Homesickness and aphantasia?

Hello, i recently discovered that I have aphantasia. I also left my family recently to live in a different country for a year. This might sound bad, but I never felt homesick. Of course I sometime missed my old life, but I never cried and it never made it impossible for me to enjoy my time here. I feel like a horrible person because my lack of missing them and I wanted to know if this might be connected to me having aphantasia. Also, my family is great and supported my decision to have an exchange year, and I love them dearly. 

Thank you so much for reading and I really hope that someone could help me with my question.

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Total Comments (10)

I always get homesick. I suspect you were just happy with your adventure. There’s no reason to feel guilty about enjoying your life. It seems like it’s exactly where you wanted to be.

Hi Lorilana,

You are not a horrible person. I used to feel the same way because I don’t miss people either. I thought maybe there was something wrong with me, like I had antisocial personality or was just unfeeling. I’ve since done research and found that since we can’t see our loved ones in our mind’s eye, it makes it easier for us to “forget” about them for a bit. We don’t love them any less, it’s just that we don’t picture them and that makes us less likely to dwell on the fact that they aren’t with us. Hope this helps!

Hi Tamara,

very well said, I feel quite the same.

But I didn’t make the connection to Aphantasia until I read Lorilana’s question. It’s an interesting theory.

Lorilana in my experience of Aphantasia this is totally normal and expected. I find it difficult to show emotion when I cannot visualise people in my mind. Although I have lots of empathy and love for those close to me. I carry pictures with me and when I look at these the emotion becomes strong, or if those dear to me show me pictures of people close to them they may have lost I find myself crying.

it doesn’t make you or I a bad person, just fellow Aphants 

I don’t really get homesick either, nor do I terribly miss people when I’m not actively thinking of them. Come to think of it, my mind generally does not go to thoughts of people not around me. I have fairly large circle of friends I think, but don’t miss them when I’m not with them. 

I rarely miss people or places. I really only think about what’s immediately around me. I have adhd too, though. And I’m not a pass on my psycopothy score, but I’m up there. 

I’m not sure if a lack of homesickness is connected to aphantasia specifically (I’m aphantasic, but my partner isn’t – we emigrated from our home country to New Zealand 13 years ago, and neither of us have been particularly homesick) – however, please don’t feel bad because you don’t feel ‘traditional’ homesickness or miss your family. It doesn’t mean that you love them any less, and I hope that you carry on enjoying your exchange year.

I have aphantasia self diagnosed, my mum used to shout at me saying I must see something when she asked me to imagine something and I said all I could see was black.  So when I read an article about aphantasia I was glad I wasnt going mad.  I have lived away from my family for 15 years as my husband and I moved to Australia from England at the age of 45.  I do not miss England, I do not think about missing family, my dad passed away 10 years ago.  I dont miss him and recently my mum passed away, I felt sad at the time when she passed away but I dont feel that sadness anymore as my daily life is the same in another country to them.  So dont feel bad you are not the only one.

I left the country where I was born and raised 52 years ago; and never felt a sense of nostalgia, not even one day.

I remember experiencing awful homesickness when I went to France to stay with my penfriend and her grandmother.  I hadn’t felt it when I went to stay at her parents’ home but her grandmother lived in a more remote place and it was so alien to my life experiences thus far and I just wanted to go home.  I’d have been about 12 or 13 at the time.  As an adult, I went to live in America for a while with my husband-to-be, and experienced no homesickness at all.  I didn’t when I went away to college either.  In fact I could barely stand to go home.  However, just last year, I went to visit an aquaintance in the south of England (I’m in Scotland) and the hoemsickness hit hard.  I suspect it was to do with the living conditions.  I did not like where I was.  And I didn’t have anyone I really felt comfortable talking to, but also couldn’t just escape to be on my own.  So I’ve noticed that in both cases where I felt what I’ve described as homesickness, it was probably more that I just felt very uncomfortable about my surroundings and company and yearned to be somewhere that I didn’t feel that way.  Is that the same as homesickness?  Not sure.

I would say my aphanatasia lets me live in the moment with things being out of site being out of mind. I am not sure if your concern is “feeling like a horrible person” which i assume you are not – or you probably wouldn’t be asking the question. Or if you wanted to keep the connection going, for their sake as much as yours?

Does it make it easier to look at photos to make the connection in your mind? I find I even have to put calls  or I would go weeks or months without calling!