I read where you interested in stopping maladaptive daydreaming. I see where you shared that you have used day dreaming as a coping mechanism since you first started experiencing symptoms of anxiety. I read where you shared that you continue to distract yourself from real life and you are interested in knowing how to stop maladaptive daydreaming. I would suggest that you first start with seeking mental health therapy with a professional counselor or therapist. Therapy and medication together can help minimize the severity of triggers that manifest into depression. Individuals who receive therapy and medication often see quicker improvements and overall better outcomes than those who only receive therapy or those who only take medication in regards to dealing with depression. However, the choice is ultimately yours in regards to if your personal mental health needs.
A professional counselor or therapist can be very beneficial in supporting you with discussing and assessing your specific needs in alleviating or decreasing maladaptive day dreaming. A professional counselor or therapist can help you in regards to providing you with adequate or appropriate skills and techniques to discuss what situations, environments, etc. could be the cause or triggers to your symptoms of anxiety which you shared manifests into maladaptive daydreaming.
Behavior interventions, Psychotherapy, and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) have all been beneficial in treating individuals who struggle with maladaptive daydreaming that can manifest in symptoms of anxiety. In an effort to stop maladaptive daydreaming manifested by symptoms of anxiety you can try to commit to changing the way you think. It will take a lot of practice, dedication and determination to stop maladaptive daydreaming. However, trying to do this will help you feel better and it can lead to your feeling much better and becoming more productive. You can recognize when it is happening and when you find it happening you can choose to think about something more productive. You can also look for solutions by committing to learning from your mistakes and solving your problems so you can productively move forward, set aside time to think when you notice that you are beginning to daydream outside of that scheduled time, remind yourself that you will think about it later, distract yourself with a self care activity and you can practice mindfulness.
Mindfulness is the key to living in the “here and now.” When you become mindful, you will be completely present in the moment. It can be like a form of meditation that takes a lot of practice, but over time and with consistency, it can be very beneficial maladaptive daydreaming manifested by symptoms of anxiety in an effort to help you experience an overall healthier mental well being. Overall, I highly recommend that you seek help from a professional counselor or therapist and a medical provider if needed to properly assess your maladaptive daydreaming manifested by symptoms of anxiety. Mental health is not a one size fits all, so it is important to get personalized treatment for your specific and current mental and emotional needs. Best regards to you!