Escape from Reality
Mental fantasy journeys relax, make you creative, bring a breath of fresh air to your head - or do they? For some they become a problem.
When Hadas daydreams, she dives into another world. One where she's popular and brave, has a bunch of friends, and is considered a huge talent by her professor. The student's exceedingly rosy daydreams began when she developed a degree of social anxiety. In her imagination, she could forget, at least for a while, the fear of having to speak in front of others or getting into embarrassing situations. But over time, that became a problem: "I kept dreaming about things that never happened," says Hadas today."Unrealistic things that took up almost all of my everyday life. I neglected university, my friends and hobbies and crept into a dream world."
Then Hadas found out her problem had a name: "maladaptive daydreaming" (short: MD). This expression was coined by Eli Somer, Professor of Clinical Psychology at the University of Haifa in Israel. He first defined the phenomenon in 2002 as "active fantasizing that replaces human interactions and/or interferes with functioning". In German, one usually speaks of "compulsive daydreaming" …