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WinterSwimmer6232

654d

Hi, I was wondering if anyone else on here is dealing with Maladaptive Daydreaming? Does anyone know what could cause it? I have CPTSD, Chronic Anxiety/Depression, and several other things. Could any of those cause it? I'm also stuck in a very abusive household and with people who constantly put me down, so I've always assumed it was an escape, but someone just recently told me that it's typically a symptom of something bigger. So I'm worried. I'm constantly letting my mind wonder to a world I've made up, with characters and amazing things I've put my heart into making perfect. I put my characters in situations I've been though (and even worse situations) and make them overcome it and come out on top, and it gives me such hope in life. I even write everything down. I have been doing this for years, so I have Hundreds of Thousands of words written on so so sooo many pages... But I'm scared that I'm hurting myself with this now. I used to only let myself daydream myself into that world whenever I was alone just spending time by myself in a peaceful environment, or at nighttime when I'd go into my little world and let myself fall asleep surrounded by my characters that make me feel safe and in an environment I felt safe in, versus the actual environment I was in. Occasionally I'd daydream away right after an argument and let the characters comfort me and help me feel better, often letting those figments of my imagination talk me off ledges. Now it's different. I'm so depressed and I ONLY feel safe/comfortable in that made up world. I understand my home situation has gotten much worse, so I felt like that was the reason that I feel even safer in my made up world, where I'm not treated wrongly, but I don't know anymore. Now I daydream so often, that I get confused with real life things, I occasionally don't hear things people are saying to me because I'm off in my own world, I "zone out" a lot, I commonly forget things (such as what I was doing, what I had to do, or events that happened), I'm more interested in just staying in my safe world than going out with friends/family, I'm more interested in that world than watching movies/TV with family, and it's just generally affecting my real life Does anyone else experience this or happen to have ANY advice???

Top reply
    • bellacourse

      526d

      Hi! I have been maladaptive daydreaming ever since I was a little kid. I have CPTSD, manic depression, and severe anxiety. I've always used it as an escape, especially when things seem to constantly be going wrong or things begin to overwhelm me. To me, it's like these characters I've created would never hurt me and would love and care for me the way I want to be loved and cared for. It also allows me to act brave and noble in ways I probably couldn't in real life. Sometimes it has caused negative repercussions in my everyday life because I would much rather live in these made up worlds with made up people instead of this real world with real people. I begin to isolate myself and have conversations with people who aren't there. It made me begin to neglect the real world and it made me so sad realizing that I'm stuck in this world. I wish I could tell you "oh, this is how you stop it" or "you'll grow out of it" but I can't. I honestly don't know how to stop it and I'm 22 years old and still do it very frequently. The only thing I can say is that you are definitely not alone, and that it really helps to find others who truly understand. I hope things get better for you and you are able to make positive changes in your life and escape any abuse you are suffering ❤️

    • Livingasazebra

      526d

      Mines caused by trauma and developed it as a coping mechanism

    • bellacourse

      526d

      Hi! I have been maladaptive daydreaming ever since I was a little kid. I have CPTSD, manic depression, and severe anxiety. I've always used it as an escape, especially when things seem to constantly be going wrong or things begin to overwhelm me. To me, it's like these characters I've created would never hurt me and would love and care for me the way I want to be loved and cared for. It also allows me to act brave and noble in ways I probably couldn't in real life. Sometimes it has caused negative repercussions in my everyday life because I would much rather live in these made up worlds with made up people instead of this real world with real people. I begin to isolate myself and have conversations with people who aren't there. It made me begin to neglect the real world and it made me so sad realizing that I'm stuck in this world. I wish I could tell you "oh, this is how you stop it" or "you'll grow out of it" but I can't. I honestly don't know how to stop it and I'm 22 years old and still do it very frequently. The only thing I can say is that you are definitely not alone, and that it really helps to find others who truly understand. I hope things get better for you and you are able to make positive changes in your life and escape any abuse you are suffering ❤️

    • Captain_Honey

      557d

      I've experienced what you are feeling. I'm still trying to deal with it. Only thing that has helped me is finding something that I want to spend time on outside of my dream realm. Such as watching a TV show, enjoying nature or working on projects

    • Lunarr

      653d

      Hello! I daydream quite a lot and have a paracosm but I don't have MaDD because I can control when and for how long I daydream and it doesn't interfere with my life. However, I did a research paper on MaDD a few years back so I hope I can give you some answers and maybe others will jump in with experiences and advice. From what I know, maladaptive daydreaming (MaDD) is a coping mechanism like you thought, typically born out of trama like your being in an unsupportive, abusive household. MaDD is its own thing but can indicate some deeper emotional issues, which may be what that person you were talking to meant. It can also lead to isolation and depression because of what you were discussing, most would rather daydream than socialize, which unfortunately for introverts everywhere is a necessary part of life as a human person Daydreaming as you described earlier in the post is totally harmless and actually a very good use of imaginative play to deal with tough things. I do it all the time, using my paras to make life's challenges go down easier. Daydreaming as you say you are currently experiencing it may indeed be harmful. What you're describing is for sure MaDD - its interfering with your daily functioning and you would rather be there than here. I think this absolutely could be in response to a worsened home situation. Because your daydreaming is a coping mechanism, you may be falling back on it more than usual as you battle increased depression and feeling unsafe in this world. That's really rough and traumatizing and I'm sorry you're going through that. I know you mentioned this home situation is something you're stuck in, does that mean you can't move out? I'm not sure where you're at in life but removing yourself from the environment feels like a first step. Even if you can't move out, maybe try staying at a friend's for a few days here and there just to get a break. If the people in your life now are putting you down, find some that won't (a daunting and difficult task, I know, but one that is so so important). Don't give up until you do, there are good people out there. Things like assembling a support system and actively trying to daydream less (hard, boring, not fun, and maybe even painful but a necessary evil to reigning things in) are things you can do for free. Therapy might also be beneficial if you haven't tried it. The root of your issue here seems to be the abuse you've experienced at home and working through that and finding alternate coping mechanisms might be beneficial. If you find other ways to cope then you may rely on daydreaming less. I don't know how you experience daydreaming, if you choose to or if it happens without your consent, but I hope some of this is useful anyways. Sorry it's so long lol, but feel free to DM if you ever wanna talk and I hope your situation improves soon 😊

☝ This content is generated by our users and it is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision

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