On Maladaptive Daydreaming - A World Inside Your Head That You Can't Live Without

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Maladaptive daydreaming is a condition when a person indulges in building up intricate fantasies that is excessive in nature which is often disruptive to his or her ability to function in the waking life.

After extensive online research about daydreaming and learning that it can be used to hone creativity, I have stumbled across a world of daydreamers who are instead, embarrassed and guilty to have such ability as it actually impairs the way they see the real world.

The term 'maladaptive daydreaming' is proposed by Eli Sómer, Ph.D. for an alleged condition whereby individuals excessively daydreams or fantasizes, sometimes as a psychological response to prior abuse or trauma. (Source)

I've never really looked at my daydreaming ability in a negative light, perhaps because, in my situation, it does not affect me in a less than desirable way, being that I naturally use it to arrive at insights that I tend to miss when I'm busy analyzing things at a rational/emotional level.

But there's a fascinating world of unhappy mind-wanderers out there who are struggling on a daily basis to stop themselves from being sucked into the vacuum of daydreaming that serves more as a form of escapism.

Triggers that cause them to go into daydream mode can be almost anything, such as a word snippet, music, the blaring idiot box or the quiet sounds in the wee hours of the morning. More on this in future posts.

However, unlike you and me, who are not controlled by the drug-like appeal to soak ourselves in the alternate landscape of reverie and fantasies for hours, days and weeks on end, the experience of persons who find that they must go into the 'other world' for comfort, fun and stability, is like an addict who must get her/his fix.

Instead of the high derived from chemicals or thrills from excessive gambling or other activities derived from the interactions with the outer world or computer games, the disturbed daydreamer is hooked on the 'life' that he/she has constructed within his/her mind. And like substance abusers, they too, require an immediate fix, one that is easily found as it is located within their minds.

There is still much to be known about this daydream disorder, and if you feel like your mind wanders a little bit too much that it is now a cause for concern and you would like to know more about it, there's a forum on Yahoo for maladaptive daydreamers that you can participate in.

To find out about the preliminary findings on a confidential online study about excessive/maladaptive daydreaming led by Cynthia Schupak, Ph.D., please click on this link:

Daydreamers Anonymous Preliminary Findings

Are you fantasy prone? Do you sometimes wish that your life is more like the life you've constructed in your mind while you daydream? Please share your personal thoughts below.

PS- As a young girl, daydreams were a fun escapade that I'd indulged in with such passion that I would talk to the furniture if I was inside of the house, or if I was outside, with plants! I'm quite regretful of the abuse some of the plants have had to go through when I played the role of a 'teacher' instilling some discipline to her students.

Image Credit:
Daydreaming Painting by Zeynep Ergincan
Daydreaming On Gaudi's Bench
Daydreamer by Kim Roberti

shanaz@RS | 3:47 AM | Labels:

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