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



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. Hi Anna,

    Just wanted to reach out to you. I’m not doing very well. With all the quarantine and the shit going on out there (Corona), I struggle, really struggle to keep my daydreaming below seven hours a day, not counting sleep off course. I have a family to take care of, homeschooling now the schools are closed and a job te do from home, and I just can’t. I’m in a constant battle with myself. I’m exhausted when I’m trying to contribute in the ‘real’ world and trying to stay present, and in absolute bliss when I can give into daydreaming. It’s getting worse. I don’t know much about maladaptive daydreaming yet, apart from that I have been doing it all my life (I have autism and ADHD). I’m checking in with my counselor soon to discuss this, but do you have any tips on reducing it? Or is it just a hardcore battle to stay present? I feel I have no control, it just overwhelms me. I’d like to know more. I’ll definitely read more of your blogs. But it’s also just nice, knowing I’m not alone…

    Thanks for your blog and openness.

    • Hi Sandra,
      I’m also home schooling and understand how hard it is. And yes now with CV it’s an even bigger struggle to manage MD. I’m finding it a hard core battle mostly because I find MD far more enjoyable then dealing with everything else. I find it easier if i give myself a task and then I tell myself I can’t MD until I finish it. My sleeping has now got worse so I’m daydreaming at night or say 3am and by 7am I’m exhausted too. So yes it is a constant struggle. I think it’s a battle of wills you against the desire to MD and you have to keep forcing yourself to stop and not go there. Or give youself an allotted time in the day where you can MD. But yes Sandra I completely understand where you’re coming from and you are definitely not alone x

  2. Hi Anna,
    I keep daydreaming about situations I know will never happen.I can’t concentrate on anything.When am reading, i can’t go three sentences without daydreaming.It is draining me and i need help.My grades are dropping and am afraid of telling my parents the truth coz am afraid of their reaction.I often daydream that I am a singer(especially Ariana Grande)and it takes so much of my time.I wish I could just concentrate on my studies once and for all.Please reply.


  3. Here is my advice to younger maladaptive daydreamers:

    1. Open your curtains and widen your blinds so you can feel exposed to the outside world during the day. you are forcing yourself NOT to daydream because you are exposed.

    2. Try sleeping in a different area of your house and leave your headphones and phone in your room. Allowing yourself to daydream without the music and distractions causes you to give your brain a break and it gives yourself a peace of mind.

    3. Try thinking about topics that interest you and daydream about what you’d do if you got the chance to change the world with your topic of interest. This to me is training my brain and helping me grow while with my illness.

    4. Try slowly to replace music with images. Look at an image and interact that picture with your daydream. Create a scenario with each image so you can stay away from your repeated scenarios. This grows your creativity and stops your coping scenarios.

    5. Try doing “all about you” excercises. Start thinking about yourself for atleast 30 minutes in reality. Start thinking about what you want for your future. Get to know yourself and figure out what about you needs work and what about you that you love. Understand your situation and figure out how to live and grow from it.

    6. Fantasize about your success JUST as you are. No beauty enhancing, not richer, no loved one if you dont have it. Leave the fantasy part out. Daydream about you. Bring your real self to the fantasy with all your flaws and dream about you being just a little more succesful. How does it make you feel?

    7. Everytime a event that doesn’t happen everyday happen, Ask yourself how do you feel? Ask yourself why did it create this emotion inside you? Ask yourself what could you have done differently in that situation? This excercise helps you stop rushing to your fantasies for comfort.

    8. Whenever there is dialogue in your daydream, say it out loud. If your character is making a joke, Beat them to it. This helps with your communication skills even though you are used to being alone. Example: tyling laughed and looked at her boyfriend “you’re annoying, you know that right? ”

    Try saying that dialogue above for your own ears to hear so you can kindly remind yourself that conversation doesn’t go as smoothly outside your head then it does inside.

    9. Give your phone to a parents or friend and ask them no matter what unless it’s an emergency, dont give you back your phone until you studied something or did some work.

    10. Try making your daydream healthy. Everytime you daydream go excerice. Everytime you daydream, go walk your pets or walk yourself. Go for a walk with headphones and swing your arms. Go clean and take your sweet time all you want. Pull up youtube and learn that new choreo from a dancer while you daydream.

    Hopefully this helps.

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