Maladaptive Daydreaming, and how it affects teens today

Maladaptive Daydreaming(MD) is a psychotic disorder that seems very uncommon. However, research shows 12.8% of people possess this illness, according to Psychiatry Online.

So what is Maladaptive Daydreaming?
MD is a form of dissociating from reality. It causes intense daydreaming, and distracts someone from normal tasks and real life.

It is often triggered by real life events, such as conversations and physical experience.

People with MD get absorbed in the fantasy world that they usually create. It could be a world from a book they read, a movie plot, a world they know a celebrity, etc.

Sara Waite, a 28 year old with MD, told CNN, “The intensity of my daydreams and how they’ve affected my life is not normal.”

What causes MD?
In several research environments, trauma is a major cause of MD.

MD is believed to be a coping mechanism for people who have suffered traumatic events, such as abuse.

It is viewed as an escape, to a world where the daydreamer can control everything.

“Daydreaming usually starts as a small fantasy that makes people feel good, but over time, the process becomes addictive — until it takes over their lives..” Eli Sommers, who made the discovery of MD, said.

Is MD treatable?

Unfortunately, MD is currently not treatable.

Since specialists don’t know what exactly causes MD, they have no way to treat it.

Does MD cause any other illnesses?

Many people who suffer through the symptoms of MD, have also been diagnosed with OCD.

Another research showed that GAD (Generalized Anxiety Disorder) and depression could also be formed with MD.

So how does MD affect teens during school?
Teens GPA could be affected tremendously by MD.

When daydreaming, students experience a loss of attention towards classes, meaning they focus on daydreaming rather than what’s being taught.

This leads to bad grades on classwork assignments and tests, therefore lowering their GPA.

A lowered GPA means students may only have the opportunity to be accepted into certain colleges, and if they are looking to have a career in an area with rigorous requirements such as medicine, they may not have the qualifications to meet the requirements for med school.

Here is a link to detailed symptoms someone with Maladaptive Daydreaming might face
https://www.healthline.com/health/mental-health/maladaptive-daydreaming

If you believe you or someone you know may experience Maladaptive Daydreaming, see a doctor to be diagnosed.