For a few people, According to a new study published in the journal Journal of Clinical Psychology. In the study, daydreaming was defined as “compulsive fantasy activity characterized by imaginary role-playing and shifting attention to the rich inner world while neglecting social activities, career and study”.
“We believe this is correct though [maladaptive daydreaming] There is not yet an official diagnosis, says Nirit Soffer-Dudek. She is the study’s lead author, a clinical psychologist, and a senior lecturer at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev.
The idea that daydreaming can extend beyond reality is certainly curious, and confession stories that detail the experience of daydreaming provide some clues to living with this condition. But as with many mental health problems, people with intrusive daydreaming are stigmatized — and even opposed by some doctors, as a medical problem.
In a study of people who identified themselves as abnormal daydreamers, one woman recalls telling her doctor about her distressing condition. In response, she said, they “raised their eyebrows at me and told me there was nothing to worry about”. Other psychologists have argued that a diagnosis for bad daydreaming would mean applying “medical illness models to elements of the human experience… I wouldn’t create a sort of tangle. New psychosis for daydreaming.”
Researchers like Soffer-Dudek argue that these layoffs ignore the emotional pain that can stem from false daydreaming (MD).
Soffer-Dudek believes that daydreaming should be added to the next edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders – the gold standard handbook for mental conditions developed by clinicians in the United States. United States use.
In contrast, many delusional dreamers argue that other mental illness classifications aren’t enough: Instead of being diagnosed with ADHD, they want a diagnosis that more accurately defines what they’re experiencing – and help may come with it.
The difference between ADHD and daydreaming
In an earlier study, Soffer-Dudek and colleagues interviewed people with MD and found that most of them met the criteria for inattentive ADHD. However, “comorbidities are thought to be different from others,” such as depression and anxiety, Soffer-Dudek tells me.
In interviews, study respondents explained that “the addiction to daydreaming makes it difficult for them to focus on outside conversations, work, housework, and class,” she says. When it comes to building stories in their heads, they have excellent concentration skills. The problem is not that they have difficulty concentrating or are easily distracted, but that they have a compulsive or addictive desire to engage in daydreaming.
She realized that if MD were to be included in the official psychiatric diagnostic manual, “giving them an MD diagnosis would make the ADHD diagnosis redundant because MD better explains the symptoms.”
To further explore this issue, Soffer-Dudek and colleagues decided to do a similar study in reverse: They looked at people with ADHD and measured how many had manifest MD. Their new study confirms their hypothesis that MD and ADHD are not the same: Many people have difficulty with convention and attention without developing an addiction to daydreaming.
“ADHD-like symptoms can be caused by MD, but they are not one and the same,” says Soffer-Dudek.
Of the 83 people they examined in their most recent study, 20.5% met the suggested diagnostic criteria for MD. These participants also showed increased signs of depression, loneliness, and lowered self-esteem compared with those with ADHD alone.
When does daydreaming go wrong?
Soffer-Dudek considers “real daydreaming” to be a phenomenon that occurs during fantasy – the experience of constructing stories and seeing vivid images in one’s mind. Previous research has shown that we daydream as a means to process experiences and practice problem solving. It can help us to think creatively and consider our goals.
But we also use daydreaming as a colloquial term to refer to other things. For example, the word is also used to describe mind wandering and empty mind.
“This confusion hinders scientific understanding of what happens in the brain during actual daydreaming,” says Soffer-Dudek.
People with MD can experience periods of extremely vivid daydreaming that can last for hours. It is expressed by a constant, compulsive urge to daydream and can be addictive. In turn, this can cause disillusionment with reality and withdrawal from society.
“People with MD may seek alone time with the sole purpose of being able to daydream without distractions,” says Soffer-Dudek. “They may avoid social gatherings because they want to be alone and daydream.”
Some people return to the same setting and characters in their daydreams for years.
It is also very difficult to stop. Here’s what makes it so debilitating and why it impairs function, Soffer-Dudek explains. People feel as if they can’t control it.
“However, many people have told us that psychotherapy has helped them overcome it by addressing underlying issues,” she says. “Additionally, awareness and monitoring of behavior and its triggers can be beneficial, as can mindfulness training.”
The legalization of MD – coupled with the willingness of medical practitioners to recognize it as a differentiating experience – can also benefit those who want control.
https://www.inverse.com/mind-body/maladaptive-daydreaming-adhd New ADHD research reveals clues to “maladaptive daydreaming” condition