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Maladaptive Daydreaming Disorder

Dante

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#1
I just heard this term, is excessive daydreaming really considered a disorder now??
 

Kira

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#2
I looked into this extensively a while back because I'm almost certain that I had it and looked into seeing a specialist to look into it because it was severly impacting my life in an unhealthy way. Covid prevented this from happening (seeing a therapist) and it's something that I've now moved on from. I suffered with it for years and realised that it was a very unhealthy way of existing and "coping" with reality.

I suppose it's easy to dismiss as just "daydreaming" but it's so much more than that. You can't lead a truly productive life because you're basically living an alternate reality created by your mind.

This is just my personal experience but I lived with it (on and off) for many, many years. It's not a good way to live and it's best if you can break free from it as it's just an unhealthy coping mechanism.
 

Przym

Well-Known Member
#3
Yes, I have it. Just as @Kira, said, it is an unhealthy coping mechanism that can severely impact your life. I think that this is one of the main reasons why I pretty much remained stagnant, and reclusive for my entire life - the reality of my actual existence could never live up to the fantasies I conjured in my mind. I believe it contributed to my lack of emotional maturity as well.

Though I did take comfort in finding a famous poet/philosopher who I surmised as having the same problem. His name is Fernando Pessoa. His book, The Book of Disquiet which is like a post-mortem assembly of his journal entries, thoughts, etc, clearly depict a lonely man living in semi-isolation, who lived in his head and created alter-egos for himself.
 
#4
Yes, I have it. Just as @Kira, said, it is an unhealthy coping mechanism that can severely impact your life. I think that this is one of the main reasons why I pretty much remained stagnant, and reclusive for my entire life - the reality of my actual existence could never live up to the fantasies I conjured in my mind. I believe it contributed to my lack of emotional maturity as well.

Though I did take comfort in finding a famous poet/philosopher who I surmised as having the same problem. His name is Fernando Pessoa. His book, The Book of Disquiet which is like a post-mortem assembly of his journal entries, thoughts, etc, clearly depict a lonely man living in semi-isolation, who lived in his head and created alter-egos for himself.

Fernando Pessoa is such a great poet from my country! we study him a lot and his life was so curious and amazing to me. here in Portugal, we have a tourist guide to go trough his house and where he wrote his books. if you are interested in him, i could recommend you a couple of books!
 

Auri

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#5
Huh, I didn't know about that either. I definitely had all the symptoms from the list as a teenager... with the significant exception that my daily life was still just as productive, so I wouldn't have called it a 'disorder' in my case. I can see how that may be though.
I stopped daydreaming because it started making me sad about my real life, and nowadays I believe it would bring me more anxiety than anything.
 

Dante

In the SF doghouse with Burt
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#6
I only ask because I daydream all the time, I fit every damn descriptor of this. -_- everything is a damned disorder nowadays.
 

Dante

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#7
Ok, maybe it is a mental disorder, I forced myself not to daydream for the last 6 hours and I ended up exercising, picking up an an old hobby, cleaning up the house and doing some DIY home repairs (fixing the tumble dryer), none of which I have done for over a year (except for the cleaning up, which is still rare, but more of a half-hearted once a week thing). Just 6 hours and I ended up being productive out of boredom and feeling better about myself for it. My head even feels a tiny bit clearer.

Short term is easy, but long term this is gonna suck to fix *sigh*
 
#9
it's best if you can break free from it
What's the cure?

I just heard this term, is excessive daydreaming really considered a disorder now??
I guess maybe it should be considered a disorder, if you do it enough, and it gets in the way. On the otherhand, if it is a disorder, there should also be an excessive tv watching disorder, excessive video game playing disorder, etc. Daydreaming seems like a step up compared to many of the other things one might do with one's time.
 

foreverforgotten

Quiet Observer
SF Supporter
#10
Ahhaha...*cough* I'm glad there's a name for it nowadays tbh. Been doing it since I was 11..its like 90% of my life now. I'm aware that that's unhealthy. But reality sucks...otherwise I'd be in drugs or something else.. I guess
 

Dante

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#11
Ahhaha...*cough* I'm glad there's a name for it nowadays tbh. Been doing it since I was 11..its like 90% of my life now. I'm aware that that's unhealthy. But reality sucks...otherwise I'd be in drugs or something else.. I guess
I dismissed this at first, I even made the thread as a "I dont need to take this seriously right? heh heh..." sort of thing, but after forbidding myself to daydream for an afternoon I was so damned productive compared to before that I had to admit it was a drain on my life, if only I could become a writer I would never run out of material, no seriously, have like 20 sketched out custom fantasy worlds and about 3 fully fleshed out ones with multiple cultures, politics, religions, and history and even differing physics which I have ironed out to have internal consistency, like how a universe containing 3 different layered sub-universes all with vastly different (and worked out) sets of physical laws that interact in real time would actually work, I have material for dozens of books, but I suck at narrative, so all I get is a vacant expression on my face sometimes when I visit them.

Still, no matter how fleshed out your daydream life is, 90% is a but much isnt it?
 

foreverforgotten

Quiet Observer
SF Supporter
#12
I dismissed this at first, I even made the thread as a "I dont need to take this seriously right? heh heh..." sort of thing, but after forbidding myself to daydream for an afternoon I was so damned productive compared to before that I had to admit it was a drain on my life, if only I could become a writer I would never run out of material, no seriously, have like 20 sketched out custom fantasy worlds and about 3 fully fleshed out ones with multiple cultures, politics, religions, and history and even differing physics which I have ironed out to have internal consistency, like how a universe containing 3 different layered sub-universes all with vastly different (and worked out) sets of physical laws that interact in real time would actually work, I have material for dozens of books, but I suck at narrative, so all I get is a vacant expression on my face sometimes when I visit them.

Still, no matter how fleshed out your daydream life is, 90% is a but much isnt it?
Yes it is..Maybe I could say it's more like 75%. My life is hell and I want a reset button everyday. It keeps me sane. I've had about 50+ different worlds and probably countless characters and scenarios. I don't even remember... its embarrassing tbh. This is only the 2nd time I've talked about it anywhere. I would not even bring this up with my therapist. Despite it taking up the majority of my productivity.

It helps when doing chores, dping things you hate, waking up in the morning..or tuning my mother out, or slow times at work..etc. To Just be someone else you know..? I was making an effort to stop it this year but I quit for now.

There's too much stressors going on in my life rn. I need it.
Regardless of percent, its definitely responsible for me having no friends and being alone the past 10 years.. Im ashamed of It I'm 30 years old.
 
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Dante

In the SF doghouse with Burt
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#14
I'm able to keep from daydreaming sometimes by reciting mantra. It's something for your mind to grab on to, but it's empty, so it's a kind of meditation.
Like so much else in my life, I have turned my daydreaming into a sort of tool to measure my state of mind, my persona in my daydreams changes to reflect my general wellbeing, the worse I am doing the more "tortured" my persona's backstory is, I just seem to instinctively generate something which has the same weight as I am currently feeling, even if I am not fully aware that I am feeling it.
 
#15
I wonder if you could consciously generate what your mind does in a way that represents an improvement over what you are doing now.

I think there are some videos online of rain falling for 12 hours, a river running, etc. If you could keep turning your mind back to something like that, maybe it would be better.
 

memyselfand1

University Student
#16
It’s the same with working, studying all things, if for example you are working all time and your not having time for yourself p, your friends or others relationships willl suffer. Its same daydreaming if you are doing regularly and it’s impacting on work, at home life and other things in your life its a disorder. The symptoms have got to impact in your life in some way
 

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