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Sarah
Sarah, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 143
Experience:  Chart'd Psych, 12 yrs exp. English prisons, Clinical Hypnotherapist, EMDR Therapist, BPS, HPC reg'd.
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Is there anything to help curb, slow, stop Maladaptive Daydreaming

Resolved Question:

Is there anything to help curb, slow, stop Maladaptive Daydreaming? It gets out of control sometimes and interferes with schoolwork, even now in college
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Sarah replied 4 years ago.
Chat Conversation Started
Sarah : Hi there, are you ready to chat?
Sarah : hello, are you there?
Customer :

yep!

Customer :

yes

Customer :

I'm here

Sarah : Great! Please can you tell me what it is that you consider to be maladaptive specifically about your daydreaming?
Customer :

well from what i can find online for symptoms, I seem to fit it pretty well.

Customer :

I sometimes daydream and then I realize that an hour or 2 goes by

Customer :

I pace and usually daydream while music is on

Sarah : OK
Customer :

Sometimes it gets in the way of getting to sleep

Sarah : can you tell me what you are thinking about or where you go when you are daydreaming?
Customer :

And it just gets in the way of doing stuff.

Customer :

It's almost like some elaborate novel. It started out in 3rd grade with incorporating books/tv characters into it,

Sarah : what are you thinking of specifically? i can see that it affects your life quite a lot.
Customer :

then as i got older, it branched into real people

Customer :

It's just an alternate life almost

Customer :

I love reading, so it's like Harry Potter meets Artemis Fowl, or tv shows like Charmed or Smallville have ideas I like that somehow get incorporated into it

Sarah : How old were you in third grade?
Sarah : It's a different system in England
Customer :

probably 8 I guess,

Customer :

And I'm 18 now.

Customer :

I just wanted to finally figure out why it was going on. When I was younger I even tried writing it down for a book. A lot was plagerized because some ideas came from different sources, but one book i typed was about 130 pages

Sarah : OK, thanks, XXXXX XXXXX any times when you were younger than 8 in your life when you needed to be absorb in another space in order to avoid being somewhere else, ie in reality?
Customer :

And that was when I was probably 10 or 11

Customer :

I had imaginary friends

Customer :

and there was this show on tv called "Blues Clues" where the guy would jump into photos, and I would sometimes want to jump into stuff too,

Sarah : OK, was there ever any bad stuff going on when you needed to drift off in order to avoid it, for example, parents arguing all the time, etc.?
Customer :

I understand obviously that all of this is just fiction and fantasy, but it's there, a sort of "what if" situation

Customer :

i'd fight with my mom and we had horrible relationship ties, but this didn't come from that. I'd just storm away. This stuff started when I was bored

Sarah : Right, thsnks for that.I am asking these questions because there is such a thing as Dissociation, whereby
Sarah : A person dissociates from reality, kind of splits off from reality for a while, which is what you seem to be doing.
Customer :

I'd just imagine stuff from a tv show i had just seen, or a book i had just finished reading

Customer :

hello again

Sarah : Hi
Sarah : I see from the internet that there is no cure for this, but you can find that for yourself.
Sarah : The reason I picked up your question was because
Sarah : i am a hypnotherapist and I am interested in whether you are drifting into a semi-hypnotized state on order to do this daydreaming.
Customer :

Find a cure for myself?

Sarah : No, sorry, I'm not being very clear here.
Sarah : I wondered if you were dissociating and so I picked up your question,
Sarah : But you are talking about something different to what I had in mind.
Sarah : It says on the Internet where I have just looked that there is no cure at the moment, but there seem to be many people who
Sarah : Experience this and many support groups where you can chat with others.
Sarah : Who experience this too. I love the idea of turning it into a positive by writing a book, but I see that you can't publish it because it involves so many ideas from elsewhere.
Sarah : I'm sorry, I don't think I am going to be able to help you any further, other than to say that you aren't alone in this.
Sarah : I am going to opt out so that another expert can pick this up for you and perhaps give you better advice than I can. No need to pay me, I don't think I have been very effective, but I wish you the very best. sarah
Sarah : Is that OK?
Sarah : are you there?
Sarah : Would you like to ask anything before I opt out?
Sarah : I see you have left the chat again, I will opt out for you. Sarah
Sarah : Hi, are you there?
Customer :

yea

Customer :

I am now

Sarah : Do you feel that you are more positive in any kind of way in your daydreams than you are in reality?
Sarah : are you something in your daydreams that you wish you could be in ordinary life?
Customer :

It allows me to travel, I'm usually more confident, and I am already successful

Sarah : So are these things that you are setting your sights on for the future?
Customer :

And I have novel-like adventures with it that're more interesting than usual day to day boredom

Sarah : Travelling, being confident and successful ?
Customer :

And I have novel-like adventures with it that're more interesting than usual day to day boredom

Sarah : how could you change your day to day life so it feels more exciting to you, so you don't have to keep drifting off?
Customer :

well it has fantasy elements in it though, so it makes it not ever possible obviously. But yea it's almost like a "what if" double life idea of something more interesting

Sarah : so what is stopping you from doing more stuff in day to day life?
Sarah : are there things you would like to be doing that something is stopping you from doing?
Customer :

Not that I can think of. It's just a different thingthat's more adventurous like what you'd see in a movie or book

Sarah : So you're bored and then you go off on an adventure in your mind to make life more exciting?
Sarah : If you are doing this in your spare time, maybe thats not a problem, but as it is affecting your studying, that's where the problem lies, is that right?
Customer :

sometimes, other times it just kind of happens.

Sarah : OK
Customer :

well it just starts happening and i get distracted by it, and it interferes. Mind wanders and it just starts right on up

Sarah : So if you could change things, how would they be different? Because it sounds Ike you quite enjoy it, to some degree?
Sarah : do you want to stop doing it completely or just when it interferes with study and stuff?
Customer :

a little of it is interesting, but it makes it hard to focus on real goals and work

Customer :

completely. it's not anything productive for me.

Sarah : When you are doing this, do you have a conscious knowledge that you a doing it, or does someone have to pull you out of it, tell you to stop doing it?
Customer :

I kind of know i'm doing it, but I go into a sort of different mode, like when I'm driving on a highway and there's nothing interesting around

Sarah : I think your mind is dropping into some kind of hypnotic state, which lies somewhere between being awake and being asleep.
Sarah : When our brainwaves are activated above 14 cycles per second, www are in active, awake, beta state, where we are decisive, and logical.
Customer :

mhm

Sarah : When the brainwaves frequency drops between 8 and 14 cycles per second, we enter Alpha state,
Sarah : where we are very creative, we learn, we are suggestible.
Sarah : It's called the state of hypnosis and it's where we are aware of reality, but the conscious and subconscious minds are so relaxed that there is no real concern about anything.
Sarah : Does that sound familiar?
Customer :

yea it does

Sarah : it's the state I get my clients into when they want to relax, but be aware.
Sarah : But you seem to be dropping into it dictated by your own subconscious mind.
Sarah : Which would explain why it might happewhen you are bored,because your conscious mind is losing momentum.
Customer :

so wait I'm hypnotizing myself?

Sarah : It sounds iike it to me. But I'm only applying the theories that I work with to what you are describing. It soundss the same to me.
Customer :

So what should i do? see a hypnotist or what?

Sarah : Your conscious mind isn't held active in the boredom of your real world, so it starts to relax (less brainwaves per second) and you reach this relaxed state.
Sarah : I haven't come across this before, but I wonder if you could see a hypnotist and ask them to encourage your conscious mind to remain active, to maintain interest and be constantly aware when you need to be.
Customer :

oh

Sarah : As I said, it seems from stuff available on the Internet that people are saying there is no cure for this at the moment, but I believe that we are In control of our own mind and that you can tell it what you want your goals to be.
Customer :

ok then. well i know my goals and such it's just that this gets distracting from being as productive as i could be

Sarah : One goal would need to be for your conscious mind to stay above the 14 cycles per second in terms of brainwaves whilst you are concentrating. You could go lower when relaxing and obviously lower when falling asleep.
Sarah : You could combine this with other, more tangible goals in your life (passing exams, etc.) whatever they may be.
Customer :

oh ok. well, thanks for the information :)

Sarah : I would suggest that you make yourself a goal board, whereby you create a large piece of card and cover it with pictures of goals you have for your own future, cut from magazines or whatever.
Sarah : They could be words, pictures, photos, etc.
Sarah : Also a picture of brainwaves above 14 cycles per second ( google it for a picture)
Sarah : Look at the picture every night and every morning, telling your brain what your goals are.
Sarah : Are your sleep patterns regular? If you are tired in the day, you will be more likely to move into this relaxed state as it leads to sleep.
Customer :

i sleep regularly 8 hours if i can

Sarah : Good, that's really good for your brain.
Sarah : Try the goals board. Tell yourself beforee you drift off to sleep that you want your brain to remain active in the day. We can process this information the night because the subconscious mind never sleeps.
Customer :

ok, will do then.

Sarah : Does that sound helpful?
Sarah : have a look at how the brain works, it might enable you to feel morer in control of what is going on for you.
Customer :

I'll try it

Sarah : Talking of sleep, it is 11.30 here in England and it is time for me to hit my pillow. I hope this is helpful for you. If you think I have helped you, please press accept, so I can be paid for my time. Best Wishes, Sarah
Customer :

thanks

Sarah : No problem!
Sarah, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 143
Experience: Chart'd Psych, 12 yrs exp. English prisons, Clinical Hypnotherapist, EMDR Therapist, BPS, HPC reg'd.
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Chat Now With A Mental Health Professional
Sarah
Sarah
Chartered Psychologist / Hypnotherapist
143 Satisfied Customers
Chart'd Psych, 12 yrs exp. English prisons, Clinical Hypnotherapist, EMDR Therapist, BPS, HPC reg'd.