Do you have maladaptive daydreaming?

TruthSeeker

MyPTSD Pro
I think maladaptive daydreaming was also facillitated by TV shows that I connected to on some child level....and I wished that character had been me and God forbid if it was a series with multiple seasons.....because I was connected to the show personally-emotionally..like I climbed in the tv and was actually on the set.....it felt that way....and with no other responsibilities as retired....harder to leave....I wanted to be in that characters setting with their family because they found a loving family.....and I just want to be them.......it is a form of escape. It is also a lot of time lost......7 hrs. later......wasted time.....because I did it even when not threatened. Then I'd daydream about it too.....It had become habit......a way to numb.....and really screwed with my memory ....I burned stuff in the kitchen....because I was daydreaming.......I was still thinking about how that scenario was what I should have had....and that character was traumatized and ended up with a happy ending...... Grounding techniques and making lists of things I have to do, staying away from shows that get me engaged in trauma or wishing my life were different, .......and getting up and moving out of the bed with a plan for the day.......helped tremendously. Paying attention to triggers when it happens.....has helped.
 

ms spock

MyPTSD Pro
I think maladaptive daydreaming was also facillitated by TV shows that I connected to on some child level....and I wished that character had been me
Oh yes!
I was still thinking about how that scenario was what I should have had....and that character was traumatized and ended up with a happy ending......
I so relate.
Grounding techniques and making lists of things I have to do,
I find grounding so hard! I am finding it hard to make lists of things to do and I am finding it hard to do things.
staying away from shows that get me engaged in trauma or wishing my life were different,
Gosh that's an idea.
...and getting up and moving out of the bed with a plan for the day.......helped tremendously.
It's a good idea.
Paying attention to triggers when it happens.....has helped.
Yes that's a good one.

I am struggling with doing all these things.
 

TruthSeeker

MyPTSD Pro
Oh yes!

I so relate.

I find grounding so hard! I am finding it hard to make lists of things to do and I am finding it hard to do things.

Gosh that's an idea.

It's a good idea.

Yes that's a good one.

I am struggling with doing all these things.
I am retired, and as a result of a "free do what I want to do/accomplish schedule" I have had to set boundaries with myself....the part of me that would rather not be here, TV binge, and grove in bed all day long. I think communicating with those parts that don't like reality has been a huge help....and acknowledging their needs in a more positive way-finding fun grounding things to do rather than dissociate and when I reward myself for a good day, I do somethings that make those parts feel included and something that part of me enjoys.

The TV is alluring, safe, a low cost option to running away or numbing up (compared to drinking, much cheaper), convenient, and a horrible contributor to spending my life accomplishing nothing. So, now I don't turn on the TV until I have done everything all day long that is on the "list" and not TV absolutely not before 8pm. TV goes off at midnight-I might not be asleep at midnight, but I limit to 4 hrs max a day, when it is wind-down time. TV can't be on all day or I get nothing done.

Grounding gets easier when you have decided that you want to live and function in reality and you identify a life's goal.....something like contentment/happiness but in the real world. I believe wanting to be grounded and live a real life is a personal decision......as we know that watching TV, immersing oneself in gaming, or other "away activities" things that keep your brain away from reality. It is a decision-a choice you have to make. Turn off the TV, don't click on games that give you a win.....when it is just an illusion.

For me to decide that I wanted to really live instead of watch other TV characters live their life, I evaluated myself.....my life goals, and the kind of person I wanted to be seen as and made a bucket list of things I wanted to accomplish in the time I had left on earth.

When I die, I want people who are around me, to really know me, and I want to be remembered as someone who tried....who walks their talk, follows through, is there for others and at the same time has boundaries and isn't taken advantage of. I want to be seen as cautious but generous, respectful, and kind. I realized no one knew me if I was in bed....flaking out on TV, or gaming all the time. I also couldn't stay grounded doing these things because I lost so much time.....so I got out big girl panties, put them on, bucked up and decided one day that my time was short.....so I shouldn't wait any longer. I quickly realized that I don't get my lists done if the TV or computer is on. They are distractors. So, they are low on my daily priority list.

I wasn't taught as a kid to have a schedule because I rarely went anywhere, so I bought 3 whiteboards and posted them on my wall to keep appointments, track longer term appts, and I can do the same in on my phone app. In Notes, I make a schedule for the morning to create routine (routine is an important part of grounding each day). I started with the things that were easiest and then added to the routine weekly-printed and posted it at the end of my bed.

AM schedule (Understand and remain in real time-not virtual time)
Take meds before getting out of bed-the bedroom is where I can live all day long....so getting out of that space where I dissociate/daydream, and engage in escape behavior is super important. (health/safety)
Weigh/chart weight (health/safety)
Look at phone email/text messages and respond (getting my feet wet in today's reality)
Review what I accomplished on my list....and feel it......take time to own my accomplishments, no matter how little.
Look at daily list-priortize what I will do first, second, third, etc. that day. Plan my day and times for departure and arrival. (getting feet wet in my day-reality)
Success: A minimum of 3-5 things on list accomplished in the day. They are on the list because they are important, must do's, and some more challenging to accomplish some days. Set myself up for success by creating a day that will be successful....productive (grounding in reality)
I check off things on the list that were accomplished (requires grounding to accomplish each thing) after doing each one checking it off is for me, innately self-rewarding-this helps keep me grounded and stay with the plan for the day.
Lunch-not watching TV or gaming and not in bed. Lunch is enjoying the flavor of what I'm eating while watching the birds and neighbor activities out the window.....Sometimes I eat outdoors on my patio, sometimes down by the creek.....lunch is to be enjoyed. This helps keep me stay grounded and aware of my community.
When all the things are done on the list, I self reward with something that is fun and healthful. I might kayak-or have planned to invite a friend to kayak(in good weather for a couple of hrs), play on my Nintendo Wii Fit, work on a fun home project, work on a knitted hat on a loom, work on a puzzle, organize photos and do post production work (I really like photography) but I always plan to do these things for a set amount of time. Dealing in time is grounding. I set my phone to ring and stop and do the next thing on the list. Sometimes, I might get a pedicure or my hair done.....I enjoy that. Sometimes I might treat myself to a real restaurant made pizza rather than a cauliflower pizza. Rewards can be small or large.....but they are not TV/Computer games during the day because then for me, I get lost in them and nothing else is accomplished.
Dinner-around 6.....
If my list is done, then I might go here, or to another site that is for health. I might read the news or read up on Covid.
No TV or fun computer games until 8pm. If I'm really awake, I'll make it 11 and give my head a wind-down time, as TV can also keep me awake.
6-8pm This leaves time for self-care and organizing the environment; bathing, washing hair, doing nails, organizing things to make life easier, check in on PTSD, and tossing in a load of laundry.


At night before turning on TV:
Lock Doors (basic safety)
Turn off all house lights (safety-in finances)
Revise Daily List (in phone Notes app)-(Prepares me mentally for next day)
Clean the cat pan (safety/sanitation)
Wash hands/Brush teeth (Health)
Chart mood and whether I had enough protein (50 grams)
Plug in phone (safety)
Set alarm (safety/helps with integrity/follow-through)>
Take meds (health/safety)
Put bottle of water by bedside (Health-no caffeine/sugar drinks to keep me awake)
At midnight, TV/Computer are off.....if they stay on, likely I won't fall asleep till 2-4am, so it's a personal rule and part of my schedule.


Creating and sticking to a schedule until it is routine has helped me stay grounded. Putting away the TV and online immersive games and lowering their importance in my life has been helful. Looking around my house and doing the necessary things in life is what helps with grounding. You have to be willing to give up unreality, TV immersion and other addictions , and make a plan to live in the real world. I typed it up on my computer....helped make it more real. It was hard at first, but making new habits just takes commitment to live in the worlds "time" and realizing that living in unreality's wastes one's time that is given to them to live.....Unreality can be or feel endless.
 
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Nannerl

New Here
what is 'maladaptive day dreaming'?
YES! I suffered drastically/horribly from early childhood until my early thirties, having NO idea what 'it' was other than a behaviour that caused me much guilt, cost untold days/months/years off my life and critically hampered my ability to function for many years. I kept this to myself, terrified of the reaction should I admit that I spent at least 5 hours a day - or more - in bed, making up scenarios, conversations, places, activities with people I either made up in my head or pretended to 'know'. I absolutely knew this was 'irrational' behaviour and also knew my daydreams were not reality. There were points in my life where I would actually get into arguments with these 'people' and I would cry myself to sleep over imaginary incidents. Sometimes, I would begin conversations compulsively, embarrassing myself when someone within earshot would ask me who I was talking to. I know the behaviour must have begun when, as a 2 year old, I suffered a horrific accident and spent two years in the hospital (in the early 60's) long before paediatric wards were bright, cheery and made to be accommodating to children and their needs. I was horrifically lonely and bored. After going home, to a parent who was severely mentally ill and neglectful or out right absent, and a father who travelled continually, my intense daydreams got me through. In my teens, struggling with years of sexual abuse (maternal), medications due to depression, bullying and social isolation, I think the daydreaming again, oddly enough - saved my sanity; or what there was of it. I do know that going back to school in my thirties as well as decades of therapy helped greatly. I'm not exactly sure why/how but in the past decade or so, the compulsion to maladaptively daydream seems to have simply withered away.

I am in my mid-sixties, disabled now, due to mental and physical issues, after having spent over a decade as a 911 Dispatcher. I worked midnights during those years and that helped/hurt me due to the escape those hours afforded me from having to make too many social engagements. I grew up rather 'solitary' but did have four relationships - all of which ended badly - Once I escaped my last abuser, with the help of a therapist, I made the decision to focus on myself and work through the needs I have to equate love/friendship with those who treat me badly. During the past ten years, as I've said, that maladaptive daydreaming has ceased.

I only recently - within the last year - found the term "Maladaptive Daydreaming" - and I wish and hope that any here who feel they may be affected can get the help they need. It literally stole decades from my life, which felt so empty alone and simultaneously terrifying and uncertain, that my imaginings were the only place where I felt secure and In control.

Thank you for posting this.
 

ruborcoraxxx

MyPTSD Pro
YES! I suffered drastically/horribly from early childhood until my early thirties, having NO idea what 'it' was other than a behaviour that caused me much guilt, cost untold days/months/years off my life and critically hampered my ability to function for many years. I kept this to myself, terrified of the reaction should I admit that I spent at least 5 hours a day - or more - in bed, making up scenarios, conversations, places, activities with people I either made up in my head or pretended to 'know'. I absolutely knew this was 'irrational' behaviour and also knew my daydreams were not reality. There were points in my life where I would actually get into arguments with these 'people' and I would cry myself to sleep over imaginary incidents. Sometimes, I would begin conversations compulsively, embarrassing myself when someone within earshot would ask me who I was talking to. I know the behaviour must have begun when, as a 2 year old, I suffered a horrific accident and spent two years in the hospital (in the early 60's) long before paediatric wards were bright, cheery and made to be accommodating to children and their needs. I was horrifically lonely and bored. After going home, to a parent who was severely mentally ill and neglectful or out right absent, and a father who travelled continually, my intense daydreams got me through. In my teens, struggling with years of sexual abuse (maternal), medications due to depression, bullying and social isolation, I think the daydreaming again, oddly enough - saved my sanity; or what there was of it. I do know that going back to school in my thirties as well as decades of therapy helped greatly. I'm not exactly sure why/how but in the past decade or so, the compulsion to maladaptively daydream seems to have simply withered away.

I am in my mid-sixties, disabled now, due to mental and physical issues, after having spent over a decade as a 911 Dispatcher. I worked midnights during those years and that helped/hurt me due to the escape those hours afforded me from having to make too many social engagements. I grew up rather 'solitary' but did have four relationships - all of which ended badly - Once I escaped my last abuser, with the help of a therapist, I made the decision to focus on myself and work through the needs I have to equate love/friendship with those who treat me badly. During the past ten years, as I've said, that maladaptive daydreaming has ceased.

I only recently - within the last year - found the term "Maladaptive Daydreaming" - and I wish and hope that any here who feel they may be affected can get the help they need. It literally stole decades from my life, which felt so empty alone and simultaneously terrifying and uncertain, that my imaginings were the only place where I felt secure and In control.

Thank you for posting this.
Thank you for sharing. I'm sorry of the reasons but happy to know it's behind you.
 
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