I had not even realized this was a thing until just recently. I've always daydreamed, or dreamed at night, and I would almost always remember bits and pieces of dreams after waking up. It never bothered me. I thought it was normal, after all.

To be honest I did not even know of the condition known as maladaptive daydreaming until recently. I simply just thought they were called fantasies. But looking back I do realize that the daydreams I have do occur multiple times in the same day and during long periods of time. Back then, when I was around 11 or 12, it only really occurred while I listened to music and pace. I would dream of the same scenario, usually people hanging out at an inn. While my interests changed over time, so did the personalities of the characters in the dream, but the setting still remained pretty much the same. The good thing was that it had little effect on my everyday life, since like previously mentioned, it only really happened when I listened to music for long periods.

Now? I think it has only gotten worse. The daydreaming is beginning to affect me on a deeper, possibly dangerous level. My dreams are still heavily triggered by music, but sometimes random events in my life can be a trigger as well. When I feel sad, I daydream, when I feel stressed, I daydream, when I am under a heavy conflict with someone, I daydream. It has become a bit of a habit these days that whenever I have nothing to do, I just lay down on my bed and daydream about characters. These days, the characters seem to be created based on my life experiences and events, a sort of reflection (for instance I had just finished a temporary job I do for my university which consists of helping international students get settled into college life. My most recent characters are now two Belizean exchange students. I have no idea why they are Belizean though).

The dreams can get pretty intense. I dream about what they look like, how the characters interact with one another, if they are together romantically or not, their names, clothing, voice, even sometimes a complete story line or two. I even sometimes dream of them interacting with people I know in real life. When there is a detail I am unsure is accurate, I actually take the time to look it up so it can be included in the dream. I no longer pace much when I daydream, but whenever I'm in deep thought about them I mimic their facial expressions, laugh, cry, or become embarrassed at a certain scenario I imagined for them, and most often rock back and forth if I am sitting.

When I was younger I think these fantasies were just things I thought up because I was bored. Now I think the daydreams are symbolizing desires that I'd like to have in real life (for instance many characters I dream about have the ability to draw well, a skill I do not possess), relationships I wish to form, basically dreaming of a new, better life for myself. It all seems way too unhealthy, and it's becoming a problem because I usually end up getting depressed when I think about how my life is not like the life of the characters in the dreams. I find my life dull, unexciting, trapped even, while I find the lives of those characters interesting and lovely.

I was diagnosed with anxiety and depression when I was about 10 years old. Although depression has remained pretty much non-existent for a while (so I stopped taking meds for it), it does occasionally resurface every now and then). My anxiety has never gone away. I have heard that MD is a symptom of these two disorders. I am left wondering if perhaps that is the reason I have it.

Either way, I have been desperately wanting to find ways to stop these daydreams, or at least lessen them to the point where I don't end up distressed at the fact that the lives I am dreaming of are not, and will never be, mine.
mimameid mimameid
22-25, F
1 Response Aug 17, 2014

I have had the same problem since i was eight years old, and saw my first anime and wanted a little more with my life. But i feel like mine are really intense. Like i will have to pace around or i will get really bad anxiety, and sometimes i will be in the middle of something at home and i will have a fantasy hit me really hard and i will have to get up and move, especially when music is playing. When i am on the bus, i have to twitch my leg, or spontaneously jolt because of something that happened in my mind. thankfully i have learned how to remotely control my daydreams to the point where i know i can do it on the bus, between classes, and at lunch, and of coarse at home. It sucks since home is my "safe haven" and i have tons of homework and it takes me sometimes twice as long as it should.