Last week saw the launch of the International Society for Maladaptive Daydreaming (ISMD). This is a huge step forward for maladaptive daydreamers. At last, there is a global organisation dedicated to raising awareness of maladaptive daydreaming and improving the lives of those suffering from it.
Maladaptive daydreaming is real
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) doesn’t include maladaptive daydreaming. That means that maladaptive daydreaming is not currently considered an “official” diagnosis. So you might have had trouble convincing your doctor or therapist that your daydreaming is a serious problem. Some mental-health professionals still find it hard to accept that you can become addicted to your own imagination.
When you’re struggling with a condition that even your doctor hasn’t heard of, and you don’t know anyone else who suffers from it, the sense of isolation can be overwhelming. But the founders of the ISMD know that maladaptive daydreaming is real. And they want to see maladaptive daydreaming included in formal psychiatric diagnostic manuals, such as the DSM. The very existence of the ISMD helps to validate the experiences of all those struggling with excessive daydreaming.
A source of reliable information
There are some very damaging myths about maladaptive daydreaming circulating online. And until now, there haven’t been many websites where maladaptive daydreamers can get reliable information. That’s made it very easy for misinformation to spread on social media.
Daydreamers need to know where to get accessible and accurate information about maladaptive daydreaming. The ISMD can now meet that need. All of the ISMD’s board members are either psychologists or have lived experience of maladaptive daydreaming. So you be certain that the resources and information they provide are consistent with the available research. And you can trust the advice they offer.
A voice for maladaptive daydreamers
Another aim of the ISMD is to act as a bridge between the research community and those with lived experience of maladaptive daydreaming. Researchers have done a tremendous job over the last ten years or so in understanding what maladaptive daydreaming is, how it arises, and how it can be treated. The list of publications on the ICMDR website is testament to the progress that has been made.
But now, that progress can move to a whole new level. Through the ISMD, researchers will be better able to communicate with the maladaptive daydreaming community, thereby ensuring that their research remains focussed on the issues of most importance to daydreamers.
The ISMD will be good for immersive daydreamers too
The ISMD’s main focus is on improving the lives of maladaptive daydreamers. But the launch of the society is great news for immersive daydreamers as well. The ISMD’s view is that immersive daydreaming is a safe and enjoyable activity, and a realistic endpoint in healing from maladaptive daydreaming.
I hope that the ISMD’s efforts to raise awareness of maladaptive daydreaming will also help to normalise immersive daydreaming as a type of thinking that’s natural for many people. By sharing information about maladaptive daydreaming in a responsible way, the ISMD will show immersive daydreamers that they’re not alone. Experiencing vivid, narrative daydreams is only a problem if it interferes with other aspects of your life. And by emphasising that, the ISMD will reassure immersive daydreamers that their daydreaming isn’t anything to be concerned about.
Please consider joining
The ISMD are currently offering an introductory membership price of just $25 for the first year. That means that for just over $2 per month, you can get access to accessible and reliable information about maladaptive daydreaming, as well as supporting the society’s very worthwhile aims. Please consider joining if you can.