Maladaptive Daydreaming: Scale, Symptoms, and Treatments

Maladaptive daydreaming is when a person experiences intense and distracting daydreams. These daydreams can end up interfering with everyday tasks and responsibilities. Experts say this form of daydreaming may be a way of coping with trauma, abuse, or loneliness. These daydreams create a positive fantasy world the person can escape to from their real-life environment. Different events and stimuli can trigger maladaptive daydreams, such as conversations, movies, news stories, noises, and smells.

Maladaptive daydreaming can impact an individual’s personal and professional life. The person may begin to tune out from personal interactions, studying, and work. Other symptoms of maladaptive daydreaming include difficulty sleeping at night, talking or making facial expressions while daydreaming, and daydreaming for long periods. A test can help determine whether a person has this condition or is experiencing normal daydreams. Treating maladaptive daydreaming can include good sleep hygiene, tackling daytime fatigue, being aware of your symptoms, and professional therapy.

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