Maladaptive Daydreaming- Does anyone know?

secret

Does anyone know? Is MD a hidden secret for you? Should we tell? Having someone to talk to about it, to give you support in dealing with MD and the additional symptoms is very helpful. But….will the people closet to you understand? Since we are mostly self diagnosed due to the limited study done on this disorder, it is harder to explain it to those around us. I don’t like using the word daydream. It seems to bring up a preconceived notion of laziness and nonsense. How do we make people understand how serious this disorder can be? And how much it can affect our lives.

Time to come out of the closet. It is hard enough to deal with the disorder without having to try to hide it too. I decided to ask my husband if he could notice when I was having a difficult time dealing with my illness. Kind of funny considering he doesn’t know about my dealing with maladaptive daydreaming disorder. He knows I have anxiety and depression which are mainly results OF my MD. I don’t think he wants to know any more. To know would put a reasonable responsibility on you to be supportive and help. If you ignore it, then you don’t have to deal with it at all. Listen in to the show, you can decide for yourself if he is choosing to be willfully ignorant of the extent of my disorder. Remember that I was diagnosed with bipolar  I don’t agree with that but still, my husband was told that. But when asked, he just thinks I get stressed out sometimes. So, I don’t talk about it to him. I talk to you guys!

It’s time to talk about mental illness

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0XtzztmIWfo

When your family won’t believe you

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BwekOHhy9m4

Wild minds forum post – Does anyone know?

http://wildminds.ning.com/forum/topics/does-anyone-know

Maladaptive Daydreaming- Intermissions and Remission

intermission

Do you have intermissions? A time between the end of one daydream and the beginning of another. Or do your daydreams flow continually? Mine start and stop and the time in between is very disturbing, full of anxiety. Like someone changing the channels while you’re watching tv. Scenes will flash through my mind, some from the daydream that just ended, some from past daydreams, all with strong emotional events. Sometimes the same one will repeat changing some details.

Even though this is a time of mental upheaval and confusion I try to prolong it as much as I can. Due to the simple fact that I am not controlled by a daydream in that time. I try to keep myself distracted much like you do a fussy toddler. Even talking out load to myself, “look, at that, isn’t that interesting” But like a fussy toddler it only works for a short time. Sooner or later a new image will lock in and take off. I will be left mentally exhausted. Strange, my mind will then quiet some, allowing me some use of the leftover attention and consciousness. As the new daydream runs along in the background. Is there a way to grasp our sanity in this space of time and shut down the default network? I think I will try using the mindfulness meditation during the down time to see what happens.

There are some who do not have this down time or intermissions. They have a whole other life that runs along the same time line as their current one, sometimes for years. Their characters age along with them. The founder of Wild minds network was mentioned in a Yahoo article that described her fantasy world as being decades long.

http://shine.yahoo.com/healthy-living/daydreams-dont-stop-strange-true-condition-130800916.html

“Cordellia Amethyste Rose leads a double life. There’s the version we can see: Cordellia the withdrawn, anxious 32-year-old with two cats. And there’s the version only Cordellia sees, a decades-long fantasy of her idealized self, who is also named Cordellia (but goes by Baby) and is a successful musician/actress with a husband and eight children.”

I also have a friend who is a writer and he says his daydreams continually run. He has written a book based on the daydream characters and says the story didn’t end where he ended the book. It continues day to day. I find this fascinating and very foreign to my experience. Maybe I am the one who is the odd one in this matter. I’m glad mine have not continued, since they are mostly disturbing and depressing. More like reoccurring nightmares then pleasant fantasy retreats.

Remission

Recovering from Chronic Mental Illness: Reconciling With Relapse

http://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/recoveringfrommentalillness/2011/09/recovering-from-chronic-mental-illness-reconsiling-with-relapse/

“The word remission is different than the word recovered. Remission implies, in the context of chronic mental illness, an abating of symptoms, a period of stability. A time in which life moves as smoothly as it can. It’s lovely, but you ask yourself, will it last? Will I relapse? In my life, this question bothers me immensely. But it’s something I try not to think about, and you might want to do the same. If we are focused on the possibility of relapse when in remission, the stress of that can, in fact, trigger an episode.

That is the most difficult part: forgetting that a chronic mental illness is, in fact, chronic. Remission is often determined to be recovered. When the symptoms of mental illness are gone, when you are stable, you are in recovery. The symptoms of the mental illness have lessened. But if you cannot accept the reality of relapse, that it might happen or it might not, recovery is fruitless. You cannot enjoy it. Recovery, remission, hard fought, should be cherished but it’s difficult, to say the least, to ignore the word relapse. To live without it dwelling in the back of your psyche.

Learning to Embrace the Reality of Relapse

This is a tall order. Is it possible to embrace the notion that we might not always be well? I argue that in order to become well, to stay well, we must.

You cannot walk through life full of fear. Well, you can, but that isn’t living at all. It is simply existing. The body is not properly connected to the mind. In order to recover, to achieve remission, you must understand that you might relapse. Your life will probably not be entirely smooth. It might be a bit harder than those who do not have a chronic mental illness, it probably will be, but your life is worth fighting for.”

I went into remission. Recently during an intermission, the struggle to prevent a new story from kicking in got easier. I continued to distract myself and kept busy. Trying to keep my mind focused on work. After a few hours I was really confused by the weakening of the changing pictures in my mind. My mood was more upbeat as well. It would seem the depression was going into remission as well. One day, one night, two days, two nights, I couldn’t believe my mind was clear. I felt normal again. No more depression, or coldness. I didn’t need to be away from people. I was actually enjoying other people’s company. But I was very fearful about it coming back. How long would I have? After a year and 8 months struggling with MD, I tried to accept this time as a gift and live it to the fullest. Take it day by day and see how it went.

Now I did not just get stronger will or something like that. I fought just as hard every time a DD ended, and during. Trying to stop it. This remission had nothing to do with my will power or efforts. It is just my mind or chemistry or something outside of my control. It stopped as quickly as it began and just as uncontrollably. After 5 days it came back. The sadness of it returned as well. I wish I knew why it stopped, so I could repeat it. But I haven’t a clue. I can only hope and pray it will stop again. Until then I guess I should go back and relisten to the shows on coping and accepting. 🙂

Hormones do affect your brain

If you follow my radio show you know I believe my MD started as a result of perimenopause hormone fluctuation. Simply because it happened at the same time as I started having bad hot flashes, anxiety, and depression. All with in a month. I think it has to be related. This article shows connection between the brain function and hormones.

Menopausal brain fog really does exist
Roughly two-thirds of women complain of forgetfulness or “brain fog” during menopause. Now two new studies add to the growing body of research suggesting that cognitive decline and memory problems associated with menopause are real and may be linked to fluctuating levels of hormones in the brain.

In one study, pre- and post-menopausal women performed worse on tests of memory and cognition in the year after they had their last period than in the time leading up to menopause. Researchers at the University of Rochester in New York performed a battery of cognitive tests on 117 women ages 40 to 60 who were in various stages of menopause. The researchers found that in their first post-menopausal year, women performed significantly worse on tests of verbal learning and memory (how well they could recall words from a list), motor function (how fast they could place a series of grooved pegs in a pegboard), and attention and working memory (how well they could recall increasingly longer strings of digits) than women who had not yet reached menopause. These effects were large for verbal learning and memory; medium for fine motor skills; and small to medium for attention and working memory. The study was published in January in the journal Menopause.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/health/2013/01/15/menopausal-brain-fog-really-does-exist/?intcmp=HPBucket#ixzz2I3GQDbR9

Maladaptive daydreaming- Accepting ourselves

LoveYourself-beach-scene

An important part of our recovery or coping with daily life with MD is learning to accept ourselves. With all our flaws. To be kind and loving to ourselves. This has been a real struggle for me. I have always been an “identify the problem, get a plan, and fix it” kind of person. So when MD started, I researched like crazy, still do, ran to doctors, tried medications. But sadly began to realize that there was no magic pill. No “cure”. With this revelation came despair. The more I tried to control it the angrier I would get at myself for failing. Now I think I’m finally figuring out that this may be who I am from now on. I need to accept myself, right now, in this flawed state. Maybe I could blame genetics, over three generations my family has had four schizophrenics, possibly five, and two epileptics. (one bipolar if you count me but I don’t agree with the diagnosis) So faulty mental wiring runs in my family. But blaming doesn’t change anything. It’s time to accept, and more on.

Galatians 5:14 For the whole law is summed up in a single commandment, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

AS YOURSELF- we are not only to love those around us but are commanded to love ourselves.

Articles:

Loving And Accepting Yourself

http://healthymind.sg/adult.aspx?id=130

Accept Who You Are

http://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/help-information/10-ways-to-look-after-your-mental-health/accept-who-you-are/

How to improve your mental wellbeing – Mind

http://www.mind.org.uk/mental_health_a-z/7986_how_to_improve_your_mental_wellbeing

7 Ways to Accept Yourself for Who You Are

http://www.tara-west.com/2010/accept-yourself-for-who-you-are/

Videos:

Accepting yourself

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tixffN68VjE

accepting your reality

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=loZkXfDhh6k

accept your flaws

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hz2x5waTKjs

Maladaptive Daydreaming- Coping day to day

MDDIn psychology, coping is “constantly changing cognitive and behavioral efforts to manage specific external and/or internal demands that are appraised as taxing” or “exceeding the resources of the person”. Coping is thus expending conscious effort to solve personal and interpersonal problems, and seeking to master, minimize or tolerate stress or conflict.

Are we coping? I guess we are in our own way, in differing degrees. As a functioning MDer what is your day like? How do you cope? I found a youtube video from a young girl who is struggling with MD. I can really relate to her feelings of despair. I’ve been in that dark place and return there from time to time. But in between those lowest times I do cope. I manage to go to work, to maintain a marriage. It is often a matter of putting one foot in front of the other, not knowing if you will make to the next step. But you seem to. And so you go through the day, through a standard routine, morning, evening, night. Existing, not really living, just existing. Is that coping? I guess, anyway it is all I can manage right now.
So, what do you do to cope? I think having a normal routine does help. If I didn’t HAVE to go to work I would probably stay in bed every day and fall into a very deep depression. So having responsibilities is helpful. Animals that depend on you, gives you a sense of being needed, having a purpose to getting out of bed. Staying away from things that trigger mental images, like fiction books, certain music. I listen to alot of talk radio, trying to focus on what the person is saying, hopefully learning things in the process. There are times when I realize the show is over and I zoned out 30 mins before. So I just start back at the last place I remember. I have to try hard not to get angry at myself. That just makes things worse. Another coping device I’ve added, mindfulness meditation. One of the parts that have been most helpful to me is the concept of when a DD starts to flash in during your meditation you push it aside “without judgment” I used to become so angry and irritated at myself for it happening that I lost any relaxation benefit I had gained. Now I am learning to be more forgiving of myself and take it one day at a time. Some of the links are about depression, many with MD also have depression, I think the same strategies can work for both.

videos:
Maladaptive daydreaming- what it has done
http://youtu.be/ZjUEZZZKOL0

Mental Illness: Your Recovery
http://youtu.be/FGtQGN9pSKU

Dealing with Depression  Dr Oz
http://youtu.be/7ghwPVVocrI

Articles:
Dealing with depression
http://www.helpguide.org/mental/depression_tips.htm

How to cope day-to-day

http://www.nmha.org/go/information/get-info/mi-and-the-family/recognizing-warning-signs-and-how-to-cope

Maladaptive daydreaming- what it has done

I found this video and can relate to what this girl is saying. Especially the part about it killing her from the inside and taking over her reality. I think she was very brave for putting this out there. This really shows some of the despair many go through. I hope that someday she, and I will get control over this and not feel this way any more.