I'm Caro, 25 from Germany. I randomly stumbled across the term maladaptive daydreaming on instagram. After googling it, I realized I'm doing this since I was 11 or so. I think I always know this is not normal and I am not doing myself a favor with it, espacially since there a phases where I daydream about really stuff. I love and hate them at the same time and I just can't stop.
Their intensity comes and goes and they are mostly related to specific persons. The older I got the more they were related to being in an relationship with the person of the recent focus - does anybody else have daydreams in the same way? Up to now I haven't really found out what my triggers are, and I really daydream in a wide variety of situations from just sitting alone in my room (with and without music) while walking, sometimes while watching TV and so one.
Recently I'm again in a bad/intensive phase where I do more daydreaming than anything else, so bad that I cannot concentrate and study properly, however this kinda encouraged me to finally start doing something against it and wanting to control my daydreams, but at the same time it freaks the hell outta me. I feel like I wasted the last 15 years of my life and I don't really feel like knowing how I am...
Figuring out your triggers is always a good first step because it helps you become more aware of your daydreaming. Often, maladaptive daydreaming is used as a coping mechanism for any kind of experience that we find unpleasant or uncomfortable--this can be anything from mild boredom to low self esteem to mental illnesses such as anxiety or depression.
Because it's so often used as a coping mechanism, teaching yourself to use other coping skills such as exercise, journaling, or mindfulness can be beneficial in lowering the amount you feel you need to rely on daydreaming.
Don't give up what you want most for what you want now.