- I like the chemical equations best, better than some of the experiments, actually. I know it ain't normal, so what? I like watching some stuff, like sodium/water, but don't like having to write all observations and stuff down. Did better in that than in genetics, though, even though I like genetics better. Concentrated quite well in genetics/the microorganisms parts (which were separate topics) but they're Biology, which I quite like. Electricity was at the start of the year when my MD wasn't quite so bad, but I still did zone out a fair bit, and physics is so crappy boring in my opinion, that I just kept zoning out and was quite happy to, too.

To sum that up a bit, I do decent in Bio, Art, and Health, although I'm not doing art this year. I've always been good at basic English, especially spelling, though I blank out sometimes, and Maths, including some basic algebra.

The thing is, this year, I'm (hopefully, except for Eng) doing English, Biology, Horticulture, Outdoor Ed, Health and Early Childhood Studies, so some of these differ a lot from my y11 subjects, so I've no idea how I'll do.

-Sometimes my mind wanders heaps, and It's nearly impossible to concentrate, but sometimes it's piss-easy to focus, so it depends on mood/tiredness, and my interest in the subjects and how interestingly it's been taught.

And yet again, sorry for the rambling. Mostly rambled in what subjects I'm proficient in.

Holy f*ck, that really is long. it's kinda harder to judge in that little box with the little scroll-y thing. And I nearly didn't sensor the eff word, and I don't know if I should or not, but will try to just in case.

I said just now all this crap in the post above.

I understand where you're coming from about the arrogance, but I'm not sure i agree. I generally try to be honest with both myself and others, and I don't think I'm exactly what you'd call arrogant. I'd get rid of this damn addiction if i could, but I can't seem to. Plus, in some ways, does that mean junkies or alcoholics are arrogant because of something they're addicted to?

Roger Lyda said:

-When did you first start experiencing MD?

I don't remember a time that I didn't DD

-Describe your personality, are you  outgoing person or reserved?

I used to be quiet and reserved. I had to be outspoken to make a living in my profession, so I am able to put up a front. Interaction with people can be very tiresome to me. I am very selective about who I socialize with.

-If your still in school what is your social status are you looked upon as a nerd or are you popular and well liked?

I'm 46. People who went to school with me recall my rebellious nature, dry sense of humor, me getting into a lot of trouble and being very intelligent. I got good grades but never paid attention in class.

-Do you describe yourself as successful in real life?

I would and anybody who knows me would too. I grew up poor. Making money was important to me at a young age. I can't recall a time that I've had financial problems.

-What triggers your MD?

Stress more than anything else

-What subjects are you profecient in? (Math, English, History...)

I pick up on anything pretty easy. I enjoy English and History more than math.

-Do you find it hard to focus or does your mind easily wander?

I put in effort to controlling MD. It takes a short amount of time to learn to focus. I probably have better concentration skills than most people.

Oh, by the way, I have always been arrogant. Very arrogant. I think MDers are in general. Choosing to live in your own dream world because the real world doesn't suite you, that, to me, is arrogant.

-When did you first start experiencing MD?

When I was very, very young. I can't remember the first time(s).

-Describe your personality, are you  outgoing person or reserved?

I'm a relatively balanced person, and enjoy both the company of others and myself. I've also gone through stages of my life where I'm more or less extroverted.

-If your still in school what is your social status are you looked upon as a nerd or are you popular and well liked?

I was sort-of a band/orchestra nerd. That being said, I was never picked on, and had a strong group of friends. If anything, we might have picked on a few people ourselves :X

-Do you describe yourself as successful in real life?

All things considered? I think I'm doing well for myself. Could always be better, but could certainly be worse too.

-What triggers your MD?

Oh geez... all sorts of things. An idle mind, certain items, playing video games, surfing the internet... maybe a few others I've missed.

-What subjects are you profecient in? (Math, English, History...)

English, History, Public Speaking

-Do you find it hard to focus or does your mind easily wander?

It wanders, usually on the subject I'm thinking about. It's not exactly daydreaming, but related, I think. Otherwise, I can usually focus fine on getting things done.

I first realized my daydreaming was taking over a few months ago, but I guess it started when i was about six and thought that my life was a book a bigger man was reading (don't ask.) I am not outgoing but, i still like being social. I am well liked in school. I am the one everyone laughs at but not in a bad way. I am not successful, i procrastinate way too much. Books and TV normally does, or hearing particular words or phrases. I am very good at English. My mind wanders sooooo easily and i hardly ever focus for more than an hour or so.

Around 7 

Reserved but not excessivly

Im not in highschool anymore, but i had very few friends then

Tv shows magazines and movies triggers my MD

Im good in english.

My mind easly wonders unless im in public and im more disciplined to

Myself.

-When did you first start experiencing MD?

I've daydreamed as long as i can remember, but as a child it was before bed and on the bus and such... it wasnt until 5th/6th grade that it became abnormal, doing it for hours a day with pacing and all. 

-Describe your personality, are you  outgoing person or reserved?

I used to be quiet, but now i am very confident and love to talk and socialize. Not as much as others though, some people seem to want to do things every weekend, where me I start to feel overwhelmed if i go out as much as others do. with one or two down days a week im fine though. 

I had to teach myself to be bold though, it took a some forcing myself to participate and not be shy before it became natural. 

-If your still in school what is your social status are you looked upon as a nerd or are you popular and well liked?

Haha im definitely more on the nerd side, but everyone talks to me and ive never been bullied or nothing. 

-Do you describe yourself as successful in real life?

Yes/no. I'm still in school (16 years old) and im a high honor roll student. I'm work hard and it pays off. I'm also good artist and writer (arent all us mdders?). I think MD has inhibited my social life, but that could also be part of being on the nerd/geek side of the social ladder. I've never been the popular kid so i wouldnt know. 

-What triggers your MD?

Walking when not talking to someone, movies/tv shows/ books usually inspire a new scene and make the urge very strong and music definitely, as long as it has inspiring lyrics or a good beat.  

-What subjects are you profecient in? (Math, English, History...)

I'm great in English, History, Art, Languages and AP Biology. Math and sciences like Chemistry have always been my weak side. But i dont think you can be an extremely creative person and be a math whiz. 

-Do you find it hard to focus or does your mind easily wander?

I focus very well, as long as ive dreamed a decent time ago. Go without it for too long and my head will start to cram up and i cant think. Also when im incredibly inspired and want to explore a new scene (ex. after book, movie,....)

Maladaptive Daydreaming

 

What is Maladaptive Daydreaming? A known 4% of the world has it.(10) Most people have never heard of it before, due to the fact that it is still an emerging condition. Maladaptive daydreaming (MD) is extensive fantasy activity that replaces human interaction and/or interferes with academic, interpersonal, or vocational functioning.(11)  Sheryl C. Wilson and Theodore X. Barber first acknowledged this as a “Fantasy-Prone Personality” in 1981. Others have done studies on this condition following their lead, such as Steven Lynn, Judith W. Rhue, D. L. Barret, Robert Horselenburg, Sharon Rauschenberger, and many others. But the most well-known of all of the people who have researched this strange phenomenon would be Professor Eli Somer, a Senior Clinical Psychologist from Haifa, Israel. The term “Maladaptive Daydreaming” was first used by Somer, in his recent book, “Journal of Contemporary Psychotherapy” in the section titled “Maladaptive Daydreaming: A Qualitative Inquiry”.  In 1975, Somer earned his BA in Psychology, Sociology, and Anthropology, along with his MA in Clinical Psychology in 1979 at the University of Haifa.(7) He then moved on to the University of Florida, where he earned his Ph.D in Counseling Psychology in 1984.(7)

Somer stumbled upon Maladaptive Daydreaming when he studied six patients who were so-called, “fantasy-prone”. In these patients he discovered many similar categories of personalities and themes in their daydreaming episodes that are still relevant to daydreamers today. He also made the claim that excessive daydreaming was caused by a traumatic childhood experience, but this has proven to be false for many maladaptive daydreamers.

Most of the conclusions that Somer came to were accurate, however. Excessive daydreamers are not all the same of course, but the general “symptoms” of Maladaptive Daydreaming are apparent in most Maladaptive Daydreamers. They include excessive daydreaming, some form of kinesthetic movement while daydreaming, neglecting every-day activities for the sake of daydreaming, preferring one’s daydream world to the real world, a lack in socializing abilities, setting aside time for daydreaming, and feeling the constant need to daydream, so much that it is often compared to an addiction.

There are many different ways that one can excessively daydream. The general ways to daydream include laying down and daydreaming, pacing and daydreaming, jumping and daydreaming, twirling and daydreaming, tapping and daydreaming, etc. Notice that there is movement in almost all of these examples. Somer reported that 5 out of 6 of his patients with MD included some sort of kinesthetic movement, the reason being either physical enactment of the daydream or hypnotic induction.(11) My personal account is this: I’ll retreat from the world into my bedroom, close the door, close the blinds (this makes it easier for me to concentrate on my daydream) and I turn on my iPod. Then I will pace, sometimes run or jump around the room in accordance with what is happening in my daydream. With the minimal light in the room, my auditory senses controlled with a specific emotion of a chosen song, and the kinesthetic movement of pacing and jumping, I am actually hypnotizing myself. Although I am aware of my surroundings (the walls of my room) I can clearly see, hear, and feel the world of my own creation in my mind.

Story-lines of daydreaming are usually extremely complex, for they have been expanded upon for many years. Cordellia Amethyste Rose, creator of the Maladaptive Daydreaming social website “Wild Minds Network”, explained the surface-base of her story lines, “Most of them are about highly emotional and intellectual relationships.  It's the same persistent fantasy world.  The characters who stick around the most are the most emotionally and intellectually stimulating characters for my main character.”(4) So her daydreams can be considered to be focused around herself and her completely original relationships. Anonymous #1 explained his daydream as well, “I'm a super version of me. I'm a super successful music producer/business/actor/philanthropist/sports star with a beautiful wife and kids. The thing is, a lot of my daydreams revolve around me giving interviews about my past, my success, [and] my family. Like I would be telling a story about a tragic event that happened to me prior to becoming successful and how it shaped my life.”(1) His daydreams seem to focused around himself and his social status, as well as original familial relationships. Anonymous #2 explained, “A character is in a hospital and there's a serial killer in said hospital. The many people around, and she's trying to pinpoint the man she's looking for. Any odd movements, any psychological ticks that make him stand out.  Once, she sees him it's all seems over, with a kid in his hands and a gun with a badge. (Sorry that's all can eloquently explain. It's complex.)”(2) She explained to me after that she wasn’t necessarily the character in the hospital, sometimes it felt like she was just the point of view, not really herself. So this particular type of daydream is focused around more of an action-adventure stimulation for her brain.

The first signs of Maladaptive Daydreaming are hardly ever recognized, if recognized at all. Most Maladaptive Daydreamers claim that their daydreaming began when they were small children, (as most children do daydream) but then it severely escalated from there. For some, it was because of a traumatic experience that caused them to want to hide away from the world by retreating to a safer realm of their own minds. For others, it was merely an over-active imagination that was accented by introverted qualities that caused these excessive fantasies. For others, it wasn’t necessarily a traumatic experience, but rather a lack of control in their environment that made them want to create something that they could control. But Maladaptive Daydreaming doesn’t always manifest in the early years of childhood, there are Maladaptive Daydreamers who say they began daydreaming in the middle of their adult lives. Reasons for this range from all of the above to simple boredom with their real lives.

            Most people’s reactions to explanations of this emerging disorder include arrogant scoffing, disbelief, a wave of a pompous hand, etc. But the people who live with this condition every day know that it should be worthy of medical and psychological attention. I have interviewed myself and four other subjects with this condition, with varying results of severity of the disorder. However, each interviewee was quite aware of how MD was affecting their lives.

When asked if she believed that MD’s produced unwanted side-effects, Anonymous #2 replied “Yes, I really do. I have bouts of depression and numbness. I've always had a little trouble socializing with others, because I'm in my head a lot of the time.”(2)  Cordellia Amesthye Rose acknowledged that not only did daydreaming cause depression, disassociation, trouble with socializing, and lack of focus, but also other side-effects. “It's made the outer world intolerable.  Also extreme sensory sensitivity and insomnia. Misophonia… Extreme hatred of certain sounds......to the point where I'll cry and pound on my ears.”(5) As a Maladaptive Daydreamer myself, I can’t say that I have experienced all of these severe side-effects, but I can say that I experience bouts of depression, I am not adequate in the art of socialization, I have trouble focusing, and I put off many academic and personal responsibilities for the sake of daydreaming.(8)

            Severity of this condition varies immensely. A Maladaptive Daydreamer can daydream from 2 hours once a week to every single minute of every single day. Anonymous #2 states that she daydreams, “On average I would say 3-4 hours a day. But it varies with highs and lows.”(2) while Anonymous  #1 simply states, “Far too many to count.”(1) Cordellia Amethyste Rose says that she is in a constant state of daydreaming: “It's one persistent fantasy world that exists and proceeds in real time.”(5)

            The real “discovery” of excessive daydreaming is undocumented; normal daydreaming is a common thing for humans to do when bored or tired, therefore excessive daydreaming was probably labeled as unimportant. However, the recent studies and research on Maladaptive Daydreaming have been accomplished mostly by Dr. Cynthia Schupak and Dr. Eli Somer.  There is no cure yet to this condition, because it is still new to the medical and psychological field, however some medicines have been administered to Maladaptive Daydreamers when they have consulted their doctors about their condition.

            There are some people who daydream excessively who do not want to stop daydreaming. They think of it as more of an ability to create and expand the mind, rather than a condition inhibiting social and academic activity. Mostly however, people with MD tend to think of it as more of a negative addiction than a positive attribute. Most of these people want to rid themselves of it. Anonymous #3 was asked about the effects MD had on her life and she replied, “I definitely had a lack of focus throughout all of my school years before the grades really mattered. I'd totally zone out in class, most notably math class.”(3)

Along with the academic problems it causes, the personal well-being is affected as well. Anonymous #2 says that after she has engaged in a daydream, she feels two different feelings: “Mentally: sometimes refreshed, satisfied, sometimes drained. Physically: dizzy.”(2) Cordellia Amethyste Rose states, “Mentally I feel stimulated.  Physically...well if it's really stimulating I can produce physical reactions like mouth-watering, goose bumps, etc.  If I daydream too much I get really sick.  I get dizzy and feel weird in my head. If I've been daydreaming really heavily........more in than out......I get really sick.”(5)

Aside from the physical aspect of these negative effects, the anti-social aspect is also prominent as a negative side-effect of MD. Anonymous #3 said, “I'm less socially experienced than most people my age because I've daydreamed for so long. For example, if someone brings up a famous person or social situation I haven't encountered, I get awkward because I don't know enough about the topic to carry a conversation about it. Today, my work trainer asked everyone to copy down all the young people in their cell phones, but I only have about 5. I just tried to make it un-awkward.”(3) Anonymous #2 described herself socially as, “Somewhat inept. Especially with people I don't know that well. I have to really understand their personality, to open up.”(2) Many daydreamers are less socially able than people without MD. The severity of this side-effect varies greatly, and some daydreamers are perfectly sociable, however this lack of socialization seems to be a reoccurring theme for most people with MD.

Depression is yet another prominent effect that MD has on a person. Whether it is caused by MD or it causes MD is uncertain; all that is known for sure is that a significant number of people with Maladaptive Daydreaming report having some form of Depression. For example, Anonymous #3 states, “I was a bit depressed in high school because I thought something was "wrong" with me and that I wasn't "normal" because I was less social than the other kids.”(3) Personally, when I was younger and unaware that this condition affected more people than just me, I looked at my MD as something that made me an oddity. I thought that it was the reason for my severe social inability, and this caused me to be very depressed for most of my childhood, encouraging my already introverted personality.(8)

There could be many causes of Maladaptive Daydreaming. One factor that could be considered is genetics. It could be possible, since personality characteristics are handed down through genetics, that the potential for MD could be handed down as well. I say potential for MD, not MD itself, because I do not believe MD has a direct link with genes or defective cells of any kind. It is more like a decision of the brain; just like any other addiction, one decides to start it, and then cannot stop. Personality characteristics such as quietness, moodiness, creativeness, and the enjoyment of solitude could be handed down from genetics and these characteristics could encourage MD, but I don’t believe that Maladaptive Daydreaming can be shared in our genes.

Because there is so little known about Maladaptive Daydreaming, it is truly unknown how it connects to the brain. However, I believe that the creativity center of the brain has a lot to do with it. One theory about creativity and the brain is the theory that the more gray matter one has, the more creative one is. Gray matter makes up a good portion of the brain, for example, the thalamus, or the inner chamber of the brain, is an oval structure above the midbrain that measures about 1 inch in length and establishes about four-fifths of the diencephalon.(12) It consists of two oval masses, made up largely of gray matter, organized into nuclei that actually forms the lateral walls of the third ventricle.(12) These masses are joined by a bridge, (again, made of gray matter) called the intermediate mass. Each mass is deeply embedded in a cerebral hemisphere and is bounded laterally by the internal capsule.(12) Dr. Rex Jung and his colleagues looked at the correlation between creativity and regional cortical thickness in a group of 61 young adult men and women.(9) They measured their creativity using an instrument called the Creative Achievement Questionnaire, which assesses creativity in ten different domains; in addition, divergent thinking was tested using a variety of design tasks, with the results consensually assessed by raters into a "composite creativity index."(9) Magnetic resonance images of the subjects' brains were compared to one another, and an automated program was used to look at the correlation between the various creative measures and the cortical thickness (the surface gray matter) of the subjects' brains. The study concluded that those who had more gray matter in their brains were considerably more creative than those who did not have as much gray matter.  In a study by Hikaru Takeuchi and his colleagues, regional brain volumewas interconnected with performance on a test of creativity and divergent thinking.(9) They found strong links between performance on this test and larger gray matter volume in dopamine-rich subcortical regions such as the substantia nigra and other fronto-striatal regions; in addition, a portion of the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex was also correlated with higher creative test performance.(9) Takeuchi and colleagues concur that their results support the important role of dopamine in creative thinking.(9) Therefore, it is logical to think that Maladaptive Daydreamers could possibly have a surplus of dopamine in their brains that allow them to create so easily a world of in own minds.

There are ways that creativity of the brain can be enhanced and depleted. It is possible that this could be the reason for mid-adulthood onset of MD. Drug use can enhance or deplete creativity by increasing or diminishing the dopamine levels of the brain. The evidence for the involvement in dopamine in creativity comes primarily from drug studies: dopamine agonists (such as cocaine and levodopa) heighten arousal and goal-seeking behaviors while dopamine antagonists (such as antipsychotics) can shut down the free associations that may be necessary for creativity.(9)

For the people who do not wish to live with MD for the rest of their lives, any kind of treatment would be ideal. Unfortunately there is no real treatment for Maladaptive Daydreaming.  Now, because this condition is not well known, most doctors have attested this phenomenon to other disorders, such as ADD, ADHD, Depression, OCD, and others. So the medicine administered is for only these conditions, when in actuality, those conditions are merely the side-effects of the actual root of the problem. However, there have been reports of the self-curing of MD, during Somer’s study of six subjects with MD; One of his subjects actually ceased to daydream before the psychotherapy was over. It was reported that the subject stopped daydreaming because the subject had finally gained a better understanding of herself and her condition, and it had allowed her to stop feeling the need to daydream. But other than personal remedies or solutions produced by people with MD, there has yet to be a true solution to ridding people of this condition.

There are, however, ways that people with MD have tried to lessen their time spent daydreaming. Anonymous #1 reported that being in a social situation helped. “Just being around people and being engaged in the conversation or event, otherwise, it just happens.”(1) Reasons for this could be many things; a social situation could take up most of one’s concentration so that one does not have the focus to daydream, or maybe one would be just too embarrassed to daydream in front of people because of their kinesthetic movements or facial expressions during daydreaming. With others however, there seems to be no reason for a temporary decrease in their daydreaming. Anonymous #2 said, “Sometimes I hit a low point. When I hit a road block in my fantasy world and everything becomes like clockwork. Like a personal hell. Also when I don't feel the need to daydream as much is another time when my daydreaming decreases. Both of those times are very erratic and don’t seem to have an underlying cause.”(2) Other people find that having external responsibilities allow them to effectively decrease their daydreaming. Anonymous #3 said, “I find that having outside obligations decreases my daydreaming, and so does internet use, as it causes an outside source of entertainment. Also, I don't daydream when other people are around. And rarely outside my room.” And while most people succumb to their daydreams when inspired, Cordellia Amethyste Rose stated that she used inspiration to emerge temporarily from her constant daydream, “Yes, when my outer world is particularly inspiring, then I daydream less. When I just start a new project, for example.”(4)

No matter what psychologists, neurologist and doctors with Ph.D.’s after their names believe about Maladaptive Daydreaming, one thing is for sure: people with Maladaptive Daydreaming realize that this excessive daydreaming is harmful to their every-day lives. When asked if they believed MD had a more positive or negative effect on their lives, all anonymous interviewees came to the same conclusion: That Maladaptive Daydreaming has a negative effect on their lives. Anonymous #3 said, “I'd say there has been a more negative than positive effect as according to other peoples standards (less social etc) but it was definitely beneficial in childhood. Also I can accept that it has made me who I am and that I'm no "worse" than people who don't daydream. Just because they are/have been more engaged with the real world and/or people doesn't make they or their lives superior.”(3) Anonymous #1 concurred, “Negative. I wanna be able to enjoy life and I feel like daydreaming inhibits that. I’m so focused on creating the perfect world in my head, I’m neglecting reality.”(1) Anonymous #2 said, “Though it's a source of creativity, I think it has a negative effect on my life. It's time consuming and never ending. It's hard to hold up relationships as it is, and since it's so time consuming, they never seem to stay. You have to try so to balance which is a hard thing to do. With everything in life.”(2)

However, Cordellia Amethyste Rose looks differently at her constant daydream state. “I can't answer that.  It's my life.  It's had disastrous consequences but also stimulated me and made me smarter.”(4) I can agree that Maladaptive Daydreaming does have some positive qualities that enhance my life. For example, it constantly is working my brain’s creative center, it’s a place I can go where I can explore and analyze the surfacing of my own subconscious, and it allows me to escape from the fear and anxiety of the unfamiliar and often hostile world around me. But when it comes down to it, I would really rather live without it.(8) I feel as though it inhibits me from accomplishing my dreams, it encourages extreme procrastination, it keeps me from experiencing every-day social situations, it pushes me far into the depths of depression, it traps me in the cage of my darkened room on days when it’s gloriously sunny outside…(8) There are many opinions about Maladaptive Daydreaming, as well as the daydreamers themselves, but no opinion can change the true facts of MD that excessive daydreamers face every day. Until a cure is found, the people with MD will continue to try and find ways to emerge from the luring safety of their own minds, so that they may experience the real world for what it is.

 

 

Works Cited

 

1)       #1, Anonymous. Personal Interview by Alexandra Krueger. 04/01/2011. 5 Apr 2011

2)       #2, Anonymous. Personal Interview by Alexandra Krueger. 04/02/2011. 5 Apr 2011.

3)       #3, Anonymous. Personal Interview by Alexandra Krueger. 04/02/2011. 5 Apr 2011.

4)       Amethyste Rose, Cordellia. "Maladaptive Daydreaming." Online Posting to Wild Minds Network. Web. 5 Apr 2011.

5)       Amethyste Rose, Cordellia. Personal Interview by Alexandra Krueger. 04/02/2011. 5 Apr 2011.

6)       Amethyste Rose, Cordellia. "Symptoms." Are You Daydreaming Your Life Away?. Cordellia Amethyste Rose, 1/07/2009. Web. 2 Apr 2011. a href="http://daydreamingdisorder.webs.com/symptoms.htm%3E">http://daydreamingdisorder.webs.com/symptoms.htm>;;.

7)       "Faculty of Social Welfare and Health Studies."HW.HAIFA.AC.IL. University of Haifa, 27/12/2005. Web. 5 Apr 2011. a href="http://hw.haifa.ac.il/social/cv/eli_somer.html%3E">http://hw.haifa.ac.il/social/cv/eli_somer.html>;;.

8)       Krueger, Alexandra. Intervew by Alexandra Krueger. 03/29/11. Print. 7 Apr 2011.

9)       S. Allen, John. "Creativity, the Brain, and Evolution."Psychology Today 29 April 2010: n. pag. Web. 9 Apr 2011. a href="http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/lives-the-brain/201004/creativity-the-brain-and-evolution%3E">http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/lives-the-brain/201004/creativi...;.

10)    Schupak, Cynthia. "Daydreamers Anonymous Prelim Findings." Scribd. Trip Adler, 10/06/2009. Web. 30 Mar 2011. a href="http://www.scribd.com/doc/20700187/Daydreamers-Anonymous-Prelim-Findings%3E">http://www.scribd.com/doc/20700187/Daydreamers-Anonymous-Prelim-Fin...;

11)    Somer, Eli. "Maladaptive Daydreaming: A Qualitative Inquiry." Journal of Contemporary Psychotherapy32. (2002): 197-212. Web. 26 Mar 2011. a href="http://somer.co.il/articles/2002Malaptdaydr.contemp.psych.pdf%3E">http://somer.co.il/articles/2002Malaptdaydr.contemp.psych.pdf>;;.

12)    Tortora, Gerard J.. Principles of Anatomy and Physiology. Ed. Robert Greiner . New York: Harper & Row, Publishers, 1984. Print.

 

 

-When did you first start experiencing MD?

 My earliest memories of MD are when I was five years old, but I probably did it before then and just don't remember.

-Describe your personality, are you  outgoing person or reserved?

 I am very quiet.  I don't like interacting with other people.  I push myself to make friends, but it is very hard for me.

-If your still in school what is your social status are you looked upon as a nerd or are you popular and well liked?

 I am a nerd.  I was always the smart kid who didn't talk to anyone.  I wouldn't say I was disliked, but I was not popular either.

-Do you describe yourself as successful in real life?

 I think so.  I still struggle socially but I do really well academically.  I  have a few social circles that I can do relatively well in, and I have found a niche in the career world that I think I fit well in.

-What triggers your MD?

  Reading/watching anything related to the books and movies  that my daydreams are based on

  Anything emotionally intense, including songs, movies, books, or things from real life

  Walking

-What subjects are you profecient in? (Math, English, History...)

 Pretty much any subject.  I really like writing or anything that involves analysis.

-Do you find it hard to focus or does your mind easily wander?

 I often find if difficult to focus, especially if I have been having strong daydreams lately.

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