Tuesday, May 28

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Why Maladaptive Daydreaming is All Over Your For You Page

Awareness of Maladaptive Daydreaming has gotten a boost as people continue to cope with lock-downs and Covid restrictions across the world. Helped along, in no small part, by the popular online platform of TikTok.

On TikTok, videos with the hashtag #maladaptivedaydreaming have over 12 million views, thanks to people exploring the topic during the pandemic. Acting out scenes in your bedroom, concocting an intense storyline set in the Marvel universe while brewing tea — it’s all fair game. And there’s research to show the phenomenon isn’t isolated to TikTok: A study of patients in 70 countries published in Frontiers in Psychiatry in November found that COVID-19, with its unique (and awful) combination of social isolation and stress, has increased maladaptive daydreaming everywhere…

“It is important to have fantasies and ‘zoning out’ can be a coping tool to reduce stress and anxiety,” Hoffman says. A lunch-break dream involving your favorite TV characters: A-OK. “However, healthy daydreaming is within your control. You can easily move in and out, focusing when you need to at the task at hand.” Maladaptive daydreams, in contrast, take up big swathes of your day, and you might find them very hard to leave, or get upset or angry if forced to cut them off early. Hoffman also says you could notice you’re replacing human interaction with daydreams, or can’t focus on your work any more. After an extended bout of daydreaming, you may feel more detached from reality, or feel guilty and annoyed, according to Frontiers.


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