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TOPIC: Just discovered Aphantasia was a thing. I didn't know I was thinking different until now.

Just discovered Aphantasia was a thing. I didn't know I was thinking different until now. 1 year 5 months ago #39775

  • rubo
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So has anyone else experienced this? I'm 34 years old and just heard someone on a podcast talking about having Aphantasia and I'm thinking, "I'm just like her...wait....most people don't think like this?" I can't picture mental images just concepts or word pictures of whatever I'm reading or listening to. Really curious if anyone else has not realized they had Aphantasia until adulthood.
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Just discovered Aphantasia was a thing. I didn't know I was thinking different until now. 1 year 5 months ago #39778

  • stringer
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Yes, same for me. Except that it took about 60 years before I discovered it in my case. It had never occurred to me before then that people might actually be seeing images in their mind's eye; I always assuming they were just speaking figuratively, and that in actuality they saw no more than I did. That is to say, I just have "concepts" of what things, or people, look like - just as you said. No images.

I never felt I was missing out on anything, because I never believed anyone else was seeing images either. And I still don't really feel I am missing anything, since I can't imagine what it would be like to see mental images anyway.
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Just discovered Aphantasia was a thing. I didn't know I was thinking different until now. 1 year 4 months ago #39779

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Yes, you really can't miss something that you can't understand and never had. Do you think this has an effect on your memories? For instance, my memories from childhood are very vague or completely gone and many times I have feared that it was linked to some traumatic event that I blocked. However, now I'm beginning to think it is really linked with Aphantasia.
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Just discovered Aphantasia was a thing. I didn't know I was thinking different until now. 1 year 4 months ago #39780

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"Do you think this has an effect on your memories?"

Interesting question, and I don't have a good answer. One thing that occurs to me, though, is that I believe aphantasia has a big effect on the way we think. As far as I can figure out, all of my thought processes take the form of an inner "conversation" with myself, in which I speak words to myself, ask myself questions, answer them, and so on. If I didn't have a language with which to hold that inner conversation, I don't think I could have much in the way of thought processes. (By contrast, friends without aphantasia tell me that they do a lot of "visual" thinking. I have no real conception of what that means, but I suspect it means they can carry out quite sophisticated mental processes without needing to "converse" with themselves.) Anyway, it does occur to me that if one has aphantasia, then probably not much would register in the brain's memory banks before one was old enough to have acquired language skills.
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Just discovered Aphantasia was a thing. I didn't know I was thinking different until now. 1 year 4 months ago #39783

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I always thought, wow what an imagination. Except I couldn't 'imagine' all the details they were seeing'. I still am pissed off about it. 3 months in and still pissed.
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Just discovered Aphantasia was a thing. I didn't know I was thinking different until now. 1 year 4 months ago #39784

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Stringer- I am still shocked that people 'see' images in their heads, bummer.
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Just discovered Aphantasia was a thing. I didn't know I was thinking different until now. 1 year 1 month ago #40033

  • Vicky 64
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I have had aphantasia my whole life, and have been frustrated over the years trying to explain it to people - and especially my son, an anime fan.
I have a real issue with faces, and in anime and cartoon movies, people don't look different enough for me to be able to follow the action, which my son interpreted as "Mum being difficult".
He sent me photos of Star Wars toys he had bought at a con, delighted to have spent phone numbers buying nostalgia stuff from 15 years ago. The picture was caption "do you remember these"? I am afraid I got rather sarcastic - and replied "what part of no visual memory do you not get"?
Fear is the Mind Killer...
La paura uccide la mente
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Just discovered Aphantasia was a thing. I didn't know I was thinking different until now. 1 year 1 month ago #40034

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My childhood memories are very episodic - like watching a movie where the original film has been very degraded! I remember what people said but not what they looked like when saying it.
My parents and my two brothers are dead (the younger brother quite recently) and I don;t remember what they looked like! (Thank God for photos although the photos of my parents show me what they looked like in their youth, decades before they died - the same with my brother as despite teaching photography, my father and brother hated being photographed!)
Fear is the Mind Killer...
La paura uccide la mente
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