How have you learned to describe Aphantasia?

DiscussionsCategory: QuestionsHow have you learned to describe Aphantasia?
Jennifer McDougallJennifer McDougall Staff asked 9 months ago

Describing aphantasia is no easy task, especially considering the fact that the phenomenon exists entirely in the privacy of our own minds.

We (The Aphantasia Network) use the example “think of a horse” whe describing aphantasia to people who… well…sometimes just don’t get it. Others use the red star or red apple example.

You can read more about our approach here. 

How have you learned to describe aphantasia? What approaches, strategies and tools have you tried?

Colm RoeColm Roe replied 3 months ago

I used to start by asking if they can imagine something simple like a circle or a square, I don’t even ask them to give it a colour. But I’ve really given up telling people about it. Don’t know about you, but they seem to have absolutely no interest in our ‘condition’.
I’m not looking for attention…but if it was someone I know I’d be fascinated by it and would drive them mad constantly questioning them.
Do you know what…I sometimes feel they are envious that we’re different 🙂
Personally I think it’s cool being an aphant 🙂

2 Answers
keith Inschokeith Inscho answered 7 months ago

No, not at all. And I read about other people, and I am sure I have it, but mine is a bit different, but I don’t know how to explain it exactly.

I can’t ‘picture’ tastes, or smells, only whether or not they were pleasant.

I can bring up pictures, in my minds eye, but they are fleeting. I can’t hold an image, nor can I really pull up an image of something specific, like a particular year of mustang. When I think of a mustang I get a flash of a late 60’s model.

When I try and picture something a picture pops up, then fades almost immediately. if I concentrate I can hold it for a millisecond or tow then other pictures, or fog or swirly colors or whatever cover it, kind of like looking at a film when it melts.

I think I dream fine with pictures and everything. Some very vivid.

When I close my eyes to sleep I either get nothing but black (not ready to sleep) or a black background with a darker black (blue, purple) ‘cloud that comes from the outer ring to the center every few seconds (reminds me of Star trek when they shoot a ‘cloud’ of something at another ship) Or a radar sweep circling around a dark background with slightly lighter area behind the sweep.

Even though both foreground and background are dark, the moving part is even darker and makes the other part seem bright!

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