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TOPIC: aphantasia and emotions

aphantasia and emotions 5 months 2 weeks ago #5170

  • aksnafu
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Hi I have complete aphantasia, in my minds eye I can not visualize, recall taste, touch, smell or sounds. My question is emotions, I do not have PTSD, nightmares, the feeling of fear or the feeling of love. However, If I dwell on the thought, thinking about memories of the past thoughts (we danced well together, I remember her smile and last night staring into her blue eyes). After thinking about all of the above thoughts, I feel happy, I feel good inside. I can stay in this feeling as long as I continue to think about her, I call this living in the NOW, this is a very hard process without a picture of her or see her in person. A random thought does not cause me to bring back to that feeling, Seeing her brings a smile, but it still requires me to recall past memories to bring my feelings flowing again. This feelings always stop when I stop thinking about all these memories, I am back to feeling empty again, I know I like her, I know we have fun together, I just don't feel that emotional connection any more.

I have been struggling for a lifetime with these emotions, I only feel them in the NOW and then the feelings are gone. Is this also part of aphantasia? Do others experience this too? Are there other people that can not bring these same emotions as I can by dwelling on the thoughts?. I am trying to find out what others people experience in their mind.

I am asking you because I have spent over 30 years talking to people that have never experienced this andthey keep telling me I am just like everyone else. I need to understand what other people like me experience and how they cope with it. I would love to find a counselor that has aphantasia to help me understand.

Visualizing is my greatest loss when alone, I struggle trying to remember what she looks like, all I remember is her hair style and color, that she smiles and that she laughs and makes me laugh too. However, when I see her in person I know everything about her,when I see her, I can bring back those memories quickly and I can flashback and remember the joy and happiness i experience before. I also dance with Her, I hold Her in my arms, I feel Her body breathing, hear Her voice, everything is in the NOW. Sadness falls in when we part and I am no longer able to recall being able to be in the NOW with her, when I try to use my Minds eye. I have talked to thousands of people over the years and understand what they can do. Its depressing knowing what they can do and I will never be able to experience,

Thank you for reading this and any help you can provide.
Last Edit: 5 months 2 weeks ago by aksnafu.
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aphantasia and emotions 5 months 1 week ago #5209

  • Tilma
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Dear Aksnafu,
I just stumbled over this post and I believe I have answered your question before in various other threads. As I have already indicated a couple of times before I know exactly what you feel and I identify with it completely. It just doesn't bother me the way it does you. It just seems to be the way I am wired. I don't think many people think about it as deeply as you do. I, for one, never really linked it to Aphantasia and only over the past few months have started to recognise it as perhaps being linked to it. There might be many more like us on or off this forum who probably never thought it through as much as you.
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aphantasia and emotions 4 months 5 days ago #39227

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I'm 76 years old, been married for 51 years to the same wonderful wife, but when we are apart she is invisible to me in all my senses.
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aphantasia and emotions 3 months 1 week ago #39263

  • moyer
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Out of sight, out of mind(heart,emotions etc)
I don't feel bad about it because it is how my brain is wired.
This has affected ALL of my relationships.
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aphantasia and emotions 3 months 1 week ago #39267

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Hi. New on here, but can relate to what is written. I have never been able to visualise, or do anything with my eyes shut. I rarely dream, once a year if I'm lucky. This is now causing a third divorce in the not too distant future I believe. She cannot believe that I cannot picture her while we are making love, which is causing ruckshones, making me unable to keep erected. Excuse spelling.
Dave.
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aphantasia and emotions 2 months 3 weeks ago #39318

  • Blackstage
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Having aphantasia has affected me in all of my relationships as well. Much more than I had realised along the way, if I look backwards over my life up til now.

I also would love to have a counselor/ therapist who actually has aphantasia, in order to REALLY grasp a few more bits and pieces about my life. I have had a few, and it gets quite old having them feeling like they spend soooo much time on getting me to get back in touch with my emotions, as if I must have some huge events in my past and drag them all into my present and constantly mess myself up because of it all. I get it that they have been taught this way and also, yes, I do have a few big things to deal with from the past, but if I don't fit their profile enough and 'change' enough then they think I am still mostly 'broken' and sort of resisting them/their therapy... sheesh. Let's get on with it, eh?!!

My kids have been amazed that I can seemingly change emotions so quickly, that they don't really believe I have emotions and that I am faking it. All I am doing is being in the NOW - often a parent needs to quickly change in order to get stuff done... the NOW changes for me and I adapt fast! Also needed as I am a teacher.
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aphantasia and emotions 2 months 2 weeks ago #39323

  • serena_97
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I also have total aphantasia, and also struggle with emotions. I only feel things in the moment that they occur, but I can't keep those feelings with me or recall them once those moments have passed. When I am with my boyfriend or I think about my boyfriend I feel happy, but I also feel empty when those thoughts have passed. Though never do I have thoughts in pictures or any other senses. Only in words and invisible thoughts.

I have had long distant relationships before, and always thought that there was something wrong with me, because after a while I simply didn't feel anything, though when we were together i knew that I cared extremely deeply about him. I wish more than anything that I could picture my boyfriend in my head while we are so far away from each other, but I cannot. I can't imagine or recall anything about him besides compilations of facts and descriptions that I know about him. But I know that I love him and this tears me apart.

"Missing" people is never been something that I have been able to comprehend. I have been away from people that I love but I don't feel anything for them while I am away, besides a note in my mind that I love them. When I return and I see them the emotions return for as long as I am with them.

I don't know if it does have anything to do with Aphantasia, but it sounds like this emotional disconnection that we both have is very similar and could very well be an extreme of total aphantasia. How do I cope with this? well, it has been hard. When I was younger I have been called heartless and emotionless, even though I feel things more deeply than many people that I know. I feel to the bottom of my being, but never for long and I can release feelings at will. Negative feelings I let away as soon as I am done with them, as they are important, and I move on. I used to not be able to comprehend why other people dwelt so heavily on feelings of hate and pain or anger. I began to think of myself as a very logical being, because emotions did not control me and I learned how to control my emotions when they came to me. Learning about aphantasia and reading what you have written really helped me understand that I am not some apathetic person who doesn't care about others (I have grown out of this thought, but it has always hung in the back of my mind). I think the biggest coping strategy that I have found is writing. I write a lot of poetry and short stories, and though I cannot imagine in my head the descriptions that I create, I can bring myself to feel. It has become my tool to feel. When I want to think about my boyfriend, or I want to feel happy or sad or angry, I can write a poem and those feelings rush into me, which is something that I have never been able to do without a pen in my hand.

Thank you for sharing
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aphantasia and emotions 1 month 2 weeks ago #39379

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Thank you for your input, The more I hear from others like Us, the more I understand about myself. If anything it verifies that I am not crazy, just a person that is different. I am now coming to peace with myself, accepting that there is nothing I can do about my condition and living my life the best I can. take care.
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