Hello! Female 23. I’ve had MD since about junior year of high school I believe. It started with me just staying in my room for hours on end daydreaming about TV shows, anime, and movies. I’d imagine myself, an original character, or the canon characters in new situations. I always listen to music while doing this and walk around the room endlessly.
I’ve noticed that I’ve been able to stop MDing for a few months at a time, but once I get the opportunity it starts right back up. COVID and quarantine certainly didn’t help. Now that I’m on a break, I spend most of my time MDing (outside of getting basic chores and responsibilities done).
My MD habits sometimes interfere with schoolwork and house chores, but not to the degree that things don’t get done. I’m actually quite happy with where I’m at in life right now, but I’m embarrassed that I can spend 3-4 hours a day just daydreaming while listening to music. I know I need to get outside more, but I feel like I NEED to daydream. Like these ideas in my head HAVE to be thought out. I’ve tried writing as a way to healthily deal with MD, but I get so distracted.
I can’t tell if this is a problem, or if it’s just a weird quirk that I don’t need to worry about. I know what my triggers are, but I absolutely don’t want to sacrifice EVERY show and movie I find interesting just to stop the MD. I can’t imagine giving all of that up. It’s a long introduction, but I just wanted to get that all off my chest.
Hi! I relate to this quite a bit. One thing that helped me is that so many people have things they do for the same amount of time that I spend daydreaming that are also not necessarily productive. So many people watch hours of TV or Youtube, spend time on social media, or play video games. I find that when I'm going through a period of not daydreaming, like you mentioned, my time on social media increases - so I always have some unproductive time in my days, whether it's daydreaming or not.
I've also found that if I'm doing some running / walking, my time daydreaming alone at home goes down because I spend that run or walk listening to music and daydreaming. It helps me feel more productive but I still am thinking through stories. Writing has never worked for me either.
I am obviously not an expert (and maybe I'm partially in denial since it's been a part of my life for so long) but I feel that it's not a problem as long as it's not keeping me from enjoying real life and doing things that need to be done.
Daydreaming is generally only considered to be maladaptive if it interferes with your ability to function or causes you significant distress. You can daydream a lot, even hours every day, without it being maladaptive. Many immersive daydreamers have incredibly similar experiences to maladaptive daydreamers, but the difference is that immersive daydreaming doesn’t interfere with your ability to function.
Don't give up what you want most for what you want now.