daydreaMeD: A Creative Representation of Maladaptive Daydreaming
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Each day, we might find our attention drifting to somewhere else: the things we need to do, the things we shouldn’t have done, or a fantasy that popped into our heads. For most people, mind wandering happens in fleeting moments of boredom or lack of focus; however, for some individuals—including myself daydreaming can be both time consuming and addictive to the point of becoming maladaptive. Maladaptive daydreaming is “defined as an extensive fantasy activity that replaces human interaction and/or interferes with academic, interpersonal, or vocational functioning” (Somer, 2002). Those with MD daydream for hours on end, replaying the same storyline or characters in their head and becoming consciously and completely immersed in their daydreams. These individuals will physically interact with their daydreams, through activities such as speaking or pacing. Relatively little research has been conducted on MD, and it is not yet classified as a psychiatric disorder; however, there is a large online population of self-proclaimed “maladaptive daydreamers.” There are forums, websites, and YouTube videos all dedicated to discussing the experiences of MD. For some, daydreaming is an outlet; for others, it is ruining their life. Through my research, I seek to mix psychology and creativity in order to answer the questions: What is maladaptive daydreaming? What does it look like? How can this be portrayed through fictional characters? Although daydreaming has been seen numerous times in literature and film, never has it been labeled as maladaptive nor addressed as MD. My novel entitled “daydreaMeD” follows the lives of three teenagers who experience maladaptive daydreaming: Ally, Jeanie, and Edgar. The three meet on an online MD forum, where they chat about their lives, ambitions, and daydreams. Each of them experiences MD in a different way, which I based on my survey of numerous MD qualitative studies and narrations. I hope to show readers what MD looks like daily and how this condition can alter one’s life. By presenting a creative work of this understudied condition, I hope to shed light on the subject and create a further sense of validation in those who experience the same thing but have not found the words to tell their story quite yet.
SubjectAggie Creative Collective
Maladaptive Daydreaming Scale
Pattison, Kathryn Dorothy (2020). daydreaMeD: A Creative Representation of Maladaptive Daydreaming. Undergraduate Research Scholars Program. Available electronically from