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Dissociated escapism daydreaming

Silver

Silver

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Dec 25, 2014
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62
Location
Norwich
Below is something i read today. I have noticed i have been escaping into fantasy land a lot lately and that i am partially dissociated whilst doing so. It is happening more and more. It's taking over my mind. It is the reason i came on this forum. I have bipolar disorder but have this problem which i think is unrelated. I have been through a very stressful time of late and this always starts to happen when i have been under stress. Does it happen to you? Do you know how long it will last for? should i let it happen or stop myself (not that i can stop myself i don't think). I am basically re-living the past but changing aspects of it to make me feel better. For example i am remembering a time in the hospital when i was very depressed, but i have changed this dream into me screaming and kneeling on the floor, and a doctor-friend of mine witnessing me being taken away by the police. Is this me wishing to be rescued i wonder.

I can barely read, watch TV, walk around the shops, talk to people. It is taking over my life again.
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In the finale, that “dream sequence” is actually a textbook example (albeit exaggerated for dramatic effect) of maladaptive daydreaming. This has various forms, but it’s commonly used as coping mechanism by traumatised children, which then extends into adulthood. In maladaptive daydreams, people escape to an idealised fantasy world where they have some control and support. The fantasy will often include an imaginary best friend who actually listens to, cares for, and guides them. In this kind of daydreaming, the person can immerse themselves, but always has some awareness that it’s a dream. In this respect, Derek’s fantasy is at the extreme end of the maladaptive dreaming spectrum, as its almost a full break from reality, but not quite.

It’s significant that Derek saw an idealised version of Stiles in his dissociative escape fantasy. But it’s not romantic. It’s so fucking far from romantic.

This is the desperate, lonely fantasy of a mind traumatised beyond endurance; someone needing a mental escape hatch in order to survive what they are experiencing, and reaching out for anything at all that will give comfort, without leaving them completely unaware of what’s going on around them. Think for a moment about how empty of comfort Derek’s life is that this is his escape fantasy. A somewhat sympathetic conversation with someone not actively trying to hurt him, in a cold, impersonal room. He’s so fucking traumatised, he can’t even imagine a fucking cuddle or a rescue for the few minutes the fantasy allows him to escape/process what’s actually happening. That would be too unbelievable and break the fantasy too soon
 
P

Polar Bear

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I find I do this when I have a build up of stress or emotion. Once it has been released I stop doing it. I like vanish into my mind.
 
SomersetScorpio

SomersetScorpio

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Aug 17, 2012
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13,529
Location
The West Country
I experience this a lot.
It's something i've just come to accept as part of me and the make-up of my brain.

Whilst I get that it can be disruptive to 'normal life', I do think that it has some sort of function in that it's a way of allowing your brain to escape for some time, away from trauma and pain, without permanently losing it. Who knows.:unsure:
 

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