Maladaptive Daydreaming


Sienna Guerrero, Staff Writer

What Is It?

Maladaptive Daydreaming is a psychiatric disorder, where someone daydreams very intensely. It can make everyday tasks very hard to complete, and distract you from reality. When you do daydream like this, your mind creates extremely clear daydreams with their own characters, settings, plots, and other detailed, story-like features. Basically like a little scenario you make in your head, and most times people add themselves as a character in their daydream too. Sometimes people also add the plot or characters of their favorite movies, or TV shows.


  • Daydreams that are triggered by real life events
  • Difficulty completing everyday tasks
  • Difficulty falling asleep
  • An overwhelming feeling of NEEDING to daydream
  • Bad grades

What Causes It?

Experts believe MD (Maladaptive Daydreaming) is a coping mechanism, often used in response to abuse, trauma, or even loneliness. “It helps people with trauma, or loneliness, or someone going through abuse, and lets them escape to their imaginary worlds in their head.” (

Many people say that when they daydream they tend to pace around, or wear earbuds/headphones and spend hours daydreaming. I listen to music when I do my homework, and sometimes I drift off wasting at least three hours without realizing it. Some people even talk to themselves!

Ways to keep yourself occupied

It can be fun, but it can also turn into an addiction. Ways to keep your mind off of daydreaming so much is, trying to sleep well. Studies show that not enough sleep leads to more daydreaming.

Another is trying to stay engaged in the day. Like going somewhere with your friends to distract yourself from it. Journaling is also a way to help with the obsession. Journaling your daydreams can help slow you down. Trying to turn your daydreams into something good, and productive can also help. Like if you daydream of having a better job, and living somewhere you really want to live, then you can turn what seems like a mere daydream, into a step by step goal. Talking to a therapist can help, too. If you catch yourself daydreaming when you are stressed, or frustrated you can talk to a therapist to figure out another healthy coping strategy. 

You can also research about this condition and look for online communities. This way you can get tips from others to help yourself. Talking to others with the same issue, can also help you understand the condition better. The last thing you could do is put a timer when you catch yourself daydreaming so you can interrupt it and set a time limit on your daydreaming. It may be hard at first with the timer, because you might not catch yourself every single time, but when you do catch yourself  you should put a timer and manage your time effectively.

(All of the ways that you can deal with this was found on this website: )