Hi there! My name is Amber, I'm 21 and have been maladaptive daydreaming since I was a young kid, maybe 8? For a long time it was a manageable and fun part of my life, my own little creative and secret world. Like a lot of the posts that I've read so far, I've had a traumatic childhood and MD was always my way to escape. MD became a problem for me in high school, when my fun secret world took over my real life. Although I still know that my daydreams aren't real, it's becoming more and more difficult to perform the way that I need to in school and at work due to the compulsion I have to daydream. This escalation of MD has occurred in dips and valleys, but it's probably been about 5 years since I've had a day without dreaming.
Recently, I experienced another trauma. One of my parents died suddenly, so I had to pack up my whole life and move home to grieve with the rest of my family. Once I got there it was about 10 hours after we had all found out. Everyone else was done with the most shocking part of their grief, but I was not. They had already all been crying together and talking things through, meanwhile I hadn't had a chance to catch my breath.
This has escalated my MD to a completely unreasonable place. I cannot complete my tasks at work, I am falling far behind in school, and cannot keep going at this rate. I was diagnosed with a long term, low grade, depression (dysthymia) when I was 16, however, I think there must be something else going on like a PTSD piece, or at least an anxiety disorder. I'm in the process of speaking to a professional now, but everything is remote and it's been a slow slow process.
I am so to get better and to take my life back! All I want is to feel better, to make memories in my real life, and leave my worlds and characters behind.
I’m sorry to hear about the death of one of your parents, that must be awful for you and I wish you the best of luck with everything.
I can completely relate to this, it was fun when I was a kid too, but now that I’m an adult it’s much more of a hindrance that a fun thing and it’s taking over my life too.
Mine is strange in the sense that it tends to stall for a while until someone new comes into the picture and I start fantasising about this person until it fades. However in the meantime it’s horrible but strangely pleasurable and addictive at the same time.
I do have some advice for you in wanting to leave your MD and characters behind, I think you’ve got to tell yourself that what your experiencing is just that, a fantasy and that you’re never likely to meet this person and they probably aren’t even aware of you. I hope that doesn’t sound too harsh, that’s not what I want it to sound like
If you do know the person, I would still keep telling yourself that it’s a fantasy, it’s an addiction and that’s why it keeps happening, it’s not real, even though it can feel so real when your acting out the fantasy.
Also maybe try to keep telling yourself that it’s not healthy or beneficial really to be in an imaginary world all the time because it’s so time consuming and it’s really wasted time.
I hope I’ve helped you, even if it’s just a little bit.