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,



Hello, I'm Anna! I'm a 38 year old Maladaptive Daydreamer from London. I want to stop the maladaptive daydreaming, which is why I created this blog. Please excuse any typos, as you know I have MD so sometimes writing a post can take forever but at least I know you'll understand where I'm coming from.


  1. Amitvikram Reply

    Umm.. I’m still having doubts if I’m suffering frm it or not….i mean I’m having these symptoms…but not sure ….can u help me

    • Hello Amit,
      You know if you’e a maladaptive daydreamer as you can’t stop it. For example, I am at work now and I have been daydreaming for the best part of the morning as I am finding it very difficult to focus on a single task. My mind keeps wandering and it takes a lot of willpower to try and tell myself to stop and to carry on working.
      I have trouble sleeping
      I have anxiety

      I could spend hours and hours if left alone on a daydream. I prefer my fantasy world a lot of the time to reality.

      Maladaptive Daydreaming Symptoms. Do you suffer from…..

      An overwhelming need to keep on daydreaming?
      Vivid daydreams with intricate plot and storylines that you’re constantly perfecting?
      Difficulty sleeping?
      Difficulty in performing everyday tasks due to the fact that your constantly daydreaming?
      Daydreaming for hours on end?
      Making facial expressions or whispering while your daydreaming?
      Preferring to live in your fantasy world then be present?

      Maladaptive daydreaming is an addiction and it is so hard to stop. It’s a form of coping and a form of escapism. Could you talk to a doctor?
      I find going on maladaptive daydreaming forums helpful too, have you been on the reddit one? https://www.reddit.com/r/MaladaptiveDreaming/
      Lots of people suffer from MDD. I wish I could tell you there’s an easy fix to it but I still haven’t found a way to combat this. I think the best way is to work out why you started daydreaming in the first place.

      If you have any other questions, please leave another comment. Sometimes I’m a bit slow to respond because I’m daydreaming 🙂

  2. Hi I’m Bugs and I’m just 16. I daydream more than 12 hours and so many times I just end up talking with myself when there is nobody there. I’ve been skipping school just so that I can stay alone and daydream. I mostly daydream myself as some character from a book or a movie. I’m scared. Help please.


    • Hi Bugs, you’re definitely not alone. A lot of us have trouble focusing on tasks and spends over 4+ hours a day daydreaming. I for example, have still not managed to control daydreaming at work and so hardly ever get what I need to get done finished. I find it helpful sometimes to actually talk to someone. The only 2 people who know i suffer from maladaptive daydreaming is my therapist and doctor. Can you go to your doctor and tell her or him? I think you’ll find it a relief to be able to talk to somebody and then maybe they could refer you to a therapist? Mindfulness and CBT https://maladaptivedaydreamingisreal.com/yes-you-can-cure-maladaptive-daydreaming/what-is-cbt/ techniques are supposed to help too. Especially CBT, Google it, you’ll find free tips and exercises.

      My therapist told me to try and stop daydreaming for an hour everyday (that’s the daily goal we’ve now set) and everytime my mind starts to wander, I keep telling myself that my fantasy world is not real, the more you do it the eaiser it will get. Try it. Set yourself a goal everyday like not daydreaming for an hour and then if you succeed you can reward yourself. I also find it easier to be around people and not be alone. It’s not a good idea to skip school and be alone. Stick around friends and force yourself to be interested in what they have to say, really try and engage in the conversation so you don’t allow your mind to go back to daydreaming. I know it’s really hard. I used to get annoyed when friends started to talk to me as it would mean I would have to stop daydreaming. Now, I welcome it, as talking to friends means I’m firmly in the present and engaged in reality. So talk to friends, do not skip school and go back to daydreaming, set yourself a daily goal where you are not allowed to daydream.

      There’s a massive reddit forum too that you might find helpful – https://www.reddit.com/r/MaladaptiveDreaming/
      I do think it will help if you confide in a doctor, it’s what I had to do as I know I can’t beat this alone. Let me know how it goes. You can do this!

  3. Hi , I’m Velerie and I’m just 17 . I just found out that I have Maladaptive Daydreaming ( cuz I thought it was normal to daydreaming like that ) . But when I rethink it again , it actually quite scary to talk to yourself .

    I think my daydreaming become worst , since I spent my whole day on daydreaming . I didn’t do the chores and my homework even I can’t focus on my teacher at school . This effected my studies .

    Now I felt stupid to tell this at my two bestfriends since they didn’t understand how I felt . They make this was so easy to stop but the truth is it really hard.

    I didn’t tell my mom about this cuz I didn’t want to make her worry ( the truth is I didn’t really sure if she believes me or care ) and she kind of the reason I have Maladaptive Daydreaming

    So what should I do ? If I didn’t stop this I can’t get my dream job

    • Hi Velerie, thank you for getting in touch. I know how hard it is, maladaptive daydreaming is taking over my life quite literally. You can stop maladaptive daydreaming but you have to really want to do it. It has to come from you. No one can stop you from daydreaming as we are the ones who start and stop it. I haven’t been able to stop daydreaming as, as much as it is hindering my life, I like it too much. It is an addiciton. I spoke to my doctor, who recommended medication, you could talk to your doctor? I have seen a therapist and she has recommended CBT. There are CBT techniques https://maladaptivedaydreamingisreal.com/yes-you-can-cure-maladaptive-daydreaming/what-is-cbt/ that will be able to help. Google “CBT”.
      I think, if you have finally reached the point where you want to stop, you’ll do it. Everytime your mind starts to drift, try and focus on something that you can see and feel, try your best to stay present. I know it’s hard. But try. My therapist said to challange yourself and just try to stop yourself from daydreaming for an hour a day. Just an hour everyday and see how it goes. Then once you can do it, increase the time to maybe 1.5 hours etc. If that all fails, at the very least make a promise to yourself that you will not MD in your lessons and as a reward you can let yourself MD when you walk home from lessons or when you have to do chores. You know, pick a time that will not affect important things that you have to do and that you have to focus on. You can do this Velerie, it is so hard but you can do it.
      Let me know how it goes.
      Anna x

  4. Hi I’m naliyah I’m 14 years old I have been having these dreams day and night and it’s very hard because I try methods like think about colors or flowers they are working a little bit I cry because I really want to stop I’ve been doing this for a long time but I have not noticed that it has become stronger over times I laugh out loud sometimes I make face expressions and it’s very hard because I try so hard to stop but it’s really taking a toll on me I need help on what to do

    • Hi Naliyah, I know having MD is so hard, thank you for reaching out. Is there anyone you trust enough to talk to about it? Could you talk to your doctor, a close friend or your parents? Try and give yourself little manageable goals like not daydreaming for an hour a day, it’s hard at first but the more you do it the easier it will get. When you can manage a hour increase the time. I also find keeping myself busy really helps too. Stopping is so hard but you can do this, it is possible to stop!

  5. Can you please suggest some activities that can replace Mdd??Except reading or drawing…(I dont like drawing and I am already an avid reader..)

    • Hi Sunshine, I downloaded a chess app on my phone, it really helps me focus because obviously chess is a thinking game and requires me to use my mind so I can’t daydream at the same time. It’s one of the few things that actually work for me. If chess isn’t your thing, you can always try another game.

      Hope it helps!

      • Hi Anna my name is Sherrina am a 20 year old college student. I just found out that MDD is a thing coz I thought daydreaming was ok. I usually find myself creating new scenes of movies I’ve watched that I didn’t like how it ended or making up my own movies. I am able to control myself and I don’t have difficulty in sleeping but am worried It may get out of hand. Thanks

  6. hi,

    i am 16 years old and have just started my journey. i have a lot of knowledge on this topic as i have done a lot of research.

    so to anyone who needs advice:
    try not to just focus on not daydreaming. focus more on healing the self. find the reasons why you started daydreaming and work with those. also analyse your daydreams and the feelings that fuel them. find ways to direct those feeling to your life. remember that it is not always the things in your daydreams that you want, its the feelings. for example, if you fantasise about being a singer, what you really want is confidence. if you have intimate daydreams, you are lacking love. you are not in control of anyone not giving you the love that you deserve, so if you have intimate daydreams then you should work on self love. also strengthen your sense of self so that you are able to handle these emotions. MDD is a coping mechanism due to repressed emotions over the years, so i recommend putting yourself in uncomfortable situations and expressing yourself. feel all the emotions that come with these activities. i have read that therapy is very helpful as your emotions will resurface. psychotherapy is a good option. also talk to someone you can trust.

    i hope you were able to read all of this lol. please don’t rush your self-healing process. try your best to accept all of your emotions. the quicker you accept them the quicker they go away. i hope this was helpful 🙂

    • Anna Reply

      Wow genie, these are fantastic insights. Thank you so much for sharing this!

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