Maladaptive Daydreaming?

Recently I have come across this condition known as "maladaptive daydreaming" and began reading about various personal accounts on the web. The topic fascinates me because I feel like I can relate to many of the stories found online.

It started when I was about 7. I'd fidget with one of my toys for minutes at a time while my mind drifted into a semi-unconscious state. Anything I thought of was just whatever I happened to be imagining at that point in time; I just thought of this as playing.

But to an observer, I probably just looked like a spas, fiddling away at a half broken transformer.

For some reason, the feeling of this was quite satisfying. I kept this habit up until about grade 7.

It didn't diminish completely however, I just stopped playing with toys. My "dreams" would always resurface somehow; be it through music, brisk walks, or downtime in general.

I'm 21 years old, and I still catch myself drifting away throughout the day. I should say that contrary to what I have been reading all over the web, my "dreams" have not hindered my life in any way. I study mathematics, and I can focus for hours at a time without taking a break for a second.

But back to the OT. While I do not feel compelled to dream, I do find that if something keeps me from doing it when I feel like I need the relief, I get agitated. An example would be forgetting my mp3 player on a long bus ride or spending too much time in the presence of others (friends/family ..etc). For some reason, I can't "dream" in the presence of others. I think I conditioned myself this way after being discouraged from a young age by my parents for fidgeting.

So for me, my dreaming is not so much a compulsion as it is something I get a little stress from when deprived of it.

I have a problem, however, with mornings and late evenings. When I look into my bathroom mirror during these times, my mind just wonders. Before I know it, I've lost ten minutes. I don't forget about anything I imagine, but I frequently lose track of time. It has even caused me to be chronically late at a few points in my life.

If I make a conscious effort, I can avoid such inconveniences. But most of the time, in the mornings and evenings, I let my guard down and all of a sudden my body goes into cruise control while my mind goes through an interview, tutoring session, lasts night's homework, or a past/future conversation I had with someone ..Etc.

I'm not hearing voices in my head, and I'm aware all of this is taking place in my mind. But sometimes, while I’m imagining, I'm completely unaware of time and my body is just going through some typical bathroom task repetitively (i.e. splashing my face with water, washing my hands, etc).

Has anyone else ever experienced anything like this or have any professional background to provide some insight?

I know I haven’t really touched on what I dream about specifically (aside from my "trance" in the bathroom mirror). I guess that's a bit personal. But I assure you its pretty consistent with what can be found on the web. Aside from the "bathroom trance" I'm pretty sure my "dreaming experiences" are just some sort of coping mechanism I do to feel less isolated. I mean, I am very fortunate to have a family and a lot of good friends, but sometimes it almost makes me feel more alone because I am so different from everyone I know.

But on a final note, I see my vivid imagination as a gift and honestly believe it has positively impacted my life; I’m a very creative and enjoy writing as a pastime. I thought I’d post because I just recently discovered that I may have Maladaptive Daydreaming and wanted to get some more info on it as well as some info on the trances I experience.

Euleroy89 Euleroy89
18-21, M
5 Responses Apr 22, 2011

i agree with brahmin, i don't think you have MD. I have had it since i was 7 and imagined now 25. I can tell when someone has it, i dot think you shuddering worry. ur a normal dreamer.

as a person having this problem for over 50 years i can assure you that you are not having this problem. you are a bit is ok. go through the experiences of others and get assured yourself.

From what I have read, I believe that MD symptoms seems to be a natural way the mind copes with the situation/circumstances a person is living in i.e if they are in an abusive situation where they feel helpless and not in control, our daydreams are a way in which we can have control over things in our life as we choose the image, story or words. Talking to yourself is a way to release those thoughts you may not feel comfortable to actually say to another person but can feel safe and comfortable talking to yourself.Overall I think it is ok to do things you are saying in your story being aware of not letting yourself be consumed by them e.g. daydreaming away and not actually living your life and talking to yourself so much you lose social connections with real people.Enjoy the daydreams in your head but also enjoy the real world you live in as well. Your daydreams can also be a way that you are trying to tell yourself to do things...they can inspire you to make things happen and become a reality.

Hi! I daydream too and everyone does, and there is alot of people who do, more than you think. But, um im trying to control it too but its really a gift

Im stoping mines. You and I are not victims. Ive been going cold turkey without daydreaming for three days and counting you can go the distance too.

But why would you want to? I love my daydreams. Once you are able to control them, they really help you. I havw written two novels from my daydreams.