Originally Posted by human after all
Maybe if I didn't see a video I casually bumped onto on Youtube today, I would've spent my whole life not knowing what's wrong with me besides SA and depression. I thought I was the only one doing this, because no one speaks about it out of shame and it's still researched by psychologists, although you can still find some documentation online. I'm hoping I can bring this to your attention, who knows if someone has it and doesn't know, and if you have it, we can talk about it.
Excessive daydreaming may begin as an outlet for creativity or as a method of escaping trauma or abuse. The daydreamers experience very vivid and intricate fantasies and may become emotionally attached to the characters in their fantasies or express emotions they are feeling through vocal utterances or changing facial expressions, although most keep such behavior hidden from others. People with Maladaptive Daydreaming are different from schizophrenics, they know the difference between reality and fantasy; they realize that everything they are dreaming about is a fantasy. [They simply have trouble stopping daydreaming and focusing on regular tasks.] Some also exhibit symptoms similar to Asperger's Syndrome, ADHD or OCD.
Many people have social anxiety and/or depression along with maladaptive daydreaming. A large number also find their social lives are negatively impacted by this disorder. 79% of those self-identified as having excessive daydreams had a kinesthetic repetitive movement accompany their daydreaming, such as pacing, rocking, tapping, or shaking an object. Many others also move their hands around and make facial expressions: laughing, crying, whispering, and gesturing with hands [because they are trying to impersonate the characters themselves]. Listening to music while daydreaming is common and hearing music may trigger a fantasy. A repetitive movement may be articulated to music while daydreaming. Watching a movie or reading a book, can also trigger a fantasy.
Many people have novel or movie type fantasies. They create their own world [sometimes more than one] , with characters, settings, plots, heroes, villains, friends, etc. -- they also may imagine storylines using the characters or settings from already existing works of fiction.
Some people have reported dizziness, headaches and other physical symptoms after daydreaming. [Source:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maladaptive_daydreaming].
Now I've been having this from when I was about 5 or 6. I would rock in bed, while imagining being someone else, like impersonating the different characters my "stories" have. I would often imagine myself as being a succesful person, like a rockstar or a motivational speaker (I know right, ironically I'm the exact opposite) etc. I have episodes mostly when I go to sleep or wake up or trying to have a nap in the afternoon. That would often left me drained of energy or steal me precious sleep.
I use it as an escape for reality, as a way to cope with the fact that I have no friends and my life sucks. But it's dangerous because it steals you time energy and motivation (you would rather daydream instead of actually do something for your benefit)
and can make you more depressed and isolated. It's an addiction
, it can be treated like that.
A site to know more about it and find people like us:http://wildminds.ning.com/
Within the last few weeks I had a casual look around for something of me that... well... that little something that seemed a bit different than everyone else I guess. When you're so used to something that is a part of you, that doesn't really cause problems (actually this... MD.. I find is beneficial in ways), one doesn't always look for a descriptor, or indeed a solution. Even in todays world, many still shy away from 'labels'. Still facing up to something that I have known has existed since I was a child has brought me here after very limited searching. Some of the things discussed in the OP's post resonates so strongly with me that I was gobsmacks and almost embarrassed.... as if someone has watched me all these years and write a little summary of me.
Still it's nice to know I'm not utterly alone in the Universe. Your handle is apt 'human after all', indeed.
As I mentioned earlier, my particular symptoms can be beneficial. Goal setting. You can call much of my Daydreams 'Aspirational Daydreams'. I dream of having a better job, Better level of fitness, carrying out explicit sexual fantasies... basically dreaming about somebody I want to be or a situation I want to be in. The Daydreaming itself attaches a strong emotional element to this new somebody. They are goals and things that are realistically achievable in my dreams... not all the time, but much of the time.... and when these have in fact been achieved, the emotional attachment to the dreams and fantasy which I have, are relived.... this time at a more concious REAL level. And when it happens, the return on this dream investment
, if you will, is truly ecstatic.
I feel fortunate reading briefly about other's experiences... it doesn't control a huge amount of time in my life. I can stop it. And I only feel the compulsion to Daydream with music mostly and other quiet times of the day. The one thing which I don't like about it is the need to have some sort of physical activity, and the need to have ... alone time.
I try to burn this need up by running with my mp3 player. And it works a good deal but not 100%: It makes we want to have some alone time occasionally to have a little dream to myself.
Other day dreaming subjects which often come to mind are when I hear about bad situations in the News. I daydream that I'm the person relevant, and I dream that I fix whatever situation is particularly annoying on that News... like some war situation I dream that I'm the 'man in charge' and I end it, or bring justice somewhere or some other altruistic type dream.
Overall, notwithstanding the compulsive side to it, and the need for a repetitive type activity, and alone time, it hasn't been a negative part of me, personally. I would say somewhat the opposite. Allowing me to live out something in someone else's shoes helps greatly with developing my empathy. Trying to feel what the other person may think if I daydream his/her life or feelings.
I hope it has made me a better person.