What is maladaptive daydreaming? When daydreaming becomes addictive
Every person daydreams about some scenarios that they wish could turn true in real life. Life is not always beautiful, but our imagination helps us live and experience even the most surreal experiences. When life gets dull, our mind wishes the reality could be different, and that is when daydreaming comes to the rescue.
We create an imaginary world for ourselves, where we daydream about the best possible outcomes. Everything is merry until daydreaming becomes a strange addiction.
Yes, you read it right, daydreaming can also turn into an addiction. Maladaptive Daydreaming, often known as Fantasy Disorder is an obsessive disorder in which the individual feels a need to obsessively and excessively fantasize. The need is so strong to the extent that it interferes with the everyday functioning of the individual.
An average person daydreams at around 30 percent of the time awake every day.
Who recognized the disorder?
A clinical psychologist, Eli Somer, working at the University of Haifa, Israel, was the first person to identify maladaptive daydreaming. The idea struck in his mind when around six of his patients addressed a state in which they got engaged in vivid imaginations so as to alleviate the emotional sufferings they may be experiencing.
How can daydreaming be bad?
Daydreaming is not only unreal but can also pose other disadvantages. A study in Britain revealed that daydreaming for an unreasonably extended period of time impacts people’s day-to-day tasks. Moreover, the number of people suffering from the disorder is increasing rapidly.
As per Glulea Porea, head of the research and Associate Lecturer at the University of Sussex, “Around 2.5 percent of the world’s population, or 20 million people are in the grip of the obsessive need to daydream. It is also called Maladaptive Daydreaming. People who go through it daydream for hours and like to spend time in their fantasy world.”
Additionally, people who daydream for an extended length of time are often called lazy, slow, and dull by others.