Each person has a tendency to fall into a daydream, even being in the middle of a productive task. Well, it is not a bad thing though. In fact, 96% of adults are capable of having fantasies at least one bout daily. Although there were criticisms that daydreamers were lazy or even failed at having mental discipline, modern psychology has supported the idea that it is a sign that the mind is having a creative process.
So when the mind is having multiple thoughts, it is actually strengthening the mental workspace. So if you have a number of mental workspaces, you have the ability to mentally deal with more than a single task. Moreover, researchers at the University of Wisconsin believe that a wandering mind will correlate with the higher degrees of working memory.
The problem with daydreaming is the moment it goes far beyond the normal. In this sequence, a person will be missing out hours and days of time spent daydreaming. This is referred to as maladaptive daydreaming (MD). It is an extensive daydream replacing human interaction with fantasies to a certain extent that people put up in their own minds.
Symptoms of Maladaptive Daydreaming Disorder
1. Excessive daydreaming that is always comparable to addiction can be referred to as symptoms of maladaptive daydreaming.
2. Some excessive daydreaming sessions begin as early as childhood. Perhaps there are things that actually influenced the child that led to such behavior.
3. Some of the common media that trigger excessive daydreaming include books, movies, PC games, music, and other related objects.
4. Often compared to a novel or a movie, daydreaming that is considered excessive is when it is elaborate and detailed.
5. The common things that daydreamers do are the repetitive movements which often include shaking something, spinning, pacing, rocking, and the like.
6. Sometimes MD sufferers cry, talk, laugh, gesture or make expressions with their faces as they daydream. However, they are fully aware between reality and daydreaming. Even as they suffer from this disorder, they are totally different from schizophrenics or psychotics.
7. Some people with MD can lie in bed daydreaming for hours that they have a hard time getting to sleep. Likewise, they have difficulty leaving the bed once they wake up. Others may even skip basic functions including showering, eating regular meals, and other related activities just because of their disorder.
Extensive daydream can cause the replacement of human interaction with fantasies as people imagine in their head. In a study conducted in 2002, some causes of MD include abuse or trauma. Patients used daydreaming as coping mechanism or an escape due to their unpleasant surroundings. However, it will require further study to support this.
A lot of people with maladaptive daydreaming disorder found out that their condition has triggered them to become unproductive. In fact, they consider this as a hindrance to their daily lives. So as they process extensive daydreams, they are unaware that an entire day has already been lost due to their fantasies.