Where wild minds come to rest
Throughout my 34 years of life, I always knew I was different. This wasn't just because I'm gay, and not just because I've suffered from major bouts of depression and anxiety. No, it is because of something else. Something that I finally have a name for: Maladaptive Daydreaming Disorder. Until late last week, I thought I was alone, or that I was just a freak. I had no idea that many other people suffer from the same thing I do. It was almost like a weight was lifted off me.
Every single day for many years, most of the day off and on, I'm pacing back and forth, talking out loud, pretending I'm being interviewed for something, teaching a class, the newest castmember on one of the Real Housewives shows, a famous singer, movie star, etc. This, of course, is done only when I'm alone. I would die of complete embarrassment if I were ever caught doing this. Needless to say, I feel like an absolute freak. I cannot imagine telling anyone I do this, because, I can just imagine the thoughts that would pop in their minds. I mean, when I think of my own self doing this, I think of some woman with wild, unkept curly hair, pacing around back and forth in some room at an asylum, only wearing a nightgown while she loudly talks to herself. People who have no idea what it's like to engage in this behavior, and are not in the mental health field, I can only assume would think I'm nuts, and would distance themselves from me. This is why I have never dared reveal this deep, dark secret to anyone.
This disorder has really affected my life. Spending so much of my day daydreaming has undoubtedly had positive results, such as causing me to be less impulsive when making decisions, as I always act out possible scenarios before making a decision, and really allowing me to be very creative. However, I find MDD has mostly been a major hindrance. I HAVE to have alone time in order to act out my daydreams, and if the only alone time I get throughout the day is in my car when driving to and from work, or when I'm in the bathroom, I get very agitated. I prefer daydreaming over real human interaction. It is very hard for me to concentrate at work, or when I'm with my partner or friends, because my mind is constantly racing. I never really thought of this until today, but it's almost like MDD is a very bad addiction, and I'm very much an addict. I NEED to act out my daydreams. It's like a drug to me. And, unlike most drugs, maladaptive daydreaming is free, yet has some very costly consequences. I enjoy solitude over interaction, because the rewards are so much more satisifying. I prefer the imaginary over reality. I'm afraid this behavior will destroy me if I cannot stop it, or at least control it.
I am so happy this webpage exists and that other people are experiencing similar things as myself. It's such a relief knowing there are others out there!