Have you ever been sitting in classroom and happen to glance out of the window, and notice a squirrel or a tree, just something that makes you lose all of your considerations on the actual class? Then your mind begins to wander, as to think about “what squirrels do on their off time?” or “what kind of tree could I be if I were a tree?”. So then you spend all this time pondering these thought and before you know it class is over and you literally heard nothing. Basically you spend the whole time daydreaming and completely blocked out the rest of the world. Everyone at one time or another has been guilty of daydreaming, but what happens when you spend more time in your head as opposed to the real world.
Well, believe it or not, there is such a thing as what could be considered as over-daydreaming or excessive daydreaming, aptly called Maladaptive daydreaming. This is actually a condition in which daydreaming becomes so extensive and all consuming that it begins to interfere with the person’s everyday life. However, what would cause a person to become so embroiled in a world that they created within their own heads.
One such study looked to find the answer to just this question by observing six people who seemed to be suffering from Maladaptive daydreaming. These participants all came from a trauma practice, and furthermore four of them were diagnosed with dissociative identity disorders. Upon exploring their pasts’s it seemed that a common link, aside from the psychological disorders, was that they all seemed to have suffered from some type of trauma in their childhood. As such, researchers suggested that this trauma set of the Maladaptive daydreaming.
Based on this assumption it would be fair to say that perhaps this disorder stems from a coping mechanism that all of us are guilty of using from time a time. However the sample size of this study was not varied, nor was it large enough to form anything conclusive. As such everything is still up to speculation. However it should be noted that daydreaming in and of itself is not bad. The point of this article was not to demonize daydreaming but rather shed some light on a disorder which greatly affects a person’s life with how all consuming it becomes.
That being said, could there be benefits to being so stuck within your own head? Do you believe that creative people such as writers and artists suffer from Maladaptive daydreaming? Food for thought.