All of us have had some experience with maladaptive daydreaming at one point or another in our lives. Daydreaming can sometimes be maladaptive when it negatively affects your daily routine, friendships, grades at school, etc.
Maladaptive daydreaming is known to decrease productivity and contribute to feelings of social isolation in sufferers. Maladaptive daydreaming symptoms start in childhood but are not noticed until adulthood. If maladaptive daydreaming is left untreated it can lead to depression and obsession compulsive disorder. It’s possible maladaptive daydreaming may even lead to schizophrenia in extreme cases.
Learning how maladaptive daydreaming develops will help you understand whether or not maladaptive daydreaming has affected you in the past or if maladaptive daydreaming symptoms are currently impacting your life.
Maladaptive daydreaming develops in three stages: early maladaptive daydreaming, middle maladaptive daydreaming, late maladaptive daydreaming.
The first stage of maladaptive daydreaming begins at an early age. Children who are diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or other psychological mind disabilities are likely to experience maladaptive daydreaming symptoms at the young age of 7-8 years old. Usually, children are unable to identify maladaptive daydreaming as a problem during this early stage because it’s considered normal for students to experience “daydreaming” while studying or attending classes. When left untreated maladaptive daydreams can worsen over time and lead to maladaptive daydreaming addiction.
Maladaptive daydreaming symptoms tend to worsen during the middle maladaptive daydreaming stage of development. Many maladaptive daydreamers find they’ve lost their focus on school work and social activities. Students who are unable to concentrate on classroom lectures will experience negative maladaptive daydreaming effects even in adolescence when maladaptive daydreams usually become more apparent in a person’s life. It may be difficult for maladaptive to make friends because many people consider maladaptive daydreamers introverts or “space cadets” instead of understanding the issue that lies at hand is maladaptive daydreaming. In this stage, it’s common for maladaptive daydreamers to begin maladaptive daydreaming about past experiences. Some maladaptive daydreamers even describe feeling maladaptive daydreams being “forced” upon them during waking hours. This maladaptive daydreaming stage is where maladaptive daydreaming addiction occurs the most frequently in maladaptive adults.
Maladaptive daydreaming symptoms start to decline during the late maladaptive daydreamer stage, though many people still suffer from it well into adulthood. The later stages of maladaptive are typically more manageable than earlier stages due to research and increased knowledge about what causes maladaptive-day dreams and how to treat them. At the maladaptive daydreaming stage, people who suffer from maladaptive daydreaming recognize that their behavior has been harmful for some time. Many maladaptive daydreamers find they have lost friends due to maladaptive daydreams and that the concentration on schoolwork has gradually declined. Symptoms in maladaptive individuals are more manageable, and they may even be curtailed, as a result of treatment.
Maladaptive Daydreaming Treatment
It is important to first recognize maladaptive daydreaming symptoms before undergoing maladaptive daydreaming treatment. Symptoms vary on a maladaptive daydreamer on maladaptive severity.
Maladaptive daydreaming is a treatable disorder, but maladaptive daydreams can go on for months or years without receiving treatment. Maladaptive daydreams may even disappear entirely in some cases after receiving adaptive daydreaming therapy. However, most maladaptive dreamers discover that problematic night-time thinking is more manageable with treatment.
Maladaptive daydreams can be treated in several ways: Psychotherapy (counseling) is the primary maladaptive daydreaming treatment. Counselors who treat maladaptive daydreamers are trained in maladaptive daydream treatments and can help maladaptive dreamers become more aware of maladaptive behavior patterns that have been damaging their lives for years. In addition to maladaptive therapy, maladaptive daydreamers may use maladaptive daydreaming techniques to curb maladaptive thinking in maladaptive adults.