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Daydreaming - A Gift Or A Curse

Hello fellow dreamers! I discovered that I am likely to have maladaptive daydreaming.(And I was suprized too!) While I see that many of the shared stories include problems caused by the lack of controll over it my experience tends to be a little different. I hope I can help someone out by sharing it.

It all started when I was a very young girl (probably 3-5 years old). I used to watch a lot of cartoons and I was fascinated by stories (folk tales, sci-fi, fantasy) And I started creating extra characters/ adding myself as a character to an already existing story or I made up my own stories using the collected information. While doing this I whould pace around my room and act out certain motions while talking and making sounds.

Later I developed a "main" story I whould follow and change over time. My daydreaming started changing too - I stopped making noises, I didn't talk anymore, turning the entire process into a thought one. Eventually I stopped pacing too. As I grew older my story became more complex and the daydreaming more flexible. In my early teens it was only recodnisible by my inadequate facial expressions, my unfocused look or the lack of responce when I was supposed to do something.

Now I can pretty much controll it. I happen to drift away mainly when I am either bored, stressed, tired, excited by a thought I am having/music or I simply feel like daydreaming. But in most cases I am able to prevent it if I chose to.

The process itself is very similar to the ones I ran across - fictional world with many characters (improved/different version of me being one of them) and uncommon events like time and space travel, exploration of new worlds inhabited by different known and unknown to us creatures. However it is not the only thing I dream about I can make up a story for a writing task, I dream about my future, the world's future, I make up pictures, song lyrics, poems, music videos, choreography etc.

I am interested in art,music and writing aswell. And daydreaming is really helping me. Which is mainly why I see controlled daydreaming as a rather positive thing, even if it gets out of hand from time to time, I can easily call it a blessing and it truly is one of the best things I ever had.

I don't really know how exactly it became controllable, it simply changed as time went by without any other effort than the "Maybe I should try to do this while I am standing still and quiet, it whould be more convenient." kind of thoughts. I can suggest you to try standing still and daydream on purpose while making sure you don't make any involuntary body movements in the meanwhile. Repeating that several times a day could make a connection between you commanding your body to stand still and the dreaming process. If you are having a hard time staying focused on something (like reading) try doing it for a limited amount of time. You could reward yourself if you are done in time for motivation. If circumstances do not allow this you could try to avoid doing things that trigger your daydreaming state or if you prefer not to, try to prevent yourself from thinking about anything that isn't related to the topic you are supposed to think about. You could also try meditation in order to controll your thoughts easyer.

(I havent tested all of these methods personally and I cannot guarantee that they will work for you.)

Feel free to ask me any questions on the subject. Good luck, I hope I was helpfull.

P.S. I am sorry for any possible errors in this post , English is not my primary language.
Smilingcrescentmoon Smilingcrescentmoon 16-17, F 4 Responses Jan 23, 2013

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Yeah I some time's lose control and start acting out thing's in my day dream's with out even knowing I'm doing it. But I don't know if I would trade that for anything. Because I have really awesome day dream's. But sadly I don't know if I will be able to tell fiction apart from nonfiction when I'm older and that scare's me a little glad to see I'm not the only one.

It sounds like you have a healthy relationship with daydreaming. Daydreaming is a very important part of life. But since you can control it and it is not negatively affecting your life. it doesn't seem to be maladaptive. There are many levels of MDD, from the bad habit that keeps you from getting your work done to the uncontrollable form that keeps you from functioning in life. There are people who have attempted suicide due to the affects of MDD, many who use antipsychotic drugs to control it, and then those who seem to enjoy it.

I am an artist and MD keeps me from doing my art, you can get ideas from daydreams but you can only create something in reality. It also hinders me from having deep relationships with real people. I have tried all the methods you suggested with no success. I hope that you continue to be able to control it and it not begin to control you.

This is why I wonder if my DD is really maladaptive. It does seem to be very vivid at times, I tend to keep a complex plot with unique characters, made up worlds, creatures, civilizations. And I try to imagine the situations in a way that they whould still be possible (even if very unlikely to happen) despite of their nature (things one whould call "magic" but yet there is an explanation behind them). In addition to that I used to have the pacing,acting out of fantasies, imaginary friends, different way of thinking as a young child.

Yet my daydreams don't really consume my real life, even if they make me detached from reality at times, I feel I do need this in order to function normally right now. But even occasionally controlled they can have their negative effects - moments when I realise I am daydreaming too late and miss something important, acting "weird" , not being understood by others and generally having the "dreamer" personality that just doesn't fit in sometimes.

And the fact that it can be so destructive makes me wish I could figure out how can some controll it while others can't and how exactly did it "evolve" in my case. It really should get a little more attention from professionals in my opinion. Many people consider it too personal to share with others and these who do share sometimes get neglected due to the public lacking information about it. I am still looking for new methods to get and know this condition better, stay safe.

It's a relief to hear of someone with a story similar to my own! I agree, being able to daydream so vividly is a gift...it's a creative outlet, and helps your imagination to focus in on certain things, like an idea for a unique painting. I see why it can be seen as a curse...if you are unable to control it, or have to be moving during it. I posted my story on here not too long ago. Luckily for me, I've always been able to control it.

I wonder what other artistic people have had this. Did da Vinci daydream when he was visualizing his sculptures? Is that how he was able to sculpt so realistically? Did Salvador Dali daydream when he was creating his crazy monsters for his paintings? It makes you wonder...

Hi, thank you for sharing your thoughts. You really made me wonder! I wont be suprized if some brilliant or artistic people have/had MDD. An unique view on reality has the potential to change the world...or ruin lives.

I remember someone saying that the artist dips his/her brush in the same waters the insane has drown in, I don't know who was it but it describes creativity very well in my opinion, the waters being our own imaginary universe - It is wonderful when you connect to it but then you risk getting lost there.

Hey the introduction of the story is same as mine. even my MD world is about tv shows and cartoons I watch but now I have world of my own which I have created. This is for the first time I ahve heard a story so similar to mine because mostly other people MD worlds consist of a better version of themselves.
However I haven't been able to control my MD it just flows.

I have created a world of 13th century in which I have my own characters prince, princess just like a novel. This one is my favourite among many others.

P.S. Will you add me to your friend circle?