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.