The results of a new study by researchers at the University of Haifa were published by the American Psychological Association in
“Because this phenomenon is not yet officially recognized as a disorder in medical handbooks, sufferers often feel a sense of shame and guilt and find it difficult to find an effective treatment for their condition.”
“We believe that the results of the new study, and the fact that it was published in a leading journal in the field of clinical psychology, will increase awareness of this phenomenon among professionals and thus help many victims Will do,” explains Professor Eli Sommer. University of Haifa, one of the authors of the study and the researcher who discovered and defined this daydreaming disorder in 2002. Since then, other researchers have taken an interest in the phenomenon and have joined the International Consortium for Maladaptive Daydreaming (ICMDR).
What is maladaptive daydreaming?
Maladaptive daydreaming is characterized by a pervasive preoccupation with vivid fantasies characterized by elaborate plots rich in characters and actions. In later studies, Prof. Sommer and colleagues found that maladaptive daydreaming interferes with social, family, and employment functioning.
Researchers now estimate that about two percent of the population suffers from the condition. The phenomenon is based on an innate trait and is associated with adverse life circumstances such as childhood trauma. There is a link between maladaptive daydreaming and other disorders such as ADHD and OCD. Because maladaptive daydreaming has not yet received official recognition as a psychiatric disorder, physicians and therapists are often unaware of the problem. Sufferers often have difficulty obtaining an accurate diagnosis and appropriate therapeutic response.
How to stop daydreaming?
Under the leadership of Dr. Oren Herscu of the University of Haifa, Prof. The current Israeli study, supervised by Sommer and in collaboration with Dr. Nirit Sofer-Dudek of Ben-Gurion University and Dr. Asaf Federman of Reichmann University, marks a further step toward understanding the condition and how to treat it. .
In the first part of the study, researchers gathered information on coping techniques among people suffering from the condition. Based on their findings, they developed an eight-week self-guided, Internet-based therapy program that included mindfulness meditation techniques to help sufferers improve their non-judgmental awareness of their surroundings and body.
Finally, participants were asked to regularly monitor the amount of time they spent daydreaming. Another essential component of the program was increasing participants’ motivation to engage in daily exercise. Three-hundred-three individuals with high levels of maladaptive daydreaming were exposed to weekly online video and text lessons associated with daily homework tasks. The participants were divided into three groups: one completed the entire intervention program, the second was exposed only to mindfulness training, and the third group received no intervention and was asked to exercise to reduce their lucid daydreams. Called to make every effort.
Study results showed a significant improvement in both treatment groups: 80 percent of participants saw a significant positive change. Improvement occurred almost immediately in individuals who completed the full program, whereas the process was more gradual in those who received a partial program. However, both groups showed equally significant gains at the six-month follow-up.
About one-quarter of the participants who completed the entire intervention program were in complete recovery from the condition after eight weekly sessions; All his indices measuring daily functioning were normal.
An additional 40 percent showed a significant reduction in the severity of their nightmare symptoms, a significant improvement in their daily functioning, and a reduction in ancillary symptoms such as anxiety or depression, along with a substantial increase in measures of well-being.
Participants in the control group, who received no intervention, showed no improvement in any aspect, and their nightmares remained unchanged.
“This is the first study to describe the development and efficacy of an intervention program for this under-researched condition. In the absence of any evidence-based therapy, our data provide real hope for those who suffer from the condition.” The study is published in the leading clinical journal of The American Psychological Association represents a milestone in increasing professional awareness of the phenomenon and in developing evidence-based treatments for victims. We hope this clinical trial will move us closer to including this disorder in major mental health manuals such as the DSM and ICD,” the researchers concluded.Life Style