I have Aphantasia and you might have it too!

Aphantasia- The inability to form mental images of objects that are not present

I have aphantasia. As hard as I try I cannot visualize anything in waking life. I am quite literally blind in the mind. This mind blindness was first described in the late 1800s by British scientist Sir Francis Galton. It wasn't until 2015 that the term Aphantasia was coined. The remainder of this myTake will be about my personal experiences with Aphantasia. I will also include a video that describes the phenomena.

I first discovered that I have Aphantasia about one year ago.

"Count sheep to help you fall asleep."

"Put your thoughts on a cloud and watch it drift away."

"That's not at all how I pictured the Hermione!"

All of the above statements have one thing in common. That is voluntary visual imagination.

I thought counting sheep was a metaphor. That common coping mechanism therapists use with their clients didn't work on me. I could not see what they were telling me to visualize. I would read books with lots of imagery and detailed descriptions of characters, but not once did I picture the characters in my mind.

This complete lack of visual imagery stinks. I can't fully enjoy a good work of fiction. I do not appreciate guided mediations that tell the listener to visualize themselves in a certain environment. I have zero ability to conjure up a loved ones face in my mind. That castle I saw when I visited Scotland is not something I can picture. All of that sucks. It really sucks.


Thank you for reading this MyTake.


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Most Helpful Girls

  • Hello psychoticallyawkward, I think I also have aphantasia, since I cannot picture anything in my mind, now that I think about it.

    I know what a pen is, but if I am away from one and someone tells me to think of a pen, I have to bring to mind what a pen is, or think of its shape.

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  • Wow day dreaming about your crush in middle school would've sucked

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Most Helpful Guys

  • I have a friend who has this and he's really miserable. Unemotional, but he's a special case. I don't know why some people have this and most don't. It's definitely genetic because i was never trained to dream i just dreamt by default.

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What Girls & Guys Said

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  • Wow, what an obscure piece of mental affliction, I've never heard of it before but it sounds like it really sucks. Pretty sure I don't have it though, I can imagine quite a lot. In my case I rather have a problem with my mind wandering off all too often. Makes it hard to focus!

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  • Meditation is pretty much scam anyway, but other than that, this sounds horrible.
    I have pretty much the opposite of this. Reality is too boring, so I make stuff up.

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  • I had never heard of this before, but it must be awful. Visualizing things in your head is where a lot of creativity comes from. When I'm creating a picture on paper, I'm visualizing that picture from my head onto the blank picture.

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  • I definitely don't have it. I work with my hand a lot and usually if I'm making something a put it together in my head first.

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  • Very interesting. I don't have it, but your MyTake makes me want to learn more about aphantasia.

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  • I have whatever the farthest opposite of this is. Like how I have hemocrometosis and everyone else is anemic.

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  • Very interesting MyTake thanks for sharing with us :)

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  • So when you think.. How does that look like in your head?

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  • So can you not imagine what turns you on? :L

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  • I also saw Fantasia and like it

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  • Are you good at math?

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  • Cool Story

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  • Good take.

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  • I don't have that, but still interesting.

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  • I have it as well. I saw a cure described on Quora and was thinking of trying it.

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