What it's like being a maladaptive daydreamer


First here is the definition: "What Is Maladaptive Daydreaming? Sometimes known as daydreaming disorder, maladaptive daydreaming describes a condition where a person regularly experiences daydreams that are intense and highly distracting — so distracting, in fact, that the person may stop engaging with the task or people in front of them."

And I should note that:

"Experts still do not know what causes maladaptive daydreaming, and there's no official method of diagnosis. While it has been linked to social anxiety or previous trauma, people may develop maladaptive daydreaming without any prior trauma"

  • Other conditions that people have reported alongside maladaptive daydreaming include:


anxiety disorders

post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)



bipolar disorder

borderline personality disorder

dissociative disorder


I have been clinically diagnosed with Anxiety, depression and OCD.

  • ."What are the symptoms of maladaptive daydreaming?

extremely vivid daydreams with their own characters, settings, plots, and other detailed, story-like features, reflecting a complex inner world

daydreams triggered by real-life events

difficulty completing everyday tasks

difficulty sleeping at night

an overwhelming desire to continue daydreaming

performing repetitive movements while daydreaming

making facial expressions while daydreaming

whispering and talking while daydreaming

daydreaming for lengthy periods (up to several hoursTrusted Source)

significant distress about daydreaming

awareness that the internal fantasy world is different from external reality"

I've never admitted it until now, because I've been so ashamed. Starting at the age of 10, I would act out my daydreams just by talking (no physical movements or anything)

But I would talk them out with my sister. It's sounds extremely weird but this was a typical night for us:

It was time for bed (we shared a room) and once the light was out, we started talking out an elaborate story, pretending to be the characters. Like the whole dialogue of our own little movie until we were satisfied with the ending and we'd go to bed. Sometimes it would last up to 4 hours.

That's how intricate our stories were.

Every day I had that to look forward to, I was so excited for bedtime to come, so we could act out my daydreams.

It became obsessive, to the point where if one of us was separated and we couldn't act it out that night, I would sob for hours.

What its like being a maladaptive daydreamer

Continuing to this day, I find coping with my maladaptive daydreaming the biggest struggle for me yet. I hate my life, my biggest joy comes from acting out those daydreams of lives and moments I really do want to experience.

My sister doesn't want to do it anymore. I guess how can I blame her? She's happy with her life. But my one way of coping came to an abrupt halt after 7 years of doing it almost every.single.night of my life. Crazy to think about.

After we stopped, I plummeted into the worst depression of my life. Feeling su*c!dal on a regular. I still don't know how to cope with it.

What its like being a maladaptive daydreamer

Whenever I get the chance, I lay in bed for hours listening to music, fantasizing on my own. It's depressing.

What it's like being a maladaptive daydreamer
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Most Helpful Guys

  • Grond21
    I really hope you can find a new outlet where you feel seen and understood. I don't know what that outlet would be, perhaps something creative like writing. But I really hope you can get your voice heard because I don't like the idea of you being depressed. And I think this daydreaming is a really interesting phenomenon
    Helpful 1 Person
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  • ohshee
    I want to know more I need to know more I need to understand it better if you could help me I would appreciate it
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Most Helpful Girls

  • menina
    I haven't heard about this before. It sounds like a nightmare and I'm really sorry that you have to go through this.
    You should see a therapist if you can.
    Helpful 1 Person
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    • Thank you. It feels good getting it off my chest though

    • menina

      You're welcome. I believe you, I wish I could take some things off my chest too.

    • You can always talk to me in private, what you tell me will be between you and me only, you have my word

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  • Flower7
    Writing would be a good thing for you to do. Make some of those daydreams into fiction stories.
    Like 1 Person
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What Girls & Guys Said

  • Massageman
    You might consider calling 1-800- A-FAMILY for a talk and a referral to a professional to help sort this out.
  • Citizenkirk
    Awesome 😎👍
    • How is this awesome? I literally just stated that it's a disorder and it's ruining my life. What the f*** is wrong with people

    • Sorry, I misunderstood the question

    • You didn't read it. If you read it you would know.

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  • Staximus
    Sounds like you just need to go out and live life
    Disagree 1 Person
  • emperor90
    Cool wish i had that
    • Are you f****** kidding me? I made a whole my take about the one thing that is holding me back in life, the thing that's causing my depression and all you say is you wish you had that? Fuck you, piece of shit. This is a disorder and you wish you had that? You're blocked