Total Aphantasia

I am in my late 60's, and I just last week realized that Aphantasia / mind blindness was a "thing" (condition) that actually exists, and that I apparently have had it my entire life.

While this news explains MANY things over my years that haven't quite added up, it also has pulled the proverbial rug out from under the person I've believed myself to be.

I can't remember ever having experienced ANY kind of visual assistance, voice, smell, touch, you name it, other than what I actually see with my eyes, hear with my ears, etc.. At all.

I have to admit, for the last few days I've been feeling as if I'm the victim of a cruel joke of immense proportions.

I can't wait until l get used to this bombshell, and get over it.

Share this post

You must be signed in to comment

I experienced this same mind boggling realization that others have deja vu. I got aphantasia as a toddler to keep me from having lazy eye. My opthalmologist explained how I would have no depth perception because my eyes couldn’t work together. The recent idea that I was also missing all the other senses memory was earth-shaking. I always said “I may only use half my mind, but I know twice as much about that half as anyone else!” Now who am I??? Every thing I know is in words or diagrams. I can explain (to myself) why I am a total aphant. I could help with research. I am currently retired and exploring neuro-plasticity and what strengths my visual perception issues may have also given me. Still learning and have not “got over” the feeling of being cheated somehow.

Can you elaborate on acquiring aphantasia as a toddler to keep yourself from having lazy eye, if you’re comfortable? I’m reading this as in it was a trade off, and then aphantasia was turned on like a switch (or I guess the minds eye was switched off to prevent lazy eye). I might be misunderstanding that. I’ve also always had aphantasia so I have no idea if this is something everyone is born with or if this is something that can happen later in life (I am new here and still reading up).

Hey Tamara, thank you for being so open about your experience. It can be disorienting to discover something so fundamental about yourself so suddenly. Realizing that you have aphantasia can certainly feel like the world you knew has shifted unexpectedly. This kind of revelation can reshape how you understand your experiences, memories and so much more. I hope you might it comforting to know that many have found clarity and community through similar discoveries. The Aphantasia Guide (https://aphantasia.com/guide/) could be a valuable resource for you as you explore more about what aphantasia means for you. Included in the guide is a list of communities to connect with others who share your experiences. It offers insights and support that might help you feel less like the subject of a cruel joke, and more like a part of a community that understands. How are you feeling now that it’s been a few weeks?

Tamara, I am 75 and just recently realized/learned that I have aphantasia. Now I am wondering about my years of taking acid – makes me wonder about what I saw. Since it was about 40-50 years ago, there are not much in the way of memories – but I am too old to try to revisit the experience.
This kind of explains why I would forget people when they were not present (lost some girlfriends this way) – even right now, there is a woman I am interested in and I can’t remember what she looks like (or I can’t bring up an image of her)

I can remember some of my dreams – one dream I forced myself to wake up fro, was me with my back to a cliff, standing on a ledge that was only 4″; I remember the image but can not ‘see’ the image – I am really confused about remembering the image but not being able to see it. This is all very confusing, sigh