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TOPIC: Appreciate your input

Appreciate your input 10 months 2 weeks ago #4686

  • TLee
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I don't really know if this is the right place for this. As a lot of you probably know, it's very difficult to pin down exactly what's going on in our own minds and whether that is different from normal. I never had any idea that my experience might have been different. Truth be told, I'm still not sure.

I've taken the simple tests for aphanasia, but it doesn't really seem to apply. In some ways, I feel like I can't have this condition, because sometimes I can get a flash of someone's face in my mind, but I'm not sure how real that is. It's always just a flash. Even when I focus as hard as I can, it's just.. Flickering. I don't really have an image so much as an impression of an image as seen with a strobe light. I get an flash of a person's jawline, or their hair, maybe the shirt they wore one day. I can't piece it all together, though sometimes I can chain together enough brief flickers to try to describe an outfit, but I always miss details, remember colors wrong, and can't really describe what I'm trying to remember.

I have more success when I try to remember photographs or videos I've seen on a screen then I do with things I was actually present for, but even those are always just brief flickers. I'm not even sure if I actually see the image for even that brief split second, or if I'm just grabbing half remembered details and convincing myself I saw something.

As a result my memory is poor in must circumstances. I'm constantly forgetting birthdays, events, arguments I've been in, though I have a very good memory of things I've read, to the point that I can frequently quote books I read years ago. I have never been able to imagine visually the things I'm reading though. I tend to skip over elaborate descriptions of trees and flowers because it just doesn't resonate. It just occurred to me at this moment that other than an uncertain idea involving red and a lot of petals, I don't know what a rose actually looks like, though I've seen them often before. I have an idea, but it's more of a guess.

Dreams have always been strange for me because I've always known in the midst of the dream that it's not real, but sometimes they are similar enough to reality that the next morning, or even days later, I won't be sure if it happened or not because in some ways that memory seems more real then my actual memories.

I guess I don't really know what is wrong with me, if anything is. Maybe I just subconsciously want there to be to explain why everything feels wrong and why I've had depression and dysthymia most of my life. Really I'm just hoping someone else will have had similar experience to mine so I can feel a little less alone.

Thank you for taking the time to read this.
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Appreciate your input 10 months 2 weeks ago #4700

  • Tilma
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Very interesting. There are more people on this forum who have a small degree of visualisation ability, aphantasia seems to be available in certain levels, ranging from absolute to, well, not quite so absolute. When I was a child I used to experience something similar to your flashes just before I fell asleep. But I can't say I have experienced any in my adult life. I like how you grasp at the idea that your concept of a picture can almost seem like a visualisation. I amleaning towards your own latter explanation of the phenomenon. Funny how the mind works.

I am not a depressed person as such, but I have found myself to be emotionally far more level than most other people. Shallow depths and moderate highs. I used to identify with what Slevin Kelevra calls Ataraxia in the movie Lucky Number Slevin. That rings true for me.
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