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I Think I’ve Been Dissociating for Over a Decade

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I am not too sure if this is dissociation or maladaptive daydreaming so I have come to ask about my situation. I have been doing this since I was a child and I am now in my 20s- I would make up scenarios in my head with me in them and I do it all the time. It mostly distracts me from doing my schoolwork and staying present. I find that I also do this during times when I need to listen such as during lectures. When I am home in my room, I will often walk around and around my room while being in the scenario and do this for a long time since childhood. It has now gone to where I will actually whisper or mouth the words I am saying in the scenario. My scenarios tend to be whatever comes to mind and all tend to be pleasant ones. In my real life, it has always been home and school. I have friends but have had friendship problems most of my life, not due to my daydreaming. I like to be social though I am not all that good at it in school. I had a therapist for having high anxiety but never got around to talking about this before I had to stop going. I also think I may have OCD or OCD tendencies. I am not sure how I can stop the constant daydreaming but I am scared it will turn into something worse since I have been doing this for over a decade. Is this dissociation or maladaptive daydreaming? Or something else? (From the USA)

I Think I’ve Been Dissociating for Over a Decade

Answered by on -


I wouldn’t jump to pathologize your scenarios. I understand the concern and think that you’ll want to get an opinion from someone doing the kind of work I am suggesting. I am encouraging you to find a licensed therapist that is trained in psychodrama, gestalt, or drama therapy. These forms of therapy utilized invented scenarios to cultivate healing and may be something that you’d be interested in and profit from. Here is a list of psycho-dramatist you can use to find one closest to you.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral

I Think I’ve Been Dissociating for Over a Decade

Therapists live, online right now, from BetterHelp:

Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP

Dan Tomasulo Ph.D., TEP, MFA, MAPP teaches Positive Psychology in the graduate program of Counseling and Clinical Psychology at Columbia University, Teachers College and works with Martin Seligman, the Father of Positive Psychology in the Masters of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program at the University of Pennsylvania. He is Director of the New York Certification in Positive Psychology for the Open Center in New York City and on faculty at New Jersey City University. Sharecare has honored him as one of the top 10 online influencers on the topic of depression. For more information go to: He also writes for Psych Central's Ask the Therapist column and the Proof Positive blog.

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2019). I Think I’ve Been Dissociating for Over a Decade. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 5, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 22 Feb 2019 (Originally: 25 Feb 2019)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 22 Feb 2019
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