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Maladaptive daydreaming

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Maladaptive daydreaming is the title proposed by Eli Somer, Ph.D., for a condition in which an individual daydreams or fantasizes as a psychological response to prior trauma or abuse.

This title has become popularly generalized to incorporate a recently-described syndrome of immersive or excessive daydreaming which is specifically characterized by attendant distress or functional impairment, whether or not it is contingent upon a history of trauma or abuse, as introduced in 2009 by Cynthia Schupak, Ph.D. and Jesse Rosenthal, M.D. of New York City. Dr. Schupak and her colleagues are currently conducting follow-up research on excessive or "maladaptive" daydreaming in a confidential online study.

Maladaptive Daydreaming is often characterised by pacing around (often to music) whilst in a profound daydream. Furthermore someone with the condition may uncontrolablly move their hands or find and hold an object to use in a semi unconscious state. The daydreaming is often triggered by a type of media for example a movie or a song. Maladaptive Daydreaming is reported to make it difficult to concentrate on everyday tasks. Not everyone with the condition sees it as a bad thing but as a gift of vivid imagination.

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