Maladaptive Daydreaming: where wild minds come to rest
After being on this site for a week or so I've come to the conclusion that while I have all the symptoms of MD (including an elaborate fantasy world) I don't think I'm "maladaptive." Or at least I don't struggle with it like some other people in terms of getting things done. I think that daydreaming can be healthy when done right. I thought I'd share a few things that might help other people.
1) If you're daydreaming do something else as well
I very rarely just sit down and daydream. Instead I have to be doing something to jusitfy it. Hence why my parents sporadically come home to find the house very clean. Daydreaming while doing menial tasks means that you get to daydream and get stuff done. Exercise is also another good thing to do because it doesn't require much focus.
2) If your daydream involves something that you could do in the real world make steps to make that happen
Mine are normally fantasy/scifi stuff but little things like learning a language are possible for me.
3) Restrict daydreaming to a certain time
This one was suggested to me. I'm not a fan of that but it might work for other people. There's also a technique called thought-stopping when as soon as you realise you're daydreaming you think of a stop sign and stop it and do something else. You keep doing this until it becomes second nature.
4) Turn it into something constructive
I've found that writing is a good thing for me to do that involves daydreaming but getting something out of it at the same time
5) Find other interests
While I'm passionate about my fantasy world and fiction I've also found that I'm just as passionate about languages. This can even be incorportated into your DDs. I actually daydream in foreign languages which is useful because it improves my skills at the same time as allowing me to daydream.
6) Set specific times to go out/do things with friends
This is the hard thing for me. I'd much rather be DDing then be with friends but once a week I have my best friend over and we watch something and discuss whatever it is we watched afterwards.
I hope this helps. Feel free to discuss any other tips in the comments. I think that the type of internal fantasy world we all have is something special and we should utilise it rather than letting it control our lives.
These are some really good tips! I already do martial arts, but I could practice more and that'd get me to a better fighter like I am in DDs (And probably fitter, too) So I think I'll try that. I would like to learn two other languages but one I don't know anyone who speaks it (and it's considered the one of the hardest languages for an English speaker to learn) and the other... Well, I could learn it (German) my parents are both Swiss-German, so that's quite different, but.... yeah.
"6) Set specific times to go out/do things with friends
This is the hard thing for me. I'd much rather be DDing then be with friends but once a week I have my best friend over and we watch something and discuss whatever it is we watched afterwards. "
I think this is very important. Sometimes we are too involved with the make-believe friends/loved ones in our head that we forget there are real people who do care and love us for who we really are.
I figured I'd do so just in case. I know that for me its the relationships with real people that I struggle with but I thought I might as well try and help some people who struggle with the spending more time in reality thing since that seems to be the main thing that people talk about here.
Thanks for the tips! Those are good ways to daydream and avoid the compulsive/addictive side of daydreaming. However, i'm going to say with all honestly though, you haven't given anything that many of us haven't already tried or post already been made. People prefer to daydream in many different ways and get satisfaction out of their daydreams many different ways. I do hope those tips work for many people here.
I know they don't work for me.
Ditto. I hesitate to even call it maladaptive daydreaming, and prefer the term "excessive fantasizing" for while it may have been mildly maladaptive when I was younger, I have truly lost any constant need for it. In fact, I only greatly utilize it one day a week (Sunday, when I have little or nothing to do) wherein I will generally daydream on and off all day, take a long daydream fueled drive at night, and by the time I return I will be sick of fantasizing for the rest of the week. Don't get me wrong, I am not just a normal daydreamer; my fantasies have the same level of vividness, kinesthetic activity, and physical aftereffects as what has been generally described. Interesting to note; when I was younger(7-11), my daydream was a sort of "rolling fantasy" where I imagined myself to be this idealized character throughout the day, and yet still interacted completely normally and quite enjoyably with everybody around me. I would eventually get lightheaded from maintaining this however and easily let it slip away from me. After a period where I purposefully killed this daydream around the age of 12, I entered a time of very different daydreams that were noncontinuous in subject and quite different from the previous fantasy, and which were in no way "rolling." Now(19), I have a slight continuous theme to my Sunday daydream (an idealized self completely unrelated to the younger fantasy), although it too is not "rolling." Increasingly however, this idealized self is actually becoming less and less interesting to me, and I far prefer my regular self to this other character. In fact, one of the only differences is that this character is already highly successful and in a different field than I am currently studying. I quickly become bored of them and realize that is essentially the crystallization of all the traits that I already possess inside of myself, and which I believe I successfully integrate into the world. I think that if everybody truly looked at their daydreams, they may be surprised at how much these characters already exist in reality.