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It's My Get Away...

I have suffered from Maladaptive Daydreaming (md) for about 7 years but it didn't get to its peak until about 5 years ago. Although I have always...I guess some people would say "lived in my own little world" I never thought of it as an obsession until I was about 13 and it got really bad. I daydream about a lot of things, to many to mention. A lot of people don't know what MD is. It is over-excessive daydreaming. It's like an addiction, like drugs and alcohol. It interferes with you day to day living and its very hard to control. It messes with your sleep as well for some people like myself. I can easily lay in bed at night and daydream for hours and hours and lose out on a lot of sleep. Its not just something that happens at night tho. It can happen anytime or anywhere no matter who or what is around. One thing I have found is that once you've started it is very very hard to stop. A lot of people with md daydream for hours and hours with no problems, except not getting things done. Md is just recently being acknowledged and studied. Nobody knows what causes it yet and there are not't any real medications that are specifically for md. There are lots of triggers that can make you start daydreaming. My biggest one is music. Every time I hear music I just start daydreaming. My next biggest one is being alone. I pretty much daydream all the time unless I am sleep then I just dream.  I daydream when I shower, when I am in a car, alone, listening to music, watching TV, cleaning, working, doing school work, spending time with my family...really just most of the time. I know I have said negative things about md but there are good things that come with it to. A lot of people with md..I'd say most of them are very creative and have some sort of an outlet  for that creativity. Some people paint, some people make music, and some people write. I used to write and it was very easy for me to fill up composition journals with 50-100 words on a line because I write very small. I stopped daydreaming for a little while but then got back into it but havn't written much since. Anyways I would like to say if anyone has any questions for me about MD then just let me know and I will do my best to answer them for you. Thank you for reading and have a great day.
blownaway20 blownaway20 18-21, F 43 Responses Nov 27, 2010

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I have it to. :( it makes me feel happy

Hi, i'm 14 years old, and i think i've been daydreaming for longer than i can remember... Since i was old enough to think, i guess. But i never knew it was a disorder until recently. I just... Is it bad? I'm scared. I can never focus on anything for long and it is destroying my life. I want to write everything down, but i can't even do THAT. I daydream all the time, in the car, at school, during meals, showers, during actual CONVERSATIONS(although i try to avoid them so i can daydream more intensely, it is frustrating). I just realised how, lately, i have begun subconsciously imitating my characters gestures, sometimes even mouthing their lines, and these daydreams get in the way of everything! How can i make them stop? I mean, i don't think i could actually cope with their abscence... My fictional worlds and stories and characters are more real than anything else to me already, and it scares me. I use my characters to deal with all my pent-up emotions, all the lack of socialization, i am dead scared of talking to people or being around them because i know how weird i am, everyone tells me that, i just... Don't know what to do. I have an important exam this summer... And i can't concentrate. But i'm so sad and my daydreams are the only things that can make it better, yet also the things that make it worse... I don't know what to do, i'm depressed and scared and i wish i could disappear forever in my little universes. In my books. I love reading. I love words. And i love my characters. But i want to concentrate for my exam... I'm just so alone. I know i'll never be happy with someone because the real people i know can never live up to the people in my dreams, even though some of my characters are actually BASED on these real people. What do i do?

the only time a daydream is when I'm moving, mostly anyway. You should try to make a schedule, like for example I let myself daydream before I go to sleep for as long as I want (mostly around three hours), on the way to school and sometimes when I watch series if I want to. I try to never daydream when I'm amongst people, (if they are boring it can happen anyway, but I try to concentrate and listen to what they are saying) or when I'm studying. fill your brain with other stuff so that you don't have a chance to daydream and can concentrate. when I study I always try to think "this is fun and interesting" (even though its not). Set limits, and train your brain when and where you are allowed to daydream.

and what you said about people not being able to live up to your characters, i totally get that. but since i know my characters through and through they become predictable in some ways, you know how they think and how they will react to things. But people can me unpredictable, my friends for example think differently from me and give me different perspective on things, there funny to and since I think a lot (I don't only make up story's) I can often share my toughs with them. It helps talking about it, and its interesting to since my toughs can be pretty random.

So all you have to do is find people that you can have fun with, and try not to compare them with the people around you. other alternatives are activity, sports, art ecs.

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today is the first time I am hearing the term "MD" ,seems like i am having it for 20+ years. Symptoms are the same you have described. I think it is a bit of problem but definitely not something you should take medicine for. Things that we can do to reduce it is never try to snap out just ease out when you find yourself doing it, try to paint the scenario or put it down in words . Every time I try to do a "hard reset" it is stressful. Now whenever I find myself doing it I just laugh at myself and try to think of it as a funny thing , this is helping me a lot .
Maybe this is a tremendous gift of creativity , I mean seriously how many people can create complex worlds , weave intricate plots , fashion alternate realities ,fantasy characters , roleplays in a fraction of a second in their heads and yet can tell difference between reality and imagination , but like every powerful ability this too comes with a big catch and we are left wasting a huge amount of time and real world experiences not to mention hating the real life .
PS: Sorry for the rant and bad grammer. It feels so amazing to read stories similar to mine and I say this from the bottom of my heart , I love you guys and hope we find inner peace.

how do you get over it.....if it gets out of control..

i have the same problem sort of....sometimes when i am alone or cleaning my room i pretend these imaginary fairy people are my friends and i have powers and i am a designer i know they aren't real it stopped for a while and then it came back...i know its kinda lame....i have a lot of friends but they aren't always over so yeah.....and when i was feeling sad i would tell those people what happened and i imagined they comforted me......but from this i discovered i love drawing and writing....i am not that good but improving

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Thanks for sharing your story, quite taken aback to see that it's almost reflection of my life!
Kindly share the most important aspect.... how you have overcomed the situation and what should we do now to focus back on our real life and restart our life .....

I just had a really weird night and I started to look up why I keep doing these things like pretending and imagining things that small children do... I didn't realize their where other people like me that suffered too. It makes me feel less crazy and less alone :)

I have a simular problem. The thing is I don't like my daydreams, they are about horrible things. I only get them at night, before bed. And once they start they don't stop. When I finally fall asleep, they turn into nightmares. When I wake up I get a break. I wake up late because I don't get sleep with them. Please Help!

I feel your pain I sometimes have these types of daydreams. I watch American Horror Story and couldn't sleep for days I thought I was going crazy. Its like the monsters that you see on television etc., your mind tricks you into believing they are your monsters and that they are going to hurt you. Its weird because I logically understand that isn't true that the stories in my head are not true but it feels so real. Just know you have a friend if you need one :) Keep your head up!!!

I have it too, it started a little after my parents divorced, then when my house burnt done it went out of control. I go into a world as I swing on a swing and pretend it's okay. Or I pretend people or characters from a movie, game, etc. are with me and I interact with them but I change my appearance a little bit. This can go on for hours. Am I crazy?

I daydream a lot, sometimes my feelings get involved sometimes cry for my character it weird. Like my personality change like I become the character. I try to stop but the character would still be in my head so I write turn it into a helps I think or maybe it makes it worse not sure. Thanks for your story I thought I was the only one.

ill be putting another post on here'll be about how I started managing my MD better and I'm hoping it helps some of you to start managing your MD.

I'm pretty sure I've suffered from this since about third grade, when my mom was severely depressed and my parents had a lot of problems. However, it became terrible when they finally divorced. I couldn't control it anymore, I would go outside with my ipod and swing on our swing set from 4 (when i got home from school) to 9 or 10 at night when I would go to sleep. Everyday. Even when temperatures dropped to below 10 degrees, i would bundle up and go daydream. I needed my daydreaming so badly, I would do anything to be able to swing and listen to music. This was a huge gateway to my problems academically and socially all throughout high school. Entering freshman year, instead of swinging, I would lock myself in my room and bounce on a yoga bouncing ball while looking in the mirror and listening to music. I have lost so much time with my family and friends because of it, I want more than anything for this daydreaming I have to go away. I had terrible study skills all throughout high school, I never focused or did my homework because I was too busy day dreaming in my room alone about **** that didnt matter. My grades suffered for it, as did my self respect. All my time was spent daydreaming. My daydreams were mainly me being great at everything, being really popular, having really good grades, everything perfect in my life. Now, I was not super unpopular, nor did I have terrible grades (except a D freshman year in geometry because I NEVER did my homework, too busy daydreaming) and my friends felt like a burden to me because i found my daydreaming to be more fun than spending time with them. Relationships with everyone in my life, especially myself have suffered because of this. Sooo what happened when senior year came around? College applications were a *****. What else can you expect for someone who's spent the last 4 years living in la la land while everyone else was learning math, science, history and things that would help them in the world. I feel like I never reached my full potential due to my daydreaming and now that I'm about to go to college (thank God a University saw potential in me) it needs to STOP. I cannot handle it anymore, I want to live in the real world with people not in my head where its NOT REAL. I want a life. I've narrowed my two main triggers down: 1. Music 2. Social Media (facebook primarily). But seriously, if anyone out there has successfully beaten this thing, where i dont live because im daydreaming all the time, help me!!!!!! oh and sorry for the novel, i had to get it out

Its been 3 days i am trying to stop day dreaming..
its kinda hard some time watching TV triggers day dream but i tried to control ..had few relapse but in middle found me day dreaming.. i always felt something is wrong with me .felt suicidal all the time
now i had left my studied i be 25 in 2 months and hadn't achieved a single thing
have no friends.. literally if i look at me i feel disgusting.. i m sick of all this..
most of time i sleep or watch TV.. or eat

Me too, I just sit,eat,sleep, and course take care of hygenie but I lonely most of the time I mean I have siblings but they say I am weird. They got there family I got no friends, or relationship i,'be been daydream since I was five I started my own world it changed and got more realistic over time that when my feeling got involved. Sometime when I am depressed I got to be careful cause my imagination makes up dangerous images (what if this would happen). I am 24 so don't feel so bad your not alone poojan :) our minds is just more creative then most it almost dangerous. :) I like it.

I have been daydreaming since childhood but as years go by the worse they get and im almost 20. I have tried to stop and actually have succeeded for about a month or two! Ok I had a few relapses but I didn't do it everyday. How? Mega self-control and prayer. But I think we all can agree that if we get to the point of fed up we can give ourselves a break. But it never truly stops. It's always in the back of my mind and the strong craving to daydream pulls me and sometimes I've cried cause it was so hard not to so I give in. I've been lonely, overwhelmed with life and the ache of anxiety just keeps me locked into my dreams. I have creativity to write and see things at an angle that many do not see and I know dreams are a factor in me having that ability. But to me that is not a pro. I want these dreams gone but I think we all can agree that when your not dreaming its like your mind is silent and I'm never comfortable with that feeling either. I think how can I live with not seeing and hearing all this in my head? I feel like an ordinary person, and I don't know how to live that way since MD sets me apart from everyone else and most importantly it is my escape to this world that I know I will never fit into. Some think MD is for those who had a traumatic childhood but that is not the case with me. I have great parents, amazing friends, and a balanced social life. But it is what I feel inside that no one can comfort (which I'm never really sure what that is) that keeps me going to dream because when I dream my world isn't as bad anymore then when I stop the reality is just as I left it so I must do it again.

i think this day dreaming syndrome was caused due to being lonely for so long. i practically live in my world and i often feel belonged in my dreams. some of my dreams are helping friends and family and changing this world to a better place. nonetheless i dream of being rich, so i could get out of this miserable life and travel the world.
my day dreaming starts practically when I sleep, i guess its because that's the only time I'm alone without any distraction. i try to control it sometimes, although its difficult. I'm also suffering from lucid dreaming which makes the process even harder. i don't want my life to drift away from reality, coz you will become more vulnerable when you had to face an unfortunate incident. Day dreaming is healthy for a creative mind and it will help you research for information and shed light to some new avenues of thinking for remedy.

Hi :)
Like most of the other people here i too ( i think) suffer from this..
i always day dream about being the umm.... alpha-male of sorts :s its hard to type this out but i kinda make up situations in my head where i am the hero for instance if i see a soccer player score a goal on TV, i'd make up a story about how im this player who pulls off some crazy skills and scores a goal and everybody cheers etc etc.. i know it sounds reeeally stupid but i'm really frustrated with my inability to control this and there are many other instances as well, i hope you understand what i'm talking about

how do you think i should go about this? i mean i heard most people with MD have a traumatic past, mine isn't so! i have lovely parents and an amazing bunch of friends
... does that make my case worse ? :s

pleeease help i'm just 18 and i will be going to college in a few months and desperately want to leave this **** behind

Little of daydreaming is not maladaptive and I think this is your case. At some point of time everyone dreams of some fantasy and daydreams like your are perfectly normal everyone dreams of being the hero at some point.
we, the people with MD case is lot worse and different. You can read the stories around here to get what I am trying to say.

I might suggest you to let be. You are perfectly normal. Little daydreaming is quite healthy in mundane lives and also act as a motivation.

Santaclaus - you don\'t say how often you daydream, but you do say that you have no control over it and you are \"desperate\" to leave it behind. To me, that really indicates that you do have a problem.

We humans have a tendency to deny we have problems, especially with something that gives us escape, release and pleasure (the way daydreaming does.) the fact that you yourself feel that there is something wrong is probably the best indication that there is an issue. Trust your instinct.

PS - I have very similar fantasies to you. That I am a rock star, or a Nobel Prize winner, or pull off an amazing performance at the Olympics. I suspect that this is not uncommon for some people with MD.

Even I have got a knack for writing. Writing poems since very young age. I write excellent articles and speech my teachers highly appreciate me.
I woud love to maintain more contact with you so we can discuss further.

I am new to the group. Please read my story also I am aound your age. Just turned 17. It has been worse for me since few years. It was there since childhood but past years have been a torture. It has taken away my 'present'

Hi. I am really sorry I haven\'t replied to you yet. I\'m not on her a lot anymore. If u still would like to talk message me.

Music is a big trigger for me too. In school one of my teachers sometimes plays music whilst we are working which is a bad move for me because I just drift off into my fantasy world, especially if its a male singer. That may sound unusual as I'm a girl that when I daydream my 'character' if you like, is always a boy. I'm not sure if anyone else is the same but maybe its because I'm trying to get as far away from reality as possible.
This post was a really interesting read as my DD is so similar to yours, hope everything is going ok for you.

Hi sorry its taken me so long to reply to your post I don\'t get on here as much anymore. I\'ve daydreamed myself as a guy too. Sometimes I feel trapped as myself in my daydream and if I\'m a guy it opens a whole new world of possibilities.

I have never been formally diagnosed, but found this out via another thread on "when I'm alone I pretend to be someone else" and the alike. It's me to a T, I'm balling my eyes out. It really IS something! <br />
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I always did this since childhood, but it hit hard when I started HS. I still do it. I'm 25. TWENTY FIVE. This is hitting 15+ years of never having MY OWN LIFE. Just the one in my head. I've had no real social life, I can't drive, I don't have a job, I've never had a relationship, etc. I have no idea where to begin in trying to stop it. I read of triggers, so that's where I'm going to begin and remember it is a disorder I'm not just 'effed up.' <br />
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I wish the medical community knew more. I've seen doctors for ages, most of which never took this seriously because I know the difference between reality and fantasy. This has consumed so much of my life. The memories, when I've tried (years ago) to look in the mirror and say "they don't exist, you aren't who you think you are" I cried hysterically. You become so attached and in love with these amazing creations. It's like, stopping makes me think how nuts I am and how much heartbreak I'll suffer over created-memories and characters. <br />
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All seriousness aside, we should all just be writers or actors, lol. <br />
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Off the jokes, everyone just take some deep breaths. Someday we'll figure this out. I do enjoy it, but it greatly has limited my life and led me to getting drunk to relive it very manically. I drink way too much and I have no life. I have found cooking and exercising are two things that are easiest to 'avoid it' as I'm very busy mentally and physically. However, listening to music is the absolute worst, as is sitting alone (like I am 24-7, living in a rural area with elderly family).

I remember the first time I found a post online about it. It felt amazing. Id felt so alone for so long and then...I just wasnt! Im really happy that you found my post and others like it. Talking to people with this same issue has definately helped me. There are alot of websites that talk about it as well if you want to learn more. Just go to google and type in Maladaptive Daydreaming. If you ever want to talk just send me a message.

Rbj3911 - THIS IS EXACTLY HOW I FEEL! I cannot describe how... glad I am to find somebody else with these exact \'feelings/dreams\' if you like. I\'ve been doing this for at least 8 years, and music is such a big trigger for me, it\'s as if a particular song triggers a whole new world or rather a new side to me. I really wish the medical community knew more about this too, I mean they don\'t class it as a mental disease do they? The worst thing is, is that I\'m probably at my happiest when I\'m dreaming! :(

I often have other day dreams tht are not assosciated with my main daydream relm. Honestly I\'m not sure about the medical community and what they consider it. If you go online there are a few different websites you can go to to read up more about it. Go to google and type in maladaptive daydreaming. One of the links say daydreaming your life away? Its a good one and there are many others.

i have md it makes me feel in control and independent i may daydream at wrong times but my daydreams help me write better nd realize things many people dnt see but i say use it as a gift because theirs so many dreams you can create

I have read this story and so many others over the past few weeks and they are all inspiring. I discovered my problem was MD on 8/15 and have been working so hard to get rid of it. I noticed that in moments of idle time such as walking, driving, and yes listening to music, thats when I am most tempted and slip up. I just keep telling myself no no no, you will not daydream. It isnt a fullproof system, but I am sure it will get easier. I guess I cant quit something I've done for 20 years in just a few weeks. I've also noticed on here mixed reviews how some people want to keep their MD and some hate it. I can see both sides, I am glad it was there in those tough times, but now all the pain and anxietg MD helped me avoid is resurfacing, so no matter what I have to deal with the problems, maybe it is Gods wau of allowing me to wait until I was older to handle them. Whatever the rhyme or reasons, I am so glad I can read up on these stories for motivation and inspiration in my journey!

One thing that's worth investigating is if your MDD is a part of a greater disorder, like ADHD that's me!) or OCD. Mine is much more under control when I'm on meds. Behavioral therapy has made a HUGE dent, helping me control when I'm off them. As a fellow music obssessed person, I hear ya! Getting the right treatment has helped me let this creativity break through rather than thwarted it. Good luck!!<br />
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yes daydreaming is stoppable. i could control it for three months or so . once you get rid of it you are less suspectable to get into again. but when i become alone during holidays back into monotony,i started with it again

its my get away too, it started when i was much younger when i had no siblings, i had a bit of an imagination- maybe like you said its to do with being creative, i think it was a way to make lonely days more fun and i suppose its because in your daydreams anything is possible which is what makes it enjoyable for me. i think im obsessed with getting things my own way - lol im not a brat coz i never do get things my own way but in the daydreams i do. maybe thats what md stems from: difficulty in accepting somethings about our lives that we cant change. is this true for everyone? <br />
thing is id really like away to control it, i read somewhere to eliminate your triggers but my triggers include music, movies/tv, books, bad events in my life i feel like thats to many things to eliminate, is there anyway you can simply cut down, not eliminate md just control it? my a - levels are coming up and i cant afford a fail please help!

I have had maladaptive daydreaming for 5 years as far as i remember, I first started off daydreaming about stuff that i really wanted to happen in my life and then i started daydream about me being a character in a 'film' but the film is the story in my head that i'm making up, occassionally I kill one off characters in my story some how.

thats exactly what i do, as if im a character in a film ive seen than i manipulate the character to be even better. i guess my character is everything i want to be.

Hi, Yes, I have that too - daydreaming my way through high school to escape, since I was super shy - I do that now too, even after university just for enjoyment's sake, but now, I wish that I was able to overcome it even a little bit. it's hard because you need something to replace it, but often times there's nothing as controllable as being able to stay in your own mind and contemplate, dream things whenever you want to.

wow I just read your story and I didn't know about this condition, LOL I think I have it too......along with hypochondriac and self diagnosis.

I am 31, and I have just started to read about maladaptive day-dreaming. It is overwhelming for me because I am realizing how much time I have wasted not living in reality and how much it has impacted my work, social life and self-esteem. I have wondered if I have a mental problem, if I am dyslexic, whether I am suicidal, do I have depression? But after reading about this, I relate so much to what people are saying, it i scary. <br />
My family has always laughed at coming into a room to find me staring at the wall. I have been described as being in my own world. Throughout first and secondary school I constantly found myself losing a lot of time staring out the window. I can't remember what I day dreamed about as a child, but my daydreams in my teens were actually quite violent and I relate to having fantasies about escaping from somewhere or rescuing someone. I obsessed about different scenarios and forced myself to fantasize over the same things. I found that I was dealing with my problems with people through excessive fantasizing and day dreaming. I listen to music constantly and have just realised that this is a common trigger for me. I would often lay awake for hours, and find myself just staring. I have let this overtake my life in a way, and I am just realizing how much time I have lost. The last job that I had was quite stressful, I day dreamed a lot and people really noticed but I couldn't stop. I would be caught almost responding to someone or making faces or laughing or crying. I constantly rocked or tapped my foot, touched my hair and my face. I have always done similar things but it was very apparent when I was in this stressful job, more so beacuse other people noticed. I researched diassociating and then came across this. <br />
I can relate these things back to repeated abuse and neglect from my parents when I was young. I remember disconnecting. That was my comfort zone. I know that when I day dream it is excessive and not healthy and not always about good things. I find it hard because, even acknowledging that this isn't good for me nd relating it back to traumatic experiences, I feel it is addictive and almost my normal state of mind. Because my traumatic experiences were when I was three, I feel like I don't know any other way to cope. But I really have to change this as I feel it is having a very negative effect on me and I am wasting my life away living in a fantasy land. <br />
I definitly feel that medication would not help me. I just don't feel like I have a mental disorder, more a behavior problem. It is a learnt coping strategy that is hard to acknowledge. Because it has obviously worked at some stage. And it is a nice place to be in fantasy land where you are in control and can resolve things your way. But the reality can be very different. <br />
I am going to try things like meditation, try to learn to control my thoughts. And concentrate on reality. I am going to keep reading about this because this has really helped me just reading about other peoples stories. Music is a big thing for me, so I am going to try to stop myself from doing things that trigger me to fantasize. Or, when I catch myself deep in a fantasy, try to think about the feelings I am looking for when I create certain scenarios. There are things that I have to let go or deal with somehow. And I have to learn to say what I think at the time. I have to stop doing this because it's not my reality and I feel like day dreaming is taking over my life. And when I snap out of it, things aren't going that great for me. Reading and relting to your stories has really overwhelmed but made me realize that this is something I want to be in control of or channel in a more healthy direction. I hope that if, like me, people think it is having a negative impact on them, they try to do something about it. It is comforting to know that I am not going crazy and that this is something that I can try to help or get help for.

Hi - great to read your post, and I can really relate. I like what you mentioned here about how to overcome it - I also agree with what you've mentioned, but I wonder what are some other ways to help with it, since it's so convenient. Once you relax or want to reward yourself from controlling your daydreams, then it will come back again, or with some triggers. Unless perhaps some strong level of self-control is developed? If that's the case, the daydreaming won't happen in the first place, though :P. Any thoughts?

I've been thinking maybe the best cure would be to find some kind of meditation retreat which lasts 6 months to a year. During that time you will be socially force into mindfullnes meditation as opposed to day dreaming whatever you want. A year of mindfullness meditation might condition a mind to control its thoughts better.