How to Stop Maladaptive Daydreaming

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News on maladaptive daydreaming and how to overcome it.

How Long Do People Spend Maladaptive Daydreaming?

For years I now realize I was engaged in maladaptive daydreaming, however it never occurred to me that I was doing it until it began to consume more and more of my waking life.

Eventually one day I realized I was living in this abstract fantasy world for hours a day. What the hell was going on?

This is incredibly common for maladaptive daydreamers. You may or may not be aware of your maladaptive daydreaming, but brush it aside because it’s enjoyable and seemingly harm-free.

Then one day it hits you: your life – your real life – is passing you by as you’re stuck in this maladaptive rhythm. You’re maladaptive daydreaming when you get up and you’re maladaptive daydreaming when your head hits the pillow.

How Many Hours a Day Do People Maladaptive Daydream

Over the years I’ve heard from hundreds of maladaptive daydreamers and so a little while ago I decided to send out a short survey. It just asked, at their peak, how many many hours per-day did they estimate they spent maladaptive daydreaming.

In case you’re wondering what my definition of maladaptive daydreaming is, you can see this post here.

Now before I show you the results, it’s important to remember a few things:

  • This survey was sent to those who got my course on maladaptive daydreaming, so they were engaged in maladaptive daydreaming more than most perhaps
  • This survey is self-reported so perhaps people forgot just how many hours they were maladaptive daydreaming a day
  • I specifically said that their maladaptive daydreams couldn’t be passive (e.g. you couldn’t count the time you were slightly maladaptive daydreaming in the back of your mind)

The Results

Here are the results in a table format:

Hours SpentPercent
1 to 212%
2 to 315%
3 to 529%
5 to 733%
7 or more11%
Table representing number of hours spent maladaptive daydreaming per day

Here are the results as a pie chart:

Number of hours spent maladaptive daydreaming
Chart representing number of hours spent maladaptive daydreaming per day

The data shows a bit of a normal distribution that is slightly skewed to the higher end.

As you would expect, relatively few people engaged in maladaptive daydreaming for just a few hours (at least that I talk to).

This makes sense because for these people the full harms of maladaptive daydreaming are likely not felt. Instead their maladaptive daydreams can be simply a bit of an escape from the troubles their life is currently facing.

The vast majority engage in maladaptive daydreaming for 3-7 hours with just a smaller percent engaging in it for more than 7 hours a day.

It’s important to recognize that the number of hours your engaged in maladaptive daydreaming per day is not necessarily indicative of how easy or hard it will be to overcome.

As I’ve said many times before, often those who spend the most time in their maladaptive daydreams have the easiest time overcoming them because they’re so fed up and exhausted by them. In other words, they’re prepared to stop and just need a system for achieving this.

Take care as always,

Alex

The Maladaptive Daydreaming Course

Sticky post

You’re almost certainly here because maladaptive daydreaming has been slowly (or perhaps not so slowly) ripping your real life apart.

If you know my story, you know that I was in a similar position several years ago.

I spent countless hours (not to mention quite a few dollars) talking to psychologists and psychiatrists trying to find someone who understood my maladaptive daydreams and could help me rid myself of them.

…Unfortunately all I found were people who said that maladaptive daydreams were not a “thing” to be taken seriously.

So I took matters into my own hands and over the course of several years I developed my own seven-step method, along with a series of clever “tricks”, to overcome my maladaptive daydreaming.

I’ve since turned this method and these tricks into a full 60-page course that has helped hundreds of people overcome their maladaptive daydreams as well.

You can read more about the Maladaptive Daydreaming Course here and get the full story about how it came about.

I initially only talked about this course in my Facebook group, but now that I have this website I wanted to make sure you were aware of it.

I’ve put a lot of time into the course. I’m proud of it. I know that if you implement the seven-step method I developed and utilize the “tricks” I talk about, it can make a real difference in your life.

Take care as always,

Alex

P.S. – As you’ll see there is an option within the Maladaptive Daydreaming Course for you to get personal e-mail access to me, if that’s something you think could help.

The Growth of Maladaptive Daydreaming in 2020

I have lived and worked in New York City for the past four years and as you imagine early 2020 has not exactly been what I bargained for.

However, nearly as soon as the shut downs began I thought to myself, “What will this do for maladaptive daydreaming?”

At once there will be millions without school or work obligations who are left to their own devices (always a scary thing for those prone to MD).

I feared that maladaptive daydreaming would continue its inevitable march forward; stealing more time and energy from people around the world.

Unfortunately, this has been realized. Below is a photo of Google trends, which shows the increased search volume seen for maladaptive daydreaming on Google.

maladaptive daydreaming trend growth

Interestingly, the chart appears to have already peaked and now come back down. However, you’ll notice that the “new normal” of this chart is significantly above the “old normal”.

Here’s another chart, showing the exact number of people searching for maladaptive daydreaming help and support on Google:

maladaptive daydreaming search growth

In just North America, nearly 100,000 people searched for help with their maladaptive daydreaming.

This rapid rise is disheartening. It illustrates to me that when so many are left with more time on their hands – and perhaps more external stressors – they turn to their imagination in a way that only exacerbates their ills.

However, there is good news. Namely that there has never been a better time to recognize your own maladaptive daydreams. They are now better understood than ever before and resources exist to help ease yourself out of them.

Just several years ago, when I was struggling to overcome my own maladaptive daydreams, there was an utter dearth of information. It was hard enough to find even a blog post on the subject. Times have changed and there has never been better detailed tactics and strategies than there are now.

Take care as always.

Alex

Welcome to Maladaptive Daydreaming

We’ve moved to a new site!

After three years of our Facebook group, I thought it was about time that we had a proper website where things could be a bit more permanent.

This website was ultimately designed to help you understand not only the tactics and strategies I used (and hundreds of others have copied) to overcome maladaptive daydreaming, but also my own journey and the journey of other maladaptive daydreamers.

I’m incredibly excited to continue the conversation and hopefully reach even more people.

Maladaptive daydreaming is a scourge; it has the capacity to not only upend your life, but more importantly upend your very sense of self.

The goal of this website is to leave behind some kind of digital diary; a place in which those many years from now, whether I’m still actively posting or not, people can come and hopefully gain some comfort, understanding, and practical solutions to ending their maladaptive daydreaming.

Take care as always,

Alex

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