I never realized that daydreaming as a form of escapism could be harmful until quarantine. I've daydreamed before falling asleep my entire life - one of my earliest memories is this ongoing 'daydream' I had about Simba and Nala, after watching the lion king for the first time - I looked forward to going to bed (and I still do) just so I could have peace and quiet to daydream - this I believe is quite normal, and a lot of people do it. My problem started a few years ago when I began dragging my daydreams into my daily life. Over the last year, maybe two, I've spent every free moment in a daydream - I avoid conversation so i can dream, and i purposefully isolate myself to do so.
It has become a problem now I've began to base my daydreams on my real life - creating a character of who I'd like to be, who I'd like to be in my life etc, and I think this is prohibiting me from BECOMING this person i dream about being.
Its also pushing me from my friends and family. This is embarrassing to admit, but I often dream about certain celebrities, or people i admire, being my parents, or brothers or sisters. It has made me believe my real family is boring and inadequate.
It always ends in intense feelings of embarrassment and shame.
I've started daydreaming on runs, walks with my family, whilst watching TV, in online school. I often catch myself replying with words or expressions to conversations going on in my head out loud, which is embarrassing.
I spend overly long amounts of time doing repetitive actions such as cleaning or stretching, just so I can daydream at the same time.
Every now and then I come to the realisation I am just dreaming and its not reality and it makes me feel very low, very unmotivated. I'm stuck between a rock and a hard place.
I think the biggest trigger is music - I have certain playlists in which I know every song will trigger a daydream, and if it doesn't, I struggle to enjoy it. Which sucks, because I cant tell if I love music for being music, or for helping me daydream.
Is this maladaptive daydreaming or am I just being dramatic? and either way - how can i stop????