Hi everyone, I thought since I mainly joined this site to talk about maladaptive daydreaming I should post my own experience with it.

I'm 18 years old now, and it started when I was 12 I guess. I can't remember the very first time I did it but I know I had just one 'character' in my head back then, sort of a fantasy boyfriend who was the same age as me, and I would think about him when I was bored in class or at night so I could get to sleep. Gradually my imaginary boyfriend gained an imaginary family; a twin sister (who was my fantasy best friend when my real friends and I were going through a rough patch) an older brother, and a mother and father. And eventually this imaginary cast and characters grew; most of the new characters were friends, cousins etc. of the original characters and they were based on fictional characters or celebrities or people who appeared in my dreams while I was sleeping or just something I thought up.

Now I have so many characters that it's like there's a world in my head; I have no idea how many because I've never sat and written them down but there are dozens, possibly up to a hundred. My daydreams have changed a lot though, I don't have an imaginary boyfriend anymore, just lots and lots of imaginary friends and enemies and acquaintances and whatever. Usually I don't even appear in my daydreams, I imagine that I'm one of my characters interacting with the other characters, although sometimes I 'talk' to my characters about the book I'm reading or a tv show or something that just happened in reality.

I only found out that maladaptive daydreaming is a thing last night; I just decided that what I am doing is not normal so I googled stuff like "overactive imagination" and got to the wikipedia article about extreme fantasists. I have to say a lot of the things on there sound like me; I was read lots of stories as a child and encouraged to make up my owm stories, I played make believe games with my friends in primary school rather than active games like tag and I named all my teddies/toys and treated them as people. I didn't have imaginary friends until I was twelve though. I've never suffered any abuse or trauma however, although my father died when I was 11 and I think that made me a lot more sensitive, shy and cautious and may be why I prefer to live in my head rather than in reality.

So that would be my experience. I don't think I want to stop this entirely because I don't think imagination is ever a bad thing but I need to control it, since it is effecting my real life. I've lost friendships - not because they know about it, this is my first time telling a living soul about this - but because I failed to nurture my real life relationships due to favouring the imaginary. Plus I've gotten distracted when I should be studying and wound up daydreaming, which I think has impacted my grades and results. I mean, I did okay on both my GCSEs and A levels but I know I could have done so much better. I actually spent most of an A level exam daydreaming because I thought I had plenty of time, but I didn't and I was rushing to finish the last question. It wasn't the first time either.

So yeah, that's my experience.
EllenMelon82 EllenMelon82
18-21, F
4 Responses Aug 21, 2014

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Embarrassingly enough, when mine started, I was reading Harry potter books. So in my head is an entire world of Harry Potter adapted to have me as Harry's twin sister.

My experience is similar. I had and still have imaginary boyfriends even though i have a real one now. Our world inside of our minds is beautiful and sometimes scary but we are letting it consume us because we don't know how to stop it.

Interesting, I guess I have a similar thing though I didnĀ“t have any clue it has a official name.

I had no clue it had a name until the day before yesterday either. If you think you may have it I would recommend looking at daydreamingdisorder.webs.com if you haven't already; they have probably the most information on this. It's up to you, though.