Daydreaming is an activity that we have all engaged in at some point. The term means being immersed in one’s own fantasies and thoughts while awake. People generally dream of pleasant things, for example, about achieving a specific goal, about meeting the love of their life, and much more. However, what do you do when this fantasy gets out of hand? What do you do when these daydreams are affecting your personal and professional life? In scientific terms, there is a name for this condition – maladaptive daydreaming disorder.
Although it is not specified in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), researchers and medical professionals have identified the disorder among various patients. Let’s dig deeper into what maladaptive daydreaming disorder is and how to deal with it.
What is maladaptive daydreaming disorder?
Maladaptive disorder is a mental disorder in which individuals are so consumed and indulged in daydreams and obsessive fantasies, that it affects their daily functioning. Daydreaming reaches a point where the individual feels a complete lack of control over their mind.
The disorder was first identified in 2002 by a professor of clinical psychology at Hefia University, Eli Sommer, in a research paper. The paper looked at six different trauma center individuals whose daydreaming habits interfered with their regular functioning and replaced human interactions.
What are the symptoms of maladaptive daydreaming?
Many other researches over the years have provided a specific set of symptoms for maladaptive disorder. However, these symptoms are neither exhaustive nor foolproof due to a lack of in-depth research.
Symptoms of maladaptive daydreaming include:
- fantasy wide,
- vivid and highly detailed daydreams,
- abnormally long daydreaming sessions,
- daydreaming caused by real-life situations,
- trouble concentrating due to daydreaming,
- obsessive desires to continue to remain daydreaming,
- Daydreaming that disrupts sleep patterns, OR
- Whispering or repetitive movements during daydreaming.
What causes maladaptive daydreaming disorder?
There is no specific cause for maladaptive daydreaming yet. However, many studies have attempted to shed light on why some people develop this condition.
- According to the search Alexandra SandorChildhood trauma and dissociative experiences have a possible relationship to maladaptive daydreaming.
- study by Matthew Killingsworth He found certain links between depression and anxiety disorders and maladjustment disorder.
- According to the International Society for Autism Research (INSAR), people with ramified disorders such as autism and ADHD are more likely to suffer from maladaptive daydreaming.
- In addition, the research he conducted National Center for Biotechnology Information has also linked maladaptive dreams to excessive online gaming.
What treatment options are available for this disorder?
There is no well-defined treatment plan for maladaptive daydreaming disorder. However, traditional therapies useful for other mental health disorders have also been found to be effective for these conditions. search by Cynthia Schupak It was found that patients with the disorder responded well to the medications given to patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Talking therapy has also been found to be helpful in many cases. It has helped individuals restructure behaviors and deal with associated issues such as anxiety and sleep disturbances.
Read more: Best online therapy platforms.
Maladaptive daydreaming disorder is a mental health condition that is often misdiagnosed. Although not recognized in DSM-V, it has been observed in many patients.
Does this mean that daydreaming is a mental illness? of course not. However, for people with maladjustment disorder, the answer is a resounding yes.
The community and the medical world must work to give a name to such little-known mental disorders and to determine appropriate treatment plans so that these individuals can live healthier lives. This is why awareness of unknown mental health issues is so important. To learn more about unusual mental disorders, click here.
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