What a self-revelation

Hi, I just discovered I have aphantasia. I have had anxiety problems all my life. A few years ago I started making lifestyle changes to help. At one point I wanted to start meditating. Many were image guided and this would only cause me more stress. I couldn’t keep up with the speaker, as I was just talking myself through it. It was then I started to question if people could see things in their mind’s eye. Why would the majority of meditations I found be based on imagery if others couldn’t see. 

My siblings are very intelligent and gifted. I always thought I was just the “normal” one. I found out they all could visualize mentally. This blows my mind! Now I wonder how much easier school would have been for me if I didn’t have aphantasia. 

I do dream in images, but not every night. I always thought I had a great imagination, and now I am jealous of those that can actually see what they imagine. 

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Hello Cynthia,

Thanks for sharing your revelation with us. Many aphants in our community have expressed similar frustrations and challenges with meditation. For some, it’s how they too discovered their aphantasia. 

We have a few resources on mediation and even an image-less guided mediation example you might be interested in. Check them out and be sure to leave us a note in the comments if you found them helpful. 

Cynthia – I also just recently discovered I have aphantasia, however, it turns out both of my sisters also have it too. I have a lot of the same feelings you do. I did very well in school, however, it would have been so much easier if I could have visualized objects! I remember taking an IQ test when I was in 3rd grade – one component of the test was to rearrange blocks in the same order as the test provider had done. If you could visualize the blocks that would have been a snap! 

I always thought when people said “in my mind’s eye” or “photographic memory” they were just terms and not that people actually visualized images! 

The saddest part for me is not being able to visualize my loved ones. My oldest sister just passed away suddenly and I wish I could close my eyes and see her beautiful face. 

This has all blown my mind and I just wanted to share with you that you are not alone.