How did your experience of learning and reading about Aphantasia affect you?

When reading about Aphantasia as a condition, and discovering that you had Aphantasia, did you feel relived and comforted in knowing that others also have this condition? did you feel the research into Aphantasia made you happier in understanding more about it?


Do you think learning about Aphantasia has had any negative effects? such as thinking you are now held back at all by it where as you were more unaware of it before? does it make you not do certain things that you would have otherwise done?


Also, would you like to see more research into the positives of Aphantasia? The research so far focuses on how the condition inhibits people, but should we start to see how it might also make aphantasics better at certain things?

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on February 9, 2021

Hi Morgan, thanks for starting this discussion! I struggled with my discovery for 2 weeks, having read all the science I could find and feeling underwhelmed with the amount of research and resources. But aftr two weeks of practicing visualizing, I asked myself straight, "Am I seeing any progress? Do I think I will, eventually? Is there any reason I can’t be happy and successful with aphantasia? What strengths might be heighten or exist entirely thanks to the way my mind works?"

… That last question completely reframed my perspective. I went from feeling discouraged and disabled, to grateful and empowered

The lasting impacts this discovery has had is endless curiosity, heightened self-awareness, and amazing conversations with strangers on a pretty regular basis haha

I do want to see more strength-based research and think it has already begun. So far we have data that suggests aphantasic are less prone to anomalous perceptions, false memories, illusions, and altered states. There is also a great study that Zemen has under peer-review although I’ll hold from spilling the beans and notify you when it’s published!

How about you, what has been your experience?

When I first suspected I had aphantasia, I kind of brushed it off. Recently the topic was revisited and I discovered I had full aphantasia and I have felt less than, like others have had superpowers this whole time.

I’m somewhat comforted that others have this condition but not relieved, I’m failing to see the positives. I would love to see more research into the positives of Aphantasia. So far my research has not made me happy, quite the opposite as I discover more and more “superpowers” I lack.

Yes, learning about Aphantasia has had negative affects on my mental health as it has me questioning my experience, it sparks questions of a religious nature I left behind long ago, and perhaps related to other recent events which made me feel less valued than others in the workplace, it has me feeling less than others. 

Do I feel held back, inhibited from doing things… I feel wildly disadvantaged. What is art but tracing your visualization? What is writing when you can visualize the scene all senses included? 

I would enjoy seeing research on the prevalence, positives, and possibilities for aphantasiacs.

I feel like I had / am having a similar experience Josh. In the last few years, I’ve found out that I have aphantasia as well as face-blindness and object-blindness, and it’s hugely knocked my confidence. I’ve started to question how I experience the world, and what life would have been like if I hadn’t had these conditions. Funnily I also associate the word ‘superpower’ with people who have a typical ability! 

At work, I worry more now that I’ll underperform, and while I am happy telling my manager / colleagues about the condition, I’m concerned about it becoming my ‘identity’, especially since it’s a new job. 

I think it’s important to explore one’s own feelings towards discovering differences in the ways we experience life, and whether those feelings are positive or negative or a mix, it’s all valid. I generally have a positive outlook, but this has definitely been a struggle for me. Reading your comment was reassuring to be honest, as a lot of opinion articles etc I’ve read have been overwhelmingly positive and I was starting to wonder if it was just me that felt a kind of sadness or loss for the things I hadn’t experienced. I’m obviously not happy that you’ve gone down a similar unhappy line of thinking, but in a selfish way I am reassured it’s not just me! 

This is how I feel completely. I didn’t realize people could actually create pictures in their head until yesterday. I thought everyone was like this now that I’ve found out I’ve been missing a whole lifetime of an imagination with pictures instead of dialogue I feel robbed. 

I realized that others could visualize and I could not in the third grade 47 years ago. Only learned that others can’t and it hs a name a few years ago. For most of my life I thought if was just me.

Never worried about it. It has never changed anything I did. When I found out, my reaction was that’s interesting.

Personally the only research that interests me is visualization training. I don’t care how people think it hurts or helps me. It is not a disorder, just how I am