Confessions of a maladaptive daydreamer


In my previous confession, I said how introverts would rather prefer to have a party with themselves than with others. Now when I said 'party,' you might think that we are chilling with lots of junk food and drinks putting the AC on at the lowest temperature covering ourselves in a massive blanket leaving a tad space for the eyes, watching 'Game of Thrones.' That is not the case. I mean, we do that too. But 'partying with ourselves' means using the greatest movie-making programme ever found. MIND. You have no idea what is going on in there. While you guys are talking about your latest Nike shoes and your Fastrack watch, I'm slashing vampires and zombies and saving the world. While you're properly numbering your achievements including throwing the duster exactly in the dustbin, I'm giving an inspiring lecture at TED Talks on the topic 'Can anyone be too successful?' While you're talking about how great Jennifer Lawrence is, I'm giving my Oscar acceptance speech thanking mom, dad and Bob (they always thank people like 'Bob' and 'Dave.')

While my mom is banging on the bathroom door telling me to stop screaming at the top of my lungs and disturbing the neighbours, I'm on a world tour with my rock band singing for the fans and signing autographs. Dan Reynolds came to see me when I was touring in Paris and was saying how great I was and what an inspiration I was to him when our talk was interrupted by my dad allying with mom and together banging on the door telling me to shut the hell up. I did at last. I don't wanna get grounded. Now you might think, everybody does that. To that I would say, not for a day. Yes, I can dream the whole day away. I mean world tours take months to complete, it's not surprising I would at least need a day to complete my mind tour. You have no idea what I'm talking about do you? I'm talking about maladaptive daydreaming. It's basically excessive daydreaming. It was identified by Eliezer Somer of the University of Haifa in Israel. (Okay, I will spare you from more formal details. We're all worn out studying theories from people just because they're famous.)

Maladaptive daydreaming varies from people to people. There are those who can control it to a certain extent and I believe they haven't got much to worry about. But there are those who have no control over it. And that's a problem. Eliezer Somer is trying to get the medical world to accept it as a psychiatric disorder. Now you might ask me as very simple question 'so does that mean you're crazy, like literally?' To that I would say no. Obviously, crazy people will never admit they're crazy right? Well, even though daydreaming is really exciting, when a crucial time in my life arrives, like exams, I just maladaptive daydream a moment about my Mom's face if I screw up my exams and then my self-control, which was in coma stage before, suddenly halts awake and then I don't even know what maladaptive day dreaming is!

Now I'll tell you how you can identify if someone is maladaptive daydreaming or just daydreaming. They will constantly repeat certain movements. If you give them a pen, they will move the pen in a certain way and keep on doing it for a while. They might even smile or sometimes act out something. But we're not crazy. We'll control our instinct to smile or act out or even speak when we are in public. But if one is really engrossed, you might just figure out that they are vivid maladaptive daydreamers. Now let me make something clear. Maladaptive daydreamers are aware they are daydreaming. There is in no way any confusion between reality and fantasy. If there is a confusion, then it is not maladaptive daydreaming. That is psychosis. (If you want more details, please ask your Psychology (Main) friend or even better, the omniscient, the eternal, the all-powerful…Google! Just work that fingers and then let the Google work for you).

Now I'm not speaking on behalf of all introverts or shy people or my kind, shy introverts. Nor am I saying this can be seen only in introverts though it is more likely. For many maladaptive daydreamers including myself, it is just an alternate world where we can chill for sometime and come back. We are looking for a place where we can bid adieu to all our inhibitions and be ourselves. There is nothing else nothing more. But for some, it is more. A lot more than that. People who have experienced trauma in their life tend to become vivid maladaptive daydreamers. It is because they are trying all they can to forget the trauma. They are also a lot of support groups where people can talk with people who are like them and can possibly get MD under control.

Now to all the fellow shy maladaptive daydreamers, I know you guys. I know you've gone through instances when your classmates are talking about that 'Kesha song' or the Oscar for the Best Actor, all you wanna do is to get involved and talk to them about how inspiring Kesha's song 'Rainbow' is or how awesome Rami Malik is and how he is like an Egyptian pharaoh and then you laugh and tell them Rami Malik has literally acted as a pharaoh in 'Night at the Museum 3.' But you don't. So you play this conversation in your head while in actual you're just making circles with the compass repeatedly (Literally the only thing I like about maths) pretending as if you're not listening to a word they're saying.

I want you to know, there will come a day when you won't waste your time daydreaming away. From that day onwards you won't need to imagine or make up conversations and social situations where you are talking to the people you wanna talk to and the topics you'd like to talk about. You will talk without any inhibitions and people will realise how amazing you are and they will ask you ‘Where were you this whole time?' Just remember me when the day comes. ('That shy introverted maladaptive daydreamer girl said so' – you don't even have to remember my name). And I'll remember you too.

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