I have seen this question asked on forums and I literally couldn’t believe it when I saw this question asked. To somebody who suffers from maladaptive daydreaming like I do, it’s the same as asking: ‘is the Earth really round’ or ‘Does the sun really rise in the East and set in the West?’ Er Yes of course it does. Let me tell you something, Maladaptive Daydreaming is very very real and it can be a complete and utter nightmare for people who suffer from it.
No we’re not just talking about a spot of daydreaming here and there like dreaming you’ve won the lottery or that you’re dating Brad Pitt. It’s not just a bit of fantasizing like imagining you were a supermodel or that you’re James Bond, it’s a constant fight to stay present.
The average Maladaptive Daydreamer daydreams for 4 hours a day. I can unfortunately testify to that. My mind throughout the day and night is constantly weaving elaborate plots and conversations to the point that at times I’ve preferred to stay in my fantasy world and ignore my reality”Anna
I can hold a conversation with you, look you in the eyes and smile but at the same time my mind is intricately going over one of my daydream conversations with one of my fictional characters, and you would have absolutely no idea that this was going on. I can sit down with a colleague and look at a spreadsheet looking like that is holding my focus and I could talk about that spreadsheet with them too but really my mind is completely elsewhere going over one of my many storylines in my fantasy world. It needs to be perfected again and again.
What does this mean?
I know the difference between maladaptive daydreaming ( MD ) and just simple normal daydreaming. I only started maladaptive daydreaming 5 months ago and let me tell you the difference between the two couldn’t be more different.
I believe Maladaptive daydreaming or MD for short is a coping mechanism for anxiety and depression. I think it’s the subconscious’s way to try and protect us from dealing with all the unpleasant aspects of life that we’ve been suppressing for years if not decades and trying to avoid.
The major problem with Maladaptive Daydreaming is that it is an addiction. It is so hard to stop. If you’re wondering why, read – why is maladaptive daydreaming so hard to stop?
In essence though the obsessive fantasizing and daydreaming makes everything so difficult. It impacts on your life. I’m no longer as productive as I once was, it takes me longer to do things as my mind is always on my fantasy world whether I like it not so it takes me ages to get things done. I’m late for things, I’m split with fighting to get my mind to stay in reality and the enjoyment I can get from the instant gratification I get from my daydreams.
I can no longer sleep through the night and when I’m not daydreaming then I usually feel anxious. When I feel anxious my mind craves to go back to my fantasy world where I feel happy and safe but the thing is, us Maladaptive daydreamers know our daydreams, our fantasies are not real, we know this is fiction and that’s what makes everything so hard. We are wasting our energy, our time not on focusing on trying to improve our reality but on fiction. On something that is not real.
And the thing is none of this is our fault. Nobody would choose this. It’s just once you’re plunged into this and you finally understand why your mind is doing this, it’s already far too late to get out of it. I think the only way to break this addiction is to discover the underlying reasons why our subconscious created this fantasy for us. And to deal with the trauma, the issues, the stress, which caused us to go to this place in the first place.
As you know though, dealing with difficult issues, especially without help is hard and scary. Sometimes you don’t really know how to get the answers or what to do with the truth when you find it. So yes to answer the question that I keep seeing online, yes unfortunately maladaptive daydreaming is very real.
Do you have a question?
If you have a question or need some help or have something to share, please do. Leave a comment in the comment section below or contact me. You are certainly not alone, this addiction can be broken, you can live a normal life and please remember none of this, absolutely none of this is your fault.