Hello! I've recently just learned about Maladaptive Daydreaming, and I'm interested to hear more about other peoples' experiences. I'm usually not one to self diagnose, and I'm still not entirely sure if I have maladaptive daydreaming or not. So, I won't claim to have anything other than a potential case of maladaptive daydreaming.
I've had issues with daydreaming for a long time. I don't exactly remember when my problems with daydreaming started, but I presume it was somewhere between 2014-2016. Initially, I wasn't bothered by how often I daydreamed. But over several years, it got significantly worse. Nowadays, I daydream for about 8-11 hours a day in total, depending on when I wake up. Because I tend to daydream a lot at night, I don't get much sleep, which significantly affects my energy levels throughout the day. Additionally, I've never been a very social person, but ever since I started daydreaming more often, small talk and even eye contact are stressful for me. Whenever there's a situation that requires me to socialize, I attempt to back out of it so that I can daydream more.
Throughout the years, I've noticed that I value my daydreaming over a lot of basic things. Socializing and personal needs are less important to me, and it's gotten to the point where I'll ignore eating or drinking for several hours if I'm really caught up in a daydream. Ignoring eating or drinking for a couple hours doesn't sound absolutely horrible over a couple days, but I've been daydreaming for years with a similar routine. It adds up, without a doubt.
I'm concerned about how often I daydream. But, I don't want to completely erase my ability to daydream, but to find some sort of way to stop myself when necessary. While it's been harmful to me over the years, it also has helped me cope with stress, and I don't want to lose the 'worlds' I've created. If anybody has any idea as to whether this is maladaptive daydreaming, some other condition (or nothing at all), let me know!
For daydreaming to be classed as maladaptive it must interfere with normal functioning such as social life or work and the fact that you feel concerned about the amount you daydream and are socialising less and less, missing meals and sleep etc are reason to class it as maladaptive.