Shaking and daydreaming

by Gwen
(Vermont)

I am 55 years old, and I have been shaking my head and body around while daydreaming for as long as I can remember. My mother said I was even doing it in my high chair. No one ever knew why I do it. It feels good to do but sometimes I have felt that it controlled me instead of me controlling it.


Once I asked my daughters Neurologist about it and she said it sounded like obsessive compulsive disorder to her. Someone else that used to be a psychiatrist said she thought I had a mild form of autism. I want to stop it but cant. I only do it when Im alone but if I dont make time to do it each day, I begin to get really stressed out and get upset easily. I wish someone had helped me to try to stop doing it when I was a child, but people just yelled at me to stop shaking if they caught me doing it. I really wish I could stop it. I hope you can help your children somehow so they wont have to spend their whole lives doing it. Gwen

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Nov 05, 2016
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Yes!
by: Cpt. Anonymous

I was sitting at my computer taking a break from work and found me going into one of my imaginative convulsions, that we all seemed to know so well. For the first time EVER I Googled it to see if I was alone in these ticks. Thank God I am not. In fact, it seems so common that it shocked me. My tick is with my fingers. I've done it my whole life and have been caught daydreaming with my fingers twitching erratically in front of my face. Even as a child, various family members have caught me and have used it against me later in life to suggest that I was mentally unwell. My job depends on my creative energy and, my embarrassing finger ticks in front of my face is a small price for getting paid to use my brain.

Nov 05, 2016
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I'm 13 and I thought I was insane
by: Anonymous

I do this to, I thought that I had a mental disability. Except I take string, my hair or bracelets and I can imagine anything. I can sense if somebody I watching me and then I stop, it doesn't work when someone is watching me. After I saw somebody was watching me it doesn't work and if I try to make it work while someone is watching me the "characters" in my mid go crazy. They say things and do things I don't want them to do and only I can see and hear the things going on in my mind. Sorry if I sound insane lol

Oct 29, 2016
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Me too
by: Anonymous

I'm so glad I'm not alone. When I daydream I pace back and fourth and shake my arms and my mouth is wide open. I can't help myself doing it, but I'm also very paranoid of people seeing me do it.

Sep 21, 2016
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me too
by: Anonymous

It started when I first started watching television. I started daydreaming about certain situations and characters, and then I'd grab my hands and rock back and forth. It was compulsive, I had no control over it, and only stopped when I realized what I was doing.

I went to a neurologist as a six or seven year old. He hooked me up to heavy wires, monitored me for like a week, and then told my parents that I had too much imagination. That there wasn't anything to worry about.

So, don't feel bad or ashamed if you have this tick. I like to think it just happens because I'm imaginative.

Aug 14, 2016
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I move my body according to what I am thingking of what to do
by: Anonymous

I well am 10 years old, and your probably thinking. "She/He is so young to even daydream!" And stuff, but I actually have maladaptive daydream or whatever they call it. I started daydreaming when I started to create my own story, out of like anime, I was 8 back then and my imagination wasn't so wild. I noticed this year actually, on June but I thought it wasn't real. After a time I have been doing this always,

Example. (By the way I'm a christian) There was one day in the afternoon, when we prayed before lunch, our teacher only instructed us to stand. In all honesty because of boredom I started to daydream, when I stopped daydreaming, I was already seated. I asked my seatmate if she saw me pray and said the prayer, she said yes and asked why. This is practically happening when I do the rosary too, my hands keep moving on their own and my lips too.

May 12, 2016
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I'm so glad I'm not alone
by: Anonymous

I have been doing the same sort of things for basically my whole life I can't even remember when I started or whatever but i am 16 years old and i lie on my bed and I have a brats doll beside my bed at all times so I pick it up and shake it's hair around while I twist my legs around and intensely day dream, I don't control my actions so I don't really know what I do during this time but it's gotten to a stage where I will spend my entire day doing this and I crave it through out the day of I am not at home. I usually never think about it after I do it but I am starting to get a little worried as I am now wasting most of my days doing this. If anyone has any answers that would be very helpful

Feb 29, 2016
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Thought it was just me...
by: Anonymous

I do the same thing and I've done it for as long as I can remember. When I was still in the womb I had a stroke. I'm 17 and there are no notable side effects. But I only do it when I'm alone and it freaks me out. I want it to stop, its a conscious effort for me to stop it. I also had seizures as an infant. I don't know if any of these are related though.

Feb 03, 2016
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Complex motor stereotypy
by: Anonymous

Look up complex motor stereotypy -- there is a subset called intense imagery movements (IIM) -- I hope this helps someone! There are a couple of groups on Facebook for CMS and a lot of people talk about the imagination and uncontrolled movements!

Feb 03, 2016
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Weird, huh?
by: Anonymous

Wow. I have been doing this strange daydreaming routine for years. It feels great and can be really addicting, but I get so absorbed in it that it scares me a little. What really concerns me is that when I feel depressed, my daydreams turn violent and suicidal. However, I did feel a bit better after reading the comments on this page. Knowing that I'm not alone helps. Still, I am convinced that I could never accurately describe the feeling to anyone in person without freaking them out. I would never even admit it to a therapist.

I always get the impulse to pace or walk around in circles when listening to music. So I blast loud, upbeat music, do the flappy-arm motions like a retard, and feel a rush of adrenaline. I also use song lyrics to come up with my own stories. If I'm listening to instrumental music or music in a foreign language, I will make up my own lyrics. While doing this, I completely forget my surroundings and see vivid images. I am extremely paranoid about somebody walking in on me, so I wait until nobody is in the house to do it.

Jan 26, 2016
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Excess daydreaming, shaking whole body
by: Anonymous

Thanks to this webpage and everyone else who have commented in this.....it really made me feel better..................

I am 17 years old....I daydream in excess.it started some 5 years ago that I started daydreaming.i have maladaptive daydreaming. Nowadays I has become too much...2 years back I used to perform very well in studies so i didn't want to daydream...but now because there is a change in system I have started daydreaming a lot.....because I am not happy with myself.....I shake my whole body...for eg. If I am dancing in my daydreams....I literally dance in reality.......without my own knowledge I keep literally acting out whatever I daydream......it makes me tired.....I feel unable to daydream without acting it out....but I really want to daydream and I am not able to control it....like u even I try to stay isolated and inside my room....to daydream.....it is really affecting my studies.....the biggest problem is I daydream negative things....I don't know why....I keep daydreaming about being punished in my imaginary non existent own created music class.i daydream like I am horribly punished and I really hang my head and act it out....I start crying as I would do when I am really punished....it wastes my time a lot.....does anyone else daydream such negative things along with body shaking? How to overcome this in a short time.i hope it is not a big problem .

Jan 21, 2016
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daydreaming
by: Anonymous

I've been daydreaming and running around back and forth for 3 years now, its become so addictive its impossible for me to stop. Id rather stay at home and run around than go out. I usually daydream about situations that never happened in my life but make me happy and most of the time i listen to music while doing it.

what is wrong with me? why cant i stop? I need help this is getting out of hand

Dec 13, 2015
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I do something kind of similar
by: Anonymous

Every time I am fantasising about something (aside from sexual fantasies)or when I'm listening to music I flap my arms around and tense all of my muscles. I only started flapping my arms around 2 or 3 years ago (I'm currently 16) but I have been tensing all of my muscles when I fantasise about things since I was very young. I have never told anyone that I do this and I would never even think of doing it in public or around anyone that I know (I do it in my room when I'm alone usually). I have read that this is what some autistic people do but I don't think that I have austism. Does anyone else do the same thing as me?

Nov 27, 2015
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I never realised others did it too!
by: Anonymous

I'm 22 and like many below, have experienced this since childhood! I never realised anybody else did this and never really had the courage to ask! Like others, it tends to be when I'm anxious i'll do it more, however the daydreams are normally positive or negative with a positive outcome (like i'll be fighting someone, my arms will be tense and moving and so is my head and core muscles, and then i'll win; or escaping; or stopping a war)

I feel like this tension of the muscles and especially the head must mean that there is some form of brain seizure or something. However I'm a psychologist so may be biased towards that! I'd love for someone to complete some research around this and maybe we could all finally get some answers!

Nov 08, 2015
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I'm glad I'm not alone
by: Anonymous

Apparently I started doing this when I was a little child (so my parents say), and personally I find that this helps me view certain issues differently, whether it's personal or something for school, but I always wondered why I do this.

Aug 30, 2015
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Daydreaming, Concentrating, Shaking.
by: Anonymous

I'm 50 years old and work as a designer and composer in TV. I have a terrible scar on my thumb as a result of pushing my hand into my teeth and hissing when I'm really daydreaming/concentrating 'i.e.. when I'm in that 'creative place'. I've done for as long as I can remember. It used to make my parents angry. The other day my daughter (who is in her early 20's) spoke to me while I was doing this (I was actually in front of the computer arranging a song), she said, 'hey Dad, looks like you're loving life'... her comment snapped me out of it immediately. Apart from that no one has ever said anything to me about it.

It's embarrassing, but I like it. I can only describe it as being in a 3rd state, where my enthusiasm and energy for what I'm doing blocks out everything else. I have rushes of ideas that wouldn't be possible by thinking in purely logical steps.

Thanks everyone for sharing their experiences, this is the first time I've even thought about trying to understand this condition by searching on the net.

Aug 10, 2015
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I am 16 and I have this problem
by: Anonymous

I did this even when I was a little kid. My brother used to laugh at me for it. I used to completely zone out when I would start thinking about something and wouldn't even realize that I started doing. Mostly I do it when I'm alone now, but sometimes I can't control it. Most of my daydreams are really intense. I daydream about professional dancing and one of my hands will begin rapidly moving in a side-to-side motion while my fingers on my other hand will begin twitching. Sometimes my toes even do it. I've caught myself doing it before right before I snap out of it. As long as I don't daydream it doesn't happen. It scares sometimes because it gets to the point where I can't stop daydreaming.

Jul 05, 2015
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I am 16 and i have this also
by: Anonymous

well i used to play the piano and i think this is how this whole thing started. i would imagine myself playing certain songs on the piano and i would move my fingers like i was playing the piano. However, as years passed i used this movement of my fingers whenever i would think or imagine certain situations. some of my friends have commented on the fact that i do this. i feel like i cant even fully think or imagine without doing this hand motion. i have no idea what it is but i just seem to find myself doing this all the time.

Jun 04, 2015
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Any advice to a mom?
by: Mom

Thank you all so much for your candid sharing of your experience. My son is 9 years old and he has been running back and forth while daydreaming since he could walk. From walking up until about age 5, he would hum while he did his running back and forth. We have never addressed it except to let him know that kids would start to make fun of him because it's different and that's what kids do. But he doesn't care. He doesn't want to stop, nor do I think he can stop. My problem now is that he no longer wants to see his friends and he rarely wants to go do something. If it's his choice, he would just stay home and run back and forth daydreaming for hours. How do I pull him back into the real world more? And convince him that friends are worth having? He also suffers from low self-esteem so staying home is his total comfort zone. It is interesting to know about the maladaptive daydreaming, but in his case, I think it might be related to OCD/anxiety/depression as well. Just wish I knew how to help him tone it down and take control of it.

Apr 23, 2015
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Finally, I have found answers
by: Anonymous

Ever since I can remember I will go off and daydream, not every day, but often. Usually more often when I'm not busy or sometimes stressed. I think I do it more when I just have a lot of time on my hands. My mom noticed it when I was 2. She said I'd shake my right hand and sometimes open my mouth in an O shape.

As I got older I started using a clothes hanger, or pencils to get the right weight. It can't be too light or too heavy. I even have pictures mom took with my hanger. I was always SO embarrassed!! One time, my sister broke my hanger. I flipped out and had a huge breakdown which I know believe to had been an anxiety attack. Also my mom tried punishing me once by taking my hanger and I also had a huge breakdown. Crying and not being able to calm down or move on and drop it. I definitely believe that is an anxiety attack. I've had anxiety since I was little but I am just now learning about it. I moved states when my dad got a promotion, and that's when I remember my social anxiety began.

Moving schools must've been hard for me, I was 7. This is when mom started to notice and took me to a therapist. I tried a couple different therapists. They told her I had autism, but she never told me until later. Which I now believe I do not have autism as I've read symptoms online and I don't have them. I have never had problems focusing either.

In school I always excelled. I'm great at writing. I'm great at making myself focus. My mom told my therapist about my hanger shaking and she mentioned Tourette's and autism but really didn't know what it was. As I got older I started hiding it and using pencils. I could go off for a couple hours or just 10 minutes and just daydream different stories with characters I had made up. It was entertaining!! I would pace in circles and shake, sometimes opening my mouth in the O shape I mentioned. I'd do it until I just got tired and was ready to do something else.

Now I'm 19, and I still do it. This has been my huge deep dark secret. It's so relieving to know I'm not the only one. I've always questioned what it is and if I would ever stop. I now accept that I don't think it ever will. But I can control it. I never do it at friends houses or in public or even in front of my family. I do it when I'm home alone or in my room alone.

I liked the comment someone posted about how it gives them ideas for books. I've often thought about doing that since I am so good at writing! Idk if I have the patience to write a book, but man do I have the imagination for it and the skills. Anyways I think people who have this, which I now believe is called maladaptive daydreaming, should look at it in a positive way. I mean you have to live with it so make it positive.

I have some questions now, like I've noticed it's common with people who have anxiety, adhd/add, and autism. I wonder why this is? Again I have extreme anxiety and when my anxiety is worse I do it more. But I also do it when I'm really happy about something and just want to think about it! I've often wondered if I could make myself stop, because as I've gotten older I do it less, and when I'm less stressed I do it less. And I can control it and stop myself from doing it, but it feels good so I've never tried. I feel like I may have a mild case after reading some of the comments, and I'm going to try and stop now that I'm aware what it is, and see if I can. It took me awhile to even find this online, i was searching for answers and it seemed there was nothing online about shaking your hand and daydreaming until I found this. I've wondered forever about it!

This has been extremely helpful and I don't feel as alone. I still feel weird, but not as weird. If I can't stop then I will embrace it and be proud of who I am. Heck, it's enjoyable so maybe I won't even try to stop. I still use pencils to this day because it just feels right. i don't really see it as a problem since I can control it by stopping whenever I want and not doing it until I want. But I don't want to just waste my day doing it so I'm going to try writing books and making it a productive act. Although sometimes I feel it's okay to just do it and relieve stress.

This has been extremely helpful. I'm glad I finally found some answers. I still am curious though is maladaptive daydreaming a genetic thing? Or what? I guess I'll have to look that up next.

Apr 08, 2015
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Can Relate
by: Anonymous

I've had such bouts ever since I could remember. As a kid I would always take a concept or plot from a cartoon I watched and daydream over it. I would giggle to myself and move about imagining things.

Today I'm 18 and I still go about going so. Extracting stories and settings I gather from books and movies and make my own world and character from there on. My maladaptive daydreaming has gotten worse though as I run across the house and make movements such as drawing out a sword or blocking an attack.

I try to control these bouts when people are around though it's difficult and I end up doing so in front of my brother or parents until they stop me. I do injure myself quite often while running across and have sprained my fingers and injured my limbs quite often.

It's troublesome to others though fun. In fact it's my way to escape from a monotonous lifestyle.

Mar 30, 2015
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wow
by: Anonymous

This is something I have dealt with since childhood. My older brother and sister used to make fun of me when I was as young as 5 or 6, and call it playing with my fingers..why are you playing with your fingers?/hahah.

I would clench my fists together really tight and scrunch my face and go into fantasy land. To this day, I am 34 years old and still find myself doing it..I think it happens more during stressful times but I also do it out of enjoyment. I fantasize about something exciting and face a wall or corner and squeeze the hell out of my fists and flex my back muscles..My shoulders and upper back are really muscular and always have been with or without lifting weights and exercise. How weird, I clench my upper back so tight it builds muscle definition! hAHA

Just to point out, I suffer from depression, social anxiety and panic disorder..:( I have always felt self conscious and this weird thing I have always done has in some way contributed to me feeling odd or weird..Other than that I am a really likeable, intelligent, and funny guy.

I googled my symptoms a couple years ago and found this page..WOW! is all I can say..after 30 + years of doing this and feeling so ashamed and odd I finally found other people to share my symptoms..I cannot tell you how warm that makes me feel inside. I have an 8 year old son now and I see him doing something similar, and when I catch him he looks embarrassed..I just want to hug him and tell him that its fine and normal and lots of people do it..now I can say it and mean it!! I don't care what the cause or reason is I'm just glad I'm not alone anymore. Thank you all for sharing. It truly means the world to me.

Mar 21, 2015
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Daydreaming
by: Anonymous

I don't have this shaking movement while I daydream, but what you have sounds similar to Maladaptive Daydreaming. Its when you go into your own dream world and you could be there for hours, its different for everyone. Some people can just sit there and go into a daydream, or they start moving around, walking constantly, rubing their fingers together, or bouncing on the spot. I have this, I know what I'm doing, I know what's going on around me. And sometimes I can spend hours just doing it. I also know that people sometimes can laugh and cry as that is what the character the is acting out in your head. Or people talk and say things during the daydream because that's what the character in your head is doing. I usefully do this and have been doing for as long as I can remember, I am only 15 now, but I know I will have it for the rest of my life. I don't think you all do that, but maybe you have a different type of Maladaptive Daydreaming. I hope this might help, I know you might not find what you want. But what you have described what you have sounds very much like Maladaptive Daydreaming and for all we know, there could be different types of these and just no one has told anyone who could diagnose it... I guess.

Mar 05, 2015
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Has anybody found any more research on this?
by: Hannahjoe

I have also been doing this since childhood.
At the beginning with pencils and clothes hangers, to get the 'right weight' (as somebody else mentioned) when I was with other kids playing with dolls I used to shake them a little more than everyone else.

I don't find it to be a negative thing in my day to day. Although I have recognised since my late teens that the day-dreams became desperate and bottomless if I kept it up for to long.

I actually see it as an amazing resource. I am an artist (doing contemporary sculpture stuff ) and no I don't use it while I'm making things, or for ideas for sculptures. But I do use it to 'conjure up' visuals. I find it keeps up my energy when I need to spend ages and ages on something. I can stand back and look at the bits of what I am doing and then go off daydreaming for a few mins returning to the unimpressive bits with a surge of focus and energy. When I am finished work, and happy with it I won't daydream for days. But I think its important to mention I use it for other things now as well: in college when I was excited about areas of research, in business/financial and administrative duties,.. again, I have this resource that tunes me in to some feeling of potential and I find it easy to get stuff done, or plan things out better.

The only consistent thing in the daydreams is the emotion- something like an excited feeling of potential. I am so so so lucky that my mom was annoyed one day when my auntie said that doing it was weird and not normal. I have always felt weird about it, and I suppose I wouldn't do it in front of people. But it has become an (I would say) healthy and productive tool in my life. Even the movements that I make with my hands are far less dramatic than when I was a kid.

I remember in secondary school getting frustrated when I hadn't had a creative outlet, and a lot of the time going off on long day dreams that only resulted in built up nervous energy, like winding a spring too tight with nowhere for it to go. I am looking forward to researching this site more, but I first wanted to write my experience after reading so many expiriences of difficulty. They reminded my of my teens when the daydreaming was a draw from my life rather than fuel for it. I don't believe it's the sort of thing that can or should be repressed.

I have mentioned it to a few people but it has always been shrugged off, looking forward to reading more about it!

Feb 22, 2015
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Rocking
by: Anonymous

I have been rocking back and forth, or sometimes bouncing a little bit whenever I daydream or listen to music. I have an entire imaginary world that I escape to. I can go without moving around, but if I get to "into it" I make faces and move. This is something I have done since I was little, and now I am in college and still do it. It is very embarrassing when someone walks in on this or sees me, it is difficult to explain. I got a gym membership about a year ago and found that it is a good outlet for it. Instead of rocking or bouncing, I run on the treadmill or bike to my music. The more I would get "into it," the harder I would work out. I actually lost 60 pounds from this switch. The issue is that I get stressed when I cant find an outlet for my rocking/moving behavior.

Feb 18, 2015
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I thought I was the only one
by: A

I thought I was the only one. I have been doing this ever since I was a toddler. I am so tired of it it's ruining my life because people around me think I'm strange and it's looks weird.

Jan 05, 2015
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i do it to
by: Anonymous

I do the same thing as Guen I am 10th years old and I do that. Ive done it forever. I even did It in my car seat.

Dec 06, 2014
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I am not alone
by: Anonymous

So glad to read this... I started when I was very young, shaking pencils first, and I would have the best daydreams. I used to be embarrassed and sit behind the lounge chair to do it, a lot of times while having the TV running. Later I got more comfortable and did it on the floor in front of my parents with my back turned, with dolls not pencils, but when one's head broke off from doing it too much, the weight was "off" and I couldn't do it anymore. I would go in my room and do this for hours instead of playing with toys like normal children. Now, I am 21, I still do it, but not with dolls or pencils, instead I rub my knuckles together really fast and sometimes I can waste away hours doing it while I am "watching" (listening) to TV or youtube. I have to be staring at a blank space, usually the side of my computer screen, where it is white. My only issue is that I get calluses on my knuckles but I am just glad I don't have to use objects anymore, I have no plans to stop because I physically cannot go a day without my daydreaming!!!

Nov 26, 2014
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Wow..
by: Anonymous

I'm at a loss for words right now...I've thought off looking up what this might be for a while but to be honest I was terrified about about what I would find, like what is wrong with me!? And not to mention what do I search up "I shake my arms violently when imagining things" well I did and found it actually EXISTS. I'm a very open person that doesn't keep much inside, but this is literally the only thing that nobody knows about. So grateful this site is here. I love doing it although I lose hours in a day or night doing this. When sombody asks what I've done in that day I have to make somthing up because I can't tell them I sat around daydreaming the whole time?! I wish I'd known About this sooner. If anyone has advice on how to turn this into somthing productive? Or at least cut down?

Nov 19, 2014
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So glad I found this page!
by: Anonymous

This is something I've been dealing with my whole life.

I'm now 33 and have tried to control/stop it in many ways. Physically, it's not as wild as the motions I made as a kid. Still, I have ripped pants pockets, gotten muscle cramps, pulled muscles and I may even be developing tendonitis. Once, for a year or so (during a period of heav6y drug abuse) the "sessions" were even triggering major migraines.

It happens when writing music, coming up with stories, making business plans and even sometimes when planning the rest of my week. It can get in the way of actually accomplishing these things.

The only person I've ever told was a psychiatrist, and she had no interest in hearing about it, so that was very disheartening. Some have called this an addiction, and I can agree, to an extent. I like the mental state, but the physical effects are not desirable...

Either way, I feel a great sense of relief in knowing that I'm not alone. Thank you so much to Gwen and all the other posters. I felt compelled to respond because it's unloading a burden and hopefully it is encouraging to the next person to stumble across this to see that we're not alone.

Nov 13, 2014
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looks crazy
by: Anonymous

I am glad to read so many similar experiences.

I have been doing this since I remember. My family knows about it I would not hide it but I don t do it with friends or in public.

I have the daydream and all of the sudden I am jumping around and pacing and running. My family called it "jumping" because that s the main thing but in general it is a purposeless moving around while having intense imagination experience.

I don t live it as a pathology or anything that harms me or others. It doesn t fit with the grown up description and I feel unproductive. I wish I could use it more to achieve some goals. Maybe it s just how I function and I need this to keep a balanced life even though it looks like crazy.

Oct 10, 2014
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Pheeewww
by: Anonymous

I thought I was the only one who did this!! So relieved I'm not the only one (-:

Aug 07, 2014
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I have been daydreaming for as long as I could remember....
by: Anonymous

Ever since I could remember of been daydreaming. I get this sudden urge to run, so I'll just start running around the room jumping on top of objects, and running into walls. It's an addiction , something that I seemingly can't stop doing. When ever I daydream I get this tingly sensation that goes from my head to the bottom of my feet. I have lost so many hours of the day (and night!) compulsively running around downstairs and running into walls. My family is very disturbed by this, they want to help me but don't know how. I have discovered that I exibit almost every symptom of ADD, ( inattentiveness, forgetfulness, disorganized, racing mind, inability to follow instructions, sleep problems) some symptoms of Asperger's syndrome ( Lack of interest in other people, wanting to be alone most of the time, liking to socialize only with people older than my age group , mostly adults( I am in the 10 grade), Rigid and repetitive obsessions, and severe anxiety.

May 05, 2014
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Shaking and daydreaming
by: Gwen

Hi all, I've been writing on here since 2010, and also reading all of your comments that you all wrote here. I have found that no medicine helps me to stop this, but I don't do the daydreaming as much as I did since I live with my husband now, but I still shake around some every day , and more often when I feel really stressed out, like from marital problems when my husband and I are not getting along for some reason. I do it less when I feel happy and calm. I think relieving the stress in our lives help. I do still daydream some which would be ok if I didn't feel like I had to shake around while doing the daydreaming. I hope my comments help people.

May 01, 2014
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omg
by: Anonymous

Ive been doing this since i was about 9, my family calls it 'squeaking'. i crouch down into a tight ball ball my hands and shake them while scrunching up my face. i used to do it in the open i know do it when people cant see me. its a real problem, i do it when i go toilet(in private and public), in my room or whenever im alone. im 22 now and it seems to be alot worse than ever. ive actually aged my face because of the 'facial scrunching'. alot of things trigger it, sometimes i can be doing it for so long till the point of exhaustion. ive tried to stop it by replacing it with other things such as putting on vaseline- sounds weird i know but did actually work for a while.

its great to know others are in the same boat. hopefully a solution will appear

natasha x

Dec 24, 2013
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whats so bad about daydreaming
by: Anonymous

Can people stop calling maladaptive daydreaming a problem I have it and its one of the best things about my life it like watching tv but better you can come up with your own characters your own plots you are the narator the camera man the director heck you can even play the roles of the characters. Its entertainment a freind a lover anytime and anyplace you want it itcan help get rid of stress make you laugh give you conpanionship. If people say its bad they might as well say watching tv is bad too people waste hours watching tv aswell when people watch tv they go into a trace like state just like when people daydream watching tv takes you away from social life too alot of tv programs are based on fantacy just like daydreaming is whats the difference between daydreaming and tv.

Nov 18, 2013
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Shaking my head, when I am thinking or daydreaming
by: Anonymous

I am 64 years old and I am often told that I shake my head which I am not aware of mostly when I am thinking. This has been happening since the past few years. Can someone help me, thanks.

Nov 07, 2013
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Thanks everyone
by: JK

Thanks everyone for sharing your stories. I think my son (11) has this. He runs back and forth, making sounds, holding something (generally long, thin and pointy), daydreaming. I am fine that he does it and encourage him to perhaps write down what he is dreaming about in a journal (I told him perhaps it will make a great book someday.) But, for now he just needs to "do his running thing" (what he calls it.) He is socially just fine and he does fine in school. He just needs his own time to do this (to decompress, destress, whatever.)

I worry that it impacts his desire to participate in organized activities. He makes comments that "it interferes with his running time." His close friends know about this behavior; but he does get embarrassed about it and not want to share it with others. I'm hoping to get him to talk to a counselor if only for him to feel normal about this behavior. It is fine with me as long as it doesn't interfere with his life. Thanks again everyone!

Nov 02, 2012
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hey,
by: Anonymous

Is there any way to stop this shaking and daydreaming because is just getting out of control..during some times and while going on busy areas....it started from my childhood...I thought due to hurt on skill which might effect the brain...but now It's serious...I feel good with it..but I don't want this as its just destroying my capabilities and effects on my studies and my future...

Please tell me the solution for this...I can't take it for long..sometimes it makes me mad.

Aug 02, 2012
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Maladaptive Daydreaming
by: Anonymous

This all sounds exactly like Maladaptive Daydreaming, a condition that causes excessive daydreaming. Here is a website about it:

http://www.daydreamingdisorder.webs.com/

Aug 01, 2012
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I thought I was the only one!
by: Trav

As long as I could remember, when I'd (seriously) day-dream, I'd unconsciously cusp my hands over my mouth and, unknowingly, make the required sound-effects for my fantasies with my mouth while shaking. I noticed a much higher heart-rate when I did this, as-well. Can anyone else identify with this?

Jul 13, 2012
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Shaking and daydreaming
by: Gwen

I've been doing these things all my life. I'm 57 now, and I still nee to do some kind of movement a lot, and the daydreaming has gotten more controlled, but I rock, shake around ect. a lot. It helps me especially when I'm really stressed out.

Jul 11, 2012
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Yeah
by: Anonymous

Yeah.. I often, when with company, shake my foot, instead of my head. It looks less obvious that way.

Jul 11, 2012
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Hm..
by: Kelsey

See, I do this all the time. I saw some of the comments and realized that, most of them described what I've been doing.
One in particular mentioned that it was like replaying a movie in your head. It seems like I can make up stories in my head when I do this.. it's bizarre. I've done it for as long as I can remember. My parents are hoping I grow out of it, but I don't think I ever will.

Jul 10, 2012
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Hi everyone!
by: Anonymous

I thought I was the only person who had Physical Day Dreams (PDD [if it is not an acronym I just made it]). I never thought about "googling it" until today.

I wish we could all get together sometime in a nice forum to discuss this physical day dreaming. I would like to know more similarities, maybe it can be researched...

May 26, 2012
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I do this too!
by: Anonymous

I tend to run around the house, skip, laugh, even sometimes say the words I'm saying in my daydream. It can be a bit embarrassing as people wonder what I'm doing. My parents are always telling me to stop it. X

Feb 05, 2012
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No Diagnosis
by: Anonymous

I tend to pace and flap my hands when excited or daydreaming as well (sometimes uncontrollable laughter at nothing... that i havent noticed much lately). So far the only thing I have found about it online was on Autism, but I do not have Autism. As a matter of fact, I work with children with autism.

I was diagnosed with PMDD, Depression, and ADHD, but other than the PMDD everything else seems mild to me and had no connection to flapping or pacing when excited/daydreaming. I have tried to tell my psychiatrist, but I think he just thought it was a weird quirk. It kind of scares me and it is embarrassing. I hate it, but I am glad that I am not alone!

Jan 19, 2012
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Creativity Flows
by: Anonymous

I have day-dreamed like this for as long as I can remember and it now I don't do it as often. When I was little I believe I did it because I thought it was fun. My brother never understood it, but it was like replaying your favorite movie scenes in your head. Now as I have gotten older I seem to start to pace and daydream when ever I have a creative idea. whether it be a movie, video game, book, or music idea, I pace and daydream. This got me wondering if people with creative minds tend to do this more often.

Dec 11, 2011
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Maladaptive Daydreaming
by: Anonymous

I think that a lot of you should look at this website about Maladaptive Daydreaming, since you are describing many of the symptoms.

http://www.daydreamingdisorder.webs.com/

Dec 08, 2011
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How I am doing sinc I started writing and reading all your comments on this site.
by: Gwen

Hi everyone, I am so grateful to read all your experiences with shaking and other body movements, sounds and daydreaming. I never had anyone to talk to that did the same things I've been doing all my life.I hope you keep on writing on this site. I love to hear from all of you. I still rock or shake around a little each day, but not as much as I used to, because I now have a husband that loves me and is good to me, so I don't feel so alone. But when I feel stressed out, I do it more often. It feels good to do it, but I would like to do something else to relieve the stress, but this works best. I also take Lexapro for depression and anxiety. I think it helps.I also have a strong faith.

I am a christian, and I prayed a lot about my problems and my life, and it is getting better for me now. My husband encourages me too, so I don't daydream as much, but sometimes it still helps me to rock or shake around for awhile, till I feel less stressed.I'm glad I can share this with all of you. I will keep you all in my thoughts and prayers, and if any of you pray, please pray for me too. Love Gwen

Nov 14, 2011
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Help
by: Anonymous

I have this too and I am the only person who knows. Is this in anyway dangerous and can it be stopped. Plus is it less harmful if im using it to be creative

Apr 16, 2011
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Thank you!!
by: Ana

I'm so happy right now, after reading this! I thought I was the only person who did that! Since I can remember, I daydream most of the time and I shake my hands and head like I'm having an epileptic attack. It's really really weird. I thought I had some neurological problem but now that I know other people do it, I'm relieved!

Mar 27, 2011
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I've Never Known Anyone Else . . . .
by: Anonymous

I've been doing this since I was two years old. My family always called it "flapping," because it started as me flapping my hands. I've learned to live with it, and don't even give it much thought anymore. I agree with the people who say there are benefits to it. I'm a lawyer, and when I hit a particularly difficult problem I close the door to my office and "flap" while I work through it. I've come up with my best and most creative arguments this way.

But. . . . It also can be an inconvenience, because it is hard to control and can be distracting.

I've been variously diagnosed with OCD, mild Tourette's, and ADD. I actually am inclined to think that this is related to or a variation on ADD.

Anyway, fascinating to finally hear for the first time in 35 years of someone else having these symptoms!

Mar 17, 2011
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yea
by: Anonymous

I about cried when I read this. I'm a very normal person I have ADHD but you really cant tell. I started running around my couch and would flap my hands like I'm drying them off when i would think of something fast, I was about 5 or 6. Its amazing having such a great Imagination but It sucks only having full access unless I'm alone. Its the most embarrassing thing in the world and it just makes me so happy knowing I'm not the only one who does it. Stay strong everyone.

Jan 30, 2011
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I am so happy I'm not the only one
by: Anonymous

For as long as I can remember I always had a very active mind. All through school I found it hard to focus. I remember when I was little I would rock back and forth on the couch. As I got older I started to rock back and forth on my bed. Now I feel like things have gotten worse. I have been dating someone for along time now and somewhere in our relationship he started to get jealous like he just wanted it to be me and him. People around me tried to warn me but I blew it off and now that I got layed off from my job it seems like the daydreaming is getting worse. I want to start college soon but I can't ever focus, its like I just want to sit around in my chair and rock while listening to music or watching tv. My boyfriend has started to notice but he seems to think I have ADD. I don't want to tell him about the daydreams because I feel ashamed and I don't want him to think I am crazy. I have a bad childhood and over the years I have lost most of my friends. I just wish there was something to help me so I can function.

Jan 11, 2011
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I somewhat do this
by: Anonymous

I'm almost 16 and I started this the day I became a loner in school (I also have learning disabilities). However unlike uncontrollable shaking, and flapping of the arms, actually act it out in my room, or when no one is around. It makes for great stories though, and yes it is very embarrassing, but my mother said as long as you don't mistake reality from fiction it's probably not a problem. Anyway you took a great fear off of my chest, especially because i was afraid I was very weird. I also feel it is an overactive mind that cannot just think of it, but a physical action must work alongside of it. Yeah, music really does trigger it.

Oct 01, 2010
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It is a GIFT
by: Anonymous

For me, the extraordinarily vivid imagination and daydreams are a true gift. All of the above: shaking, sounds, pacing, tensing, deep inward sight, and all of it, when combined, creates "magic". After years of catering to this and being motivated with practicing and working it like a muscle, I developed a clairaudient sound and soon after that strong non-physical feeling. I can hear the music within the mind so clearly and it has gotten to the point where I can orchestrate any sound I wish within the mind, and produce incredible vivid multi-dimensional imagery to go with. Beats television for sure (which if you think daydreaming is a bad thing, then just look at what TV has done to society in terms of "entertainment"). This has become a tool and also a way of spiritual development for me. I can use my vivid imagination to visualize goals and have empathy for my friends and family as well. I can feel what they feel, because I simply imagine it. That is why it is a gift, because once you truly embrace it and want to learn it like learning to tame a wild beast, then ride it and steer it, then it becomes something that is truly a gift and not a "disorder". Your mind does this for a reason, and if you actually train yourself to use it to your advantage, the "issues" like being internal for too long can be solved. You just gotta work the muscle. Your mind will want to do more and more of it until you work it, and drugs will only harm you if you try that to stop it, and it won't be any good if you suppress it. It is your choice though, so I just wanted to share this with you.

I am 18 and have been daydreaming like this since birth.

Sep 16, 2010
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me too me too
by: Anonymous

geez i'm soo glad i'm not the only one with this
something always told me that other people have similar problems. the shame is too much to bear if anyone found out that i pace for miles in my on living room daydreaming. so many dreams so many i can no longer keep track. it helps to release my mind but now its becoming a curse rather than a gift.

Aug 13, 2010
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Answer about trouble focusing.
by: Gwen

I have trouble focusing on reading, getting a meal cooked and served and concentrating on the computer, when people are talking while I'm trying to do these things.I have learning disabilities and I shake or rock a lot to help relieve stress and to comfort myself.I wrote before that I was 55 years old and have done the shaking and daydreaming all my life. IM writing again because some boy on here wanted to know if anyone who does this has trouble focusing or has ADD.I never have been diagnosed with ADD but I have some of the symptoms of it.I also have trouble focusing and concentrating on a decision or task if I feel someone is pressuring me to hurry up and do it. Gwen

Aug 12, 2010
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maladaptive daydreaming
by: Anonymous

hey, my names luke and im eleven years old, wen i was in nursery i was neglected by the other kids so i drew into my own fantasy world.

its as addictive to me now as a drug and this i think scars my personality, making people avoid me more and then i daydream even harder tho i try not to.

u probably think im a psychopath kid but its good to know im not the only one,

thanks

Aug 11, 2010
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my brother and i have it too
by: sal

hi, i am so glad i found this page. I have a brother who extensively daydreams with sounds and tensing up. it's interesting. he's had it all his life, but what's more interesting is that i have it too to a much more less extent. Im gonna ask my doctor soon about this cz i'm really curious to know if there's a name for this. i wonder if this is related to ADD or if it's a genetic thing of it's own. Does anyone of you folks who have this, suffer from attention deficiency or have trouble focusing?

Jul 26, 2010
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during intense daydreams...
by: Anonymous

It's been happening to me since I was 5, as far as i can remember at least because I remember playing with some dolls and I started to shake and my babysitter told me to stop.

I start to visualize something exciting in my mind and play it out. My mouth sort of tenses, my arms and hands start shaking, as if I am shaking water off of them. My vision is the same but I also feel like I'm seeing the daydream more than what is physically in front of me. It seems that I only do it when I am alone. It only happens for a few seconds but after wards I am usually slightly out of breath and my heart is racing.

It doesn't seem to affect me otherwise. I don't have Autism or OCD but I do suffer from depression.

Jul 15, 2010
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I do this too!
by: John

I have been having intense daydreaming for as long as I can remember. I was made fun of in elementary school by kids saying "Look at this kid freaking out!". Then I started only doing it alone. My family would catch me doing it and sometimes watch me, then tell me to stop it. I have been doing it for a good 16 years. I too have it triggered best with music, it makes it more intense. I however clench my fists and all my muscles when I do it. I block out what I am looking at in reality and focus only on my imagination. When I try to explain it to people they just think I am weird. It makes me very anti-social and I feel like I am stuck in a everlasting loop of nothing is real anymore. Kind of like living my life in my head.

Fantasy realism is a crazy addiction. I do it everyday it seems like and I seem to be having memory loss from it now. I snap into it and snap out. Every time I come out of a daydream, my heart is racing and all my muscles tension stops leaving me to shake it off. To me its an adrenaline rush and I can't stop. I wish I could in a way, but I kinda like it sometimes. The weird things the human mind can create...

Jun 09, 2010
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Happy to here from Others
by: Gwen

I wrote on this site that Ive had shaking and daydreaming all of my life. I am glad to find out there are others who do similar things. I find I dont do it as much since I got married to a great guy a little over 7 months ago. But I still do it some. My life is more now like I used to dream it would be. But when I feel stressed out I still do it and it helps me to feel better.

Jun 08, 2010
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I do the same thing. Heres the reason
by: Anonymous

So Im not the only one... That spread a smile over my face when I read you guy's comments. especially when some of you mentioned the pacing because I pace(I call it running around when I daydream) or make sounds like talking... I learned to bite my lip when I daydream that way it doesnt look like Im talking to myself. The vocal part of it has stopped but I still pace when daydreaming. Im 17 on june the 9th and I told my ex about it(on and off) I keep wondering if one day when Im out of the navy and stuff and meet a good guy, he'll think its weird that I do that. My family is okay with it "oh she's just daydreaming again" but I feel self conscious about it with my ex. The crazy kids in school do things like make sounds and talk to them selves and I dont want to be put in that category with them. I know that they aren't talking to them selves that they are daydreaming too, but they really DO have problems and makes me wonder if I may be like them and have problems too.

Daydreaming is an addiction. You escape from reality by doing it. When daydreaming, you create for yourself an ideal world. Signals to the brain tell your mind that the world is some what real and so creates the jolts. When people sleep talk, they do that because dreams appear so realistic to them and their mind feels the need to interact with the characters in the dream on a higher, less mental extent. when daydreams, you dreaming while awake. The same processes with the mind go as if you were asleep. Your body hasn't fallen unconscious but your mind has. It's almost like two types of sleeps. Physical sleep and mental sleep. Mental sleep is just what I call the process of dreaming. Your mind takes a rest when you sleep. its nothing wrong with you but because your body is still active when your mind "falls asleep" it moves and your body feels the need to act out the scenario in the daydream. Im studying myself. I just want to stop the sounds and pacing but not daydreaming all together. Its embarrassing, yes, but its also a great gift that god has given me to complement my writing talent. Ideas for books just dont pop out of no where Some writers seriously has to sit and think of ideas to write for a book. Some have an amazing dream and turn that in a book. I daydream so much and thats where I get these awesome ideas from. they are like stories in my head just looking for a way to burst out and once I got it on paper, I make money off of it.

In a way its a blessing within a curse. I just want people to accept that about me with out putting a label on me. My ex said he thought I was weird from day one, and He likes different. If I explain to him that my mind is an artist constantly coming up with creative ideas and that when I daydream I turn that daydream into ideas for books.... I don't know, Its weird, doesn't mean Im crazy or have some type of problem, if I can make money off of it, why not call it a blessing?

Jun 02, 2010
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I am another victim of this
by: Anonymous

I daydream on a continual basis and completely understand this.

It began when I was around 12 and had to stay in bed because of Mono. As the years progressed, I would stay in my bed, listen to music, and rock back and forth violently while day dreaming scenarios (from every day life to fantastical adventures, from scenarios that I am in, to scenarios for characters I have created) that match up with the beats of the music I am listening.

I do too flap my arms and wiggle while rocking violently back and forth. Another aspect is that I do best in the dark- so that no one can see me acting so wild (Though I day dream completely alone).
To me, I have come to observe through my own behavior that it is a form of coping with everyday life. One may not have had a terrible or traumatic experience to do this. I think the body must uncontrollably wiggle as it tries to act out this 'Different life' I believe it is completely in tune with OCD, Depression, Anxiety, and Even to a form of Social Phobia.

On a good note- it is relieving that there are a large amount of others in this world that deal with this sort of thing. It is indeed an addiction of some sorts.

Apr 21, 2010
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maladaptive daydreaming
by: Anonymous

omg. i have been hiding this from friends,family even my husband for around 30years now. i daydream constantly,even acting out my scenarios. i often pace too. i also use music alot,i find it easier to get into the daydream. although it is a great source of worry and stress, it is also like an addiction and i need to do it to re leave stress.

Mar 29, 2010
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Maladaptive Daydreaming
by: Anonymous

I saw your comments and it's possible that you could have Maladaptive Daydreaming. It's a condition that causes excessive daydreaming. People with this problem will sometimes pace or do some other repetitive movement while they daydream. I have had this problem most of my life (I pace while daydreaming.)


Mar 08, 2010
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My daughter does that to.
by: Anonymous

My daughter will do that and she has a mild form of autism. It could be that or a tic disorder or tourettes. Talk with your doctor about it and ask for a referral to a neurologist.

My daughter will also flap her arms while walking in a pattern back and forth. She says she is daydreaming, but she doesn't really know what of.

Good luck to you and sorry to hear you have suffered with this your whole life. My daughter takes medicine for her tics and so far has responded good to it.

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