Maladaptive Daydreaming: Why Your Excessive Daydreaming Becomes Uncontrollable

Maladaptive Daydreaming: Why Your Excessive Daydreaming Becomes Uncontrollable maladaptive daydreaming: why your excessive daydreaming becomes uncontrollable

What often happens is that a daydreamer normally starts by saying, ‘I can still control my daydreaming, so it’s okay. I allocate some time in my day for it, and I can still manage it.’ However, over time, they might find themselves admitting that it has become uncontrollable. In this article, I’ll draw a parallel between this process and the progression from normal drinking to addiction.

Much like with normal drinkers who may eventually become addicts, normal daydreamers can transform into excessively frequent daydreamers. But why does this happen? Why does daydreaming, which initially seems controllable and enjoyable, turn into something uncontrollable?

The Escapist of Daydreaming

First, we must consider the fact that as we grow older, life presents us with increased stress and anxiety. As we take on more responsibilities, whether it’s caring for our children, juggling multiple jobs, or managing budgets, stress and anxiety tend to mount. Naturally, we seek ways to avoid these emotions, particularly if we haven’t developed healthy coping mechanisms or feel ill-equipped to deal with them in the moment.

The Parallels with Addiction

To understand this transformation, let’s consider the parallels with addiction, specifically the journey from casual drinking to full-blown alcoholism. Just as normal drinkers may gradually descend into addiction, normal daydreamers can become excessively frequent daydreamers. But why does this shift occur? Why does something that once brought joy and control become uncontrollable?

The Unconscious Mind’s Influence

The key lies in the subconscious mind. As stress and anxiety accumulate in our lives, our conscious selves strive to avoid them. We consciously turn to daydreaming as a means of seeking refuge from these emotions. It’s a deliberate act — a way to momentarily escape the turmoil within.

However, the more you resort to daydreaming, the more it becomes ingrained in your daily routine. It evolves from a conscious coping mechanism into an automatic response to stress and anxiety. The emotions you seek to evade begin to pile up, and this act of daydreaming turns habitual.

At this point, the subconscious mind takes over. Stress and anxiety, once consciously addressed, become buried deep within the subconscious. They exert a powerful pull, dragging us into the realm of daydreams whenever you face stress. The process becomes automatic, beyond your conscious control.

Breaking the Cycle

So, how do you prevent daydreaming from becoming uncontrollable? The answer lies in consciously processing our emotions as they arise. Instead of seeking refuge in daydreams, you must confront our stress and anxiety head-on. By acknowledging and addressing these emotions in the present moment, you prevent them from taking root in your subconscious.

In essence, it’s about reclaiming control over your emotional well-being. The subconscious mind should not dictate your actions; you should guide it consciously. Daydreaming should remain a form of creative escape, not a compulsive habit.


Maladaptive daydreaming can creep into your life unnoticed, transforming a once-enjoyable activity into an uncontrollable compulsion. By understanding the parallels with addiction and the role of the subconscious mind, you can regain control over this behavior. The key is to address stress and anxiety consciously, rather than seeking refuge in daydreams. Don’t wait until daydreaming manages you — take charge of your emotional well-being while you still can.

Note from the Author

If you’re ready and you’d like my help with overcoming and managing maladaptive daydreaming without spending years in therapy, then you can book a FREE BREAKTHROUGH CALL with me HERE. Happy healing 💙💙. Feel free to share and comment! Use this information with caution, it comes from my own thoughts & bias, experiences and research😊.

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Edwin Bii
Edwin Bii

I'm Edwin Bii, a trained advanced conversational hypnotherapist (ACH) and Mind Shifting Coach from Kenya offering mental health support, and life coaching to help you crush your goalsand overcome your problems. Together, we'll navigate challenges, build self-awareness, and create a happier, healthier you. Let's unlock your potential.

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