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self deserting fantasy/maladaptive daydreaming. Fine line?

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self deserting fantasy/maladaptive daydreaming. Fine line?

Postby redhorse » Mon May 02, 2011 1:16 pm

In the description of a self deserting avoidant it says

These individuals immerse themselves in a surrogate fantasy
existence to avoid the discomfort of having to relate to others....and

More and more, they cannot tolerate being themselves and seek
to completely withdraw from their own conscious awareness, an existential abnegation
of selfhood.



There is also a condition known as maladaptive daydreaming with its own forum. Here is one description from an article I read-
"Do you daydream in an excessive way? Do you weave intricate, elaborate fantasy worlds in your mind? Do you experience daydreaming as an addiction, or find that it causes real problems in your life?

If you do, you are far from being alone; there are a lot of people out there who experience this as well. I've seen many, many people post comments about this issue in various forums all over the internet.

There is a name for this. It’s called Maladaptive Daydreaming. This phrase was coined (as far as I know) by Dr. Eli Somer, Ph.D.
I have this problem. I have actually spent whole days doing nothing but daydreaming. I’ve had many “lost weekends” where I’ve done nothing but daydream in an obsessive, uncontrollable way. Even in my day-to-day life, my mind constantly weaves daydreams; it just does this without my planning or wanting it to. If you don’t experience this it may sound like a joke, but unfortunately this is all too real. This problem has done a great deal to damage my life, and has significantly affected my ability to function day-to-day.

It started when I was about five. I would obsessively pace back and forth, creating fantasies and scenarios in my mind. Much later I would find out that many people with this problem will pace or do some other type of repetitive movement (such as shaking something in their hands) while they daydream. However, I had no way of knowing this as I continued to suffer through my childhood and into adulthood. It just seemed to me that I had this weird problem that no one else had.

When I would occasionally try to research the topic of daydreaming, looking for something that would apply to me and my problem, I would only come across information about how wonderful and useful daydreaming could be. I never saw any comments or articles about the destructive reality of daydreaming that I lived with every day.

About two years ago, as I was searching for information about this problem on the internet, I came across the article by Dr. Somer listed above. Finally I had concrete proof that this was a real problem that other people had as well. (End of article)



Does anyone else feel that there is a link? I am a self deserting avoidant and this fantasy stuff is one of the more severe elements of the condition. Even in day to day life eg conversations I battle to stay present and focused. I dont choose to stay in a fantasy world, my mind pulls me into it pretty much 24/7. I think this is my brains way of achieving the avoidance it so desperately craves. It exists to the point where it makes me ill. Does anyone else here find that they are drowning in fantasy to the point where they are totally unable to switch it off even for an hour or two?
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Re: self deserting fantasy/maladaptive daydreaming. Fine line?

Postby redhorse » Mon May 02, 2011 1:33 pm

I suppose what I am trying to decide is are they two separate conditions or is maladaptive daydreaming to the point where it makes you ill just a form of severe self deserting avpd? Where does the fantasy element/the withdrawing from their own conscious awareness that comes with self deserting avpd end and where does maladaptive daydreaming begin? Are all these maladaptive daydreamers just undiagnosed self deserting avpds? I would love to hear from anyone who has been reading or thought about these two conditions as I am not sure myself where i stand on the issue. Do I need to belong to 2 forums :cry: or does avpd self deserting cover it enough? All you self deserting avoidants. When you read about maladaptive daydreaming do you think eureka or wtf?
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Re: self deserting fantasy/maladaptive daydreaming. Fine line?

Postby VenusWillendorf » Tue May 03, 2011 12:12 am

I would think that "maladaptive daydreaming" can be a part of "self deserting avoidant", while "self deserting avoidant" is so much more than "maladaptive daydreaming".

Like you are (or may be) an avoidant that "specializes" in maladaptive daydreaming, but a maladaptive daydreamer that's not avoidant to begin with, wouldn't have all the other symptoms of avpd. So they can't be "the same thing", though one can include the other.

Or something. I don't know, really, just a thought.
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Re: self deserting fantasy/maladaptive daydreaming. Fine line?

Postby redhorse » Tue May 03, 2011 1:18 am

I would think that "maladaptive daydreaming" can be a part of "self deserting avoidant", while "self deserting avoidant" is so much more than "maladaptive daydreaming".


Thats an interesting reply.I have posted this same question in a md forum that I have found.Maybe thats it...maybe Im an avpd who specialises in md as you say. I have the full range of avpd behaviours not just md but it seems to be a huge feature of it.I was just wondering is md automatically a feature of self deserting avpd or just for some people? I wonder how many other self deserting avpds also got a bolt of recognition when they read about md? Im dancing between both forums.I need this forum because of all the other avpd stuff and the md forum because this forum doesnt go far enough in dealing with the severity of the daydreaming that I experience. Just curious if anyone else felt the same.
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Re: self deserting fantasy/maladaptive daydreaming. Fine line?

Postby tlepS drawkcaB » Tue May 03, 2011 3:45 am

redhorse wrote:I suppose what I am trying to decide is are they two separate conditions or is maladaptive daydreaming to the point where it makes you ill just a form of severe self deserting avpd? Where does the fantasy element/the withdrawing from their own conscious awareness that comes with self deserting avpd end and where does maladaptive daydreaming begin? Are all these maladaptive daydreamers just undiagnosed self deserting avpds? I would love to hear from anyone who has been reading or thought about these two conditions as I am not sure myself where i stand on the issue. Do I need to belong to 2 forums :cry: or does avpd self deserting cover it enough? All you self deserting avoidants. When you read about maladaptive daydreaming do you think eureka or wtf?

I day dream a fair bit... well alot actually and can tune out without realising Im doing it. I just think its our brains way of dealing with a lack of interaction with other people. I even daydream when Im talking with people.

I'd imagine most people with avpd use some form of escapism but its more about recognising you have an issue and trying to limt its harms. I guess the best way to deal with it is to keep you mind active with something you enjoy or something mentally challenging. That way you have to focus your thoughts on something and keep your concentration levels on that specific task.
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Re: self deserting fantasy/maladaptive daydreaming. Fine line?

Postby Quests » Tue May 03, 2011 3:47 am

redhorse wrote:I would obsessively pace back and forth, creating fantasies and scenarios in my mind. Much later I would find out that many people with this problem will pace or do some other type of repetitive movement (such as shaking something in their hands) while they daydream


I had to pick my jaw off the floor as everything the excerpt describes fits perfectly. It almost seems natural and robotic like when the day dreaming happens like I am not even in control of my movements. I always thought I was the only one who had this problem and try to keep it a secret. I must say the problem has gotten worse over the past year. This past year also happens to be the time where I became the most reclusive I ever been in my life. I have pretty much lost all my friends that I had in high school and have not seen my best friend face to face in 1 year, although we have text each other a lot the past few days. It seems as if the day dreaming is my mind way of trying to keep me sane and replace the loneliness I feel. If anybody in my real life every knew that this is how I spend most of my days, living in a fantasy world, my mind and spirit would be crushed. I honestly don't think I could face the world again if that was to happen :oops:
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Re: self deserting fantasy/maladaptive daydreaming. Fine line?

Postby redhorse » Tue May 03, 2011 12:12 pm

Quests you might benefit from spending an evening over here.http://wildminds.ning.com/ Its an excellent resource for maladaptive daydreaming. You will see me asking the same question over there as I did here. Is this "just" severe self deserting avpd for at least some people anyway? When or if you read the forum I would be interested in your views.

Do you have avpd/MD
or
do you have avpd AND MD.
or
do you have MD

Im just curious to see where/if you think it fits with your avpd status.


So far I have been given the suggestion by venus that I am an avpd (self deserting) who specialises in MD. There is an interesting link there I think and Im curious to see who else has the big thunderbolt of recognition. :)


Here is one description from the forum(from the author of the site)

"It's hard to explain, but there's not a moment that I drift off to daydream. I'm walking around in a CONSTANT state of daydream & ONLY do external activities while daydreaming. Pulling myself out to think about something else is very difficult & only lasts for a few seconds. I'm constantly (as in every single minute) drifting right back. I'm daydreaming while doing this. That other world is always in the background & taking up the majority of my brainpower. On top of that, when I'm lying around I'll just daydream. I lie down to daydream for several hours a day, here & there. There are periods of external inspiration that will distract me out of it, and they feel SO GOOD.....but they're very short-lived. The only things I can do are the things that I can do while daydreaming. Consequently I'm only ever working at a small fraction of my capabilities. That's why it takes me so long to accomplish anything & I still have mail that has gone unopened for years, for example. Make sense?

and here is another from the author as well

For the past 30 years I've been living in an alternate reality that has completely taken over my life. Instead of fading into the past, it became my reality. The outside world faded & faded, and I've been fighting to reclaim it. Long past the point of being a joyful fantasy, it's become an addiction that I have unlimited access to. I have no self control. I can only distract myself out of it. I'm like an alcoholic with an unlimited supply of booze everywhere I go. When I do it too much I feel sick & dazed, yet I can't stop. I've stepped out into traffic & almost gotten myself killed more times than I can count. I've gotten better & am struggling to find footing in the outside world. In the meantime, I want to reach out.

This condition has a name. It's called Maladaptive Daydreaming. I spent years feeling alone and scared, like I was the only one on the planet that could possibly be going through this. I felt like a freak. I was completely ashamed and scared to death anyone would find out. It's time to end that. We're not freaks. Our brains work differently. Maladaptive Daydreamers lead unique and enriching lives. We have wondrous gifts and gut-wrenching struggles. For the good and the bad, this condition takes a lot of strength and energy to live with. I refuse to be ashamed, and I don't want anyone else to be either.(end of article quote)


When you look at the description of self deserting avpds and their use of fantasy there are echoes aren't there/are there? ....in particular with this symptom of self deserting avpd-

"More and more, they cannot tolerate being themselves and seek
to completely withdraw from their own conscious awareness, an existential abnegation
of selfhood...some neglect themselves physically and psychologically etc etc"



Just wondering is it the same thing for some people anyway. I dont have a firm view yet. Still on the fence.
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Re: self deserting fantasy/maladaptive daydreaming. Fine line?

Postby redhorse » Tue May 03, 2011 1:06 pm

tlepS drawkcaB wrote:
redhorse wrote:
I'd imagine most people with avpd use some form of escapism but its more about recognising you have an issue and trying to limt its harms. I guess the best way to deal with it is to keep you mind active with something you enjoy or something mentally challenging. That way you have to focus your thoughts on something and keep your concentration levels on that specific task.


Tlepsdrawcab. That would be the ideal solution but people with severe MD have this from as long as its possible to remember ie birth or early childhood. Its absolutely impossible to focus on something else and keep your concentration on that specific task. Thats why the disorder is so distressing for many. That "just focus" ship sailed a long time ago ...if it ever existed. This isnt the "yeah I tend to daydream a bit too much.." kind of problem.Some people cant drive their cars because it is too dangerous because of the continual zoning out that this disorder causes. It cant be controlled as yet but docs are studying it.
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Re: self deserting fantasy/maladaptive daydreaming. Fine line?

Postby Quests » Tue May 03, 2011 2:30 pm

After reading the site, I think my form is more self deserting AvPD then full on maladaptive daydreaming. Although it can certainly fall into the other category just as easily. When I am around people or in public I do not daydream much if at all, as my mind is constantly focus on how others are perceiving me. It is when I am in my house or I am alone for an extended period of time that the excessive daydreaming starts. I am not medically diagnosis with AvPD, but I think my avoidant behavior led me to recluse, which started the excessive daydreaming to make up for lost real world connections. If that makes sense.
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Re: self deserting fantasy/maladaptive daydreaming. Fine line?

Postby redhorse » Tue May 03, 2011 3:56 pm

Yes it makes perfect sense. Thank you for your thoughful reply. It was interesting that you said you stopped daydreaming when you were around people because you were worried about how they perceive you.

I dont know why I daydream around people. Its been there since birth./early childhood. Maybe in some ways its to block out how people perceive me? I get my avoidance that I crave from leaving myself as opposed to the other person...hence the title self deserting?? Its goodbye to me and my conscious awareness of the situation as opposed to good bye to them if that makes any sense. I can avoid the person and all the uncomfortable feelings they generate by switching off from reality (although I dont do it deliberately as its been there all my life). I am not sure. Im still trying to work it out. I gather from your reply that you would describe your situation more as excessive daydreaming rather than maladaptive daydreaming as described by the author. Thanks for your reply. You have given me lots to think about.
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