Hello! I’m new here! I found a link to this forum while searching for advice on how to stop MD. I’ve been daydreaming since childhood, like many of you here from what I’ve seen. However it’s hard to pinpoint what caused it, seems like one day i just started doing it for fun I guess. I don’t really have any trauma that might have caused it. Recently though i reflected more on this and noticed that it has become my coping mechanism, especially with stress since i’m a student and have a lot of important decisions and exams coming up.
Honestly i never really thought this was a problematic thing to have! After reading a lot of your stories i was surprised that it could become something that can ruin lives. I usually don’t really feel the urge to daydream during the day or while doing boring activities, however i take my dog out for 1 hour walks multiple times a day and this is when i go to my alternate universes. Before the pandemic i would do it while commuting too. Also while going to sleep, literally every night for years. Usually it helps me fall asleep, but recently it kept me from having a normal sleep schedule. I can’t sleep for hours and then i can’t get up for hours because once again i’m caught up in my daydream. I’m lucky to have better and worse days thankfully and to have at least some control over this. Still, i wish i could shift my focus to something else to not have this urge follow me whatever i do. I doesn’t help that i have undiagnosed ADHD and i’m struggling to carry out normal tasks anyway.
On the other hand i can’t imagine myself without doing it? Like what do normal people think about?? Normal every boring stuff like eating lunch?? Seems like really boring life. I wish there was like a middle point where it’s just okay.
I will gladly accept any form of advice, especially when it comes to to getting out of bed since i have been getting behind on a enormous amount of my work because of this. I have some triggers in media that give me the urge to do it but can usually stop those. My biggest one is probably music and walking, but i can’t neglect my doggo. I tried listening to podcasts instead but my mind still finds a way to integrate that into a daydream >_>
Thanks a lot for reading and i wish you a good night/day!
It's important to understand that everyone daydreams at least to some extent. Many non-MDers even daydream a large portion of the day. What differentiates maladaptive daydreaming from regular, normal daydreaming is how much it interferes with your ability to function. MD is maladaptive simply because it interferes with your ability to function, often in areas like work/school or interpersonal relationships.
The goal of recovery would be to simply regain a balance between real life and daydreams so that you can daydream and still be a functional person. Daydreaming is important for creativity, problem-solving, and the occasional escape from reality, and you wouldn't want to stop it completely.
Don't give up what you want most for what you want now.
orangecaramel Don't worry! I first started MD in my early years of childhood, when I mist definitely didn't experience any form of trauma. But then as I progressed through my teenage years (and still now as I'm 17) it helps me cope with any traumatic events or I just use it maladaptively as a coping mechanism. I actually think I first started MD when I would watch television with my mum and sister. I found myself obsessed with certain characters, so I would day dream about them...
Fast forward to the present and my characters have changed slightly. I don't daydream about anyone/anything else. 'They' are just there when I need them.
Just like you, I struggle with coming to terms with MD. It's a comforting mechanism but obstructive when it takes up too much time of my day.
I don't really have any advice, but I hope this comforts you into knowing you're not alone x
Hi... I can relate to what you said very much, and also have been trying to figure out "acceptable" level of daydreaming. I do think there is, and what has been helping is making certain times of the day have firm no daydreaming boundaries. One of those times is first thing in the morning and while driving to work. If I can start day being present, and in my case praying/reflecting on what I'm grateful for in my actual life, then I can mostly go through the workday being present in reality.
I am a walker also, and also tried podcasts but found them too rambling /wordy/frustrating. I have a walking friend now so that has helped of course, and sometimes I decide at the start of the walk to make phone calls to people I want to stay in touch with. Sometimes I try to focus on birds, trees etc, in nature, and that can make me pretty happy. At least half of the time walking is when I let myself have my mental stories.
I'm not talking about no daydreaming at all.. that would backfire anyway. But by postponing for awhile, it has helped me reduce the total time in my dream world from 8 or so hours a day in 2019 to about 1 hour now. Also, it is easier for me now to say no when the opportunity arises to talk to an actual person. You mentioned your dog, and my cat actually helps me stay present. This is a work in progress for sure, and by trying different things you will probably find things that help you.
I have been reading a book "The Highly Sensitive Person" and it totally describes me, and I suspect it describes a lot of us with MDD. One of the traits is a "rich inner life." That made me chuckle! You could call it that! It has been helping me to accept who I am and work with it.