Maladaptive Daydreaming: where wild minds come to rest
I was diagnosed with social anxiety several years ago. It’s a condition I’ve had since before I started school. As a result, I’ve found it difficult to make friends and have meaningful relationships and experience life fully in general.
I had two best friends when I was in elementary school. We were inseparable. However, in fourth grade we kind of somehow went our separate ways. They started hanging out with other people while I was left alone.
I think this is when my maladaptive daydreaming started. I had no one to talk to at school, no one to hang out with after school or on the weekends. This went on for an entire school year.
I swear I remember the night and the moment my MD started. Lying in bed one night my daydreaming went into hyper-drive. I didn’t think anything was wrong-I just had a good imagination.
As my reading skills improved, I started reading fantasy and sci-fi novels and imagine being on other worlds living different lives. Add to that tv shows, movies, and comic books, my MD had lots of fuel. As I entered my teen years and didn’t have the life I wanted, things continued and got worse. This was all fine because I didn’t know it was a problem. I just had an overactive imagination.
The problem came in the last few years when I realized I want to live in the real world and stop daydreaming. Hours of a day can be gone on something unproductive that brings me no lasting real benefit. I want to spend my mental energy on other things.
But I can’t.
I feel like a radio that tuned between two stations and keeps switching a little back and forth. Its so easy to daydream, I start without realizing it. Everyone’s symptoms sound so familiar, I know we all have the same problem. It feels good to find out what it is, as well as other people to talk to.