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Old 05-10-12, 05:37 AM
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Maladaptive day dreaming or ADHD??

I know that excessive day dreaming is a symptom of ADHD but I was wondering if excessive day dreaming can actually cause ADHD-like symptoms (without it being ADHD).

For as long as I can remember I have always been immersed in my dream world. Even as a kid I used to spend hours spinning stories in my head, maybe to escape from the stresses and unpleasantness in my life. I still do it excessively. I spend more time in my dream world than the real world and I had this crazy idea that this might actually be causing my ADHD symptoms:

1. Procrastination: There are two sides to this:

a) I procrastinate because I'm so busy day dreaming
b) Because I live so much in my dream world, the real world seems to lose significance making real world tasks seem less pressing, important or interesting.

2. Concentration: Maybe I can't concentrate because I'm addicted to day dreaming. Of course, I've got other distractions as well but this one is huge.

3. Memory problems, absent mindedness: I'm absent minded because I'm immersed in my day dreams, so obviously a lot of things just go right past me. For example, I might not remember where I kept my mobile/keys/wallet because at the time my thoughts were busy fantasizing so I wasn't aware of what I was doing.

4. Restlessness: I get restless when I can't day dream

etc.

I don't know. It's a bit of a chicken and egg situation. All these points would work the other way round as well. So if I do have ADHD then I might day dream as a means to procrastinate or because it's one of the few things I can concentrate on, and I might day dream to alleviate the restlessness.

I really don't know. I'm just wondering if I don't have ADHD what else might be wrong with me that is causing the symptoms. This might explain why ADHD like symptoms didn't show so much in my childhood (because I guess the day dreaming has progressively become worse though I'm not sure). I've always thought that at some point I really, really need to stop day dreaming because it's affecting my reality. I'm losing interest in reality, in real people, in doing anything for my future. But I just can't seem to let go of it. Not yet at least. Reality just isn't inviting enough.

Some links to maldaptive daydreaming. it's not a recognized psychological disorder but some (though very limited) research has been done on it:

http://www.scribd.com/doc/9089146/Ex...tasy-proneness

http://www.ingentaconnect.com/conten...20002/00452335

http://www.scribd.com/doc/71763571/C...ve-fantasizers

Last edited by Fuzzy12; 05-10-12 at 05:50 AM..
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Old 05-10-12, 06:16 AM
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Re: Maladaptive day dreaming or ADHD??

Hi Fuzzy-

I think the first step is you should def. get diagnosed if you have ADD/ADHD... that will be the first step for you.

Medication isn't the only treatment for ADD/ADHD... therapy and learning how to change your behavior patters also goes along with it, so maybe you could speak to a counselor about the daydreaming and how it's severley impairing your life. I'm ADD-I and I often daydream- not excessively but I often think about being someone else. No one famous, just someone with a 'normal way of thinking'

Best of luck and HUGS!
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Old 05-10-12, 06:41 AM
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Re: Maladaptive day dreaming or ADHD??

I haven't been diagnosed but "Maladaptive daydreaming" rings true with me. School used to be easy so I feel like I never learned to focus and organize like how the average person has. When I'm doing homework, I'll shift from reading to daydreaming around the material then back to reading. I tend to easily get lost in those daydreams. Do you like activities where it's "ok" to zone out? I personally love things like driving or just looking at random things. Again, I'm not diagnosed but we'll see what my therapist says tomorrow. If you have access, I'd also suggest talking to a psychiatrist about your symptoms. If you don't, you could be wondering (daydreaming?) about it for over a year like I have.
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Old 05-10-12, 09:44 AM
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Re: Maladaptive day dreaming or ADHD??

I've discussed it with my GP and a psychiatrist. Both believe that I can't have ADHD since I've got a few degrees and am currently doing my third (and failing it).


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Originally Posted by IRLogical View Post
I haven't been diagnosed but "Maladaptive daydreaming" rings true with me. School used to be easy so I feel like I never learned to focus and organize like how the average person has. When I'm doing homework, I'll shift from reading to daydreaming around the material then back to reading. I tend to easily get lost in those daydreams. Do you like activities where it's "ok" to zone out? I personally love things like driving or just looking at random things. Again, I'm not diagnosed but we'll see what my therapist says tomorrow. If you have access, I'd also suggest talking to a psychiatrist about your symptoms. If you don't, you could be wondering (daydreaming?) about it for over a year like I have.
I love situations where I can day dream without feeling guilty about it like at night after going to bed, driving or when I'm on the train, bus, plane.
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