I’m 16 years old and for as long as I can remember I have daydreamt about my own made up stories, mostly about someone else’s life when they go through a hard time. As a child I never thought anything about it, just that I would grow out of it. But now I realise that maybe I am too invested in these stories and prefer to daydream rather than socialise with people. Also I feel as though my social skills aren’t very good as I struggle to speak to new people, sometimes stutter when I speak and constantly think people are judging me. Most of my daydream stories are based on tv shows/books/movies/songs that I’ve seen/heard and basically put my own character in the plot. I guess I never realised how emotionally attached I am but my brother have commented on how I sometimes smile randomly and I don’t really want to stop daydreaming. I’ve googled why I daydream so much because I am worried the it will get in the way of my studies and came across this page and I guess it’s time I told someone about it. I read that sometimes this can relate to ADHD or OCD but I wouldn’t think I have either. Also I have heard that it could relate to childhood shyness/trauma but I never went through a traumatic time and I was quite a confident child so I don’t know what could of caused this. Possibly it was boredom and struggling to sleep as I mostly daydream before I go to sleep. Apparently there is no recognised treatment so I’m not really what to do or how to stop.
While many of us have a recognizable cause for our daydreaming to become maladaptive (sometimes trauma, but other times its just other mental illnesses or negative emotional states like loneliness), not all of us do. Generally, MD is an unhealthy coping mechanism, which is why it's so often related to other mental illnesses and trauma.
You are right about there being no recognized treatment, but I've found treating it similarly to how you would treat other unhealthy coping mechanisms (like drinking or smoking) to be beneficial. You want to build up your repertoire of healthier coping skills (such as exercise, journaling, and meditation) so that your brain doesn't feel the need to rely so heavily on daydreaming.
Don't give up what you want most for what you want now.
I'm 17 and have been daydreaming since I was 11, I didn't have any major childhood trauma which could have caused it (the only thing I can think of was that My parents have never really got along at all and I kind of hate my dad and when I was nine we moved countries for a year (from a first world country to a not so great country) where I had extreme trouble fitting in OR being happy But I didn't start daydreaming Until we moved back, and apart from that my childhood was pretty great) When we moved back,I specifically remember my first time daydreaming was after I read a book called ruby red and I began to coNtinuously daydream about being the main character for months and when I got bored of it I read another book and the cycle continued.
Then as I grew older I would daydream about TV shows And movies aswell And then I realised that I could make up the stories and I didn't have to read something or watch something to do it so my daydreaming increased exponentially. But the thing is that I have zero control over what I daydream and a lot of the time it has me sobbing or even more depressed than when I started but I just can't stop.
My imagination is so extremely vivid (which I'm grateful for because it's nice being able to step into an alternate reality sometimes and in school I'm always the person who writes the most imaginative stories and essays so it's helped a bit) , but it has MANY downfalls, and I'll tell you one: my cousin was once telling me the story of a thousand splendid suns while we were sitting in a very public place and I just started sobbing because I could imagine everything so vividly (and anyone who knows the story knows that it's heart breaking), everyone was really confused as to why I was crying 😳
Music really enhances my daydreams And triggers them, but my biggest trigger is anything that has to do with cheating and I honestly don't know why, if I read the news and someone cheated on someone,or If I read a story with cheating involved, or watch a movie or a TV series, I'll spend hours daydreaming about someone cheating on me and I'll be sobbing and upset but I just can't stop no matter how hard I try to (and I don't like these daydreams at all, the ones where in saving the world or a superhero Are much better but my brain likes imagining me being cheated on a lot more Apparently).
Just to clarify I've never been in a relationship, none of my parents have cheated or anything like that but for some reason it just gets to me so much, also that first book I read which got me into daydreaming had something to do with cheating in it(I can't remember what exactly but I remember being upset about it, so maybe it has something to do with that)
I don't feel the need to make any movements while daydreaming(which I read was a symptom) , I just stare into space. I've kind of gotten control over Laughing or moving my mouth and for all anybody knows I'm just zoning out. Also, when I'm having social interactions with people the daydreams stop and I feel really happy but when I'm alone or not completely preoccupied the only thing that makes me feel alive is daydreaming.
It's really affecting my life now more than ever, I have an EXTREMELY important exam in one week but I can't focus, I can't think, because stupid me decided to watch a video about something to do with cheating and now I can't stop daydreaming (I can't tell you how many times I zoned out while writing this)
I feel a lot better now That Ive found this forum because I know I'm not crazy and that I'm not the only one going through this, I really want it to stop but these characters and stories that I've created have been with me for so long that I don't know if I'll be able to get on with my life without them.
I'm sorry for the extremely long essay, if anyone has any advice, I'd be extremely grateful