Irish photographer releases book about coping with the condition Maladaptive Daydreaming
Irish photographer Vanessa Ifediora began experimenting with photography while living in Japan.
Initially, she used photography as a tool to help her recover from a condition known as Maladaptive Daydreaming.
The condition causes intense daydreaming that is highly addictive and almost solely consists of completely imaginary scenarios. It’s frequently triggered by music and normally develops in childhood - often as a combination of ADHD and trauma.
"For 20 years I lived my life unable to shake myself back to reality. My constructed fantasy world was the ultimate safe space. I chose my name, my talents and skills, my career, my partners, my friends, my finances."
The daydreaming was often triggered by music and for years she found it difficult to "zone in" to reality.
"Anxiety would grip me and I’d make excuses to cancel plans and stay indoors the entire weekend acting out a life that was not my own, prisoner to my own mind. I would try to stop the zoning out, most often triggered by music, but it was impossible."
At the start of 2018, Ifediora began to get treatment and support for depression which also alleviated the Maladaptive Daydreaming.
"Suddenly I was listening to music without being held down by it."
After a short time on the prescription drug Lexapro, Ifediora's acute daydreaming ceased altogether. The fantasy world she had inhabited was suddenly gone and Ifediora spent the following months trying to adjust to and come to terms with having no escape from reality.
To document her experience, Ifediora created a book entitled Off White Sheets which contains a series of portraits, short stories, familial anecdotes and poems relating to her experience overcoming Maladaptive Daydreaming.
The 28-page book is available for pre-order on vanessaifediora.com/shop for £20/€23 from February 14th until its release on March 14 after which it will retail for £25/€28.