I'm glad to have found this forum. I've been telling myself a story since I was around seven years old or so (currently 42), but I hadn't realized how common the experience is. I had heard Kati Morton talk about maladaptive daydreaming on YouTube and wanted to learn more about it. I wasn't sure whether my daydreaming could be classified as "maladaptive" because it wasn't sure how it had affected my life. That's difficult to see when you're still in the thick of it. I can see how parts of it may affect my life and how I interact with others, and I know (back when I had very little to do at work) I would spend a lot of time there daydreaming.
Odd for a coping mechanism, my daydreaming tends to go away when I'm REALLY depressed. I reach for it for reassurance, but it's not there. I also noticed that it went away noticeably when I started taking Pristiq. I even mentioned it to my psychiatrist--my ability to picture things was just about gone. This medication has also affected my memories, to the point where they're so distant they don't seem to be mine. After hearing about MD, I decided to see what happened if I started taking less of the medication...and I noticed that the daydreams started happening more. That might just be me and how I react to medication, so I wouldn't say that's a "cure."
And now I'm about how daydreaming more or less will affect my life and my ability to focus. Hm. In any case, learning about MD has made me curious and made me notice more when it's happening. And that's where I am, at this point.
Maladaptive daydreaming is usually some form of a coping mechanism and you're right about how for many MDers, it gets worse when they're depressed. Personally, while I do get the urge to daydream more when I'm depressed, it is often harder for me to really daydream when depressed. This is especially true when the depression is caused by some kind of setback.
For example, this past week I was supposed to go to the doctor for a physical, but I had a panic attack so bad in the lobby that I literally ran out of the building and canceled the appointment. I had a pretty intense depressive episode afterward, and as usual it caused it to become harder for me to daydream. Most likely because the difference between my real life self and my daydream self becomes so apparent that I just... can't daydream because I'm so upset that I'm not that person. I want to daydream to escape reality, but I can't because I just had unequivocal proof shoved in my face that I'm not even close to being the person I am in my daydreams. It's somewhat strange, but you're not alone in having a hard time daydreaming when you're depressed :)
Don't give up what you want most for what you want now.