MDD Symptoms


What are the good and the bad parts of maladaptive daydreaming?

I went to see my therapist today and she told me to write down a list of all the best and low points of Maladaptive Daydreaming and then to compare them. Here are mine, it would be good to see yours too.

Why Maladaptive Daydreaming feels good

  • Whatever my character feels, love, happiness, confidence etc I get to feel that too, instantly.
  • It’s a quick fix. Immersive daydreaming is instant. Feeling anxious or low? I know how to fix that with daydreaming so I feel good in seconds.
  • It takes my mind off other problems, such as not knowing what to do with my life.
  • It stops me from feeling anxious.
  • It stops me from feeling bored.

Why Maladaptive Daydreaming is bad for you (the low points)

is maladaptive daydreaming bad for you?

  • Maladaptive daydreaming is an addiction and as we know addictions are not good for you and are really hard to break. The longer you let yourself daydream, the harder it will be to break.
  • Our fantasy worlds are not real. We are wasting hours and hours a day dreaming about something that is not real and for the vast majority of us will never be real. So what is the point? Daydreaming addiction can only lead to disappointment.
  • My work suffers. I find it very hard to focus on my job as my mind keeps wandering off, so I’m not being as productive as I can be.
  • I’m not living in the moment, my mind is often elsewhere so I’m letting life pass me by.
  • I’m becoming late for work, not doing chores like laundry when it needs to be done as I’m concentrating on my daydream so things either don’t get done on time or if so they’re done days later.
  • Intellectually, I’m suffering. I’m not reading anymore or watching the news or learning anything new, as of course, constantly daydreaming takes up time and concentration. Plus, I would much rather go over a daydreaming plot then pick up a newspaper.

Well, this is my pro and con maladaptive daydreaming list. Please share yours below too, it would be interesting to see if they’re similar or not. As per usual, if you want to share something, add something, or offer advise please email me or leave a comment below.

Best wishes,

Anna x



Is constant daydreaming normal? No. Constant daydreaming is not normal. Constant daydreaming is not healthy. If you’re constantly daydreaming it means:-

  1. You are not living in the present.
  2. You are probably not doing work or schoolwork to the best of the ability.
  3. You are ignoring your friendships and relationships as you’re spending to much time in your fantasy world that you’ve built up in your mind.

If you’ve come to this page you’ve probably typed in something like “constantly daydreaming” or “can’t stop daydreaming” into Google to try and understand what is going on.

I’ve been there. Nearly a year ago I suddenly just started daydreaming. And when I say daydreaming, I mean not just here and there but all day long. All the time. My mind could not shut it off. I was daydreaming whilst watching TV, I couldn’t even read a book as my daydreams were far more pleasurable so what was the point?

Am I describing you?

If you are going through this for the first time, I know it feels very weird, you at first have no idea what is going on. Why has your mind suddenly latched onto constantly daydreaming? Why do you need to keep on daydreaming the same things until you perfect them in your mind? Why do you suddenly have all these vivid conversations and plot lines and characters? Well if you’re new to this, there is a term that neatly describes what you’re going through and it’s maladaptive daydreaming. 

Maladaptive daydreaming also known as immersive daydreaming, is basically when you are daydreaming so much it starts to interfere in your life in a negative way. Maladaptive daydreaming is an addiction, you’re addicted to all the pleasurable emotions that your characters are feeling. You know its unhealthy and you know you need to stop but the pull is just too great. I mean lets face it, it’s instant gratification. If you can suddenly feel loved, confident and happy on tap, why on earth would you want to give that up? That’s what makes this affliction so hard to break.

Why are you constantly daydreaming?

what causes maladaptive daydreaming?Well if you’re constantly daydreaming (maladaptive daydreaming) then you are probably using this as a coping mechanism to avoid feeling anxious, stressed, or to avoid reliving old trauma.  It’s a form of escapism. A highly addictive form of escapism.

How do I stop constantly daydreaming?

maladaptive daydreaming treatmentsWell that’s the million dollar question isn’t it? How do we stop immersive daydreaming? From all my research and scouring forums, people have stopped this daydreaming addiction. But it’s not easy. Nearly all ex maladaptive daydreamers have said to end this they have had to:

1. Brutally stop and let the anxiety and all the negative feelings wash over you. You basically need to confront why your subconscious started this in the first place. What are the causes? Don’t shy away from this. My therapist told me (this is my homework this week) to stop daydreaming for one day, let the anxiety come as an anxiety attack won’t last forever (her words not mine) and let your mind/body tell you what the matter is. I’ll be frank with you. I haven’t managed to stop daydreaming for a day. My mind won’t let me and I don’t want to. But I know if I want this to end it’s what I’m going to have to do.

2. Get busy. Do a new course or class. Challenge yourself to do something new. Start to make new friends and connections so you don’t feel lonely. Do something active where you have to engage your mind like tennis or a dance class so you can’t daydream. Again, I haven’t managed to do this either yet. However, I can see how this helps. And you may have better luck and more self control than me.

3. See a therapist or talk to your doctormaladaptive daydreaming therapy

Talking about this daydreaming addiction to a trained professional can only help. I’m  on session 3 with a therapist and it is nice to actually be understood by somebody and have somebody who will listen.


Do you have a question?

If you have a question or want to offer advice please just leave a comment below. Otherwise please email me on: [email protected] I’m happy to help and listen.

Best wishes,

Anna x

Addiction is defined as not having control over doing, taking or using something to the point where it could be harmful to you. NHS

After months of waiting to see a therapist, I finally got to have my first appointment to talk about my maladaptive daydreaming last week. She’s a nice lady and didn’t seem to think I was a complete nutcase to have started immersive daydreaming. I told her I view maladaptive daydreaming as an addiction that I can’t control or stop and half the time I don’t want to stop it, as obviously it feels just too good. It makes me feel happy being in my own little world.

She told me she works a lot with people who suffer with addictions and yes this immersive daydreaming that we’re all suffering from is definitely an addiction.

So how do you break this maladaptive daydreaming addiction, assuming of course that you want to?

So she asked me a question, which I’ll ask you…

Therapist: Is there anything that you really love doing?

Me: Yes travel. I love travelling.

Therapist: Well you could travel somewhere, couldn’t you?

Me: Well, yes I suppose. But to be honest there’s not much point at the moment because I’ll be daydreaming the whole time and so won’t be taking everything in.

Therapist: Well then, are you basically saying there’s nothing at the present that you can think of that will feel better than daydreaming?

Me: Ummm. Gosh, maybe I am, I can’t think of anything that I love doing that will make me actually stop maladaptive daydreaming. Or that feels better.

(Feeling a bit worried now)

Therapist: What happens when you force yourself to stop immersive daydreaming?

Me: I become incredibly anxious and I have nothing that can fill that void apart from the maladaptive daydreaming so I go back to it.

Therapist: So you’re saying that you use maladaptive daydreaming as away to cope with your anxiety plus it’s a form of escapism for you?

Me: Yes.

Me: If I stop daydreaming I feel so anxious. Palpitations, I feel teary, I can’t sit still. So what are you saying? There’s nothing I can do then apart from MDD to stop feeling anxious?  And if there’s nothing I like doing that makes me feel better than daydreaming, what on earth does that mean? What should I do? I don’t want to live like this forever!

The Eureka Moment

And she said: “it’s quite simple really. Maladaptive daydreaming is an addiction, which you use as a coping mechanism. So find another way to cope.  There are other ways to cope with anxiety and trauma, you just need to find another healthier way that works for you.

Her last comment resonated with me as it made me think, there are other alternatives to try such as:

The homework the therapist set for maladaptive daydreamers

I thought I’d tell you what she asked me to do in case you don’t have access to a therapist or wanted to also try something new out.

  1. Make a conscious decision to stop daydreaming for 30 minutes everyday.  She did at first set a timeframe of a few hours but that for me was not realistic (I’m a hard core maladaptive daydreamer after all). I thought 30 minutes was more achievable so I set that as my time limit. But you might want to set another time limit.


2. Make a list of things you think you’d enjoy doing. These things do not have to be as good as maladaptive daydreaming but at least as half as good. So for example:-  -You might want to try out a new course, gym, swimming, a dance class etc. For now it’s just about writing ideas down.

Well tomorrow is my third session with the therapist and will update you if anything new comes to light.

Do you have a question?

If you have something to add or advice or if you just want to ask a question then please get in touch and leave a comment below.

Best wishes




This is a tricky question. I see it asked a lot online. Is maladaptive daydreaming rare? Well, from my own experience as somebody who has only told my therapist and doctor that that I suffer from immersive daydreaming. It’s pretty hard to gauge. Since the majority of us keep it a secret. We don’t talk about it openly do we? In case the people we know think we’re nuts or use it against us in some way.

Sometimes if I sit down down in a cafe, I catch myself looking around and wonder if anybody else is currently maladaptive daydreaming. Or, if I’m walking down the street and see other people with their headphones on, I think, are they in a daydream now too?

The reddit maladaptive daydreaming group has around 25,000 members. And if you do a search for “Maladaptive daydreaming” into Google it receives over 300,000 results. There are lots of Facebook groups for Maladaptive daydreaming alongside people asking questions on Quora about it. It clearly affects a lot of people. 

Is Maladaptive daydreaming rare?

But is Maladaptive daydreaming rare? I remember reading on a forum somewhere that Eli Somer believed that 1% of the population suffered from immersive daydreaming. Well Google tells me that the population of Earth is 7.7 Billion, and as we know 1% of 7.7 Billion is 77 million which, if true seems like a lot of people! Are 77 million of us suffering from this addiction? 

Just think about that for a minute. There could be 77 Million people right now all over the planet who are also suffering from maladaptive daydreaming. That’s a massive number. We are definitely not alone in this.

constantly maladaptive daydreaming rareMaladaptive daydreaming is not well known

The problem, I think, is that as maladaptive daydreaming is not well known or widely discussed it might seem rare. But just because something isn’t well known or properly understood, that doesn’t make something rare or uncommon. I mean, when I realised I was daydreaming all the time, I had to Google “daydreaming constantly” to try and find out what on earth was happening to me. I had never heard of the term “maladaptive daydreaming” before but soon discovered I was certainly not the only person to be suffering from it. I guess the only way people will learn about immersive daydreaming is if we speak up about it. But that is indeed a very hard ask.

Do you have a question about Maladaptive Daydreaming?

As usual, if you have a question, advice or comment about maladaptive daydreaming please leave a comment below. Otherwise please email: a[email protected]


I think a lot of people when they first realise they have maladaptive daydreaming, want to know why, why have they suddenly got this daydreaming addiction, what on earth has caused this?  The longer however maladaptive daydreaming goes on, the more you begin to understand that it is a coping mechanism. A way to deal with the harshness of reality, trauma you’ve experienced, anxiety and loneliness.

We all know that there is no medical recognition for maladaptive daydreaming, even when I saw my doctor and told him I had maladaptive daydreaming, he didn’t understand at first what I was talking about and offered me anti-anxiety medication.

So what are the causes of maladaptive daydreaming?

  • loneliness
  • abuse
  • trauma
  • anxiety
  • depression

We all know it then becomes an addiction. We have created a wonderful and vivid world in our heads to escape the problems we are facing, and we soon have an emotional attachment to the characters we have created in our minds. It’s ridiculously hard to curb because it feels so good. And even though you know you need to stop this daydreaming addiction, you soon get to a point where you don’t want to give it up. Even when it starts to interfere with your work, relationships or school.

What do you think your root cause is of your daydreaming addiction?

anxiety and daydreamingMine is anxiety. I worry about the future and I’m unhappy about where I currently am in my life. I’m still on a waiting list to see a therapist to talk about my maladaptive daydreaming. When I do get to see one, I will update you and let you know if talking about my issues had gotten rid of  my MD.

Do you have something to add?

If you have something to add on why you think you have maladaptive daydreaming or would just to say hello. Please leave a comment below.

Best wishes,


If you have maladaptive daydreaming, chances are you’re not sleeping very well. Waking up multiple times in the middle of the night? And every time you wake up you find yourself latching onto one of your daydreams? Sound familiar?  I have tried to stop daydreaming when I wake up at 2am but but I’m afraid my daydreaming addiction is so strong at the moment I don’t even want to stop it then. I find it comforting. So yes my Maladaptive daydreaming is making me feel constantly tired.

After living with maladaptive daydreaming for over 7 months, I feel as if I understand it a lot better and see it for what it is. Maladaptive daydreaming is a coping mechanism, a form of escapism to help you feel safe, less stressed, less anxious. MD stops you from thinking about the issues that are making you feel low or anxious so in a way you could look at it as a gift. It’s keeping you safe.  At the same time it’s masking the problems you’re facing, you’re not dealing with them, or trying to find out  a way to solve or cure them, so as you know MD at the same time as being a blessing is also a curse.

Today I’m wondering and am beginning to seriously believe that Maladaptive daydreaming is like being an alcoholic. I’ve only managed to survive 2 days without Maladaptive daydreaming, just 48 hours. I thought I had magically managed to rid myself of MD by telling myself to keep living in the moment. Every time my mind would start to wonder, I would tell myself to focus as this daydream was not real and for two days this worked.

However as you know, boredom is a Massive trigger and on the third day, I had to do a 30 minute walk to get from A to B. And I thought to myself, what’s the harm, I have 30 minutes to kill, doing a spot of daydreaming when I don’t need to be productive or really be focused on a task won’t be a problem.

Boy was I wrong! I let myself go back to one of my favourite daydreams and I haven’t really been able to get out of it ever since.

Which begs the question: Is Maladaptive daydreaming like being an alcoholic?

An alcoholic can’t ever go back to having a drink again. As a maladaptive daydreamer if we let ourselves have a cheeky daydream, have we ruined our recovery?

I really have a strong love/hate relationship with Maladaptive Daydreaming. There are times when your daydreams feel just so good, every wonderful feeling that your day dreaming makes you feel can make your body feel elation and wonderful sensations. You name it, confidence, love, happiness, fun, being admired, pleasure, all these feelings are instant, it’s instant gratification and so trying to tell yourself to stop and actually give up getting all these instant pleasurable feelings is phenomenally difficult. It’s near impossible I feel but I know it is achievable and that we can find away to rid ourselves of this as others have done.

And then there’s the big question, if you could stop, if you could take a drug that would make you stop MD FOREVER would you take it? Are you worried by the fact that if you do give up all these instant feelings you get from your fantasy world, then what on earth are you going to do to fill the void that will appear when your daydreams leave?

Why is Maladaptive Daydreaming (MD) so difficult to give up?

1. It’s an addiction. A fantasy addiction.

Lets start with the easiest reason. MD is an addiction, it is like a drug. If the definition of addiction is a:

psychological and physical inability to stop consuming a chemical, drug, activity, or substance, even though it is causing psychological and physical harm” then for me MD is an addiction. Presently, I am unable to stop this daydreaming activity even though it is causing me harm in the sense, it’s stopping me from being productive at work and at home. It’s stopping me from being present.

I’m not focusing on things that I really need to get done, so not only am I way behind with work but also simple chores and everyday life matters. When this happens and I’m being reprimanded by someone for not getting something in on time, I just want to shout: “I’m a Maladaptive Daydreamer, do you realise how hard it was for me to get this finished in the first place, even if I’m a few days late”!  Obviously though I keep that to myself.  In terms of MD, we are fantasy addicts. Addiction in general means a person cannot control how they partake in an activity or substance and so we become dependent on it to cope with our daily lives. Addictions, as we all know are notoriously hard to break. MD is no different.

2. It is a coping mechanism

It is my belief, that we all started Maladaptive Daydreaming because somewhere along the way we have experienced trauma or severe stress, and due to these unhealthy experiences we have started to MD as a way to alleviate the fact we have become broken. Our subconscious is trying to protect us from all the unpleasant aspects of reality that we have experienced. When I stop Maladaptive Daydreaming I have begun to feel anxious, I get palpitations and the massive questions in my life, which I’m clearly avoiding (as I don’t know what the answers are) then start building up. Being honest with you, I’d rather retreat back into the safety of my fantasy life then confront these massive issues head on without knowing how to solve them. But yes I realise until I sort these issues out, my Maladaptive daydreaming will not go away.

3. Reality can truly be awful

Sometimes life can truly be cruel and reality can truly be too much. Escapism therefore seems the only option. Maybe the situation you’re currently in is just too much to bare and so daydreaming and fantasizing seems the only way out.  You’re hardly going to give up your fantasy world in this case, if it’s one of the only things that are keeping you going.

4. The highs are just so good

I’ll use myself as an example, I realise I have low confidence and self esteem due to childhood experiences. So presently, when I daydream, I fantasize that I’m a dancer on stage, obviously a performer requires confidence, which is why my subconscious created the character in the first place . The instant feelings I feel of confidence, love and admiration when my fantasy character is dancing on stage feels incredible. And I can experience this on tap, whenever I need and it feels absolutely amazing. Stopping these feelings therefore is a ridiculously hard thing to do.


Do you have something to add?

Do you have any useful tips to offer other maladaptive daydreamers? Why do you think it is so hard to give up? Please leave a comment below or contact me.

Best wishes


I struggle with this question. There are times when my fantasy world that I have constructed in my mind is so good that I don’t want to stop it.  In a fantasy world anything you imagine that you want to happen, can. You can be supremely successful, confident, happy, beautiful/handsome, in a loving relationship, be popular, famous, the list is endless and as maladaptive daydreamers we feel all of this. Every trait that I’ve listed above, can be felt in our daydreams and lets face it they feel amazing. And if we’re not feeling these things now in reality then yes of course our fantasy world is better than reality. After all if it wasn’t we wouldn’t be going there.