Ever since I was a little girl I always had a very active imagination. I figure this is because I was an only child and had to come up with something to do by myself.

Well, I'm 20 years old now and I haven't grown out of it. Whenever I find myself doing "nothing" my mind trails into imagination land. I think it got really bad after my mom passed away and I had to live with my grandparents. They had a swing and I would sit out there for hours on end, multiple times a day (sometimes in below freezing weather), just swinging and listening to music and making up imaginary scenarios. My imaginary self would have imaginary conversations with imaginary people.

I feel that daydreaming is normal. However, it got to the point that if I didn't have my "daydreaming time" every day, I got pissy -- almost like an addict. Now that I've moved out of my grandparents house I've had to find another way to satisfy my daydreaming. Now, instead of swinging, I go driving. This is a horrible waste of gas and I drive for hours on a nearly daily basis just to satisfy the, uh, "addiction."

Furthermore, I get really into my daydreams. A lot of them are very emotionally charged (like, I get in an argument/fight with someone) and it actually gets me REALLY heated -- even though it was all in my head.

I know that my daydreaming is usually an escape from everyday life. I am the type of person that keeps things in my head: I think before I speak/act, I think about my emotions and analyze them (instead of just saying how I feel), I think of other people and their actions (rather than outwardly question them), any problems (psychologically) I have I keep in my head and they basically swirl around and around. I'm not sure if any of that made sense. I guess what I'm getting at is that I would rather stay in my own head than outwardly do anything. Problem is, I don't know what to do about it.

I have a feeling that this isn't normal and I'm just wondering if anyone else has dealt with this or has advice on what I can do. "Keeping myself busy" doesn't really work because even if I keep PHYSICALLY busy, my mind still wanders -- and it's tough to keep both my and body busy constantly.

Any advice would be great. Thanks!



Answers


Thumbelina
1885 days ago
HI AppleJuiceGirl! Love the name!

I am so sorry your mother passed away. I know grandmothers are great but they are not the same as moms.

I think an active imagination is wonderful! What you haven't said is if you think this imagination of yours or all the driving, etc. is interfering with things that you need to be doing or want to be doing in your life, like school, work, relationships, etc. Are you sacrificing other things for this habit? That is the sign of a true "addiction". What occurs to me is that if you could somehow harness this creativity you have into, perhaps, writing, you might really benefit from it. Even become a fiction writer!

Your conerns over thinking before you speak, analyzing your emotions, observing other people's actions instead of commenting on them, and keeping your problems to yourself don't necessarily sound like anything abnormal. It may just be who you are. But I wonder if you aren't a little lonely? Is it hard for you to share with other people?

Frankly, I think being 20 years old is an exciting time! You have so many choices and your whole life in front of you. If you continue to be bothered by the way your mind works, you can always look for a therapist to talk things over with. Best of luck to you.



bella
1885 days ago
^^^^^

Great post Thumbelina(yours is a cute name too) :)



AppleJuiceGirl
1883 days ago
Thanks for the response Thumbelina! I wouldn't say that my daydreaming is interfering with my life or causing me to sacrifice too much -- other than money and time. I only call it an addiction because when I don't "have it" I get irritated and think about it a lot (I'm a cigarette smoker, too, and I get the same feelings when I'm without a smoke).

You made me feel a lot better though. I would like to curb the daydreaming and I think writing or expressing my creativity in another way would be very helpful. Also, just to answer your other questions, sometimes I do feel lonely -- I have plenty of people around me, but when I'm in a group of more than one other person I shut up and my personality pretty much shuts down. I daydream about that NOT happening and being the center of attention/ being able to show people who I really am.

Thanks again for the advice!



Clyde
1881 days ago
It probably is a huge combination of being lonely and your mother dying. You probably feel an emptiness (rightly so) and cannot find a way to wrap around your pain and get rid of it.

Do you have any one at home you could talk to about it?

Best,

Clyde



riverx
1878 days ago
I have/ had the same issue. Its as if the fantasy life becomes more real than real life. Like you, I sense there is something wrong with this. It has varied for me according to whats happening in my life,but for me also it is associated with an addictive process. I had a dx of schizoid disorder of the self, and have been recovering, but that DOESNT mean that you have a 'disorder'. However, there may be some tendencies. There is a website with more info: www.selfinexile.com

see how you go with that. Thanks for sharing.

river



AConfusedKitten
1756 days ago
Woah....just woah. I just read this and I had to make an account on this website just to respond to this. I'm so shocked because everything you (AppleJuiceGirl) said was like describing myself. Well, excluding the part about your mom. I still have my mom but because my parents are divorced and my dad lives in another country. I haven't seen him in years and I've never had a relationship with him. Oh, also the part about driving for hours, I just walk in my house instead, but I can do it for hours at a time. -_-

Oh man....here I was thinking I was like the only person that can daydream like this and using google to find out if there's something wrong with me. Man...I'm still so shocked. Even the things we daydream about are similar, especially this:

"when I'm in a group of more than one other person I shut up and my personality pretty much shuts down. I daydream about that NOT happening and being the center of attention/ being able to show people who I really am."

I don't know if you're going to read this but if you do and you would like to talk to someone that thinks the same then I'm all for it. Heck I've been looking for something that has the same "problem".

(I don't mean for that to sound weird, I know this is the internet and you need to be cautious and stuff but I'm just so...shocked about the similarities.)



empty soul
1753 days ago
thank u guys.for an instance ithought that i am the only one suffering from that.it is the first time in my life to talk about it.and (aconfusedkitten) i agree with u that we have to be cautious when it comes to internet but i am really tired of it.i also walk in my house for hours like u .oh!no no.......not just walking i taik to myself can you believe it?i imagine myself in a total different world that i create and what makes it worse that i am not acting with my real personality i fake another one that i have ever wished to be.i am afraid to turn schzophrenic. whether you will read this or not,whether you can help me or not,i am really grateful to you.knowing that there some people in the world have the same problem makes me feel better. p.s i too make an account to respond and to thank you



AConfusedKitten
1744 days ago
Haha, yea I like to make my own world too but I don't really talk out loud too much. I do like to change my personality a lot though.



Julianne_D
1741 days ago
Apparently, it seems to be more frequent than we think. I have come across a term called an excessive daydreaming several months ago and I'm sure this is it.

I've always been daydreaming... can't remeber a single day I have not. My dream-world is pretty crowded right now and my problem is that I rather "add" someone to that world than to deal with her/him in reality. And daydreaming is so enjoyable... being a film & book fan doesn't help either. It is so hard to make myself stop and concentrate on someone/something real - especially if I know that it can't be as good as my own world.



anewmee
1695 days ago
omg, i thought i was the only one. i cant even begin to decribe how much day dreaming i do. and i thank god for google. i just signed up in order to make this comment. i do the same things that you do. when i come home from school i walk around the house unknowingly talking to myself in my own fantasy world. i have the most dramatic fantasies about how i have this amazing and perfect personality when in real life im antisocial. and how im the most popular girl in one of the top schools in new york. and how im rich and famous, etc. its so real that i sometimes start to smile or laugh and then when i come back too reality people are staring at me and asking me why i was smiling for no reason. its so good to know im not the only one.

for like the past 3 weeks ive been on a dream fast, so that i can live my life and make friends instead of looking for comfort in my dreams. im getting some what better by putting reminders around me not to dream and setting goals for myself so that i won't. some times i can't resist but im glad im not addicted like some people.

examples of my excessive dreaming are- when im washing dishes, walking through my school hallways, brushing my teeth, sitting in a car, reading a book, doing my hw, eating, and sometimes even when people are talking to me- all the while dreaming. i wish i could say more but its waaaaay to much, and im glad that you shared this with us. i feel like we are the same. peace



Hana82
1639 days ago
I don't think what you have described sounds like a mental illness. It just sounds like you are very creative. Since I was 5, I have daydreamed about my own characters and scenarios. On occasion, I imagine being in my fantasy world and interacting with them. My mother said she used to do this, too, even as a young adult, so I think this creativity runs in the family.

Have you thought about writing? My mother told me that I should start writing about my characters and create detailed plots for them so I'm going to start doing that this summer.

In short, I don't think you have maladaptive daydreaming, unless it is keeping you from functioning. The only thing I would advise would be to daydream when you are listening to music, or sitting in a park, or at the beach, where you can just relax and don't have to concentrate. Daydreaming intensely while driving doesn't sound very safe.



Caffeinehypnotic
1572 days ago
Wow... It sounds like you are describing my life. I daydream all day, at work, at home, while playing XBOX 360 and as I fall asleep at night (helps me fall asleep.) I've been everything and everywhere... I understand how you feel regarding one's dreamworld being far more enjoyable that the real world. I've never really been bothered by it myself, though I googled it simply because I thought it could be a problem. The only issue really has been keeping focused and motivated in real life, but luckily such issues have been rare since I was in my early 20s. If you don't feel as though it is causing much of a problem then don't worry about it. Also, if gas money is a problem might I recommend walking? It's free, healthy and gives you your personal time. ...and I too created an account simply to comment, as I though I was the only one. I feel better knowing that others have the same "hobby"



lostInDreams
1465 days ago
ok wow i just signed up for this too! i have this same problem and for me at least i think its a disorder called maladaptive daydreaming. now i am not saying you have this but i do (i just found out today) well anyways i love to daydream! but it gets in the way of my concentration. it takes hours to do my homework and other things take a long time. i make up all kinds of stories (clean ones, i am a christian) some are fantasy themed with other worlds and mythical characters and animals. others are about realistic things that could happen in the real world. all are a bit like movies or a daily "episode" i sometimes think if i could record my daydreams on tv i would be making money! the problem is that like you i cant seem to control it. and if i dont have enough time to do it i become very irritable. it really is an addiction. i like daydreaming but i want to be able to control when i do it and maybe only do it at night to fall asleep or when i have time to myself. yes i am a very lonely isolated person and an only child. i am out of high school and not in contact with anyone from school. i got teased in school anyways and i am very sensitive. i love daydreaming like i said before but my parents usually get upset and scold me when i forget something or mess something up by not paying attention. i got teased in school because i always was reading a book whenever i had the chance and never talked because i was shy. bus ride home and to school was my best time for daydreams but during school too. sometimes i would slip into a daydream a bit and then have to snap back out of it and do my work. is this all my fault? should i have not daydreamed so much? but how could i help it if it helped curb the loneliness and other problems. now that i am a christian i dont feel so lonely anymore yet i still daydream excessively. by the way i have done this all my life. pleas some one reply to this. i want to control my daydreams not have my daydreams control me. any advice please i love to daydream.



boostedtsi
1422 days ago
WOW. this is really weird. i also daydream alot. i don't really know what to say. like some of you i'm not super social but i still have my groups of friends. when in a bigger group i tend not to talk as much and such. i usually daydream when i'm alone, driving, listening to music, walking, at school, falling asleep. anywhere really. i have never really seen it as bad. but just figured i'd google it out of curiosity. i've been doing this ever since i can remember. it really is good to know that other people also do this.



boostedtsi
1422 days ago
^^ i also created an account just to respond to this. and also get aggrivated when i don't have time to day dream



kostea90
1092 days ago
I had joined this web site only to post this comment.(excuse my poor english -i am from Russia)

My problem is the same , i cant stop daydreaming.

But i think there is a way through wich you can take ..control,, over this mind process.

The key word is ,,control,, .This hapens becouse we are not aware of what actually is hapening inside our minds. In Budhist meditations terminology exists a word wich determines our awareness level , its called ,,mindfulness,, .This is the main idea of all meditations, being aware of your thoughts and being able to concentrate on a certain ,,thing,, as (breathing). Through this meditation practices you get the ability to control your thoughts and many other benefits.

I am absolutely against any medicamentation healing becouse i am sure i does not help actually is makes things even worse (been there , done that)!

I am practicing meditation almost one year and i can say that it realy works. here are some recommended books if you are tired of complaining and have the motivation to start living.

,,Wherever you go there you are,,-Jon Kabat Zinn ,,Mindfulness in plain english,,-Bhante Henepola Gunaratana.



Apex2001
823 days ago
Hi, Kostea90. I found your post in a google search. I have been trying meditation to treat my MDD for the past year. I haven't had much luck but i'm confident it works better than anything else. Do you think joing a Buddist Monastary for a year in forced social meditation would help? I think there are other meditation retreats but this is the only thing i can think of.



hohn1992
1084 days ago
I'm 19 and i have this excessive daydream also, when i was younger i was in a bad situation so i would daydream instead of being there mentally i was only there physically. Well now i have to daydream at least once a day if not more or i'm angry or mad its sounds really weird, but i dont know what to do i'm tired of it messing with my everyday life, i want it to stop but not know what to do. I like to daydream and dont know if i can really stop daydreaming but someday i would like it to end.



smurfmomma
1079 days ago
I started laughing when I read the answers cause I've felt alone since childhood and its only been getting worse. I laughed because there is so many that feel just like me and go through the same thing. I lived a mile off a dirt road, so I had no neighbors to play with and my sisters are 10+ years older than me. I constantly talk to myself in my own lil worlds and I have a hard time not acting it out sometimes. It wasn't very bad until after I lost my best friend at the age of 15. I just couldn't get rid of the empty loneliness. I'm now 22, married, and mother of a 2 1/2 year old handsome lil boy. Its only gotten worse, its even to the point that I daydream about another man than my hubby; it feels real to me and I end up feeling confused about who I actually care about. I've never talked to any one about my daydreaming cause I really thought it'd just go away once I got older. Thank you every one for advice and letting me know I'm not alone or messed up.



jdfrank
1070 days ago
Omg, your story is exactly like mine. I am constantly escaping into a fanatsy world. I play out situations and different scenarios in my head all day. This affects my work and school. And i've tried writing my thoughts on paper, which seems to really help, but it is often difficult to do because i would start daydreaming. I would say to myself write it down. Then i would start daydreaming about me writing a book and being super successful or something to that effect. I feel like there is something wrong with me. In my dreams i become a totally different person too. And if i'm interuppted during my d.d. i get really pissed off or embarrassed. I'm afraid to go to a therapist because i feel like their just gonna say i a mental disorder and give a pill as a quick fix. I feel like i have all these great ideas and ambitions and things i want to accomplish but i cant move forward because i'm stuck in dreaming about the outcome in my mind. Its like i have goal i can only see a starting point and a finishing point. The inbetween just gets lost somewhere. Ive also noticed that music and noise/conversations especially listening to music seems to trigger my day dreamming most. Its a relief to hear other people are going through this, now i want to know can i fix this problem without being some guinnea pig for whatever new psych med is on the market.



bellabutterfly
1058 days ago
I suffered from this same habit. iam also 20 years old! mine started when I was very young aswell! anybody has any tips to help control or stop it?



pierce1141991
977 days ago
Wow Yupp I thought I was crazy that's why I asked Google

If I was or not. Turns out a lot of humans get bored and let there imaginations

Take over I've done the same things as all of your for as long as I can remember perhaps its why I build so many unique things from wood write so well my mind creates indescribable thoughts. Think of all the books n movies u have seen or read tell me those people did not daydream on a daily bases. BTW most people are just to socially good for everyone else to admit they do it when they are bored and all alone