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Friday, June 07, 2013

I'm just going to tell you now, this will all sound weird.

Since I was a kid, I've rocked while sitting in a chair. Imagine kids with's like that but controlled. What I mean by controlled is, I don't do it in front of people because it's....well, not socially accepted. People will think you're "special" if you start rocking in your chair. But when I'm alone, I rock pretty frequently. It helps me think. And it's an unconscious movement - I just start doing it. If someone comes around, I stop instantly....again, without really thinking. I've always wondered why I do this. I'm rocking as I type this! I thought maybe it was a hyper kind of a way to release excessive energy. The only problem with that is, I'm not hyper. I've never thought to Google it, but this morning, I did. Less than 5 minutes after I Googled, I found people in a form talking about Maladaptive Daydreaming. Uhhhh....what the heck? I found a Wiki page about it and as I read, my jaw dropped! It's weird, but it's totally explains everything. Just to preface, I don't have Asperger's or ADHD but I've always thought I have ADD. Sometimes paying attention is a real chore. I'd rather daydream! As for attendant distress or functional impairment...humm....don't have that either. I also wasn't abused and there was no trauma in my childhood. However, an outlet to creativity....that part fits. I've always said, I can daydream like nobody's business. As a kid, I imagined very vivid situations or "stories" with characters that I felt were part of me and that I've become "attached" to. Maybe they are extensions of my personality? To this day, I imagine full stories, beginning to end, in my mind and get lost in them. I'll see something that reminds me of a story I've imagined and I'm suddenly there. This all plays out during normal day to day happenings. I've always wished I had time to just write all the stories down and submit them as dime store novels. would take so long tho. Just one story would take months. I'm a little OCD about getting the exact description of things. I imagine them so crisply that every detail can be seen so I feel the need to get it just right. I dream all my dreams, asleep and awake, in Technicolor. Speaking of which, if I wrote them all down, when would I sleep? This would be a full time project. Maybe if I win the lottery I'll quit my job and be a writer.

Here's what the Wiki page says - and don't judge me!

Maladaptive daydreaming: (Compulsive Fantasy) is a term first proposed by Eli Smer, Ph.D., to describe a condition in which an individual excessively daydreams or fantasizes, sometimes as a psychological response to prior trauma or abuse. This title has become popularly generalized to incorporate a recently-described syndrome of immersive or excessive daydreaming which is specifically characterized by attendant distress or functional impairment, whether or not it is contingent upon a history of trauma or abuse, as introduced in 2009 by Cynthia Schupak, Ph.D. and Jesse Rosenthal, M.D. of New York City. Dr. Schupak and her colleagues published the results of a follow-up study based on an email questionnaire in 2011.

Excessive daydreaming may begin as an outlet for creativity or as a method of escaping trauma or abuse. The daydreamers experience very vivid and intricate fantasies and may become emotionally attached to the characters in their fantasies or express emotions they are feeling through vocal utterances or changing facial expressions, although most keep such behavior hidden from others. People with Maladaptive Daydreaming know the difference between reality and fantasy; they realize that everything they are dreaming about is a fantasy. Some also exhibit symptoms similar to Asperger's Syndrome, ADHD or OCD.  Many people have social anxiety and/or depression along with maladaptive daydreaming. A large number also find their social lives are negatively impacted by this disorder. 79% of those self-identified as having excessive daydreams had a kinesthetic repetitive movement accompany their daydreaming, such as pacing, rocking, tapping, or shaking an object. Many others also move their hands around and make facial expressions: laughing, crying, whispering, and gesturing with hands. Listening to music while daydreaming is common and hearing music may trigger a fantasy. A repetitive movement may be articulated to music while daydreaming. Watching a movie or reading a book, can also trigger a fantasy.Many people have novel or movie type fantasies. They create their own world, with characters, settings, plots, heroes, villains, friends, etc. -- they also may imagine storylines using the characters or settings from already existing works of fiction.  Some people have reported dizziness, headaches and other physical symptoms after daydreaming.


Mike McGinnis said...

Hey now...if that's all you got you're tremendously far ahead of the game. Way ahead.

MsOktober said...

Really? I guess when you're talking about yourself it sounds worse.

Mike McGinnis said...