Hello all my fellow Maladaptive Day Dreamers!
My name is Anna, I’m 38 and I live in London (UK).
In March 2019, roughly 6 months ago I started Maladaptive Daydreaming (MD). At the time I had no idea what was going on and why I suddenly had this daydream throughout the whole day and why I had to keep on repeating the same scenario until I got all the details and conversations exactly how I wanted them. After 3 or 4 days of this, I started to get a bit worried as whilst I was enjoying all these new emotions and feelings I was feeling in my fantasy world, I couldn’t quite understand how to stop maladaptive daydreaming. Where was the off switch? Feeling slightly bewildered and clueless I thought well, if this makes me feel so good then how can it be wrong, what’s wrong with a spot of daydreaming?
Well, if you’ve discovered this site then you of course will be well aware of what is wrong with Maladaptive Daydreaming. The truth hit me one day like a sledge hammer when I realised instead of wanting to chat with friends I would really start to get annoyed when they wanted to talk to me because it would interrupt the flow of my daydream. Instead of making an effort to chat to other mums at the school gates, which I always did, I would now put my headphones on to listen to my music and happily walk out of the school knowing I could now be left in peace to get on with my new found fantasy world. I stopped reading ( I love reading) as no book could match what I was creating and feeling in my head. Even TV, held little interest as although it provided a smoke screen to those around me, whilst I was looking at it, my mind was paying very little attention to whatever program was on and instead I was focusing on the plots and characters of my daydreams. I wasn’t really enjoying my actual reality and was putting my energy, focus and enjoyment into my fantasy world.
I realised then that something was seriously wrong, that this was definitely not normal. My sleep started to deteriorate. I would wake up around 2am just wide awake my mind grabbing on to my daydreams and I would stay awake for hours going over them again. Then the anxiety happened. I have never felt anxiety like this before, I had palpitations, felt teary and out of control. But, if I focused on my daydreams the anxiety would vanish so that’s what I did until one day I realised I couldn’t keep the anxiety at bay anymore. And all of these questions, which I guess I had been suppressing for decades started popping up into my head like; “am I with the wrong man?” “Should I leave him?” “Do I like my life?” “Do I like my job?” “Am I even happy?”. I realised with startling clarity I was completely unfulfilled in my job and felt lost. That somewhere along the way I had lost myself and my identity and didn’t know who I was anymore. I threw up in the sink and realised that this was what my Maladaptive Daydreams were covering up. They were trying to save me from the realisation that I am broken, I have lost my sense of self. I’m unhappy.
It took me 4 months to realise this and since then I’ve been reading anything I can find on Maladaptive Daydreaming, which unfortunately isn’t a lot but I want this to change. This is why I created this site. I want this site to be for all of us Maladaptive Daydreamers, where we can share information on how to break MD or at the very minimum control it. I have read people’s stories where they have said they have broken free of this fantasy daydreaming world and are “cured” so to speak. That they are back to being better than ever. So we know it’s possible. We shouldn’t have to live with this.
I’m only 4 months into this journey of MD, which at the moment I have a love/hate relationship with. And am hoping, really hoping that together we can all draw upon our experiences and knowledge to work out how to get rid of this.