I can't figure out why I started doing this?

I remember being in elementary school and imagining characters from Full House in my classroom with me, or imagining I had a twin sister. That was when I was just in the first or second grade. And I also remember doing it at home and laughing and talking to myself. But a lot of people say it's a coping mechanism. I didn't have a bad home life as a child. In fact, I don't really have a bad home life now. I've always had friends, and a place to sit at lunch time... But I'm extremely self-conscious, and I think that's because I spend so much time in my head as this perfect, outgoing, funny person and I know I'll never be as good as my characters.

So I just can't figure out why I started doing this at such a young age. Does anyone else not know why they do it?

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Comment by Nicholas Peralta on November 20, 2013 at 6:31pm

I started doing it out of boredom. When I was in high school I couldn't pay attention in History or Geography. It was just too boring my mind would wander. Then I started to realize just how completely disconnected I would get, and the time would go by fast. This seemed like a good thing at the time because it was a way for me to time travel through those boring classes. The way the brain works, when you reinforce a behavior it becomes more likely to happen again. If that behavior is mostly rewarding, it will increase in frequency and begin to associate itself with other things in your life. Before I knew it, my daydreaming was associated with everything in my life and every time my mind wasn't preoccupied with some task it was wandering. Soon it was an addiction and a self-sustaining behavior that I had trouble controlling. Now, with more mindfulness meditation, I hardly go into a fantasy binge unless I want to.

Thinking back, I think there is definitely some predisposition to fantasizing that makes us prone to becoming Maladaptive Daydreamers. It gets triggered at various ages but it comes natural to us to just shut out the world, generate events in our heads, AND stay focused on those internal events. We have really good concentration but only when it comes to internal stuff; subsequently we have poor attention spans for external events. At least thats what it was for me.

Comment by Morella Damascena on November 20, 2013 at 11:42am

I can't figure it out either...

Incidentally, the majority of my DDs are about love and relationships. This has been the case since I was ten (I am now twenty). My daydreams also include family politics, as well as power fantasies (i.e. magical powers).

My DDs are always about something I watch or read. If I find something intense, I replay and tweak it in my mind and try to build story lines upon whatever scenes I find interesting. Barely any of my characters are original (save "me", of course).

I have severe social anxiety (self-diagnosis). I think that's the reason behind a lot of people's MDD. I am not especially close to anyone; I can never share my deep personal thoughts. If I meet someone new and they like me, I start wondering if this person would every consider being a true friend to me. I am a black sheep in my family.

Comment by ShellyBelly on November 19, 2013 at 9:46am

I was bullied as a child. It was an escape for me.

Comment by Zero on November 19, 2013 at 7:14am

I started doing it I think to escape from reality. It was around the age of 7-8 I started it I think, just after I moved school. I felt like I didn't fit in. I found comfort in doing it and since I didn't have friends at school I guess I would dream about being somebody else who was stronger and better than I was at the time.  

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