Does anyone else deal with maldaptive daydreaming? It seems like I'm really scared of rejection/loss/being made fun of so I just daydream about relationships instead of actually putting myself in one. It's greatly affected my life in a negative way so I'm trying to work through it but it feels impossible to quit.
Avoidant and inattentive, yeah
Yeah, I’ve dealt with that all my life. When I was younger, it was about fantastic/supernatural scenarios. Used to daydream for hours at a time. Nowadays it’s more about relationships, mostly about this guy I have a crush on (first time having a crush like this on someone).
Can’t do it as much nowadays compared to before because I work long hours, and honestly I feel like it’s taking a psychological toll on me because I used to rely so much on daydreaming.
As far as a research there's no real cure to it. You can try therapy.
I know it's been something I've always struggled with. My autism just makes it worst. I thought I'd grow out of it by now by I'm still and adult who disassociates too much. Mine isn't about romance as much. But I definitely spend too much time trying to imagine all the various ways a conversation can go and end. To conversations I've had days ago or never had or ever will. I want to plan it all out so I know what to say. But they never go how I plan them.
Sometimes they are fantasy world's, or wild combination austictic fuck fest fanfic world's. Usually where I'm someone grand and powerful. They often stem from me feeling inadequate, powerless and unstatified in life, that I rather be someone better. Usually I'm the bumbling fool. I wish I can make the right move and have the right things to say. But I feel like I make mistakes all the time and say the wrong thing or missed the timing for a joke.
i do this exact same thing, except i live vicariously through characters. i've been doing this for years. i have a whole story line and a long list of characters based on people i know and on myself. it's basically just the life i wish i had. i wish i could stop this, but it's the only way i can cope. as the years go by, my mind has been corroding and there are times when i prefer to stay in bed instead of go out because of all these day dreams. i know i need to change it. i'm pathetic.
Why not take up writing/art?
It won't be a cure (I've been drawing my whole life and still spend a lot of time in my own head), but it would feel productive at least.
I've been doing this for the last few years too. Its gotten to the point where I go to bed but only go to sleep hours later because I keep going through these complex storylines in my head. A lot of the 'characters' are just people I know in real life, and I know it's not healthy to do this but I can't help it. I just want to make up a world where I can help everyone I know out in their lives and just be with them forever. I've been alone for most of my life and I'm starting to think this is just a crutch to get over my social inabilities. Sorry for flying off the rails a bit with this, but this is the only time I've ever seen anyone feel something similar to me.
definitely not off the rails, just super relatable… have you ever tried acting like your “dream self” to others? i feel like its cognitive dissonance to want to act one way in my day dreams but then ending up being a socially inept goof irl. it’s hard to avoid tho, no matter how much i try to change it.
at least you’re not alone in this. maybe we won’t need maladaptive day dreaming at some point in our lives.
I don't know, a lot of the problems I have come with how different I am in my dreams than how I am in real life. Some of it has to do with, and some of it just has to do with the circumstances me and the people around me are in. I hope I can get rid of this someday, it just gives me expectations I feel I can't ever live up to. Do you have any tips on at least limited its role in your life? I have no idea how to bring this up to any therapist.
usually i just remind myself of things that actually happen and repeat that the person is not the same as in my day dreams. it feels insane now that i think about it but there doesn’t seem like there’s much else to do.
maybe try falling asleep using other methods? recently i’ve been putting on game playthroughs to listen to before sleep bc it’s hard to listen and think at the same time. doesn’t work all that much when i get bored tho, then i doze off into day dream mode.
That's what I've been trying to do lately too. I've been taking Melotonin for the last few weeks to help me go to sleep faster, so maybe that'll work for you too. My doctor also prescribed me with Trazedone which really knocks me out. I'll also try some of the techniques you suggested.
I don't really know if there is a cure. I've spent all my time in fantasy worlds so I don't expect things to be any different going forward. I've accepted it.
can you guys share what your day dreams are like?
here’s mine - warning: cringei day dream that i’m a fairly popular musician with a qt bf and a lot of friends.
Yes. I've daydreamed myself into 5 years of NEETdom and counting. Vidya too.
Not as cringe as mineI want to be a popular and well off enough film writer that I can take care of my mother and employ all of my likeminded friends, and we'll all spend the rest of our lives making movies and getting drunk. Alternatively I want to become a mercenary but even I realize that's completely unfeasible.
Honestly, most of mine are/have always been super sexual. My recent one involves going on a road trip with a guy and doing all kinds of degenerate shit with him in the campervan. Even as a kid, my daydreams would be about oddly sexually coded (but not overt bc innocent) dreams about male suffering and the like.
The ones that aren't pervy become actual story ideas, but that's productive so I won't post them.
I've also taken up fantasizing starting a business with my oneitis. Luckily, my MD is pretty under control so I do actually interact with this man.
Anyone else a degen dreamer?
I have an expansive fantasy world and a cast of a dozen or so characters I think about inside it. I imagine their daily lives and backgrounds and routines and skills and etc.>>2805
I also go in lewd directions, I can only get into sexual fantasies at all if I imagine it through my characters. They feel more real than myself most of the time.
>>2806>they feel more real than myself most of the time
do you have dissociations
yes. my real life was so horrible that i escaped in daydreams. my mother tortured me and my sister hated me. everyone knew no one cared about me so i was bothered. i went to school in rags and my hair ragged. I was filthy. I was sickly so my life was double bad because i couldnt run away. all i had was books and tv.
if it wasnt for my imagination i wouldve went crazy long ago. i have ptsd and my fantasy life has keep me human.
I'm sorry. I know if you went to my school I would have tried to be friends with you.
Not all the time but occasionally lewd.
It’s always the same guy though, and I’ve pretty much day dreamed myself into being in love with him. I’m so scared that if I speak to him irl, I’ll die from straight embarrassment. He doesn’t even know I exist but I’ve imagined him into all of my most intimate day dreams.
I'm the same way. I still have a long way to go. The only thing that remotely helped me was living independently and letting myself have experiences in the safety of solitude. I'm seeing some small improvements thanks to that.
I'm still halfway stuck in daydreams and dissociation everyday… it's a daily struggle to not fall into dreams and leave the world.
yes, all the time. i basically live two lives at once, it's quite frustrating cause i basically have two narratives playing in my life at the same time - real life and the one in my head. i've been this way as long as i remember probably due to a traumatic childhood.
Have you and the other people in this thread considered that maybe maladaptive daydreaming isn't actually the problem? It seems to me to be more of a coping mechanism than something actually harmful. If that's the case then it can actually hurt more than help to get rid of it. Its kind of like how a lot of people supposedly have video game addictions when in reality the only reason they play video games all the time is because their life is shit and they don't know of anything else to do.
It's kind of a chicken or the egg situation. You may be addicted to video games because your life is shit, but your life can't stop being shit if you continue pissing in soda bottles
My point is that if what I said was true, then you wouldn't accomplish anything by trying to cure your video game addiction. Not without at least finding some way to understand your original problem. If you just tried to stop pissing in soda bottles then you not only would you be trying to solve the wrong problem, but you'd be woefully unsuccessful at it. In the worst scenarios it can end up being an endless cycle of never making any progress.