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Is this the real life? Or just a fantasy? A closer look at maladaptive daydreaming

Mahimna Vyas (Department of Psychology, University of Bolton, Bolton, UK and Teaching Associate at the School of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, Auro University, Surat, India.)
Mehatab Shaikh (Amity Institute of Behavioural and Allied Sciences, Amity University – Mumbai Campus, Mumbai, India.)
Shubh Rana (Amity Institute of Behavioural and Allied Sciences, Amity University – Mumbai Campus, Mumbai, India.)
Anjana Gauri Pendyala (Amity Institute of Behavioural and Allied Sciences, Amity University – Mumbai Campus, Mumbai, India.)

Mental Health and Social Inclusion

ISSN: 2042-8308

Article publication date: 28 February 2023

186

Abstract

Purpose

Maladaptive daydreaming (MD) has yet to be recognized as a formal condition. This paper aims to shed light on the phenomenon of daydreaming, its potential maladaptive nature and the characteristics of MD, as well as potential interventions that may be implemented to address it.

Design/methodology/approach

The present paper is a general conceptual review of the condition of MD. It provides a historical overview of the phenomenon and attempts to draw meaningful inferences from the scientific work pertaining to the development of diagnostic criteria, the assessment and interventions developed to treat MD.

Findings

Studies have shown that MD can cause distress and impair an individual's typical functioning, and specific diagnostic criteria and symptoms have been identified. Scheduled clinical interviews, self-report measures and derivative treatment modules are currently utilized to understand, assess and treat the symptoms related to MD.

Practical implications

Formal recognition of the condition ensures that the individuals receiving treatment for the condition are provided with insurance coverage and reimbursement for treatment.

Social implications

Authors also hope for MD recognition, awareness, reduced stigma and acceptance.

Originality/value

This review offers a fair overview of the recent scientific findings pertaining to MD and attempts to open a channel of discourse to enhance the inclusivity of relevant psychopathological conditions in the existing classifications.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

Funding: No funds, grants, or other support was received for this research.

Conflicts of interest/competing interests: The authors have no competing interests to declare that are relevant to the content of this article.

Citation

Vyas, M., Shaikh, M., Rana, S. and Pendyala, A.G. (2023), "Is this the real life? Or just a fantasy? A closer look at maladaptive daydreaming", Mental Health and Social Inclusion, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/MHSI-01-2023-0014

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2023, Emerald Publishing Limited

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