If you know you suffer from maladaptive daydreaming disorder the thought of whether you should tell your doctor or not, would have already occurred to you. whether you talk to your doctor or therapist about it is another matter.
After 3 or 4 days of constantly maladaptive daydreaming, I decided to Google what it meant, as constantly daydreaming was a very new and very strange thing for me. It did not start in childhood like lots of other people say it did, it just started a few months before I turned 38 years old. So that’s how I first realised that there was a name for what basically a daydreaming addict was. A maladaptive daydreamer.
What is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness is basically a meditation technique that trains the mind to stay in the present moment. A very helpful technique then if you’re a maladaptive daydreamer. Mindfulness is supposed to alleviate stress, anxiety and even depression and apparently people who practice mindfulness notice a 20% improvement in symptoms of anxiety and depression than those who practice something else.
What exactly is CBT?
CBT stands for Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) which is a talking therapy mostly used to help people dealing with depression and anxiety. It supposedly helps manage your issues by changing the way you think and behave. CBT helps us to replace thoughts and behaviours that aren’t working for us (I don’t know about you but the maladaptive daydreaming really isn’t working for me anymore) with new ones that work better for us.
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.
If you’ve come to this page then I know how you feel, you’re fed up of maladaptive daydreaming. Yes you love it too, I know. Your characters, your world, the feelings and emotions you feel when your daydreaming make you feel brilliant and happy and safe. Then reality seeps in and you realise you’ve wasted your whole day on something that is not real, you haven’t done the household chores, work or whatever it is that you needed to do as you’ve been too wrapped up in your own head. And you know that as great as that can be, it has to end as life can’t go on like this.
I have a gaol. My goal is to cure myself of Maladative daydreams forever. Whilst the highs are brilliant I wish I had never experienced MD. So I have decided that I am going to painstakingly document what every Maladaptive daydreamer has said helps to control or get rid of this affliction and then test it out on myself to see what works the best. On this post I’m just going to do my best and list them and then I’ll do in depth posts to let you see how it goes. Again, please if you have something that works for you please please do get in touch or use the comment section below so I can include it.
- Write down and keep track of your thoughts. Then analyse what you think they mean. For example, what feeling / emotion are you getting from that particular daydream?
- Talking out loud. So when you’re home alone, instead of going through your daydreams in your mind, say the words out loud.
- When you daydream do it in fast forward
- CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy)
- Tell somebody that your a maladaptive daydreamer (yikes)
- Change the ending of your daydream. For example, if you have a love interest in your daydream make them a friend instead. (I can imagine this will make your daydream a whole lot less enjoyable and so maybe you will daydream a lot less?)
- If you start daydreaming look at an object around you such a table or chair and focus on it for a few seconds to remind yourself to be present and live in the moment.
- Talking to a trained therapist
- Avoiding triggers. (Not looking forward to avoiding music and coffee. Am wondering how to avoid feeling bored as boredom is a massive trigger for me)