Body Movements During Maladaptive Daydreaming
A Thematic Analysis of Asynchronous Email Interviews
Keywords:maladaptive daydreaming, kinesthesia, stereotypical movement
Objectives: This study aimed to shed light on the lived experience of stereotypical body movement and gesturing during maladaptive daydreaming (MD). Method: Forty-one individuals with probable MD participated in asynchronous in-depth email interviews. Results: Four themes describing the movement experience in MD emerged: Need, Variety, Awareness and Agency, and Functions. The analysis revealed two main findings about the bi-directional effect of movement on MD. First, kinesthesia might enhance the daydreamers’ experience by deepening their fantasy immersion through improved focus featuring self-hypnotic characteristics. In addition, respondents reported that their body movements enhanced the daydreaming experience by embodying the protagonists' actions. MD-related motions were associated with occasional loss of agency, suggesting unintentional neuromuscular activation.
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