• Welcome! It’s great to see you.

    Our forum members are people, maybe like yourself, who experience mental health difficulties or who have had them at some point in their life.

    We are an actively moderated forum. We work hard to keep the forum safe.

    To access many more features and forums please register now

Is it normal to live totally different lives in your head?

C

chocolatecoveredstarfish

New member
Joined
Dec 24, 2009
Messages
2
Location
Canada
I have another world, actually more than 1, that I live inside my head. I daydream a lot. I make up these separate lives for myself.. some are centered around a character that I make up. I pretend that I am that character. I'm happy when they're happy and I'm sad when they're sad. One of my characters has cancer and is dying, and I've been crying because of it. Even though I'm aware it's not real. I also have a fantasy life in my head that I actually am myself, but I just do things that I'm too scared to do in real life. Am I really f*cked up? I have been diagnosed with depression. I'm wondering if this could be a personality disorder.
 
Last edited by a moderator:
D

Devon

Well-known member
Joined
May 25, 2009
Messages
148
Location
Devon
Sounds to me , as an unqualified person, that you are so unhappy & desperate to escape the pain & sorrow of your life you are creating different places to be.

Seems like an understandable way of your brain to try to handle things.
 
Gail

Gail

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 13, 2009
Messages
272
Location
In la la land
you are not alone i do this at times its a world where things go better for me and im normal whatever normal is
 
M

mad as a hatter

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 23, 2008
Messages
2,167
Location
scotland
i bet even people without mh problems do that cause they want things 2 be different in there lives
 
D

dragonfly

Guest
I have another world, actually more than 1, that I live inside my head. I daydream a lot. I make up these separate lives for myself.. some are centered around a character that I make up. I pretend that I am that character. I'm happy when they're happy and I'm sad when they're sad. One of my characters has cancer and is dying, and I've been crying because of it. Even though I'm aware it's not real. I also have a fantasy life in my head that I actually am myself, but I just do things that I'm too scared to do in real life. Am I really f*cked up? I have been diagnosed with depression. I'm wondering if this could be a personality disorder.
Blimey! I can't believe that someone else does this too! Every night at bedtime I make up stories so that I don't have to think about the real world. I've only just revealed this to my therapist but I wouldn't go in to detail. I've kept it a secret for years (started when I was a child) because nobody ever talks about it and so I thought I was the only one. Thank you for reassuring me. :clap:
 
Last edited by a moderator:
C

corrado444

Member
Joined
Dec 28, 2009
Messages
5
Making up stories

If it makes any of you feel better at all, I also have had periods when I would make up stories at night before going to bed. In fact, the only reason I am not doing that much anymore is that I have found some excellent university level lectures I have taken to listen to at night. They often put me to sleep in minutes (sometimes, I'd rather they didn't because they are really fascinating) I have also used audiobooks for the same purpose but lectures are much better.

The good part about it is that I don't have a mental illness, aside for run of the mill depression. Otherwise I am usually very attached to reality. The reason I am here at all is for the sake of my wife, who is suffering from psychosis.

That said, however, it really is a matter of degrees. One thing is to have a creative imagination, another is to start believing that the movies in your head are real. For instance, the OP describes how she was saddened by the fate of one of her characters.
Since she is aware they are not real, this is something I'd see a professional about.

But if these "head movies" remain isolated to pre-sleep moment and they don't spill into reality, I don't think they are something anyone should be ashamed of. They can be quite a bit of fun and they help going to sleep.

Many years ago I even experimented with trying to use these head movies to condition my dreaming and I often was able to dream on command.
Again, I'd make sure to keep them in their place.
 
H

Harriet_Holt

New member
Joined
Jan 31, 2016
Messages
1
I'm so glad it's not just me! I was concerned whether it was normal or not, so I looked it up about a month ago. Apparently there's this disorder called 'Maladaptive Daydreaming' and it's a symptom of multiple mental disorders. Hope this somewhat helped you.
 
N

notrealname

Well-known member
Joined
May 4, 2009
Messages
766
This is basically my life. I've been doing this since I can remember. It's called being imaginative :) The level of engrossment you have in your fantasy world (such as feeling the emotions of the characters) is an aspect of your creativity. I do it too. Some people are more fantasy prone than others and people who are very fantasy prone tend to be suggestible to their own thoughts (their brain treats them as more 'real' than for other people), which is why you feel the emotions as if it were real. It's not in any way a bad thing; nor an illness. In fact were you an actor it would be 100% necessary to you! :)

However, some people do it more than they want to. I know I do. I can sit for months in a fantasy world and do nothing in real life. That is escapism. Again, not an illness. It's a coping mechanism. I think it would probably be useful for you to look at what it is in your real life you are not happy with and work out how you can change that so that you do not need to rely on this coping mechanism quite so much. You can probably get some ideas from the daydreams themselves, as whatever you are attracted to daydreaming about is probably what you need in real life that you are trying to fulfil in your imagination.

I tend to imagine career success and a companion.
 
S

simon7319

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 25, 2015
Messages
48
Take heart. We all need a way of escape to stop things from hurting us and causing us upset or feeling helpless within ourselves. If you create worlds in which you are happy in and give some peace to you why worry it okay and fine and nothing wrong with it. So don't feel like you are going mad. I totally believe I have someone who lives in my head but deep down I know it’s farfetched but it’s really to me as I feel more confident when the person inside me is with me. The likelihood is that it is our conscience that creates such worlds as we feel safe and how we want to be. So don't dwell on it okay to feel like you do.
 
T

Taheebo

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 29, 2016
Messages
52
Sounds to me , as an unqualified person, that you are so unhappy & desperate to escape the pain & sorrow of your life you are creating different places to be.

Seems like an understandable way of your brain to try to handle things.

It can be the case, but not necessarily. All writers have imagined worlds and characters in their heads and they often drift off to those worlds. Not all unhappy people have imaginary worlds to escape to. It requires a certain amount of imagination from a person, wouldn't you agree? :)

Yes, I do have a 'secret' world where I'm the best version of myself and the storyline changes from time to time but the core is basically the same -- it is not my current life but a life I'd like to have. I think I'd go bonkers without it. But not all my 'unhappy' friends have it. I talked to some of them, and only one has the same thing I do -- an ongoing story that she goes to every day of her life. The other one has a version in which she imagines various situations and possible outcomes, more like fantasising about future rather than escaping the present.

I think it's normal as long as it doesn't overtake your life completely. If you can use it to your advantage (practice conversations or use it as a tool to tell a story, for instance), it's a win win situation.
 
Last edited:
Beergardenweather

Beergardenweather

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 5, 2015
Messages
435
Location
Uk
I got a bit obsessed with war and peace, so I haven't been me for a few weeks I'm away living it up in 19thC imperialist Russia. I'll be back soon I'm sure.
 
Kurtcobain93_RIP

Kurtcobain93_RIP

ACCOUNT CLOSED
Joined
Jan 13, 2016
Messages
344
I daydream sometimes but its not weord its fun i imagine that i am God and then i just do whatever i want in the daydream with my God power but im not gonna go into what i get up to lol;)
 
L

loner35

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 26, 2016
Messages
45
Location
USA
I used to do something much like that to. Only my emotions weren't as involved. At the very least it means you're imaginative.
 
F

French Fries

New member
Joined
Apr 15, 2020
Messages
1
Location
Texas
I do the same thing !!!I am a completely different person with a completely different life in my head. I imagine things when I’m going to sleep at night and when I listen to music and when I’m bored.
 
A

Aragog

New member
Joined
May 13, 2020
Messages
1
Location
Denmark
I do the same thing !!!I am a completely different person with a completely different life in my head. I imagine things when I’m going to sleep at night and when I listen to music and when I’m bored.
I also do it at those times. I do it every time I don't have anything to stimulate. I can even sit and playing a game and imagine live streaming IT or something as the person in my mind. I am though trying to get the amount I do it down. Because whenever I am alone I am not myself. I am trying to figure out what is causing it and fixing it so I can be comfortable with being in my own mind. But I have been with this person for so long I think it is also hard to let go
 
Top