Wild Minds Network

Where wild minds come to rest

Recently, I completed a survey about my MDD behaviour. It asked how long I spend daydreaming each day. As I considered the answer I realised it was more of a question of how long I don't spend daydreaming. The truth is that my whole day seems just one long fantasy interrupted briefly when my attention is required elsewhere to perform basic survival duties.

But it wasn't always like that. In the early years fantasising was something I only did consciously and deliberately. I would set aside a particular time to do it, usually after arriving home from school and always to music (to which I would sway my body back and forth). I had a measure of control over it then. Now it is something I do continually and compulsively throughout my waking hours. Last August, in an attempt to combat this affliction, I gave up all daydreaming to music. Although this has helped a lot the fact is that I still fantasise all the time anyway. I don't need music to invoke my idealised self anymore; I can do anywhere, even sometimes during a conversation. The slightest mundane occurence can trigger a spontaneous fantasy.

What differenciates me from most members here is my age. I am 51 and I guess that makes me one of the oldest on the site. The purpose of this post then is to urge the younger members to try and get a handle on this before it takes a stranglehold on your life as it has done with me. I read other posts and I get the impression that some members think that MDD is a cutesy thing to have or that we are particularly creative because we have constructed this parallel world. There is nothing commendable about retreating from reality. The real world has to be lived in whether we like it or not. The more time we spend outside of it the harder it is to return to it. If we are truely creative surely we can express that in the real world where there is an audience to respond.

I believe that MDD is an addiction and recovering from it will take a lot of time, courage and self discipline. But we either want to live in the present and discover who we are or stick our heads back in the sands of fantasy.

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Comment by The1andonlyAbber on March 17, 2015 at 8:30pm
I'm 16. When I was 8 my daydreaming was exactly like the way you described yours. The problem was that at that time most of my daydreams were augmented-reality based, so I never even had to leave. I could literally daydream for weeks on end without stopping, so I did, because I didn't know any better. My daydream storyline WAS my reality, almost to the point where I became delusional and thought it was real. The truly scary part was that my parents had no way of knowing this because I was still able to function (I could still do schoolwork while secretly imagining I was at a different school), and when I talked about it it sounded like it was just a cute little imaginary world like most kids have. Fortunately, when I was 9, we moved, and the shock of all those changes forced me somewhat back into reality. I still daydreamed excessively, and do to this day, but it's never been as bad as it was back then.

Maybe you can try adding some more changes to your (real!) life. If things become different, your brain will be more busy and have less room for daydreaming. That's what brought me out of it a little (although at that time it wasn't by choice).
Comment by Dreamer on March 11, 2015 at 6:27am

Thanks Iris. No you cannot fight MDD head on as you cannot fight any addiction directly. We have to adopt a certain amount of acceptance and surrender. I used to try to thought stoppage but it proved too difficult. I think trying to focus on your real life is better. The problem there is though is that our reality often isn't as attractive as our fantasy one. Good luck in your recovery - sufferers of our vintage I think have it harder than the younger ones. I would have benefited greatly having these online resources back in my teens and twenties but alas the internet wasn't around then.

Comment by Iris on March 10, 2015 at 6:35am

Hello Dreamer,

like you I'm daydreaming for decades. I'm 49 now and it started when I was 9. From the beginning I tried to get rid of it, I felt, that it was not healthy for me. But having no success stopping it  just worsened my low self-esteem. The direct fight against MDD never helped me.


Other ways were more successful:

- to concentrate on my real life, especially facing my own feelings (good and bad)

- not to blame myself for daydreaming/not having a bad conscious about it - but also not indulge in it

- It was a great relief to find this web-site. I'm not the only one on the planet!


So this is how I live today: My focus is on my real life. When I catch myself daydreaming I don't condemn myself - I see it as a scar from my childhood. The wound is no more bleeding, but I can't change my past, and this is what is left of it.

I wish you all the best, be good to yourself.

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