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TOPIC: Aphantasia, is it a disability?

Aphantasia, is it a disability? 2 years 11 months ago #3341

  • sian*
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Yes, the resources would help! These forums are so great because you can see how other people do things and maybe figure out new ways to do things too, as well as reflect on how different we all are (and the same in many ways too).
I'm unsure if I would have liked to know earlier. When I found out, I had a few days where I had to tell myself 'you've functioned perfectly fine your whole life, it's not going to stop now', and if I hadn't had that wealth of prior experience would I be doing all the things I'm doing now? I also had a point when I thought about visualising sunsets, and that it was boring compared to visualising e.g. a rainforest (sounds and spatial, vs nothing for the sunset), and from there I jumped to 'everything that's boring is stuff I don't have to do because my brain doesn't work that way' which wasn't a good way to think lol.
But then, if I had known, some things would have been less frustrating, just being able to think, oh okay, I'll do it this way because I'm better at thinking like this.

Edited to add: have thought more about this, and the labelling/perception of it is important. Part of the reason I was tripped up for a few days was because I was thinking of it as an impairment (I'd read something about people getting aphantasia late in life and having to relearn e.g. how to understand speech. Maybe some people don't rely on it quite to this extent, but before this, I hadn't realised it was such an important part of visualisers' lives). If I'd thought more about how it's a different method of thinking, with its advantages as well as disadvantages (just like everyone else's way of thinking), maybe I wouldn't have been tripped up.
Once you do recognise that it's just another way of thinking, I think there's also a danger that you might box yourself into things you can do, and things you might not be able to so probably shouldn't attempt (e.g. visual art might seem to be one of these things, but obviously you don't need visualisation to be good at it).
Last Edit: 2 years 11 months ago by sian*. Reason: more thoughts
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