Excessive and structured daydreaming: It can’t be just her

Via boingBoing and MindHacks comes a case history and discussion of mind wandering and high fantasy proneness.

The subject of this case report is a professionally accomplished 36-year-old female presenting with a long history of excessive and highly structured daydreaming which she states has contributed to considerable distress during periods of her life. The patient is single, does not smoke, drink or use illegal drugs, and comes from a supportive and healthy family, reporting no abuse or trauma in her history.

…We have tenuously [could they mean tentatively?] viewed her symptoms as indicating possible features of obsessive-compulsive behavior, reflected in the prescription of 50 mg/day of fluvoxamine [Luvox], an antidepressant believed to influence obsessiveness and/or compulsivity. The medication has been continued for 10 years, as the patient affirms this treatment has made her daydreaming much easier to control. She reports that occasionally the amount of time spent daydreaming will rise and she will increase her dosage of fluvoxamine briefly until it subsides…

The paper for Consciousness and Cognition doesn’t get into what the woman actually daydreams about. But with so many of us logging so much time in virtual and imaginary worlds, shouldn’t we be seeing a lot more of this?

Recently, the patient discovered a website containing a surprising number of anonymous postings on the topic of excessive or uncontrolled daydreaming.

(I’m not having much luck finding that site.)

Mark Frauenfelder on bB recalls the case of a physicist who thought he was John Carter of Mars. I’ve had that dream myself.

[Daydreaming gentleman from 1912 German postcard: Wikipedia public domain]