Story-time: My addiction battle with Maladaptive Daydreaming, and how God saved me from it.

Daydreaming is something that we all do. At normal rates, there is nothing wrong with it. However, sometimes, daydreaming does become an addiction. When people are having rough lives or are suffering from abuse, they sometimes daydream to escape from their reality. Over time, this form of escapism becomes an addiction. It becomes so hard not to daydream, even when you don’t want to.

it is hard to put all of this into words because Maladaptive Daydreaming is only now being recognized as a mental disorder. As someone who struggled with this problem, I know how real it is. It affected my social life a lot. I would not want to talk to my family or my friends, I was happier in my own head. I wanted to be alone so that I could daydream. I would laugh by myself, because there was a joke being said in the scene in my head. Sometimes, I would talk to myself or talk to pictures, the response from the other side is going on in my head. So many times, my family and sometimes friends caught me laughing by myself, or talking to someone when there was nobody in the room. They would ask who I was talking to, and I had no answer for them. It was hard to explain to them that the conversation was going on in my head. I had all these characters in my head. It made life so difficult. It was hard to face reality. The daydreams are usually as vivid as reality. It was so easy to slip into talking to myself, even in public, and sometimes people just stared at me. It was a sickening experience. It was also time-consuming. A typical day-dream session would last close to 4 hours, and sometimes, it took me a whole 18 hours. They were long daydream sessions, and it was hard to snap out of it. It was hard to not do it. It was super hard. Because I had done it for so long, anytime I did not daydream, I honestly felt that something was missing in my life, I felt that a large chunk of me was missing.

I have honestly been through some rough times as a kid. My maladaptive daydreaming started when I was really young, it has been roughly 18 years and I have to say that this situation robs you of life. I needed to badly get out of it. I needed help. There were times when I tried to just stop by myself, but it is an addiction, and it is therefore hard to stop.

I found that with gospel music, constant reading of the word of God and prayer, I have had more productive days and my daydreaming has reduced a lot. God is teaching me how to love my reality and how to make the most of what I have. I finally can see the beauty in these things. This is my testimony. This my truth.

 

 

12 thoughts on “Story-time: My addiction battle with Maladaptive Daydreaming, and how God saved me from it.

  1. Mary says:

    Thank you so much. I too have suffered from this since childhood. It robs me of sleep mostly but also stops me communicating and engaging with others around me. I will definitely repent & pray for strategies.

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  2. Jacqueline chochoi says:

    I’ve been insomniac even as a child due to maladaptive daydreaming. I have to say it certainly does get better with listening to Gospel music and reading Gods word. My daydreaming used to be so bad that i would sometimes even act out the characters which is crayzy now that i think about it. All to Jesus i surrender🙌🏼

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    • christcenteredruminations says:

      I too used to act out the scenes. Family members would walk in on me talking to myself, laughing loudly on my own, and doing things that others would consider “crazy”, but God is pulling me back into reality, and for that, I thank him.

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      • Kay says:

        I am currently struggling with this as well. I too have been doing it since I was a child, and honestly it feels like apart of me is dying when I don’t do it for awhile. But one thing I know is that after about a month of no daydreaming it gets alot easier to say no. It feels like my life is passing me by, and its getting harder to control. My social life has always suffered because of this addiction, but I know that NOTHING is impossible for my God.

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  3. Vic says:

    I’m currently struggling with that too. And quarantine is making it worse 😦 I want to ask you something, how long does the empty feeling last? When I stop daydreaming, I get this empty feeling, how long did yours last? And also, how do you overcome it completely? Do you perhaps still daydream as a hobby? I’m too in love with my characters, I really need help 😦

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    • christcenteredruminations says:

      I still daydream Vic. I have even daydreamed about 3 times today, but it is much less than before. You need to always bring yourself back and try to snap out of it. To be honest, there is an underlying reason why we tend to love these characters so much. They represent the life we would rather be living. Try to practice self-care and remind yourself that here and now is worth it, and you do not need to be in your imaginations to feel free. I am working on this too. Please do let me know of your progress, let us work on it together. May God be with us.

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  4. Abbie G says:

    I’m so glad I’m not the only one! I’ve struggled with maladaptive daydreaming for years, I realised the reason I do it is that in my life I’m constantly overlooked but in my daydreams I can be the centre of attention. But now I have know idea what to do or how to stop them. I feel completely powerless.

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  5. Kate says:

    I struggle with this greatly. I’ve noticed in my life, I’m in my 50s now, I would daydream when I felt trapped or bored. It started for me as a young child; my parents were always loudly, horribly arguing. I was very sheltered as a child and young person.

    Right now, with this pandemic and working from home long hours, unfortunately I’ve turned to it again as a release. But it’s distracting and makes me feel ashamed of how I’ve wasted my time.

    When I’ve been involved in something constructive and social in my life, I found I didn’t want to daydream. I’m so glad to see others here brave enough to share, starting with you, Vic. Thank you for opening up to help others. The Lord loves us and doesn’t want us to limit our lives in this way.

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