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Maladaptive daydreaming- anyone else currently working on it?

(10 Posts)
overthemountains Sun 22-Jan-17 09:06:16

Daydreaming has had control of my life for too long. It's unhealthy and stopping me from making changes and getting out of the long-term rut I've been in (although it feels like it's verging on a decade-long rut by this point). It's so much easier to fall back into fantasising the day away rather than actually living sad. It's like instant fulfilment, an addiction. My attention span is shot because of it.

That said, is anyone else in the same boat? I know there's been a few threads on the topic but it's so hard to break free of such a long-term coping habit and I was hoping people might be able to recommend resources, books, articles, things like that. Or just want to discuss.

For instance, lately I've been taking up walking and hiking for hours- I still daydream like mad but I feel like it's better to be outside and exercising and getting fit, even if the unhealthy behaviour is still there.

I also write to do lists. A lot of them. They're a good way to avoid doing nothing. I force myself to get up and do something just so I can cross something off. I find it easier to get things done when there's something specific and tangible, otherwise I just slip into the 'I should probably get something done, tomorrow will be different' mentality and fall back into daydreaming for the rest of the day.

joannegrady90 Tue 24-Jan-17 14:54:15

Hi there! I'm in the same boat, thought for a very long time that it was just me!
I've had maladaptive daydreaming for as long as I can remember, as a child I would shut my bedroom door, close the curtains, blast the music and pace up and down completely lost in my own thoughts.

It took over my life, I hated school and just wanted to daydream constantly. Now aged 26, I'm not much different, I only work part time, and only look forward to DD going to bed as to escape with my music.

Not much advice I'm afraud, but music is a big trigger for me, so I try to avoid it where possible.

Glad it's not only me, I honestly thought I had some sort of brain disorder when I was younger 😯

overthemountains Tue 24-Jan-17 17:57:32

Definitely not just you! It's such a hard thing to explain to other people that I've never bothered to discuss it irl- I'm afraid I'd just sound odd if I tried to say it aloud. It's a relief to hear someone else's experiences.

I did exactly the same thing with music as a child, and still do. I get really, really lost in it. Sometimes I'll replay the exact same part of a song repeatedly to go along with a certain daydream. Bit embarassing when I was a child and someone would walk in and wonder what the hell I was doing grin

It really is hard to break as a habit. It's been a pleasurable coping mechanism for so long that I'm a little afraid of what it would be like without it. Almost a bit scared there's not much to come back to.

Efferlunt Tue 24-Jan-17 18:21:53

Hi. I think I had this too. I had very elaborate long running day dreams as a child. I had a pretty awful time at school and I wonder if they were a coping mechanism.

Anyway it continued a bit at university but when I started full time work, new city, new friends stuff I was really engaged in it just sort of stopped. Haven't really daydreamed at all since that time and even though I've had a difficult couple of years when I haven't felt very engaged it didn't come back and I can't imagine starting again now.

Wonder if it's something you grow out of?

OhtoblazeswithElvira Tue 24-Jan-17 18:27:50

I've always done this, I didn't realise it was an issue! Not a habit I want to break but then it doesn't interfere with other things in my life.

OP you seem to think that your daydreaming is the problem, but could it be that it's a symptom of another problem?

overthemountains Fri 27-Jan-17 09:32:29

Sorry I missed the last two posts. Efferlunt I think most people do grow out of it. I know there have been a few times in my life where it's faded for short periods, usually when I'm busy and happy. It sounds like that was the same for you as well- I wonder what causes some people to retreat back into it and others not so much?

OhtoblazeswithElvira I suppose (as with lots of things) whether it interferes or not is key. To answer your question- it probably is a symptom of another problem. Periods of bad physical and mental health have left me with a life I'm not happy with. I have too much free time as I only work part-time and I feel like everything and everyone is passing me by. So I retreat more and more into escapism.

I feel like I understand the source of the problem, know that I want to stop, but can't figure out the tools to make it happen sad I'm terrified of stepping out of the safety of my private world.

mistermagpie Fri 27-Jan-17 09:48:54

I did this as a child/teenager. I've enever really explained it to anyone because it sounds so odd. As a child I used to go out into the garden and just sort of wander up and down daydreaming. My parents thought I was odd but I just said I was 'making up stories' I think. I think I grew out of it by my late teens but I still have 'episodes' of doing it. As a child I was bullied and quite unhappy at home, so I think it was related to me being very lonely and sad, and now as an adult when I am feeling low I tend to do the same thing. I don't do it often now as I am generally in a much better place, but can see how it would be disruptive and interfere with my life if I did.

Silld Wed 22-Mar-17 23:00:24

Today I found out I am not alone. Others suffer from Maladaptive daydreaming. I didnt even k ow there was a name for it. I thought I was crazy all my life. The daydreaming is getting worse and I thought I had totally lost my mind. How do stop?

Butterfliesarefragile Sat 25-Mar-17 10:18:17

Personally I daydream a lot but it is a coping mechanism and means I'm not trying to kill my self so I personally embrace it. I have met other MH patiemst that do this one had an entire fantasy world think lord of the rings style place she used to go to as it was her safe place. That's all it is. I often zone out just don't do it when your driving or something.

Rattata Sat 25-Mar-17 18:15:41

Wow - I didn't know there was a term for it either. I daydreamed my way through school - I lived in a very violent/troubled city and also had a narcissistic mother for whom I was the scapegoat. I can see it was a coping mechanism - I am aware of still doing it when I am under a lot of stress. I don't think of it as a bad thing as long as I keep the time I allow it in check.

What I do find damaging is "rumination" thinking over past failures, missed opportunities, slights etc and playing out different scenarios of how I should have reacted.It just makes me feel like a failure. I tend to do this in bed and so have started to get up on waking and getting busy or reading at night until I fall asleep.

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