Hi all, 

I want to tell you about my experience with MD, because I don't recognize myself in most accounts of it, and I want to see if someone else can relate with my own account.

First difference between my experience and the descriptions I find online: the content of my daydreams is NOT positive. It's always negative. I call them "daymares": plots usually involve a loved person dying, or me or someone else being sick, and other catastrophes of some type. It's as if my mind had flashbacks, but with (usually a lot of) added imagination. And a different outcome, of course. 

The second difference is that my MD *purely* feels like a compulsion, or an addiction – it's something that I end up doing, because I kind of "have to", but completely against my will. I don't enjoy it in any way, let alone would I try to trigger it with music or anything else. 

The third difference is that I have the impression that I act out my daydreams (daymares) WAY more than other people. I act them out completely, talking, moving, making gestures and expressions, crying, jumping and running if necessary – just as if I was there. Nonetheless, and even if I get very absorbed, I can always distinguish between fiction and reality - at worst, if I stop abruptly, I get a bit dissociated. 

Does anybody else live MD in a similar way?? It feels so lonely to read so many accounts and descriptions (even in research) that don't correspond to what I live. 

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Comment by Gabby on December 19, 2020 at 10:04am
Until reading your post, I had never linked the daydreams I sometimes have of bad things like my family dying or getting sick etc with MDD. But that would explain it. My daydreams normally have nothing to do with me or anything in common with reality, so even if they are sad and make me cry, there's always a gap between them and me.

I totally agree with your second point, they are a compulsion, and although I often 'enjoy' my daydreams, it's not because I want to have them. It's more because I can't bear to deal with my brain and my emotions in this reality. I need it to be completely absorbed in a daydream just to get a little relief.

And I'm glad you mentioned your 3rd point, I've never spoken about this before but I tend to, I guess, jump? Not that jumping has anything to do with my daydreams, that's just what my body does I suppose. The problem is, I live with my family and I'm embarrassed, I have to try and hide it, and I can get out of breath and sweaty (it's a great cardio workout lol) but I might still need to go out and won't have time to shower but I just can't control the compulsion. Over the last year or so, I developed chronic fatigue which means I often can't do much, and if I do I pay for it in muscle fatigue the next day. But with MDD, it doesn't seem to matter how tired I am. I end up exhausting my body (and actually, I think I have damaged my knees) and making backwards progress with my CFS, because I can't control the compulsion to daydream. I'm in a bit of a vicious circle.

Anyway, I got a bit carried away there talking about myself, but I hope my experience can comfort you in some way. We're all different, but not so completely different that we can't relate at least in a small way.
Comment by Aprelle Neal on December 15, 2020 at 3:46pm

I can relate.  My daydreams are always negative.  I imagine people bullying me, controlling me, or being difficult and toxic.  Like yours, they're compulsive and difficult to control.

What I find helps is distraction/keeping busy with something enjoyable and reprogramming my thoughts.  It might take years but it works.  It takes effort.  Neuroplasticity allows us to change our brains, it's not just genetic.

I'm glad my daydreams are negative because then I don't feel motivated or an intense desire to do them, otherwise they would be that much more difficult to stop.

Comment by Crystal Castle on December 9, 2020 at 8:08am
All 3 sounds like Maladaptive Daydreaming. I don't always daydream negative. Let's say it around 50% or the time. I have times where I become more addicted to the nightmarish daydreams, I even have one parame(daydream alter ego) based on that. It mostly depends on my mood.
One advice ai can give you. Your daydreams often can tell a lot about your hidden emotions. So that's a positive thing you can get from it. I hope in time you learn to control it, cuz I understand how hard it is.
Comment by Valeria Franco on December 8, 2020 at 7:01am

My "long daydreams" had always been positive (with some sad turn in the plot to make the story possible). But always with a happy ending. Those were the ones I was addicted to.

But I do experience sometimes "daymare" (I love this neologism). They look like short movies out of control, where people die, or I hurt myself or I do something really embarrassing or that really hurts someone's feelings. It's ugly, and I sort of "enjoy" feeling that pain intensely. I've noticed that this happens when I burn out or I'm sad, but it did more frequently in the past when I was depressed.   

Anyway, I believe maladaptive daydreaming is an addiction that has the main purpose to make us feel strong emotions. No matter what emotion, just to feel something. So even bad emotions are better than emptiness. Someone has a sort of preference for those emotions maybe just because they are stronger than all the others.

It's like someone who loves horror movies or sad stories: you don't want that to happen in your life, you are just keen on choosing them.


Comment by Martha M on December 8, 2020 at 3:45am

For me it is a bit of both. I have had many daydreams that were purely negative, and immersed myself in unhappiness. For some reason they would turn dark on me, but other times they were just stories in my mind. So yes I have experienced that part of what you say.

I have also experienced the compulsiveness of daydreams, I most realized it was happening when I was trying to sleep and couldn’t stop the dream. Deep end of the night trying all kinds of tricks to make it stop so I could sleep I do realize this addictiveness of it.

I still daydream, and yes sometimes I do make extremely negative daydreams, or they make me who can say? They’re still somewhat compulsive but because I’m a lot older now not as much.

Comment by Neil on December 7, 2020 at 1:32pm
i think its a bit of both for me. the negative and the "positive". i suppose the habit formed due to the positive daydreaming. but as i delve into the worst possible outcome and keep on going from there.

Totally relate to the 2nd point. can't help it anymore. its like being sucked into a different place against your will. I've even noticed myself grabbing on to reality while my mind is slipping. what a ride lol

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