I posted this on the forum first but then realized maybe it should go here? I don't know haha, pardon my confusion. 

Hi everyone! I see there's some activity here so I'm sure some of you will read this eventually.

My name is Natasha and I'm soon to be 24 years old. I have recollections of MD since I was 7 years old, but I probably started doing it before that.

I guess like many of you I had a very lonely childhood, I'm an only child and I have no cousins or anything, so I was literally the only child of the family. I always had trouble making friends and I was constantly bullied, left out or called weird by everyone.

I grew up creating these amazing scenarios in my head where I would have great friends and people around me that really loved me, something I have never had. I realized this behavior wasn't "normal" at a very young age but kept on doing it as it became a compulsion and it's the only thing that gets me through the day. A couple years ago I finally discovered the term "Maladaptive Daydreaming" and that really changed my perspective on it; the fact that it has a name makes it more real and, to me, dangerous. 

Ever since I discovered that it had a name I've been trying to find ways to daydream less and be more present in my real life, but everything has been completely useless (I also haven't tried that hard, my life inside my head is way more fun and pleasant than my everyday).

This year has been pretty rough for me, for many reasons I'm not going to go into, and I have found myself daydreaming for weeks without stopping; I live alone and work from home in a job that doesn't requiere me talking to anyone, so it's all perfectly set for me to just immerse myself in my thoughts. 

I had never really seen MD as a problem per se, I always enjoyed it and even though I knew it wasn't the healthiest habit I figured it would be something I'd do forever. But the past two months have been different. I have gotten to a place where I no longer have ANYTHING I find enjoyable about myself, my life or anything around me. I have found myself in my room "coming back" from daydreaming to my stupid little life and feeling miserable, I have wasted so many years living inside my head that I no longer want to be in this world. Whenever I come to the realization that the world I've been building for more than 10 years in my head will never be real, that the person I'm there will never exist, I go into a very intense anxiety and deep deep sadness. I really really don't know what to do with myself or my life at this point.

I started talking to a therapist 6 months ago and on our very first session I told her about MD, she said she had never heard about it but told me she was going to do research. We never spoke about it again, we have worked on other things, but MD is one of my main issues in life, and it drives me crazy that not even a PROFESSIONAL can help me (I'm trying to find someone new right now).

Anyways, I'm not sure where I was going with this, haha... My birthday is this weekend and I have nothing planned, I don't think any of my very few "friends" even know is my birthday and I doubt there's something planned for me, I'll probably end up having a party in my head by myself and calling it a day. I wish things could be different.

Sorry if this post is a little too sad, I'm just feeling very hopeless right now and figured sharing my thought with people that will understand might help somehow.

Thank you for reading this :)



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Comment by Mils on November 5, 2023 at 5:35pm

Sadly MD isn't an official disorder, therefore therapists usually can't do much. I've talked to a lot, and they rarely know what it is, but when they do, they usually don't bring it up much because they don't understand how sever it can get. But the best tip I've gotten was to try and merge the life you have in your head and your real one, if that makes sense. Sort of like working towards the life you imagine. It takes a lot of dedication, effort, and sadly less maladaptive daydreaming. To be honest, that's the part I'm still stuck on lol.

I really hope things start working out for you soon tho, and happy birthday!!! :)

Comment by maladaptivedaydreamer on November 3, 2023 at 4:06am

Hi Natasha,

While reading your post, I couldn't help but realise how much I can relate with you. I feel like the real world is never "good enough". I lost the ability to find the beauty of simple things because they are just too boring and I need my life to look like a show in Netflix to be okay with it. But the truth is, life, for the most of us, is not a show in Netflix. We all have our routines, I wake up, go to class, do HW, go back to sleep. And when I feel like I have a goal in life, it feels too far away for me to make an effort and do something about it. So I just daydream, because that is way easier that being patient and working hard for what you want. 

I came here to WildMinds to find people who can relate with me. I have never met anyone with MD and I really feel like this is my last option I have. I have spent years with it, and indeed it has ruined my life. Would love to have the chance to chat more (maybe on a call) so that I can feel understood for once, and maybe we can keep each other accountable! Idk, I'm really just trying everything at this point. 

We must never give up. At the end of the day, the only thing that has stopped us from living a good life is ourselves. Which means we have 100% control in overcoming it too. 

Comment by The1andonlyAbber on November 2, 2023 at 10:22pm
I’m also an only child who started at 7! I’m doing a bit better now, though. For a while I stopped having continuous storyline daydreams at all. Something to keep in mind is that part of why the real world looks bleak right now is that *you have an addiction*. When people get addicted to a substance or behavior, the brain stops releasing “happy chemicals” when the person isn’t high or doing the behavior. But this problem goes away after you quit. So, there are more good things waiting for you after you get better than you realize. :)

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