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1 out of 52 out of 53 out of 54 out of 55 out of 5


Permanent Linkby Ada on Tue Oct 01, 2013 11:07 pm

How ironic is it to have an imaginary* disorder about imagining things?

[* imaginary because maladaptive daydreaming may have a wikipedia entry. But very few psychs have heard of it. It's not a recognised condition or something that can be diagnosed.]

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TV: Notes from the Inside

Permanent Linkby Ada on Mon Sep 23, 2013 8:48 pm

I watched this Channel 4 music / psych documentary yesterday evening. I usually struggle with TV or movies to stay focused. Something will trigger a daydreaming burst. And I'll have to take a break halfway through. For this programme I got through all 47 minutes without doing that!

The summary goes- "Classical pianist and former psychiatric patient James Rhodes takes a grand piano into a psychiatric hospital to play pieces he hopes will resonate with individual patients." Yes it could be very wanky. But it genuinely isn't. I really enjoyed it.

Major Trigger Warnings! Discussions of suicidal feelings and attempts, self-harm, sexual abuse, self-medication.
Also the "normal" emotional manipulation of documentary / reality TV. But it might only be me who's hypersensitive to that.

[You'll need to copy and paste, no live links in blogs!]
I hope it works for everyone who wants to watch it. And isn't locked to the UK only.

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More thoughts on time

Permanent Linkby Ada on Tue Jul 23, 2013 7:29 pm

Quote- We construct the experience of time in our minds, so it follows that we are able to change the elements we find troubling — whether it’s trying to stop the years racing past, or speeding up time when we’re stuck in a queue, trying to live more in the present, or working out how long ago we last saw our old friends. Time can be a friend, but it can also be an enemy. The trick is to harness it, whether at home, at work, or even in social policy, and to work in line with our conception of time. Time perception matters because it is the experience of time that roots us in our mental reality. Time is not only at the heart of the way we organize life, but the way we experience it.
- Claudia Hammond

How about that! Now that I am thinking about time, relevant ideas are suddenly everywhere. I have to track down the book quoted above, Time Warped, from the library. There's something here that I can't get my brain around.

The book goes on to talk about the Holiday Paradox, which is “the contradictory feeling that a good holiday whizzes by, yet feels long when you look back.” This may have to do with the contrast between the daily grind and the new and exciting stimuli from a good holiday. Regular life is marked by work, weekends, mealtimes and bedtime. For me, at least, that is very consistent from day to day. I like that. But holidays throw all those "rules" out of the window. All bets are off. The novel experiences make stronger memories than usual, deeper impressions. And so time seems to pass "differently" and there is a mismatch, warping time perception.

Is it perhaps possible that I have been doing this the other way round? That in a constant quest for novelty within my own brain, I've normalised the "holiday" form of time passing? And when I don't daydream, the crashing boredom and observable stress reactions are "normal" time. Not to mention that I daydream much less on the rare occasions I'm away from home.

I may be overcomplicating things. In my daydreams, time has very little relevance. I may replay certain scenes and fast-forward through others. There is no linear time. Perhaps that's important.

Or, even more prosaically. I HAVE less time when I daydream since it is used up without attention being paid. I only live during the time I don't daydream. And when things are bad, that's only a few hours a day at best.

Still. When I'm thinking like this, I'm not daydreaming. So that is a clear victory whatever the nature of time.

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1 out of 52 out of 53 out of 54 out of 55 out of 5

Wibbly wobbly timey wimey stuff

Permanent Linkby Ada on Sun Jun 23, 2013 6:04 pm

Recently I realised that I am very self-deluding about my daydreaming. I think to myself "I'm doing quite well today. I hardly drifted off at all". And then realise that I've spent the last hour replaying a 4-min Youtube music video so I can daydream through it. I lie to myself often. I'm a natural optimist, clearly.

The way I KNOW. Beyond doubt. That I have not been daydreaming. Is the way that time elongates while I have genuinely stopped. Today for instance. I took a N-acetyl-cysteine break for most of last week, then started a new round of dosing on Friday. It kicked in today. I've been either in the present moment, or thinking about something directly relevant, the whole day. And it feels like I've been awake for 3 days. I suppose this is because I lose 2/3 of my time to daydreaming under "normal" circumstances. But is this extended day how non-daydreamers feel? I suppose it feels "normal" to them. And if they could see into my brain, I might look a little like a mayfly. Packing life into a compressed period of time. Unfortunately, also minimising what life needs to be packed in the first place.

The worst thing is that I actively choose this. When the NAC stops working [or before I discovered that sometimes it helped] I want to daydream. I LOVE daydreaming. My life is structured around having time for it. Time. There's no point in searching for my lost time. I know where it all is. Null and void inside me. What's worse, daydreaming taints what little time I spend on other activities. I never feel like I'm "allowed" to relax. Watching a movie is quite challenging. TV almost impossible. 'All that time being wasted in a different way. How dare I?' I waste so much anyway. How can I even consider wasting more.

But wasting time is living too. The delusion of who I could be without MDD is as corrosive and dangerous as the MDD itself. I have to remind myself again, as I've done in this blog before, that nothing about ME changes whether I daydream or not. I'm the same person.

I like having more time in which to be, though. It's like getting to live to 500 in a healthy body. Sometimes it's exhausting. Today I got up at the usual time and was ready for lunch by 11am. When it feels like it should be evening at 4pm, and bedtime at 8pm. Simply because I have far more time than I'm used to. And it's only the NAC's effect that stops that awareness being a trigger in itself. Boredom. Guilt. Anxiety. Quick, hide.

THE DOCTOR: People assume that time is a strict progression of cause to effect, but *actually* from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint - it's more like a big ball of wibbly wobbly ... timey wimey ... stuff.

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1 out of 52 out of 53 out of 54 out of 55 out of 5

Back on the planet

Permanent Linkby Ada on Thu Mar 07, 2013 10:58 pm

The last two days have been very difficult. I've been almost constantly in daydream. It's taken a major effort to eat or sleep anywhere close to the usual times. I've had a few time-bound commitments on and offline which I've fulfilled. But then back to daydreaming. And there's other tasks I'm putting off. No. "Putting off" is too generous. I've mostly forgotten they even exist. My other world is so much more vivid. I know it's not real. Some of it I don't want to be real. I just can't stay out of it. Some of it I want more than anything here. And that's a force I don't know how to fight.

Today I have my feet slightly more on the ground. I've only spent 10 hours rather than 16+ daydreaming. What a pathetic use of life. I'm cross with myself [uselessly.] There are other things I could / should be doing. Things that would make the world a 0.00001% better place. Daydreaming absolutely doesn't. At worst I do no harm.

I'm so disconnected. And I can't imagine how it could be different. Isn't that ridiculous? I could take silver at least at a Fantasisers' Olympics. But using the real facts of my life, I can't see useful potential changes. The key being "useful". I've changed many things in practice over the last 10 years. The basics have stayed horribly consistent.

Future Me is going to be exasperated about a "simple thing" I should be thinking of and doing instead of writing this post. Sorry, Future Me. We both know it isn't that easy. In the future we'll laugh bitterly about it.

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