Maladaptive Daydreaming: where wild minds come to rest
I'd like to start by acknowledging that there are obviously people here for whom this 'disorder' is a serious problem, restricting their lives to large extents. I don't intend to offend any of you with this - I'm just sort of thinking out loud (or typed down, or whatever the written equivalent is).
I've always loved those psychology quizzes - you know the ones where you tick boxes, or rate yourself against some scale, or try to figure out what those Rorschach blots are - but I've always wanted a positive result. As in, to get the 'uh-oh, you're a crazy!' result. I'm not entirely convinced that this is abnormal. Everyone wants to be special. Everyone most enjoys the 'abnormal psychology' section of the course. But I'm not sure that everyone spends hours researching known conditions (BPD, Asperger's, Social Anxiety Disorder, Schizophrenia, Depression etc.) on Wikipedia, mentalhealth.com, minddisorders.com or the online DSM-IV (to name a few off the top of my head) or doing all the quizzes up to the fiftieth page on dear old Google. My point here, which is rapidly getting lost, is that if anyone was going to blow a casual trait up into a mental disorder, it would be me.
So I'm asking, when does it stop being just an out-of-the-ordinary hobby and start being something serious? When does an active imagination become something that needs to be treated with drugs? Perhaps the fact that I'm asking is in itself proof that I don't have this disorder, and that this is just another case of confirmation bias, but maybe not. Anyway, I thought I'd try to compile a list of related behaviours in case I ever do become objective enough to decide, or in case a definitive list of symptoms is ever compiled.
I recall once in a psychology lecture, the presenter gave as an indicator. She said there was a scale and most people go in the middle, displaying a few mild symptoms of various diseases, which we simply call quirks, but the people that tend towards the extremes of the scale are the one's who's 'quirks' begin to seriously affect and detract from their day-to-day life. Using that scale, I'd have to say I'm completely normal (an appalling concept, naturally) and yet I would like to get more of a handle on this daydreaming - am I cheating, being here on this site?