Ok, so this one isn’t technically as much as a mental disorder as things like depression, OCD etc but it’s becoming more recognised as a mental disorder so why not write about it?
So, if you’ve been a long-time follower (or just stalked my archives) or have seen my daydreaming post then you know I love daydreaming. I have loads of OCs and scenarios that I just switch to. My main OC (called Chelsea) is a ‘better’ version of me – she is really sporty, really smart, very tough etc. She also has really severe depression (due to her past) but we will just leave that now lol. I imagine Chelsea as my ‘alternate persona’ – she doesn’t take crap from anyone and is pretty much fearless. I sometimes use her behaviours in real life because I’m literally such a pushover/doormat. I’ve had this ‘alternate persona’ for years – even before I created Chelsea, I had loads of alternate personas that all had the same set of behaviours and I thought this was normal, since all my friends have OCs and I know a lot of people that have vivid daydreams. The thing with me, though, is that I always sense that things in my behaviour are off, but nobody actually cares enough to listen and assumes that it’s just normal. So I start to think that. So when I say to myself ‘hey, I don’t think I’m right’ – I feel like I’m going to be labelled as an attention seeker because I’ve always been told I was normal. Tonight I was on pinterest and saw this post:
I was literally SHOOKETH because I had this for years, since I was like 5. So it definitely wasn’t brought on by hormones. I googled maladaptive daydreaming and found this:
I read the paragraph and I’ve never related to something so much in my life. I’m not trying to be funny I’m actually serious. I have made myself cry as one of my OCs, I have thousands of unfinished stories in my head, I’m always lost in my daydreams. I thought it was normal, since I’ve done it for so long. I can daydream for hours at a time with no problem. When I’m on my own, I pretend to pose/act like my characters would. I literally had no idea that this wasn’t normal. I also take my day’s events and turn them into daydreams for my OCs but also change them a bit. For example, I started school yesterday, so I imagined one of my OCs starting 9th grade (Year 10) after being off for over a year due to work (this OC is a dancer btw). I literally thought this was normal. Because I would tell people that I don’t think it is normal, then get told that it is normal, then not find out that it isn’t normal until years later, normally coincidentally on tumblr or pinterest. In the article that the paragraph above is from, it says that people with MD (maladaptive daydreaming) spend around 4 hours a day daydreaming. That’s pretty accurate for me; on weekends I spend around 4-5 hours a day daydreaming (I think), and school days, around 3-4 hours. (This is when I actually have proper daydreaming time with music, not counting the times I daydream in bed or when I just wake up.) I also read on the same article that people with MD are ‘drawn’ to daydreaming in a compulsive way. I HAVE LITERALLY NEVER UNDERSTOOD SOMETHING MORE. When I’m getting ready in the morning, I have this weird urge to go daydream outside and that means I kinda rush so I can go daydream. I literally never thought this was normal.
I also read that it can affect my day-to-day life, which is probably true and literally all the sources I’m reading says that I need to ‘control’ my daydreams but I get really sad because I created so many fictional utopias and I don’t want them to go away in an instant. I don’t want to abandon so much that I’ve created, and even though they’re only in my head, they seem real and kind of like a coping mechanism. When I’m upset or anxious, I just drift to my fictional universes and I don’t want all that to go away in an instant. So I’m not really sure I want help for my disorder because it literally depresses me to the point of tears when the thought of abandoning my characters comes up.
I definitely have this, and I think I have the extreme version because it says that in the most extreme cases, people can daydream for 4+ hours a day, which is pretty accurate for me. I also read stuff from people with MD and they said some daydreams involve their own lives and some involve random people. I’ve had daydreams about how outings with friends or get-togethers will pan out, but sometimes I shift to my different utopia, although in my fictional utopia, I sometimes insert other real-life people in there. Apparently there’s also a strong link between MD and OCD and we all know how I did on that quiz…
One of the strongest symptoms of MD is repetitive and unconscious movements while daydreaming, and I normally sit outside on my swing when I daydream, and I subconsciously push myself with my right foot without even feeling it. I have to push myself every single time though otherwise it just feels weird.
MD is also associated with ADHD, anxiety, depression and OCD so get ready as I embark on this mental health rollercoaster 😀 (Actually I already know I have anxiety and I probably have depression and OCD but I don’t actually know and I definitely don’t have ADHD because I can be still/quiet for a long time). Also, 28% of MD people have attempted suicide. I haven’t attempted suicide but I’ve definitely considered it at least over 20 times and I’ve self harmed a few times.
Anyway, that was my discovery of my new mental disorder 🙂 Stay tuned to see if I have anything else *gulp*