When you were young, did you have an imaginary friend? What about fantastic journeys and adventures that you dreamed up in your head? For those who spend the majority of their time fantasizing about different realities, real life seems like an unpleasant interruption. Researchers have discovered that about four percent of the population spends more than half of their waking hours engaging in some sort of daydreaming. They also discovered that while these people are more empathetic and creative than other people, their ability to imagine may come from a much darker place.
Most of those who experience a fantasy prone personality have adapted a vivid imagination as a way to escape the stresses and trauma of reality. Fantasizers use their imaginations to avoid dealing with something as simple as everyday stresses and as complicated and disturbing as childhood trauma or abuse. While many think that excessive daydreaming isn't a horrible way to self-soothe, the problem comes when the fantasizer is unable to distinguish reality from their imagination.
While most people daydream about mundane events like getting a haircut, sex, or taking a vacation, those who have developed fantasy prone personalities are capable of losing themselves in an incredibly detailed fantasy world for hours or days at a time. These fantasy worlds are so intricate and seem so real that the fantasizer is often confused about where fantasy ends and the real world begins. Many report confusing the memories of fantasies with memories of real world events.
Fantasizers are so emotionally attuned to their fantasies that some react in physical ways to the cold in their fantasy world by dressing warmly or wrapping up in a blanket. Nearly half the subjects in one study reported having had a false pregnancy. Three-quarters of the participants also reported that they had achieved orgasm strictly through fantasy. About one in ten extreme fantasizers report having significant difficulty turning off the fantasies and focusing on the real world. One in four showed signs of mental disturbance related to childhood trauma. Some of these participants reported being physically punished as children to the extreme. Several reported being punished as much as 25 times per month.
Whether their imagination was encouraged in childhood by loving parents who pretended dolls and stuffed animals were real or was used as a tool to escape the reality of an abusive parent, loneliness and isolation were common threads among all of those surveyed.
Affordable Columbus ADHD Treatment | Legacy Freedom
Have your fantasies and daydreams made it difficult to distinguish between what is real and what is imagined? Legacy Freedom of Columbus offers an alternative approach to mental health that can help you understand your need to live in fantasy. Our holistic treatment program is designed to help you get to the root of your mental health issue and teach you new ways to confront old trauma through inner child work, EMDR, or equine assisted therapy.
Working one-on-one with your therapist or in group therapy will give you new tools to use to cope with everyday stresses and events that trigger your need to escape into a fantasy world. Call us today to learn more about our Columbus ADHD treatment options.