Is Daydreaming Normal in People With ADHD?

Melissa C. WatersMelissa C. Waters
May 4, 2018

ADHD can be related to daydreaming. So in what cases is it normal daydreaming compared to what is known as maladaptive daydreaming in people with ADHD?

ADHD and Daydreaming

Normal Daydreaming

Everyone daydreams, even if it’s not very much, some people have a more daydreaming imagination. Other people will normally daydream like, this is what I have to do later. I wonder how it’s going to go. Or this is what happened before like I could have done that differently.

How could I have done it differently? Just rehashing things.

It’s kind of a normal amount of daydreaming, but if you’re able to pull yourself out of it and it doesn’t interfere with your life, it’s normal daydreaming.

Hyperfocus and Maladaptive Daydreaming

With ADHD, we get so intensely daydreaming that we can lose track of things that are important because of our hyperfocus. If you’re focused very deeply into your daydream’s storyline, it’s difficult to contrite and easy to lose track of what you’re doing while in this hyperfocus state. Some would call this maladaptive daydreaming.

Maladaptive daydreaming is a condition which causes intense daydreaming that distracts someone from their real life. Sometimes maladaptive dreaming can be associated with ADHD.

A great example of maladaptive dreaming would be from one of my long-time daydreaming storylines. I would be walking down the street trying to go home, and I would walk too far because my daydream wouldn’t let me go to pay attention to where I was going. I would end up going too far and have to walk back. I couldn’t concentrate on where I was going because the dream would just hold me.

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