Maladaptive daydreaming is best described as a psychiatric disorder. But it was never like that for me. To me, I was just a kid building their own Fantasy Land. Everybody has fantasies. However, as I grew up, I had trouble focusing in school.
In my daydreams, I had set up my own universe, filled with my own characters, settings, and plots. I could write a dozen novels from the recesses of my old daydreams. Some of my daydreams were also inspired by my real life. However, the daydreams caused a lot of distraction and kept me from really interacting with the world around me. I found myself detaching when I was in lecture, in conversation with someone else, and difficulty concentrating even on everyday tasks.
Though we can sometimes underestimate its importance, communication is an essential part of how we navigate the world. If you’re not paying attention to your surroundings and who you’re talking to, it’s almost like it never happened. Sometimes, you will regret not paying attention. You will feel guilty having diverted your attention to your fantasy. It’s hard to effectively be present when your mind is somewhere else. My daydreams can lead to me missing out on huge chunks of information and time blocks of my day. I could probably daydream for as long as 4-6 hours in one day.
When it comes to focusing, I will always have trouble daydreaming. It will take me more time to focus. Sometimes, I have to change my environment and force myself to get what I need done. Just like everyone else, we force ourselves to see the outside. Often, I do have to multitask. When I daydream, the intensity of the fantasy depends on what I am doing. I can daydream while I am doing homework, cleaning, watching TV, etc. Maladaptive daydreaming does not necessarily have to be a bad thing. However, if you have more extreme symptoms where you lose track of time and yourself, you might need to see someone for assistance.