I have Aphantasia but I didn’t know what it was until now

I have aphantasia. I’ve always struggled throughout my life imaging things. All I see is pitch black. That worried me. No matter how hard I try, absolutely nothing. Whether it be teachers asking me to image or guided meditation, whatever the situation, I cannot visualize anything. I can think of it as a thought but no pictures come to mind not even memories. My minds eye is darkness. 

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Hello Lindsey, I sometime worried over the years that I could not remember childhood events, including most of high school. I do have memories that are sort of metadata outlines of things I’ve been telling myself about over the year, but no images or solid memories. With the advent of Iphone photography, I take and love to review both trips and special occasions, but also mundane things. 

I always thought I wasn’t trying hard enough, in various personal development training courses the facilitators have told me that I must have the capacity to visualise because I dream in colour. No matter how hard I’ve tried or how much I’ve practiced I just have an inner blank screen. I can ‘see’ stuff but never as an image, I just kind of know it’s there and can describe and recognise it. My memories are formed of feelings and facts, no images. It’s why my photos are so precious to me as they are my visual memory. I’ve had early trauma (PTSD but with emotional flashbacks rather than visual ones) and have low self esteem, the help I’ve been offered to counter these is very reliant on the ability to visualise. It’s such a relief to discover others experience the world in this way too, and that these differences are finally being looked into to hopefully find more effective treatments.