Daydreaming is a quintessential part of our daily life, isn’t it? Being stuck thinking about the events that happened through is often a very common thing we are stuck procrastinating. But, have you ever heard of maladaptive daydreaming treatment? Have any idea about why it is not the good kind of “daydreaming”?
In order to deal with maladaptive daydreaming, it is important that you know what it entails and why it imposes side effects that can impact one’s life for the worse. Owing to this condition coming to the foreground, it is better to know about the condition and why it isn’t the best thing.
By the end of this article, you will have a better idea about the ways on how to stop maladaptive daydreaming and find a better way to cope with it.
What is Maladaptive Daydreaming?
While many may deem it as a common phenomenon, maladaptive daydreaming is anything but that.
It is defined as a psychiatric condition which has the ability to distract a person from their real life. It is often the day to day activity and such which is responsible for the condition of daydreaming to such extreme extent.
There could very well be a number of factors influencing this, some of the common ones being:
- Discussions and conversations
- Noises and any other form of sensory stimuli
- Any form of physical experiences
This condition was first identified Professor Eliezer Somer who is from the University of Haifa located in Israel.
What Are The Causes Of Maladaptive Daydreaming?
When it comes to discussing about the Maladaptive Daydreaming Causes, there could be quite a lot of reasons behind the same, and the triggers may vary from one person to the other and the kind of experiences that they have gone through the time.
It is important to be cautious of the events going around in your life because, often times, those are the factors that end up being the primary causes behind the condition.
All that being said, some of the common triggers and risk factors that one can look out for include:
- Happenings throughout the day
- Similar music or sensory stimuli that trigger the daydream
- Trauma and prior abuse
- Mental health disorders like OCD
As mentioned before, pinpointing an accurate cause behind this condition isn’t technically possible, mainly because of the fact that the same varies from person to person. So, the triggers that make them daydream will be different and could very well be something unique to their personality as well.
What Are The Symptoms Of Maladaptive Daydreaming?
Owing to the fact that the condition is quite similar to the normal daydreaming that everyone of us do every once in a while, but when it comes down to discussing about the maladaptive daydreaming, there are factors that one definitely needs to look out for.
Distinct signs and symptoms are quite significant for this condition and that is exactly what you need to know about.
Some of the common signs and symptoms that one needs to look out for include:
- Being involved in a complete state of imagination with own story, characters and a plotline
- Real life events around triggering a daydream and a state of trance
- Procrastination resulting in incomplete work
- Lack of sleep / insomnia
- Repetitive movements and gestures common during daydreaming
- Chanting and whispering to yourself while daydreaming
- Extended periods of daydreaming
- A strong urge or desire to be a constant state of daydreaming for an extended period of time
- Hampered quality of life
- Sometimes even isolation
In a conducted study, two groups of participants were involved to see how much of the waking time people have maladaptive daydreaming. In the group that was triggered to daydream, the researchers found that the first group spent 57% of their overall waking time in maladaptive daydreaming while the control group only indulged in 16%.
How To Stop Maladaptive Daydreaming?
While daydreaming isn’t technically a bad thing to indulge in, there is always a risk of ending up encountering issues if you go deep into the maladaptive daydreaming. In order to fight through the condition, it is always best suggested to ensure that you know a few ways for the maladaptive daydreaming treatment.
What this does is help ensure to keep you safe and secure and prevent any kind of further issues surrounding the condition all the more.
We have scrounged through and accumulated some of the best ways for stopping and treating maladaptive daydreaming that you possibly had no idea about.
1.Get to the bottom of the issue
When it comes to the ways to deal with maladaptive dreaming, the very first thing that one needs to look out for is the ways to find what is causing the problem in the first place.
It is of no surprise that with every single one of the problematic behaviour, there is going to be an underlying problem. In order to treat it, you need to pay close attention to your dreams and assess what kind of dreams is recurring.
Based on this, it does become a lot easier for you to explore the nature of the problem and in turn, discover the source of the problem as well.
There are chances that the reality of your life isn’t as pleasing as you expect it to be which is why you find an escape in the imaginary world. It is always best suggested to find what it is that is bothering you in real life and then fight through that to cure the problem with the daydreaming.
2.Consider that abuse could be a cause in this
We are so wired to wipe out the negative things that have happened to our life that we fail to realize that the same could very well be a cause behind the condition of maladaptive daydreaming treatment.
If you have been struggling through and through with this, it is important that you assess abuse as a possible cause. Be it as a child or even a grown up, you need to realize and face the wrath and wrong doings and not let it become a fragment of your imagination that you subdue deep within your darker side of the mind.
Let it come out and don’t bottle it up within yourself. It has even been witnessed that any form of abuse in the childhood often pans out to be a matter of concern at a later stage in their life.
3.Keep the expectations realistic
We all have expectations from our treatment procedure. But, if you are opting for the ways for the maladaptive daydreaming treatment, it is important to ensure that you have realistic expectations about the happenstances.
Many people forget for a fact that daydreaming is in fact a normal and healthy activity, provided that it doesn’t meddle with the other areas of your life.
If you think that with the treatment plans and options you will end up not daydreaming at all, you are completely mistaken. This is where you take everything unexpectedly.
When you are making plans to deal with maladaptive daydreaming, ensure that you have realistic approach to it and realistic goals to them as well. If not, chances are that you won’t be able to make the plans that you can stick to.
Instead of cutting it out completely, try and stick to a habit that reduces the frequency of it a little by little. This will help deal with the condition and even meet up with the obligations as well.
4.Know what the triggers are
There is a difference between the triggers and the possible causes behind the condition of maladaptive daydreaming.
If you are very frequent with your daydreaming, it is possible that you must have noticed a pattern with the same. There should very well be a context to where your thoughts are budding from.
You need to nip the bud from the root and find what the trigger is that is making you daydream without any possible context at all. There could very well be a number of triggers, from a physical touch to a loud noise.
In order for successful maladaptive daydreaming treatment, you need to ensure that you know the triggers like the back of your hand so when it appears; you are successful in handling the situation like a pro.
5.Try and get some quality sleep
Sleep is one of the most important factors responsible for treating maladaptive daydreaming. Often times, people suffering from this psychiatric condition have the tendency to not be able to get a good quality of sleep during the night.
If you are suffering from the same, try and look for ways that can help improve your sleep (R).
If possible, try and train your body to have a steady sleep schedule wherein you go to sleep early and wake up on time as well. Try and include some bedtime routines as well because even that has been found to have beneficial impacts in helping through the problem of maladaptive daydreaming.
Even studies (R) have indicated the link between lack of sleep with higher frequency of daydreaming.
6.Set small and concrete goals for recovery
When it comes discussing about the ways on how to stop maladaptive daydreaming, it is important to ensure that you start your journey by setting small yet concrete goals.
It is common for you to fail on your first or even your second attempt. The best way to minimize the disappointments is by having small goals that are achievable and won’t end up digging a hole through your plans.
Additionally, having small goals also makes it easier to keep track of which is definitely an added bonus to it.
Always remember that it is your struggle you are fighting through and everything should always be at your own pace.
Owing to the fact that the condition of maladaptive daydreaming takes you away from your reality, it is important that you do things that will help you regain that sense of “being present”.
Meditation is one of the absolute best ways to do so without a speck of doubt. Meditation and its benefits doesn’t technically require a separate introduction
It has been found to have effective impacts in helping boost one’s immune system and even help in bringing in calmness to one’s mind.
Studies have also shown that meditation helps improve focus and are not heavily affected by the external stimuli around, thus helping them overcome the triggers that they often tend to struggle with.
8.Keep your mind engaged
Having a lone and empty mind is itself very vulnerable and is subjected to end up being affected with frequent daydreaming.
You would be surprised that keeping yourself engaged throughout the day time can result in amazing things that you possibly have no idea about. Instead of being bothered by the triggers and getting lost in your own thoughts, try and keep yourself engaged with creative work throughout the day. It could very well be something like reading a book or even focusing on your work during the day.
Try and indulge in works that will bring your mind peace and calm down the constant string of stressful thoughts. This does help a lot if you stick to it through and through.
9.Keep some time to day dream
As we did mention before, you will only get results when you are realistic about the condition. Not being realistic isn’t technically something that will help you.
So, the best way for treating maladaptive daydreaming is by ensuring that you keep aside some time for that.
As unrealistic as it sounds, it does help in toning down you zoning out for a stretch of time throughout the day. Ensure that you are well aware of the consequences and then try and have a healthy way to exercise those dreams that won’t overwhelm you or your life, for that matter.
10.Anchor yourself to the present
One of the most common reasons behind the condition of maladaptive daydreaming is the fact that you tend to zone out into your own world of fantasy.
This is where the problem arises. In order to successfully accomplish the maladaptive daydreaming treatment, it is important to ensure that you are in the present. Being mindful is very effective in helping you browse through the possibilities and cope with the condition better.
When you are present mindfully, it prevents your thoughts from dissipating, thus further helping ground you and help you through the process of treatment altogether.
11.Maintain a journal
Maintaining a journal is actually one of the best ways to deal with maladaptive daydreaming. You would be surprised as to how much it helps in keeping you earthed and grounded.
Writing down your experiences do help in keeping you alert of the triggers that could be hampering your health through and through. It is always best to jot down the time, the duration of the daydream and even the associated problems like the triggers and what caused you to daydream in the first place.
All that being said, it is important that you keep this as a safe outlet to channel the negativity that’s causing the problem in the first place.
This helps prevent your mind from slipping into daydreaming, thus helping get rid of the problem all the more. Make sure that you allow space for your self-discovery because that does help a lot in this.
12.Seek out for social support
Having someone accountable for your doings is actually quite effective in handling your growth in maladaptive daydreaming treatment and helps you get out of it. If your mind has been in a constant haze of demotivation, the best way to work through it is by reaching out to someone reliable.
Make them keep a track of your growth and ensure that they seek out answers from you because even that does help a lot in this.
But, the only thing you need to assess is to ensure that your accountability partner is someone that you can rely on and is trustworthy.
Additionally, if you have no one as such in your friend or family circle, there are uncountable numbers of online forums who offer support to help you recover and get through the problem. Try and seek out a good one in the lot.
13.Turn the dreams into goals
We often find escape in our dreams when we are not capable of achieving good things in our lives. This is where you need to make changes to your life. It goes without saying that for the most part, we are all bound to the unnecessary traction of making it through with our lives.
The best way to fight through these problems is if you turn your dreams into achievable goals. If you are visualizing a scenario in your dreams, chances are that deep down, you want to achieve them. So, why not do the same?
Instead of sitting and procrastinating things in life, try and reach out to make those possible sights of maladaptive daydreaming a reality of your life. This will help you out a lot and you wouldn’t even realize the same.
14.Talk to someone professional
Often times, we are so far ahead that bringing yourself back into the reality becomes quite tough. The best way to fight through the problem is by ensuring that you reach out to someone professional and experienced. Find someone who would be able to show you a path to recovery and provide with an even better picture into why is it happening and how you can overcome it.
Therapists are quite a good option because they can help with maladaptive daydreaming treatment and provide you with the answers to the questions that have been constantly running through your mind.
When it comes to the maladaptive daydreaming treatment, there are some effective ways in which you achieve a better life for yourself. It is time to not let your imaginations take charge and control of your life and instead stick to a productive life with attainable goals. We have mentioned the top 14 ways to fight back and we hope it helps.