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Maladaptive Daydreaming and AS?

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Maladaptive Daydreaming and AS?

Postby Quotidian » Wed Mar 07, 2012 8:35 pm

Most of my problems with life is how boring I find reality. My AS makes it quite difficult to make life more eventful because I prefer doing things on my own. I have people I dive with and people I climb with, but our friendship is purely professional so to speak. I don't like doing anything but climbing or diving with them, and when we do talk, it's just about our diving or climbing endeavors. Same with MMA, the conversation is about the sport, or it's non-existent.

I sit on public transport for several hours a day and just day dream. I work hard, but my head's in a fantasy world that I've created out of boredom, and my body's just working on autopilot with my face in a vacant stare... Well, more vacant than usual.

This all started at school. I knew what I wanted to do with my life. I'd hit the gym, the pool or Krav after school instead of doing my homework. In class I'd just gaze out of the window mentally picturing myself doing what I've read about. At one point when I was 15, I'd watch Black Hawk Down every night, pasting my face onto Eric Bana's SFOD-Delta character. I'd picture myself doing everything from fighting in combat, to what life would be like at home. When I thought I'd for sure be in the Special Forces, I always wandered what I'd do when I got home, I still do kinda wander what I'd do at home if everything went to plan. Picture myself getting married, then getting divorced. I had read arguably over 100 books about Special Forces combat by time I was 17 and that's all I'd think about doing. These day dreams were what I'd think about when I was running or swimming, giving myself motivation. I'd picture what my SFOD team would be like. I'd think about the pain and discomfort I'd endure in the field. I'd even picture myself even being killed in action in many ways. I'm not suicidal, but we're all going to die one day, and the idea of being killed in combat seems like a better way to go, than dying alone in a hospital at 80.

The're a lot of hours in the day where I have t sit alone on public transport or at home. Usually I'd just read, watch tv or listen to some tunes and surf the net, but now I can just sit alone in a dark room for hours just daydreaming. A lot of what I think about isn't realistic anymore. But I don't just think about something new everyday. All my daydreams are interlocked, they're all part of the same scenario. The day dreams aren't realistic or a representation of what I think the SFOD life is like, but more movie like as I've gotten older. At this point I'm 37 (I'm 22 IRL) and I try and picture myself at that age. Got some deep set eye wrinkles and a few greys in my stubble. I then just take it from there, just making stuff up as I go along, bringing in all the characters that I create physically based on people in my life, or people I see on TV a lot. The characters aren't necessarily me any more. The character based on me is still a major part of the fantasy universe, but I think a lot about what the other people in SFOD/SAD/SOG operator Master Sergeant Quotidian's universe would be doing. The romance with my CIA-SAD/SOG case officer who just so happens to physically resemble Gabrielle Union in every way. FYI, I am aware just how creepy that is, but she's perfection. We broke up when I was drugged and seduced by an Israeli Mossad agent who looks exactly like an older Esti Ginzburg... Just before her scoop crew burst down the door and held me prisoner in a basement for a week. I come up with strange scenarios where I'd feel angry or upset. Or think about the adrenaline or celebrating or things that my mundane life doesn't really make me feel.

I thought I'd bring this up because most of my daily sanity comes from being able to dive into this alternate reality and live vicariously through it. If I didn't have it, I think I'd have more days like the other day, just full of anger and confusion. It's good to exit this reality and go somewhere where I know I'm not bored.
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Re: Maladaptive Daydreaming and AS?

Postby Grossenschwamm » Wed Mar 07, 2012 10:22 pm

I see a strange parallel between myself and you. The subject matter is different, but I do very nearly the same thing. I'm so bored with how my real life actually is that I draw inspiration from the comic books and cartoons I watched as a kid (and still do now) and inject myself into similar scenarios or completely invent one of my own in which to "live" as I go through my day, as well as bizarre divine fantasies even though I'm non-religious and essentially non-theistic. I feel this may be what I'm calling a delusion, and when I'm extremely desperate I fold so far into this fantasy that I go from wishing it was true to believing it is. Whatever the phenomena is called, it's definitely a coping mechanism in which to vent our frustration. I've learned how to go into a lucid state while dreaming, so I act out my fantasies as best I can while asleep.

My personal favorite is a super hero persona I would hope to eventually get into a graphic novel I'd both illustrate and write, but given my priorities at this moment, talk is cheap.
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Re: Maladaptive Daydreaming and AS?

Postby Quotidian » Wed Mar 07, 2012 11:11 pm

I'm pretty sure it's called maladaptive daydreaming and it's quite common with AS. It's also strongly associated with PTSD, however, I certainly don't have PTSD.

I've been trying to lucid dream for years. I've had a few break throughs, but only by accident. I spend entire days thinking "This is real, I'm awake", whist taking notes of my surroundings. I read every sign and remind myself "I'm reading the sign" because you can't read for more than a few seconds whilst you're dreaming (so I've heard). I even say "I will remember my dreams" before I go to bed and write down what I remember from my dreams in the morning. BUT STILL! I can't make it natural like the lucid dreamers who I take tips from. :x

Anyway. Things are getting hot in North Korea and the CIA's SAD MS Quotidian needs to go and do some deep cover work... before he wakes up in the morning and goes back to constructing people's gardens for close to minimum wage.
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Re: Maladaptive Daydreaming and AS?

Postby BeMused » Thu Mar 08, 2012 2:57 am

I've been doing this since I was a child. It started out "becoming" characters from books I'd read so that I was this whole other person in my head w/ a whole other life. It's always been a manifestation of what I wanted to be (someone who always says and does the right thing, who's loved and admired by others, has an exciting life, etc...) as opposed to this awkward and pathetic kid I saw myself as.

Even now, I still have an alter-ego w/ a different name, appearance, age and life who is extremely gifted and accomplished in music which has always been my passion. I mainly indulge in this daydreaming while listening to music or laying in bed at night or if I'm doing something boring and repetitive. I've had this alternative world w/ this same person almost all of my adult life. She gets older as I do but at a slower rate. And like my childhood fantasies, is the person I wish I could be even tho I'm a lot more accepting of myself now and have even grown to like myself. It's difficult to imagine ever stopping it altogether since I've done it basically my whole life. I've never told anyone about it before.
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Re: Maladaptive Daydreaming and AS?

Postby Grossenschwamm » Thu Mar 08, 2012 3:12 am

Quotidian wrote:I'm pretty sure it's called maladaptive daydreaming and it's quite common with AS. It's also strongly associated with PTSD, however, I certainly don't have PTSD.

I've been trying to lucid dream for years. I've had a few break throughs, but only by accident. I spend entire days thinking "This is real, I'm awake", whist taking notes of my surroundings. I read every sign and remind myself "I'm reading the sign" because you can't read for more than a few seconds whilst you're dreaming (so I've heard). I even say "I will remember my dreams" before I go to bed and write down what I remember from my dreams in the morning. BUT STILL! I can't make it natural like the lucid dreamers who I take tips from. :x

Anyway. Things are getting hot in North Korea and the CIA's SAD MS Quotidian needs to go and do some deep cover work... before he wakes up in the morning and goes back to constructing people's gardens for close to minimum wage.


I also have PTSD on top of AS, unfortunately. I'm trying to work past it at the moment.

I figured out lucid dreaming on my own, the tips never worked for me either. Normally it's just a snap kinda thing where I realize I'm dreaming by looking at my hands and noticing they're purple - as an artist (and very likely due to a compulsion), I monitor my hands closely. Unfortunately, it doesn't always work - I have dreams where I know I'm dreaming, but my subconscious won't bend, as in I either realize I'm dreaming and all I can do is run like hell until I wake up (because if I get hurt in a dream, I ######6 feel it), or I can't control absolutely everything, thereby being merely "super human". I did play God in a dream before, a few months ago. That was my persona in the dream - satisfying and terrifying at the same time. Gave me an odd perspective on four-dimensional physics. Though, shortly before that in my actual life, I realized if energy is "liquid" matter, stopping a photon while maintaining its energy signature causes it to decay into a particle-antiparticle pair of corresponding mass. Forgot how to get it done, but I do remember it's pretty damn hard to do.
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Re: Maladaptive Daydreaming and AS?

Postby Quotidian » Thu Mar 08, 2012 1:58 pm

Grossenschwamm wrote:I also have PTSD on top of AS, unfortunately. I'm trying to work past it at the moment.


What traumatized you?
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Re: Maladaptive Daydreaming and AS?

Postby Camelidae » Thu Mar 08, 2012 9:09 pm

I have done this ever since I was a child. The things I think of mostly revolve around feeling different or "alien" and trying to cope with it. As a child I would pretend to be an alien, some sort of fabulous creature, changeling, adoptee ect. that had to live in a place away from where it originally belonged to cope with feeling disconnected from people. Everday life and people confused me. That wasn´t an appropriate thing for Camel, but for alien Camel it was, because she did not know better, since she was not even human.

Chatting with peers or visiting family, I told myself, were tasks I had to do to collect information about the human race and their habits for my species. I made myself a spy and I had to keep my identity to myself until I was allowed to go back to where I belonged.

Sometimes I imagined that I had been sent here as a test or a way of punishing me or my family for mistakes I or they had made on that far away planet or in our tribe of elves or whatever I thought I was at the time but that the memory of these mistakes had been erased and that I had to get the memory back in order to make up for it.

In elementary school I pretended to be a jewish girl on the run from the Nazi regime after reading as many books about it as I could get my hands on. My mum even kept those jewish badges I made for myself.

I often imagined that the world I lived in was not real, that I was only dreaming, or that if I tried hard enough, I´d be able to see what I thought zo be the "real" world behind the world I considered false (behind the reflections in mirrors or under water, for example).

Looking at these also explains well how I got so well at "faking" it, because I made it a part of all of the games I played inside my head. It´s a little sad that because it is so obvious how lost I felt then. I remember really hoping for that ufo to come and get me, despite knowing it would not happen.

While I do not day dream about being an alien or mermaid anymore, the themes of my daydreams are somewhat similiar to what they were before -- feeling lost, trying to connect to someone or finding a place I feel I belong and, more often now, also finding that place or person. I have difficulty making up new people (which is also why I would not be able to write a novel), because I cannot put myself in their shoes easily so instead of making characters up, I just "borrow" people I know. I make them look the same, may use their names, adopt some of their characteristics, background and mannersisms, but essentially they have nothing in common with that person. It´s like writing a bad fanfiction. Thinking about talking with someone I know does not necessarily make me want to talk with them.

Other than that, I often try to imagine what it would be like to be somebody else or how I would react in certain situations ect.

I think that while the focus before was on, well, dealing with what happened to and around me and how I felt about it, I now learn to focuse on the other person as well. I think about other peoples perception of things more and try to think of what interacting with them may actually look like (as opposed to thinking of how it would ideally go).

Long post.
"If you're using half your concentration to look normal, then you're only half paying attention to whatever else you do. Just pointing out something that could save your life. You want society to accept you, but you can't even accept yourself.", from X-Men: First Class
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Re: Maladaptive Daydreaming and AS?

Postby Grossenschwamm » Thu Mar 08, 2012 10:51 pm

Quotidian wrote:What traumatized you?


My entire life.
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Re: Maladaptive Daydreaming and AS?

Postby AGirlNamedGoo » Sun Mar 11, 2012 1:31 am

I've been a daydreamer my entire life. It's difficult for me to get bored because I can easily entertain myself with my daydreams for hours. Sometimes I pull all-nighters just pacing back and forth in my bedroom with my iPod on, getting lost in my little own world.

My "own little world" is called Aspergeria, so named because I feel that I probably wouldn't need it if I didn't have Asperger's. Aspergeria is populated with my favorite fictional characters, whom I like to think of as my "imaginary friends". Sometimes when I am lying in bed waiting for my nightly round of meds to kick in, I talk to them and even voice their responses to me. I have never been very good at creating my own characters, so I prefer to "adopt" them from whatever TV/movies/videogames/comics I'm really into at any given time. I wish I could say that I keep their personalities close to canon, but they do change over time the more I tweak their backstories and imagine new adventures and relationships for them to have. Sometimes the changes are minor, but other times the change becomes so drastic that the character is recognizable only in name and appearance.

Aspergeria is the "main world" that I go to. It's where all of my imaginary friends are their regular selves. But there are also "alternate universes" where the same characters are different sexes or species. I have 2 alternate universes, both of which are currently unnamed. One of them is a world where every single character is female. The other is a world where every single character is a pony in the style of the cartoon My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.

Sorry for the long post!
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Re: Maladaptive Daydreaming and AS?

Postby MeELC » Tue Mar 13, 2012 4:44 pm

From the wikipedia entry on maladaptive daydreaming:
Those who claim to suffer from this disorder have reported that their daydreaming feels like an addiction and that it has a negative impact on their life. 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. 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.


I know wikipedia is not the best source but I can totally relate here. I wouldn't say my daydreaming has a negative impact on my life but it does feel like an addiction, my "fantasies" are indeed vivid and I am attached to characters in my imaginary life. I do sometimes move my lips or change my facial expressions when I'm walking down the street while daydreaming, but I do indeed keep this behaviour hidden from people.
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