I use fantasy to escape my reality

Discussion in 'Mental Health Disorders' started by Pickles_, Sep 18, 2012.

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  1. Pickles_

    Pickles_ Member

    Now, you're probably reading that title thinking "Well who in the hell doesn't do that from time to time?"
    Well....I've recently lost myself in fantasy, whether it be books, movies, or TV shows. I use it to cope with things in my life that are simply impossible or beyond changing. When I'm not in my fantasy, it's business as usual, of course. I'm miserable but I realize that I have responsibilities and things that I have to do, like work and school. So my fantasy world hasn't affected me so that I ignore my real life obligations and responsibilities. But when I'm in my fantasies, I'm in absolute bliss...I literally can not be happier. But...I'm worried that, eventually, I'll start to prefer my fantasy world over my reality. What steps can I take to stop that from happening?
  2. ThornThatNeverHeals

    ThornThatNeverHeals Well-Known Member

    i know its not an ideal answer but there is no real way to explain it the way the author did, so i hope maybe you can consider reading the book "I never promised you a rose garden" by hannah green. Its about a girl who escaped in her fantasy reality until it became her sickness. it may give you ideas and insight.
  3. underwoman

    underwoman Active Member

    I understand this completely... I use games to escape reality and I love being the hero for once - not the useless and weak individual that I am... The rewards you get from gaming can be addictive, and I think I'm already at the stage of preferring my fantasy over reality..

    I suppose my advice to you is, if you really want to stop it, stop reading and watching so many movies that get you emotionally involved (this may be easier said than done). I think you are in a good position though as you still see that you have priorities in your life (work and school). This is a positive step in the right direction :) Also, maybe try becoming more invloved in social activities that get you out of the house! This might also help.. I'm sorry that I can't help you anymore.
  4. AlienBeing

    AlienBeing Well-Known Member

    I did that for a long time, a year maybe, except it wasn't books, magazines and stories, it was fantasies I created in my own head. I would look back on my life and change the story, if that makes any sense. I would pretend that I made different decisions at crucial points where things could have gone very differently if I had, and I would play out the result in my head. I became obsessed with it to the point where I became completely dysfunctional when I had been functioning well before that. I was sliding into depression at the same time but as long as I stayed in my fantasies I was still happy. It was all very strange in that I could make them seem so very real. It was like my creativity and imagination had turned into something very, very strange. I've never gone into depression in that way before. I became very concerned as my life began to unravel and I would try to stop, but I couldn't. It was like I became addicted to it. I did absolutely nothing else except lay in bed and replay old life stories and then add new endings. And then I didn't want to stop anymore. My therapist and support worker thought that I was becoming delusional because I began to recount very strange events that had happened to me in the past that I didn't handle well and made bad decisions about. Unfortunately, those events did happen though. I am not delusional about them, just sorry I handled them badly. Eventually, it seemed to burn itself out but then I became addicted to reading about suicide and depression, listening to songs about it, posting on forums about it, reading hundreds of psychiatry and psychology blogs and articles about it etc. I read every novel and biography I could find about depressed and suicidal people by googling the topic. I really liked "Like the Red Panda" and "Hold Still" by Nina LeCour. I listened to hundreds of songs about it (my favourite is "Asleep" by the Smiths). Now I mostly just post on forums and read psych articles online. I am still obsessed though. I have an obsessional quality about me even when I'm better though. I'll get obsessed over my studies and hobbies instead--deeply immersed in learning new things to the point that I lose all interest in the rest of my life, the world, relationships, job etc. but at least that's more functional. It's like the obsessions just turn dark and ugly and dysfunctional when I'm depressed. I should read that book "I Never Promised You a Rose Garden" about the woman who gets lost in fantasy. I've read everything else it seems, so why not?
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 19, 2012
  5. Zipporah29

    Zipporah29 Member

    I've been a huge fantasist for years and years. I've created whole worlds in my head, some of the stories I've written down, illustrated them, and have spent probably years in bed thinking about them. Yes, it's been excessive. And yes it's bliss. Be glad you haven't gone to that extreme and that you're still living in the real world. Let me be a warning to you :chuncky:
  6. AlienBeing

    AlienBeing Well-Known Member

    I've written a fantasy novel as well, so I guess I have gone to that extreme too. But the novel I don't regret. At least that's a concrete production from it. It's all the other useless ruminations that have wasted my life. I've thought about writing a "fictional" story about all the weird things that happened to me. Some people would know it was true, if they ever found it to read it, but most would just think it was a good story. Can't get myself focused enough to do that right now though. I have a whole stack of letters about it that I took back from my therapist to use as reminders of what happened, but I haven't used them to turn them into a book. It would be kind of like using a blog or diary to make a book.

    I would say I have totally left the real world at times too. I'm not sure if I was really happy there though. It was more like I was trying to figure out what went wrong, to solve the puzzle of my life, that if somehow I could do that, then I could make the rest of it go right. I was reliving, not just remembering, some really messed up situations and trying to figure out how I could have made them go better. I think it started when I began to run into a similar situation again and didn't know what to do about it. So I did nothing and just got depressed and started ruminating over what happened in the past with similar things. (What I'm not talking about here is the fact that I am telepathic with some people. It's kind of rare and especially rare for it to be a mutual telepathy but when I do run across one of these rare people, maybe once a decade, it's both utterly fascinating and a terrible disaster. So I go over all my experiences trying to figure out how to prevent the disaster without having to just completely hide or ignore the telepathy. I've gone back to just hiding and ignoring it now though as I just haven't been able to figure out how to use it safely. )
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 20, 2012
  7. sadguy33

    sadguy33 Banned Member

    I have a weird ability where I can striaght up use my imagination like a TV show or video game. Like when kids play swords and stuff make believe as a kid I could take it a step further and have a whole sword fight in my head with no sword or friend. Really excaping to this place is something I can only do when no one is around of course because I seem insane because I can have conversations with myself with different voices maybe changing a movie or something that I just watched. This is the first time I've ever admitted this ever but it has kept me alive because in that world is the only place I know what love is. I'm not physco or anything which is why I don't do it in front of people but when I'm bored sitting at home its what I do sometimes.

    OP as long as you are getting your work done I think its ok to live in a fantasy a little.
  8. I didn't think any one else was like that, I thought it was just me. It's nice to know you do the same thing.
  9. AlienBeing

    AlienBeing Well-Known Member

    If you look over at the description of Avoidant Personality Disorder, they say disappearing into a fantasy world is a big part of iit I find the Wikipedia description really good and right on the money, much better than many places I've read about it actually.
  10. SaraRose

    SaraRose Well-Known Member

    I do that a lot. I've found that the real world just is so boring and sad that I can't stay around long or I end up crippled with overwhelming depression. I can still function, because I go to work- and am good at my job- and still can do my stuff around the house and errands. But at the same time, I notice it's happening more and more where I just kinda end up with fantasy. :/
  11. youRprecious!

    youRprecious! Antiquities Friend

    I agree with the poster who says - as long as you are getting your work done and other responsibilities attended to - not to worry about it overmuch. I've found for my situation it has been vital, in fact, to reframe it - and have needed to use 'fantasy' a bit to get this done.
    All in all, it uses the part of our brain that we have been gifted with, but tend to be a bit wary of.....the imagination. When something needs to be re-framed in order to glean wisdom from the experience, options have to be considered.

    In fact, for those who are despairing and see no way out of their tunnel, the imagination is a very valuable tool when pointed in the right direction:)

    I remember years and years ago watching a movie - it could have been the original Walk the Line with Gregory Peck and Tuesday Weld, I am not sure.....watched it over 30 years ago.....Anyway, the story was of a very respectful gent falling head over heels with a 'wasterelle' - a girl who led him a not-so-merry chase, but he was determined to be with her....... and, of course, as fantasy goes, the imagination thought - how amazing to be absolutely loved like that when you're actually completely worthless and insincere...... and it was like the 'still, small voice' of God said to me "That's how I love you".

    Then a couple of days ago, I got in my inbox a devotional saying exactly the same thing - I'll copy it below. . Now, I know many would say - Oh God, well of course, that's just fantasy anyway........

    but, not according to Scripture it isn't. It's actually what is really real. Sometimes we need our imagination (fantasy world) to be involved in coming to understand it, and that is why I believe it's a part of our make up that has been gifted to us. In other words, we can choose our fantasies, they are not all unhealthy.

    Anyway, this is the devotional:


    "But now, this is what the LORD says — he who created you, Jacob, he who formed you, Israel: 'Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine ... Since you are precious and honoured in my sight, and because I love you, I will give people in exchange for you, nations in exchange for your life.'" Isaiah 43:1, 4 (NIV)
    My heart beats wildly. "Hurry, hurry! You'll be too late!"
    You'd think I'd never seen this movie before. But I've watched it over and over. I know the hero will come to the rescue right at the last second and demand, "She goes free!" to the captain and his crew. I know he will risk his life to save hers.
    It doesn't matter that I already know what will happen. The thrill of the pursuit and a heroic rescue sends my heart pounding every time.
    I know I'm not alone. Countless women curl up on their couches to watch the same chick flicks over and over, especially the ones in which the hero gives everything to save the girl. Like the one rescued in movies, we want to be desired, fought for — pursued. And we are.
    Our Creator and King is pursuing us, but it's so much better than the movies. He gave up His life and paid a great price to come and rescue us.
    There have been times I had seen Jesus as my savior, shepherd and friend. But it wasn't until I read these verses below, and realized the magnitude and depth of His love for me, that I saw how valuable I am to Him.
    "Don't be afraid, I've redeemed you. I've called your name. You're mine. When you're in over your head, I'll be there with you. When you're in rough waters, you will not go down. When you're between a rock and a hard place, it won't be a dead end — Because I am God, your personal God, The Holy of Israel, your Savior. I paid a huge price for you: all of Egypt, with rich Cush and Seba thrown in! That's how much you mean to me! That's how much I love you! I'd sell off the whole world to get you back, trade the creation just for you." Isaiah 43:1b-4 (The Message)
    He'd give up everything just for me? That's crazy! But that's the radical love that revolutionized my life.
    When I learned these verses, I began to see a side of Jesus I had never seen before. He pursues me. He loves me more than anything. And He wants to be my everything.
    This truth satisfied a deep longing I didn't even know I had. It was what I wanted then, and what I need to know still. This is the love that fills the gaps in my wanting heart and settles the question,"Am I valuable enough to be pursued?"
    Yes, I am. And so are you, my friend. So are you.
    Dear Lord, this part of me that wants to be pursued and rescued ... You created it. You created it to be filled by Your unconditional love. Thank You that You will never grow tired of me or stop pursing me. You want me. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

  12. Struggler_

    Struggler_ Active Member

    I'm exactly like you, TC. I play video games and read whenever I have free time, not because I'm a nerd (well, not entirely), but because they're necessary escapes for me. Probably not the healthiest, since I put off finding work, doing homework, exercising, etc. to run away from the real world, but it's something I need. The world I live in just isn't one that I'm happy with. I want to escape from it completely, into another one that I'm much more satisfied with. Maybe some of us were just born in the wrong time, in a way similar to how some people are born into the sex of one body, when they identify themselves as the gender of another. Is something like that so crazy?

    ....maybe. lol
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