Hello everyone! First off, it's so comforting to find this forum and discover that many people also experience this strange internal phenomenon!
What I wanted to ask those who are perhaps more experienced than me with their understanding of MD is what makes the daydreaming maladaptive? I'm if it's really what I'm experiencing; I will explain my situation for insight:
I am an only child and grew up in a quiet place with not much to do, therefore I used my imagination a lot to play and find entertainment especially as a younger child. This is normal, of course, but then I did something strange during my highschool years. I created a profile on an online game acting as a boy for some reason (I am a girl). I won't go into so much detail in this post but basically, that character I created years ago (I'm 23 now) has stuck with me, despite no longer playing the game, and grown to the point where he has a whole life and friends, feelings, aspirations etc., all in my head. What's more, I don't imagine, or wish, I am him or any of the characters for that matter. I am more of an onlooker to the dreams, I am never involved, just the creator of what happens to my made up characters. I create stories for all the characters now as well, not just the boy.
As many people have said, it is addictive immersing myself in these stories. Although I still live my life quite functionally. I'm in a loving long-term relationship, about to finish my degree, holding down a part-time job and maintaining friendships in the real world. However, I look forward to quiet moments alone, such as the half hour train ride to and from work or the moments before I go to sleep, to daydream and return to this other world. I get a lot of comfort from creating this other world and will often choose to daydream about it instead of other more productive things. That being said, I still have a fair amount of control over when I do it.
So there we go. I tried to be brief but honestly, after years of holding this all to myself I just want to get it all out to people who understand! Please let me know your thoughts on whether I'm actually maladaptive daydreaming as I'm still unsure!
From what you have said your daydreams do not seem to be too maladaptive. If you are able to connect to your significant other and friends while also somewhat enjoying the work and school you do, it sounds to me that you have a generally healthy life and you are progressing forward. Daydreaming becomes maladaptive when it is a leading force that prohibits further growth or acheivement in likely multiple areas of life. Maybe you are not as productive as you could be and you spend more time daydreaming than some, still, I would say that you are on a pretty good track as it is compared to at least some of us hardcore daydreamers at the moment. Also, if it is something that brings you genuine joy to do and you have decent control of when you do it, I think it is a fine way for you to spend some time. Perhaps you can share about it to other people in your life if you have not already so they can understand this part of you.