I recently found out that I have aphantasia and I am 20 years old. I could have gone my whole life without finding out and I am curious if it is more common to find out when you are younger.
How old where you when you found out that you had Aphantasia?
I just found out last year, and I am 24 years old.
I always knew I was different and that I couldn’t picture things but I didn’t have a word for it until reccently. So previously I never told anyone out of fear, thought I might be broken, misunderstood, or called a liar.
Rarely I can picture a simple outline, like a stick man or a couple lines but thats it.
Hi Ben, I am 42 years old and found out I have aphantasia yesterday. I was always perplexed when people would say, ‘don’t think about a purple rhinosoros’ trying to get you to do so. I would be ‘ok, no issue there’. I also found it annoying in meditation when people would get you to visualise stuff and nothing would come, just blackness. I honestly thought everyone was just faking the experience. For me, I was astonished to find out that most people CAN visualise things.
I learn about Aphantasia while doing random online searches for some project I was working, that was around 2014, I was 55 at the time and it stunned me especially after I read about the "counting sheep" example. That was me, I never got the reference just count sheep and you will fall asleep; I thought how does anyone do that? After reading the article I was overwhelmed with a profound sadness about my life which always seems to go sideways and how difficult it is for me to connect socially. I am still affected by that sadness/weirdness to this day.
That made me sad to read 🙁 I don’t think it’s weird to be the best in the room at conceptualizing when everyone else is stuck seeing imagined things. It just means your bound to not be constricted to the reach of a visual image and you can think beyond the pictures other people are replaying around you.
Five years ago when I was 22 and heard it on a podcast where they were like "Get this, some people can’t picture that red bucket" and I was like, wait, why are they saying that? Then I called everyone I knew and demanded them to explain the way their mind worked when their eyes were closed, if it was just black with thoughts, etc.
Third grade 47 years ago. I was chatting with a girl I liked and she said something about picturing something in her mind. I said, you don’t really mean that do you.
She said she could picture anything clearly. I didn’t believe her. So I asked if she could picture a blue car. Sure. Can you make it red? Of course. Can you flip it upside down? Easy.
I did not know what to think. What she was saying seemed impossible. And then I had an idea.
Can you picture a book? Yes. Can you open it? Yes. Can you see the pages? Of course. Is there writing on them? Yes.
WHAT DOES IT SAY? I really wanted to know, but she said it doesn’t work that way. I could not figure out of she could really visualize things or just wouldn’t tel me.
We were friends through high school and I never quit asking her what the book said.