Aphantasia and mental illness

Cat asked 8 months ago


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Since this is brain business, I’ve been wondering if aphantasia and mental illness may possibly have some kind of link? I have bipolar disorder and grew up with severe anxiety, which was treated with mindfullness which did NOT work! I now wonder if that is because I cannot picture the beach I’m supposed to be walking on…

Has anyone else struggled with mindfulness/meditation?

Does anyone else have mental illness too? The brain is so connected and complex, I can’t help but wonder if there could be something there.

Rachel C January 29, 2020 11:34 pm

I definitely think my anxiety and depression is less than it normally would be because of my aphantasia. As I’m forced to be in the present, I think it helps ground me more than someone with anxiety and mental images would be. However, because I’m constantly in the moment, the emotions I feel when I’m anxious or upset is incredibly overwhelming. i can almost not think of anything else because I HAVE nothing else to really fall back on. It’s sort of a Catch 22 I suppose.

Rich James February 11, 2020 05:10 am

hello, new member here funnily enough because my therapist mentioned aphantasia – i have been describing this phenomenom for many years both to peers and other therapists, i have struggled with mental health most of my life and i think in reflection aphantasia probably adds to my frustrations more than anything with memory loss (visual memory and cues) which often lead to disorienting situations

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