Wild Minds Network

Where wild minds come to rest

Hello,
I am a mother of an 11-year-old daughter who daydreams intensely.
She was always the intense daydreamer since she was very little. I remember her laughing out loud in her little bed when she was one. Her daydream is very active and she whispers and talks in a way I don't understand (almost like speaking in a different language), looks around, and moves around. 
Before I said anything about it, I could see that she was feeling guilty about daydreaming as she looks away looking uncomfortable whenever she was spotted daydreaming.

She had encephalitis when she was 10 months old, and she has scars in her brain which makes some cognitive thinking difficult for her. She has a specific learning difficulty and struggles in learning at school (though she doesn't think she has difficulties, as she lacks in the cognitive ability to compare herself with others in a big picture).

She used to daydream only when she was going to sleep or only sometimes during the day, but for the past 6 months or so, I noticed that the frequency of her daydream was increased and now she does it in public whenever she is not engaging with anyone. With the increase of the daydreaming, I noticed that her verbal communication dramatically reduced. When she is in the daydreaming mode, she only gestures her limited response to anyone around.
She is a very insecure and shy girl who is the quietest in her class, and I believe she hardly talks to her classroom friends in social occasions. However, she has a small group of friends she talks really well outside of school, so I was not too concerned about this until now that she started to talk so little with me.

I have tried to ask her questions and engaged her in conversation about her daydreams, and she shared what her daydream world looks like, but also, she knows that I am worried that her daydream is getting too much in her life.

She denies she can't control her daydream, but she admits that it is hard not to daydream when she was bored.
Overall, she really doesn't want to restrict her daydream and doesn't want to see the need to do so.
With her lack of cognitive abilities, it is very hard for her to grasp the concept.

Is there any way I could do better to help my daughter?
Any advice is much appreciated.

Views: 301

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

If the resources are available, I would suggest she gets help from a mental health specialist. This will help both of you better understand her situation, why she does it, and how she can cut back. Have you tried getting her involved in after school activities? I find that when I am actively participating in something I am more present and therefore day dream less. Socializing with others also helps as our MDD can be linked to loneliness, anxiety, depression, etc. For me (as in almost all cases), day dreaming is a coping mechanism that got out of hand and by the time we realize what it is and the effect it has had on our lives, it's quite difficult to reign in (or even want to give it up).

It's great that you've noticed this behavior in your daughter and are attempting to help her! I hope that catching this early on will help in treating her and reducing MDD's effect/hold. There are many articles on here on what has helped different people, so they are worth looking up!

                                                                                 -Whitney

Hello Whitney,
Thank you very much for your reply.
We live in a small town in New Zealand, and not sure if there are any specialist available who would understand this condition... But I will seek some professional help.
My daughter is a super anxious girl and has never been up for after school activities that require her to participate and engage in social situations. I guess loneliness and anxiety would be something she uses MDD to cope with...

I see that many people here are highly aware of their conditions, but for my daughter, with her cognitive difficulties, I found it very difficult to get her understand why she has to change her ways... she doesn't want to restrict her daydreaming, because it's so much more fun than the real life... It is tricky to seek help when she doesn't see the need to...

I started when I was maybe 7 or 8 but it became more intense around your daughter's age. I'm 20 now and I definitely wish I never started daydreaming and never knew what I was missing but at the same time, I can't say I completely regret it. And I still do it. In middle school I really didn't have a lot of friends as I lost mine as they turned to drugs and I didn't want that. I think my daydreaming came out of me being alone, so I made up a world to keep me company. But do I wish I did more as a kid? Absolutely. I'm not sure it was worth it but it may be too early to tell for me.

But I think there's positive things there, I feel it kept me creative, passionate, and focused on my future (oddly enough). But that's just me. I will say I never did it in public though.

If I could tell her anything, as someone who went through the same thing,  it's that she doesn't have to be ashamed of her daydreaming. But she can't let it control her life because once you do, you can't ever go back. I still resort to that world. But I found a way to make it work so it doesn't disrupt my work or school or anything important in my life. Think of it as a super power that you just discovered you have but now you have to learn to control it. But know it will never replace real experiences with friends and family. It may feel like it then, but there's so much I wish I'd done then. It's a slippery slope for sure, you have to be so careful.

It's also important she is aware it's a daydream and not reality and that she can seperate the two worlds. Hopefully by working with her this young, it could fade out. Certainly talk to her about it as much as you can and reassure her you don't judge her and you're there to help. It's not a topic I like talking about either, it's sort of embarrasing and so, so personal. But she isn't alone. I was her once, not too long ago.

It's amazing you're looking out for her and are educating yourself with MADD. It was only last year I found out I wasn't alone and it changed everything. I'm not so sure my mom fully understands and most people wouldn't.

Best of luck,

- Laura

Hello,

Here is a link to a NZ radio broadcast about MDD: http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/afternoons/audio/20181...

Not certain if this will help, but it may connect you with others in NZ who are aware of this condition.

From my own experience growing up with MDD, a child needs to have something to replace  excessive daydreaming with. MDD is a coping mechanism - and a creative one -  so she may enjoy art (not a lot of social action required), picking out and caring for her own pet, learning to  cook, community theater (sometimes socially anxious kids actually enjoy acting) etc.  I would not pressure her too much. MDD does not disappear overnight but with love and support may taper off over time.  Rather, focus on your daughter's strengths and  interests, or anything positive/possible she shows a curiosity about.

Wishing you the very best,

Renee

In all fairness, this is a much more difficult situation than usual. For starters, it's in third person, which makes things way more complicated. Then there's her age. Children tend to be much more creative and fantasize a lot more than older people, with or without MDD. And on top of that she has brain damage, which could very well have nothing to do with it but has to be taken into account.

There's an inherent problem of a person with MDD. Depending on the severity of it they might end up with their consciousness split in half and trapped between the fantasy world and the real one. If this happens, communication can be distorted to the point of apparent insanity. They will experience the real world through a "filter" that distorts their perception and makes misunderstandings highly likely, and will speak in the real world through the context and concepts of the fantasy one. In a sense, they will not be themselves.

I'm afraid I can't offer a proper solution. The only kind of help I know of is the indirect one. When I was in the aforementioned sort of hypnotized state nobody could hope to do anything to help me, I was on my own and had to sort things out by myself. I hope this didn't seem too grim, but then again this is my own experience and I have no notion of how your daughter might be experiencing it, in fact no one can ever truly know aside from herself.

Best of luck to you both.

Thanks Laura,
It helps to know that there is a way to manage it.
I believe that daydreaming certainly kept my daughter's days happy and positive overall; considering how sensitive and anxious child she is, it would have been too much to tolerate without having a place of total safety and comfort. I like the notion of superpower. I will try to convey the message when the time is appropriate.

Thank you so much for your reply, support, and encouragement.

Laura said:

I started when I was maybe 7 or 8 but it became more intense around your daughter's age. I'm 20 now and I definitely wish I never started daydreaming and never knew what I was missing but at the same time, I can't say I completely regret it. And I still do it. In middle school I really didn't have a lot of friends as I lost mine as they turned to drugs and I didn't want that. I think my daydreaming came out of me being alone, so I made up a world to keep me company. But do I wish I did more as a kid? Absolutely. I'm not sure it was worth it but it may be too early to tell for me.

But I think there's positive things there, I feel it kept me creative, passionate, and focused on my future (oddly enough). But that's just me. I will say I never did it in public though.

If I could tell her anything, as someone who went through the same thing,  it's that she doesn't have to be ashamed of her daydreaming. But she can't let it control her life because once you do, you can't ever go back. I still resort to that world. But I found a way to make it work so it doesn't disrupt my work or school or anything important in my life. Think of it as a super power that you just discovered you have but now you have to learn to control it. But know it will never replace real experiences with friends and family. It may feel like it then, but there's so much I wish I'd done then. It's a slippery slope for sure, you have to be so careful.

It's also important she is aware it's a daydream and not reality and that she can seperate the two worlds. Hopefully by working with her this young, it could fade out. Certainly talk to her about it as much as you can and reassure her you don't judge her and you're there to help. It's not a topic I like talking about either, it's sort of embarrasing and so, so personal. But she isn't alone. I was her once, not too long ago.

It's amazing you're looking out for her and are educating yourself with MADD. It was only last year I found out I wasn't alone and it changed everything. I'm not so sure my mom fully understands and most people wouldn't.

Best of luck,

- Laura

Thanks, Renee,

I didn't know that Radio NZ covered the story. I will contact the speaker and see if she know any specialist available locally.

>I would not pressure her too much. MDD does not disappear overnight but with love and support may taper off over time.  Rather, focus on your daughter's strengths and  interests, or anything positive/possible she shows a curiosity about.

Yes, this was a great reminder. Thank you so much. I will try to remember this every time I get into worrying thoughts.


Renee said:

Hello,

Here is a link to a NZ radio broadcast about MDD: http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/afternoons/audio/20181...

Not certain if this will help, but it may connect you with others in NZ who are aware of this condition.

From my own experience growing up with MDD, a child needs to have something to replace  excessive daydreaming with. MDD is a coping mechanism - and a creative one -  so she may enjoy art (not a lot of social action required), picking out and caring for her own pet, learning to  cook, community theater (sometimes socially anxious kids actually enjoy acting) etc.  I would not pressure her too much. MDD does not disappear overnight but with love and support may taper off over time.  Rather, focus on your daughter's strengths and  interests, or anything positive/possible she shows a curiosity about.

Wishing you the very best,

Renee

Thanks Source,

Yes, you are right about the third person. I found it tricky to discuss it with my daughter for the fact that she is not aware of the negative consequence her daydream has (not being able to engage properly in real life). I think she is aware of her daydreaming and difference between the reality and the dream but I started to see that within a second she is not engaging with anything, she is in the dream. 
You saying about being trapped in the fantasy gave me something to look out for... so thank you.
With her cognitive ability, not sure how much she can see the big picture, but I will try my best to support her.


Source said:

In all fairness, this is a much more difficult situation than usual. For starters, it's in third person, which makes things way more complicated. Then there's her age. Children tend to be much more creative and fantasize a lot more than older people, with or without MDD. And on top of that she has brain damage, which could very well have nothing to do with it but has to be taken into account.

There's an inherent problem of a person with MDD. Depending on the severity of it they might end up with their consciousness split in half and trapped between the fantasy world and the real one. If this happens, communication can be distorted to the point of apparent insanity. They will experience the real world through a "filter" that distorts their perception and makes misunderstandings highly likely, and will speak in the real world through the context and concepts of the fantasy one. In a sense, they will not be themselves.

I'm afraid I can't offer a proper solution. The only kind of help I know of is the indirect one. When I was in the aforementioned sort of hypnotized state nobody could hope to do anything to help me, I was on my own and had to sort things out by myself. I hope this didn't seem too grim, but then again this is my own experience and I have no notion of how your daughter might be experiencing it, in fact no one can ever truly know aside from herself.

Best of luck to you both.

I feel as if I could closely relate to your daughter because I am only 4 years older than her. In the small, small MD community, that's hardly a difference. I do recommend seeing a specialist, but first make sure that they even know what MD is. When I was her age I saw a counselor and they passed me off and told me that daydreaming is normal. This hurt me more than most people could imagine. I was weak and ashamed, just as your daughter is.

One of the best decisions of my life was joining this site and recognizing that I am not alone. You daughter thinks that she is alone, so she retreats into her fantasy world where she doesn't have to be alone. Everything turns out perfect, no one judges her, she is safe. And that last part is crucial, make sure she feels safe and secure, because she doesn't feel that way out in the real world. You are her mother so she feels more safe with you than out at school. I am not very social, but I do have a great group of friends, just as your daughter does. Make sure that she stays close to them, or else she will break down.

I was her, not that long ago. Make sure she realizes that she is not alone. Although there is probably no other MDer in your small town, just let her know that there are people that understand all the pain that she going through. Not like a counselor does, but a how real people do. I agree that you do need to allow herself to detract herself from her daydreams with something in real life, for me, it's Netflix. Probably not the healthiest detraction, but it works. She seems to only see the positive in her daydreaming, so when she finally sees the negative, her resolve will crumble down, just as mine did.A way to help her that helps me is writing. I particularly write poetry, but she can do whatever she wants to do. Using her heightened creativity externally could help her see the real world more clearly, rather through a lens. Let her test out art, singing, whatever, just allow her to find her place.

If she refuses to give up daydreaming, don't feel as if you've failed. Sympathize with her. Just think, she could either be in this cruel world, or be in her perfect fantasy. once you've grasped that concept and her simple and easy decision, you will be able to sympathize with her. Well, that's all my advice on hand, but you really are a great mother to not just be able to recognize that your daughter is daydreaming, but to learn about MD and go out of your way and ask for advice from a bunch MDers themselves. It really makes me happy to know that there are still moms out there who don't beat up there kids, but rather love and nurture them.

Hello Fallen Messenger,
Thank you so much for taking your time to reply.
Your response gave me some insights into what my daughter might be or will be feeling about it.
Understanding how people process and deal with issues involving MDD helps me greatly to empathize for my girl and prepare myself for what is coming. Dealing with the unknown was the scariest for me, and now I feel that I am not alone, as she isn't.
 
Thank you very very much.

Fallen Messenger said:

I feel as if I could closely relate to your daughter because I am only 4 years older than her. In the small, small MD community, that's hardly a difference. I do recommend seeing a specialist, but first make sure that they even know what MD is. When I was her age I saw a counselor and they passed me off and told me that daydreaming is normal. This hurt me more than most people could imagine. I was weak and ashamed, just as your daughter is.

One of the best decisions of my life was joining this site and recognizing that I am not alone. You daughter thinks that she is alone, so she retreats into her fantasy world where she doesn't have to be alone. Everything turns out perfect, no one judges her, she is safe. And that last part is crucial, make sure she feels safe and secure, because she doesn't feel that way out in the real world. You are her mother so she feels more safe with you than out at school. I am not very social, but I do have a great group of friends, just as your daughter does. Make sure that she stays close to them, or else she will break down.

I was her, not that long ago. Make sure she realizes that she is not alone. Although there is probably no other MDer in your small town, just let her know that there are people that understand all the pain that she going through. Not like a counselor does, but a how real people do. I agree that you do need to allow herself to detract herself from her daydreams with something in real life, for me, it's Netflix. Probably not the healthiest detraction, but it works. She seems to only see the positive in her daydreaming, so when she finally sees the negative, her resolve will crumble down, just as mine did.A way to help her that helps me is writing. I particularly write poetry, but she can do whatever she wants to do. Using her heightened creativity externally could help her see the real world more clearly, rather through a lens. Let her test out art, singing, whatever, just allow her to find her place.

If she refuses to give up daydreaming, don't feel as if you've failed. Sympathize with her. Just think, she could either be in this cruel world, or be in her perfect fantasy. once you've grasped that concept and her simple and easy decision, you will be able to sympathize with her. Well, that's all my advice on hand, but you really are a great mother to not just be able to recognize that your daughter is daydreaming, but to learn about MD and go out of your way and ask for advice from a bunch MDers themselves. It really makes me happy to know that there are still moms out there who don't beat up there kids, but rather love and nurture them.

All I can say growing up with MDD and a mom who knew about it, is your daughter needs to be the one to want to stop. You can talk to her as much as you want, send her to whatever mental health professionals you can find, but it'll all be a waste unless she wants to change. And as someone who grew up doing this, I'm no where near close to being ready to stop, and I'm 22. I've stopped quite a few other unhealthy coping mechanisms though, and with those it was the same thing: impossible to stop until something inside me said "enough."

I would say just continue what you're doing, plus getting her a therapist she feels comfortable with if you wanna go that route. I've been seeing therapists since I was 8 and I recommend them so long as you find a good fit. Continue taking an interest in her world; I'm happy you're already doing so and it means a lot to me even that you are raising your daughter that way. My parents cared very much about me but they never took an interest in my inner worlds and it made it feel like a dirty secret of mine that I could only ever talk about with therapists and fellow MDDers. It also felt like I couldn't show my parents my true self because my daydreams were such a huge part of who I was after 15+ years of engaging in them daily. MDD became a point of tension between my mom and I, because she started feeling like she wasn't a good enough mom when she found out about my alterego's mom and that still breaks my heart, because the reality is she could never live up to a perfect figment of my imagination and I wasn't expecting her to, I love her just the way she is. 

Thanks Alex,

This is such a valuable advice. I was talking to someone who has been through addiction and he said the same thing; no one could stop him but himself. So I was preparing myself not to be able to do anything but just being there for her and support as she needs it. I do my best to show my interest to her daydream, but she is quite reluctant to share much. It is so private for her...
But nonetheless, I will just do my best and stay positive.
Again, thank you so so much for taking time to share your thoughts. It helps me so much to find my path how to support my daughter.

Reply to Discussion

RSS

© 2017   Created by Cordellia Amethyste Rose.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service

Real Time Web Analytics

Clicky