I started daydreaming when I was really young, I was about four maybe five. My best friend and I used to watch a show together and we'd act it out, and make up our own scenarios. We became the characters and we'd talk as we felt they would.

I was outgoing when I was younger, from 5 all the way up to 10. My friend didn't go to the same school as me and this acting out/daydreaming never bothered me in school, so it only really happened when I was at home. She lived next door to me.

Well after a while I moved across the country (Though it's Ireland and it's small, I haven't seen her in years.) and I never seemed to grow out of it. For me it was something little kids did, so I was embarrassed that I couldn't shake it. Instead of outright acting it out, it seemed to retreat to my head. I didn’t act it out as much as imagine it.

I became shyer and over time developed anxiety. Most of my current problems are to do with social anxiety to be precise. I also have to deal with other familial, financial and broken home problems on a daily basis, which is just fuel for stress. So, my daydream became my escape. The daydreams can be caused by anything, a movie, book, anime (especially so), TV show and real life scenarios.

By that I mean I can put my earphones in, play a song and all these different scenarios just flood into my head. I usually just pace my room (or the upstairs if no one is home) as I listen to music, the song doesn’t have to do with anything, but sometimes it seems to really matter if the song matches the scene I set. Or I can just stop what I’m doing and lie in bed and the scenarios flood in, occasionally as the character I pick as my main giggles I might giggle, or as they cry I might mimic without even realising it. These things could last for hours. Even with music I can do it in the car on long journeys (I’m not a driver so it’s safe) or in school before the teacher comes. This also doesn’t seem to bother my grades, I’m a A-B student.

I might watch something new and take a liking to a character and I could spend weeks or months imagining scenes for that show, maybe based around that character. Sometimes I mash a new thing with an ‘old thing’ I daydreamed about. Very rarely I’d put myself into a daydream revolving around fictional works, but yes sometimes I do. Or I could imagine tomorrow or what I’ll say and do, but never do it, because I’m daydreaming about something else. Eventually I started writing and drawing, I had so many ideas I just had to write them down or express them in some way. I grew to love writing and used my daydreams as a tool to create stories.

I’m fourteen now. At first I thought I was the only one, I thought there was something seriously wrong with me. I was even afraid to search in case I got nothing, but my curiosity got the better of me. I knew it wasn’t schizophrenia because I knew these are just daydreams and fantasies. If my attention is one-hundred percent grabbed by something or I’m with a friend I can momentarily shove it away. I found people who also experience this. Maladaptive Daydreaming.

I’m still embarrassed to say it to anyone I know. In fact I’m afraid to. I go to a councillor for my social anxiety already, but I’ve heard Maladaptive Daydreaming isn’t something that’s fully classed as a disorder YET, so I don’t want to mention it. Awareness is being made though, so I wanted to contribute my experiences with this behaviour. Should I bring it up or tell someone?
MaladaptiveDayDreamer MaladaptiveDayDreamer
16-17, F
Aug 28, 2014