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Daydreamers Anonymous Prelim Findings

Daydreamers Anonymous Prelim Findings

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Published by Cynthia Schupak PhD
Summary of initial results of on-going study on excessive daydreaming.
Summary of initial results of on-going study on excessive daydreaming.

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Published by: Cynthia Schupak PhD on Oct 06, 2009
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07/15/2014

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Daydreamers Anonymous
An update from Cynthia Schupak PhD: Preliminary results from our current study sample.Thought you all might be interested in a quick summary of some of our initial findings, and a giantthank-you to those of you who have provided us with invaluable information about your excessivedaydreaming habits – there is still more to explore, and new participants are still trickling in – as wellas some interest from the popular media! Let's keep this rolling...You are males and females, ages 16 – 60, mostly single, a few in committed relationships or marriage, of various ethnicities, and hail from the US, UK, Canada, and the Netherlands.Many of you were understandingly reluctant to share explicit content of your fantasies, but those whodid described a rich variety of story lines and casts of characters that would put many novelists andscreenwriters to shame. Royalty, rescuers, and raconteurs abound, as do music-makers, captains of industry, inventors, and caretakers. Many of you interact in your fantasies as idealized versions of yourselves, while others take on the roles of others, or shift back and forth. None of you are boring— or bored—the most frequently cited advantage to being a daydreamer—though most of you lamentthat you aren't able to carry enough of your inventiveness and clarity of purpose with you into theoutside world.Approximately 85% of you feel that your compelling daydream worlds provide so vivid a contrastthat your day-to-day activities and relationships pale in comparison. Meanwhile, nearly 15% of you believe that the confidence and knowledge acquired during your fantasies actually enhance your lives.Here are some of the adjectives you have used to describe how daydreaming makes you feel:Comforted; stimulated intellectually and emotionally; on a natural high...good and excited;relaxed...but like an addiction: fine when I'm doing it and stressed when I can't; happy; exhilarated;[expresses] a normal human need to share...thoughts and emotions...even if they are 'pretend';rewarding; euphoria...escapism...[though] often followed with dread and shame; motivated;confident...because it's really me, just magnified; a sense of accomplishment...a guilty pleasure; amajor stress-breaker; fun; exhausting; it's like a drug...it's pretty poison...like drowning in honey.What troubles you most about your daydreaming habits was summed up quite appropriately by onesubject who stated (similar to an old song lyric): "It feels like I'm dreaming my life away."The percentage of daily time you assigned to your daydreaming:Absolute reported range: 5% to 90%.Most of you delineated between time when you were working or actively engaged in external tasksfrom time when you were alone and permitted yourself to "binge" (occasionally for entire weekends):Variable (circumstantial) range: 20% - 85%Mean: 54.5%20% of you reported chronic sleep problems5% reported that daydreaming helps you to sleep.All of you remember having daydreams and fantasies from very early childhood; and only one of yoususpects that a repressed memory of abuse may have contributed to this tendency (this finding, so far,does not support the theories of Eli Somer, author of the study "Maladaptive Daydreaming" whose 6subjects were all victims of childhood or adolescent abuse or trauma).94% of you have tried to limit your daydreaming – using resistance, distraction, and avoidance of such triggers as music, television, and the internet.Approximately 25% of you believe that others may perceive you as "unusual" or socially anxious;while the other 75% of you state that people view you as perfectly normal.

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SandiLightfoot added this note
It is such a relief to know that there is a name for what I am experiencing and that there are other's out there that do this.
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Nora Asyikin Zulkifli added this note
Hello. I'm glad I read this. Now I know I'm not alone.Thank you so much:) However, Cynthia,I was wondering. Where did you do your research on? I mean what country? I am curious because I live in Malaysia,I think it is hard to find someone like me. No offense,but, here,in Malaysia, I find that most of the people lack imagination. I think you could a paper on the comparison. It'll be interesting!
Tabitha Olson added this note
I've been doing this my whole life, the "hand thing" something I've tried to hide as a kid fearing to add to the things I was made fun of for.
bugmenot2012 liked this
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Saketh Raman added this note
cynthia thanks a million..please keep us posted..you have quite a lot of followers really..its good to know i am not alone:)
ladynyxtheia liked this

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