By: Researcher Taymur
My daydreams took a dark turn when my mental health began to play.
“They’re not just you” are a column by Sian Ferguson, a journalist in mental health. The column focuses on discussing the lesser known signs of mental health. It is not just you.
Sian knows the power of hearing firsthand: “Oh, it’s not just you,” even if you know your vision or depression, mental health is so much more than that so let’s think about it! It’s not just your problem.
I was a daydreamer always. I loved to play, use my imagination and immerse myself in fantastic worlds, as did many children.
Nevertheless, my daydreams took a dark turn when my mental health began to play.
My emotions were disrupted by hypothetical scenarios and I tried to control them. Often, I would have flashbacks related to PTSD. I would dream for a long time, think about things that irritated me, and make fun of them.
We generally imagine something, when we talk about daydreaming. You may play back memories, think about your objectives or interests, or imagine an unlikely or likely future scenario.
We think of daydreaming most of the time as something voluntary. In other words, if you tried, you can stop. Daydreaming is difficult because it can be fun, harmless, sometimes useful but it’s not at other times.
“Daydreaming is unusual, but excessive daydreaming can be a symptom for a greater problem,” says the trauma-informed social clinician, Mollie Volinksy. When you think about it, most mental illnesses involve problematic thought patterns, and it can lead you to get away with your imagination.
“Daydreaming can be a sign that someone has concentration problems which can be seen in many mental illnesses including depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder and a hyperactivity disorder in attention deficient conditions,” says Lauren Cook, a San Diego-based psychologist and author.
“It’s normal for everyone to dream from time to time, but when you can’t follow directions or pay attention when needed, it becomes difficult,” she adds.
Since there is no harsh, universal definition of daydreaming, it is difficult to say when our daydreams become sinister. That is why it is important to know how in our daily dreams symptoms of mental illness can appear.
For everybody, daydreaming is different. It is based on our mental state and situation that we turn out and why we dream of. For example, someone with ADHD may have a hard time focused on day-to-day tasks. ADHD can help. Often this can be like dreaming.
You could dream of the worst possible scenario if you have anxiety. “Say, in a week, you’re getting a lecture. You could see the presentation constantly and be worried about every error that can happen, “says Volinsky.
I overthink and envision terrible situations, for example, when my anxiety is high. I often think that I have horrible arguments with people in my own head (which, according to the Internet, seems surprisingly common), or I think that when I try to go across a road, I’ll have a car hit.
And you may be thinking and dreaming of stressful scenarios when it comes to depression.
“Daydreaming with depression can be a persistent and erratic mind wandering, with little incentive to stay focused,” Cook says. This can make the focus on day-to-day tasks even more difficult.
In this situation the problem with daydreaming is that you can be even more anxious and upset about things that didn’t or could not. Daydreaming can also be used as a tool for escapement, Volinsky explains.
“Escapism is not intrinsically’ bad’ but it can cause stress and anxiety to be avoided and exacerbated. It is the way your brain protects you against pain and distress and that is important. “It is often best to face this pain and distress face-to-face to feel better, however.”
Days of course don’t necessarily mean that you have a mood disorder when thinking of sad situations and imagining arguments inside your mind. However, it can be one of the several symptoms.
Thoughts which are intrusive can look like dreaming, too, are you ever unwanted, distressing? These are referred to as intrusive ideas. Sometimes they look very much like daydreaming.
Thinking can include examples of intrusive thoughts:
- 1st is If you will hurt someone.
- 2nd is If you will hurt yourself.
- 3rd is If your loved one will hurt.
- 4th is If You get a panic disease.
- 5th is If natural disaster will happen.
OCD involves obsessive thoughts and then experiencing compulsions (or rituals), which are generally repetitive and constant feelings, to try to get these things out of your head.
I got OCD. I got OCD. One of my obsessions is that, although I don’t feel suicidal remotely, I often think I will jump away from the building. I’m trying to keep high balconies clear.
I try to blow in pairs–two quick blinks at a time-as I think that for some reason blinking an odd number of times is going to make me jump out. When I’m around a tall balcony, and think intrusionary about it.
The good news is that OCD and intrusive thought can be addressed by therapy. I have intrusive thoughts much less today. They are easier to handle rather than obsess.
It is a sign, that you should see a therapist if you are dreaming so much— so much so that your functioning can be difficult Volinsky says. If you have intrusive or dissociating thoughts, you should also see a therapist.
Some stuff can be done to keep daydreaming endless. “The physical tasks, such as writing, playing with a girlfriend, or typing, are great ways to break a spell of daydreaming since they force you to focus on a task,” says Cook.
She also suggests that you set aside time to dream say, 15 minutes at a time.
“All other spontaneous times when you want to dream through the day, like daydreaming, are restricted, Cook explains.”
It’s not always a bad thing to dream of, and it’s not harmful. It is important to know about the day and how regular and vivid the dreams are. It is also important to know. This awareness of yourself will help you to find out if you need help.
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