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I Have Maladaptive Daydreaming Disorder

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  • JupiterGirl
    started a topic I Have Maladaptive Daydreaming Disorder

    I Have Maladaptive Daydreaming Disorder

    Maladaptive Daydreaming is a disorder that prevents a person from fully adjusting to their immediate environment due to excessive daydreaming that is almost constant.

    I have suffered from this disorder since I was 13. It all started when I was listening to music one day and decided I was going to jog in a circle around my room for exercise. During that process, I found myself being able to access daydreams that were very vivid, as though I was in two different worlds at once. Music played a major part in my daydreams, and I began listening to music at full volume just to make sure all other sounds were drowned out. This caused damage to my ears, and was another issue that caused depression for me throughout the years, which I had first suffered from at that age also. The main things that would really get my daydreams going were music and being physically active in some way, such as walking around, pacing, or jogging.

    Maladaptive daydreaming has been especially painful for me because although I remember the way I used to be before I developed this disorder, it isn't as though there is a switch I can flip to turn it off, and it's another thing I'm aware of within myself, so I cannot just forget how it makes me feel. The only goal that I have reached when it came to daydreaming was feeling like I was the center of attention because in my daydreams, I was/am. I can describe that feeling as giving me a "high"/"rush". It has been a very vicious cycle, especially since throughout the years, I've suffered physical damage from taking action towards my daydreams. It's like doing a drug and then coming off of it and then relapsing.

    Maladaptive daydreaming has stopped me from channeling my energy in productive ways, and I think that I've been damaged emotionally/mentally/spiritually because it hurts not to be able to accomplish things that you wish you could accomplish if you could "snap out of it". I have told my doctor about this, and they did take note for it, but we didn't go into a discussion about ways to help me. I was put on antidepressants at the time and that was 7 months ago. I haven't been back to the doctor since then. I was supposed to go for a follow-up appt., but I do have one scheduled for this month. However, I have spoken to a social worker about therapy and he disregarded my disorder and kept telling me that "a lot of people daydream". He wasn't really understanding that my condition is something I can't help and is something that goes on during all hours of the day and not just when I'm bored or "feeling like it" or when I need inspiration. I think it is linked to ADD and a few other disorders I haven't specifically researched. I think this disorder feeds my ego a lot and I don't like that, and I really want more people to be aware of this and that there are people that have it. I think it's easy for people to think that this is bologni because everyone daydreams, but too little of the population is aware that it can be done unconsciously and without thought for an ongoing period of time. I think that it should be able to be diagnosed and that more doctors and therapists should study this for ways to help people and to find cures. Sometimes I wonder if I had medication for ADD if it would stop, but I would have to discuss that with my doctor.

    I am 20 now and I do still suffer from this, but I do not wear earbuds because I think I have sensitive ears regardless of the volume. I choose to wear headphones, and I refuse to turn my volume up all the way. It really is such a weird thing to tell people... It's so odd and uncommon that I felt embarrassed for so long to reach out to anyone, even professionals. I am also able to be active for my health while listening to music without daydreaming. I can just focus on how the song makes me feel and on my body and not a scenario I've come up with in my head even though when I'm at home, I do daydream while pacing/walking around. No one except my older brother knows about this, and he has listened well to me. I hope that one day, I have the courage to let the world know.

  • Popcorn&Candy
    replied
    I agree with jns: action should reduce it.

    Leave a comment:


  • jns
    replied
    I find that daydreaming can be fun but it is incompatible with trying to get something done. If I get working from almost the time I get up, I do not get into a daydreaming state. Action seems to be the cure for me. A busy schedule helps.

    Do you have a lot of time in your schedule to daydream or are you usually on a tight schedule with only occasional breaks?

    Leave a comment:


  • JupiterGirl
    replied
    Update: I was not listening to music at full volume in my ears for months. During that time, there were no headphones or earbuds in the house that I live in. When I began exercising daily, I decided to buy headphones. I don't remember why, but I probably slipped up and so, I got rid of those, too. One day, at the beginning of the year, I found earbuds in my house. Since then, I have been listening to them at full volume.

    On the inside, I am not ashamed of this disorder and the side affects of it because I understand it. But I live every day like I am ashamed because I have not been listened to, even when I took the steps to reach out and ask for professional help. I was denied. I always imagine the outcome of me telling someone about this. I am embarrassed. I am damaged. I just imagine people being in shock if they were to hear about this.

    My thoughts are all over the place. I want to enlist in the military, but I am afraid I will not be able to make it out without failing because I was not able to concentrate well enough. I fear that, but I don't want to and I do try to think more positively. But realistically, it is very hard for someone like me to do so.

    Every day, I am sad about all of the time that I have wasted while I was daydreaming. I went to the doctor recently and when she asked me if there were any more problems I would like to discuss, I told her no because if I were to be diagnosed with ADD/ADHD, OCD, or another disorder, I would not be able to go into the military.

    I really don't know what to do. I assume that people would tell me to do what is best for my health and to seek help. But I would be so upset if I were not able to live out this dream of mine. People don't understand how I feel. I feel so misunderstood, lonely, and hurt, physically and mentally. It hurts to know that you are hurting yourself and every single time you do, you feel like you just have to deal with it.

    Leave a comment:


  • JupiterGirl
    replied
    Originally posted by Popcorn&Candy View Post
    I don't have your condition but I do do a lot of daydreaming. I use my imagination to write stories: have you ever considered dealing with your daydreaming by putting it onto paper? That might make it easier to deal with. Turning faults/problems/issues into something creative - even painting - does help with everything from mental health to physical health. Just an idea.
    I do create a lot, but the disorder makes it hard for me to concentrate and stay focused. I can do it, but it's not always easy. I use my imagination as an outlet, but when it comes to Maladaptive Daydreaming, it's not a very healthy imagination.

    Leave a comment:


  • Popcorn&Candy
    replied
    I don't have your condition but I do do a lot of daydreaming. I use my imagination to write stories: have you ever considered dealing with your daydreaming by putting it onto paper? That might make it easier to deal with. Turning faults/problems/issues into something creative - even painting - does help with everything from mental health to physical health. Just an idea.

    Leave a comment:


  • JupiterGirl
    replied
    Originally posted by amy40 View Post

    yes, thanks for sharing

    looked it up since I had never heard of this
    ​​the one article said there is a medicine for OCD that has been shown to be helpful in pts with maladaptive daydreaming
    you may want to discuss trying a medication with your physician
    Thanks for reading. Maybe that would help!

    Leave a comment:


  • JupiterGirl
    replied
    Originally posted by Stillness View Post
    Thanks for sharing this, Jupiter. I've never heard of this, but it makes sense that it's an issue some deal with. It's interesting.

    Did the antidepressants work? Have you been able to do anything that improves the situation - like any exercises when you catch yourself daydreaming?
    You're welcome! I'm glad I shared it. I was only on antidepressants for a month. I don't give the antidepressants credit. I give myself credit because I felt like I was transitioning into a better place in my life at the time, so I think I was in a better mood. So, I can't really say if the antidepressants worked for me or not. I think that turning the volume down on my music and just constantly reminding myself to put my priorities first has helped to ground me. Not that it's been easy because I have come a really long way. Being out in nature; doing things to help balance my root chakra help me, even though making those decisions sometimes can be hard.

    Leave a comment:


  • amy40
    replied
    Originally posted by JupiterGirl View Post
    Sometimes I wonder if I had medication for ADD if it would stop, but I would have to discuss that with my doctor.
    .
    yes, thanks for sharing

    looked it up since I had never heard of this
    ​​the one article said there is a medicine for OCD that has been shown to be helpful in pts with maladaptive daydreaming
    you may want to discuss trying a medication with your physician

    Leave a comment:


  • Stillness
    replied
    Thanks for sharing this, Jupiter. I've never heard of this, but it makes sense that it's an issue some deal with. It's interesting.

    Did the antidepressants work? Have you been able to do anything that improves the situation - like any exercises when you catch yourself daydreaming?

    Leave a comment:

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