Maladaptive daydreaming (MD) is also referred to asexcessive daydreaming. It is a disordered form and proposed diagnosis of dissociative absorption that coordinates with excessive fantasy. However, it is not recognized or predictable by any major psychological or medical criteria. It can interfere with various normal functioning like work or social life, replacing human interaction, and distress. Maladaptive Daydreaming (MD) is not another predictable diagnosis and is not found across the medicine or psychiatry diagnostic manual. This term was coined by Eli Somer, a Professor from the University of Haifa in 2002. He said that the extensive fantasy activity will replace or interface with vocational functioning, interpersonal, or academic, or human interaction.
Apart from Somer’s diagnosis, there is only a few research available outside. Some people suffering from MD will consider this as a disorder due to its interference with the individual person. They can replace the fantasy instead of human interactions either by professional, academic, or social life. Moreover, a Californian maladaptive daydreamer was described as a subject on the CNN report in 2016. She is always fired from jobs due to late to work, nervous, or often distracted, and also caught by fantasies.
Maladaptive Daydreaming – Symptoms
A person who is suffering from maladaptive daydreaming will experience various disorder symptoms and not all of them. Some of the common symptoms are as follows:
- Lengthy periods of daydreaming (starting from few minutes to hours)
- Talking & whispering while daydreaming
- Daydreaming and making facial expressions
- Daydreaming and performing repetitive movements
- Continuing daydreaming with an overwhelming desire
- Difficulty to sleep at night
- Difficulty in completing the everyday tasks
- Real-life events triggered by daydreams
- Extremely intense daydreams due to story-like features, detailed features, plots, settings, and own characters
Still, some experts are not sure or clear about the causes for MD (Maladaptive daydreaming).
Dissociation or Daydreaming
Sometimes, even the dissociation will look similar to the daydreaming problem. A few of them may suffer from PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) and also dissociation is another common PTSD symptom. People may not aware of this condition as dissociation and describe this situation as an Intense Daydream. Within a few key areas, it is important to know that daydreaming is entirely different from dissociation. Cook says that the Dissociation is a physical feeling removed from their existing place or from their body.
Moreover, the dissociation is directly connected with the flight or fight responses. It will usually occur only when a particular person feels threatened or overwhelmed. Sometimes, if you are feeling distressed or mentally check-out from the current situation may also refer to a dissociation. People may feel pretty scary and often it looks like daydreaming or zoning out. It is essential to take immediate treatment or care for curing the maladaptive daydreaming causes.
Maladaptive Daydreaming – Doctor Diagnosis
You can’t find any universal method or process utilized for diagnosing the MD (Maladaptive Daydreaming) disorder. MDS (Maladaptive Daydreaming Scale) was developed and introduced by Eli Somer. This scale will easily determine while the person is suffering from a maladaptive daydreaming problem. A 14-part scale is implemented in the MDS unit. It will rate the maladaptive daydreaming’s five key characteristics;
- People can easily rate how often they are experiencing the symptoms of maladaptive symptoms
- How much a person’s daydreaming will interfere with the ability for carrying out the regular activities
- Perceived daydreaming benefits of a person
- Distress amount caused by the daydreaming problem
- Ability of the person to compel and control their dreams
- Detailed quality and content of each dream
Maladaptive Daydreaming (MD) is also diagnosed by the psychosis type named “Schizophrenia”. It is because Schizophrenia people are not possibly differentiate reality from fantasy. Somer says that it is not a psychosis and they should recognize that their daydreams or thoughts are not real.
How to stop MD (Maladaptive Daydreaming)
Maladaptive Daydreaming (MD) is commonly instinctive as a habit and never realize about your activities. There are numerous symptoms related to this disorder. Some of them like focus lack in everyday tasks, daydream overwhelming desire, daydreaming like talking or whispering, and loss of sleep. Due to these symptoms, you may probably experience maladaptive daydreaming disorder. There are numerous things you can perform to break or stop the cycle:
Taking steps to achieve your Goals
You can get out of the entire daydreaming pattern by taking the first step of visualizing the ideal future. Some of them will daydream to escape from the reality, which is labor-intensive, tedious, and also difficult to handle. It is important to take concrete steps for changing the reality to get out of the fantasy from daydreams’ other side. As a tool, Visualization will assist to plan & work towards turning your dream to achieve tangible goals.
Visualizing your Daydreaming
Moreover, daydreaming is not bad and might be a productive & useful tool to fulfill your positive tool. Apart from that, it is not actually visualization and maladaptive daydreaming. Make use of some tweaks to turning the fantasies into future and positive projections.Visualization is another activity that takes your outside life perspective for motivating you to achieve the ideal reality.
You can practice this modified daydreaming form by setting the goal, place, and a clear time for your visualization. The Intention is the main difference to happen within these two practices. You should be aware of achieving your goal and as well as your intentions.
Make yourself to live the present
Depending upon the surroundings, you may be frustrate with your tendency to your head by yourself fit. Make use of the grounding techniques to train yourself more oftento live in the present. Identify and name some objects within the living room or focus more on the tangible activities to perform. It is essential to focus on your breathing mechanics and as well as your breath. These actions will assist you to return to reality or pause or drift off your feelings. Stop for some minutes and try to do some exercises.
Meditation is one of the ultimate exercises to enhance your mind in peace & check. However, it is always hard to perform but you can keep your thoughts and mind in greater control and free your minds’ impulses. During this moment, you can live more present and also make your ground. Start your exercises for a few minutes and regularly increase the time as per your preferences. Users can utilize a video guide or meditation app to get a prompt or better guidance.
Make your mind busy
If you’re bored and daydreaming then make your mind busy to enhance in a productive method. This will avoid the clouds getting into your head. You can prepare a simple to-do list for tracking the entire things to perform on that particular day. Accurately, you can work on the to-do list and referring back if you feel drift off.
Understand the Patterns
First of all, you need to notice your mind for getting drift off and what the possible causes are. Your triggers are identified and need to know the events or actions to cause the daydream. But you must prepare for the same. Most of them will fantasize if they are feeling upset or getting bored. After recognizing your behavior pattern, it is essential to take necessary for avoiding daydreaming. In case if you’re still upset then change the plan and utilize the alternative methods to enhance your emotions.
Identify the reasons for Daydream
First of all, you need to understand the happenings of daydream and stop the same in the first place. Users can differentiate the daydreaming root cause and analyze the daydreams content. Honestly answer yourself on why you fantasize and know the reasons. Some of them will daydream for avoiding painful feelings or thoughts. A few of them will suffer from insecurity or anxiety to get caught within the imagining world. Just know how frequently you daydream and identify the causing situation. It is important the tackle the head-on problem and make appropriate changes to modify the situation.
Without any formal diagnosis system, it is not possible to determine the MD (Maladaptive Daydreaming) presence. Moreover, you can’t find the best treatments for diagnosing this condition. If your daily life is disrupted due to these symptoms then you must immediately seek help or assistance. Avoiding and identifying triggers will assist someone in focusing on the outside tasks of your daydreams. According to the report, you can’t find any formal treatment structures or procedures in place. However, several online communities will make individuals share their experiences or seek assistance on this condition.