The case for increased awareness about maladaptive daydreaming

Imagine sitting in class, being unable to pay attention because you are daydreaming. This is a normal occurrence and usually does not indicate anything out of the ordinary. However, this happens quite frequently with those who have MD, and the daydreams are way more intense than most. Maladaptive daydreaming or MD for short, is a diagnosis which is currently being researched by doctors that makes it so that those who have it will experience intense and extremely detailed daydreams that interfere with daily life. It can be extremely difficult to deal with MD as it becomes extremely difficult to focus on tasks and get work done.

How MD works is essentially a more intense version of the regular daydreaming syndrome. When alone, it is common for repetitive movements such as pacing or moving hands in an odd way. Daydreaming becomes amplified when a repetitive movement is performed. Personally I do not see too many downsides to being a maladaptive daydreamer. Having this intense ability can be applied to so many different types of jobs. Writing specifically becomes easier when having MD. I daydream for really long periods of time and my MD can really help me come up with ideas for both work and recreational writing. It sort of feels like I am entering another reality almost. I lose sense of pretty much everything around me.  It is very fun, but also weird at the same time. 

Regarding my own experience having MD, it has definitely taken a toll on my life. Usually I need time away to daydream pretty much every day, which has hurt my relationships with those I live with. It has been a complaint at home that I do not involve myself too much, but MD would make me completely dazed even if I did spend a plethora of time with my family in the first place. This also made it so that I ended up developing social skills a bit later due to being isolated from everyone. Second MD has made my work ethic the worst that I personally have ever known. As a child, I was always in my own world due to the lack of friends I had and lack of homework. This has led into my adulthood as I do not really have a work ethic as I have always been used to living in this fantasy world that I created. Even now, I have difficulty hitting deadlines and getting stuff done. The thing is though, that it is not just downsides. I am able to come up with deep and elaborate ideas and fantasy stories extremely quickly. I can visibly see the story that I am creating and add in cinematic angles to heighten the drama or comedy that I have in my mind. Pretty much any creative outlet automatically becomes fantastic because of my MD.

The issue now however, is that there is a lack of attention brought to those who have MD and those who study MD. As it is not a diagnosis that is even on the mental disorder list as of right now, many just brush it off as pseudoscience or something irrelevant. This can be extremely detrimental to those who have self-diagnosed themselves with it. I am not a fan of self-diagnosis, but when it comes to MD it is definitely the sort of thing where you have it or you do not and it is decently easy to tell. Nonetheless you cannot be diagnosed with it at the moment because of the lack of study gone into it. Most cases are just brushed off as ADHD and they call it finished. MD and ADHD are way different and some friends I know who are both have wildly different experiences. Just because they are similar does not mean that they are the same. Awareness for MD will become more and more common as the years go by because of how many people have it and how many people are claiming that this is a legit diagnosis.

MD can be used in such an amazing way if used correctly. The sheer amount of creativity that exists in these individuals is phenomenal. Awareness must be spread to help those who do struggle with MD, and they can then help manifest the life they want while having an outlet to better themselves and create some pretty dang good products. MD is really common and can be really helpful to know about. Instead of just thinking “I daydream a lot” or “my daydreams are really intense” instead Maladaptive Daydreamers can focus on how to control their minds and find outlets to use up their creativity when awareness is spread.