Maladaptive Daydreaming (MD) is a rare disorder that affects about 1% of the population. It is still being studied by psychologists, and there have been only a couple of landmark case studies on it. MD is in short, living in a fantasy world.Its onset is usually in early childhood, around ages 6-9, when fantasy and make-believe are appropriate. In these rare people, such a fantasy world becomes so rich and intense, that they cannot grow out of it. Unlike more serious disorders like schizophrenia or dissociative disorder, MD’s are completely aware that these characters are fake. The episodes can be stopped at will, although, depending on the severity of the case, and the intensity of the episode, this may be difficult. But, usually, if they enter an episode at an inappropriate time, they have the capability to exit it, and set it aside for later. MD’s have an entire world full of well-developed characters and complex plotlines that sometimes rival the creativity of books and movies. Some people who have this can also have symptoms similar to Aspergers Syndrome, ADHD or OCD. However, they may have one of these disorders with MD. People with MD are literally addicted to living in their fantasy world. They may spend hours, and even days on end in their fantasy world, at the expense of their real responsibilities. It is an addiction–much like alcoholism. Only the MD has an unlimited supply constantly available. Some enjoy the creativity it brings them, and may work through real life problems and difficult decisions through their fantasy world. They may write down their episodes in hopes of publishing it. MD is worlds apart from what the healthy day dreaming writers do but great authors of fiction books have been known to have the disorder. Others despise it, see it as a curse, and beg for a cure. It’s not that they cannot live in the real world. On the contrary, MD’s may live completely normal lives on the outside. They just have this going on inside their head. There are certain “triggers” which will set off an episode of MD. They can be anything, but the most common ones are music, books, movies and TV. However, the MD doesn’t always have to have these.Sometimes, any idea the MD runs across in the real world will resonate as true to a character, and they will slip into an episode. A few MD’s report actually doing research on a topic for later use in an episode. Many, but not all,MD’s have an accompanying kinesthetic movement that they do while in the fantasy world. It could be pacing, twirling, running, physically acting out situations or any number of things. Lots of people that say they have MD have reported that they will daydream while listening to music. Even hearing music will send some MDers into their fantasies, depending on the severity of their MD. If an MDer has a repetitive movement, they will often combine that and music, performing their movement to music while daydreaming. They may also exhibit facial movements as appropriate to the story they may be acting in their head. They may cry, laugh or smile according to what is happening in their fantasies. Since such an activity is socially unacceptable, MD’s usually seek isolation while in an episode. For example, they may turn on music in a darkened room, pace the floor, and whisper dialogue while they act out in fantasy. The MD is so entrenched in the fantasy, that they may become unaware of, or apathetic to, their surroundings. The MD may have a set of characters and plotlines they use regularly, although they can add new ones if they fit in the story. Many MDers are emotionally attached to the characters they create within their head. When they leave an episode, they can pick back up where they left off last time, or re-enact the same scene. They may have multiple stories going on, and may pick from characters to enact. The episode could last for hours, or even days, until the MD gets bored with the story and ready to re-enter reality. After long episodes, the MD may feel as if coming out of a trance. They almost may feel awkwardness or despise reality. Further, the consuming nature of the disorder requires neglecting many things, including social relationships. As a result, some, but not all, MD’s lack significant social companionship, and this can cause them to delve deeper into the fantasy world.