Is it Possible for a Seizure to Cause Aphantasia?
I found out I had aphantasia when I was 15 years old. Ironically, I was in the eye doctor when I stumble across an article on my phone revealing that my mind’s eye was blind. At first I didn’t think anything of it but as I kept reading it all made sense.
The first thing I did when I found out was tell my parents and my brother. They were shocked. Apparently my whole family can visualize in great detail and can’t possibly understand how I lack their ability. My father claims to be a hyperphantasic, its funny how we are still so similar but think so differently. As for my brother he is still convinced I can connect the receptors in my brain so I can visualize, but I’m not buying it.
I wasn’t really concerned until I heard how much I was missing out on. It made my family depressed to think about what my mind lacks and it started to upset me too. It’s impossible to understand how someone with visualization could ever be bored, or how they could ever quiet their mind to sleep. It makes me sad because so many people take it for granted but I would love to have the ability to see like them. I’ve started to look at aphantasia in a positive way. I believe that it has formed me into someone who never holds grudges, someone who always has to keep the adrenaline pumping, and someone who always lives in the moment.
However, finding out about this and just forgetting about it was not an option for me. I had to figure out more about it, hence, I am on this site. It’s been almost 6 months since I found out and my family likes to remind me everyday in their “hilarious” jokes. “So I have come to aphantasia.com to discuss my theory.
I don’t think that I was born with aphantasia. I’m curious to see if it could be a result of the seizure I had on my first birthday. The doctors said I would have no brain damage, but I’m not sure this really qualifies as that. If anyone would like to discuss or confirm my theory it would be greatly appreciated.
So aphantasia has been known to be caused by physical trauma (Look up Adam Zeman, and his patient "MX" https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/when-the-minds-eye-is-blind1/).
It’s worthwhile to note that even though its largely genetic (as far as we know), its not always from aphantasic parents (think of it like being left handed, if your parents are, you’re more likely to be, but if your parents aren’t, you still can be).
Additionally I thought I might take some time to suggest some things from my own experience. I’m completely aphantasic, with a possibly hyperphantasic father and a phantasic mother, and although it does limit me slightly (my ability to do wierd tasks like solve rubiks cubes is diminished), its not caused me huge problems in my day to day life.
There is actually some advantages to aphantasia in every day life (although what they are may not be obvious). From people I’ve talked to aphantasics almost always (I haven’t met one who doesn’t) has amazing spacial recall and memory, and if you take the time to become aware of it, you can use it to do things better than most people (I worked this out after learning to navigate New York City, above and below ground significantly faster than my family, when I was only 12). You also have to be willing to ask people to give information to you in a way that works for you though, find a friend and experiment with having them tell you different things that are normally hard for you to understand, find a way that makes sense to you, and apply that to other things that you do.
The last thing I find many (but again, probably not all) people with aphantasia have is a very good sense (and even imagination) of propreoception (positioning and movement of body). Personally this makes me a good martial artist, and I’ve seen others on this site talk about how they’ve used it (such as learning to memorise the movements in processes instead of the steps to better learn things).
While I have wondered what I’m missing (who hasn’t), in my mind aphantasia actually makes me better at a variety of tasks, if I just take the time to identify them.