Is there a cure for aphantasia?
Having only just discovered that aphantasia existed and that my non-visual cognitive processing is definitely not the norm, I’ve done some reading and found nothing in the academic literature (scant as it is) that mentions a so-called “cure.” However, I came across this site where someone claims to have found a technique that can kick start your “blank screen:”
It involves a technique called image streaming, a technique used to improve visual thinking and creativity. It involves exploring scenes in your mind by describing it in as much detail as possible, using all of your senses and verbalizing it out loud. As you verbalize the image, apparently you’ll see more.
I’m not convinced myself, I don’t think having a slowly fading image on your retina from looking at a bright light source is actually related to aphantasia so not sure it’s of relevance here. I can’t conjure up any images to even start ‘image streaming’.
It’d be interesting to know if anyone else has heard of, or tried this. I don’t feel traumatized by my discovery that almost everyone else has actual images they can conjure up, as I easily think of words to describe a scene, but it’d be nice if I had a chance to experience what it was like to create images in my head.
What do you think? Is there a cure? Have you tried image streaming? Would you want to experience it?
As a teenager I occasionally took psilocybin mushrooms and NEVER hallucinated. They just made me laugh alot. I never realized I had Aphantasia until I met a few genuses that were able to visualize and store items in their memory storage area. They could then go there and "see" what was stored there. Heck I can’t see anything and never have. I am an artist and I have to view photographs that I take before I can paint a landscape. I can’t imagine how the mountains or trees look like ahead of time. I do know when it looks correct on my canvas, but that’s it. It almost seems weird to me that people have a minds eye.
Depends on why you have aphantasia.
Some people are born with it.
Some people get it through injury.
And some people develop it through trauma.
I think trauma induced aphantasia could be reversed. My therapist thinks it’s likely as well. If one can address the trauma that triggered it, the aphantasia will probably go away as well.
Sadly the trauma that caused mine is from a really early age, I’m not sure I can even access those old memories enough to really bring them to full closure. I had a visual imagination when I was very young, but since it only showed me horrifying imagery, my brain eventually shut it off.
I bet physical head/brain injury type aphantasia can be fixed too… but that’ll probably take a LOT more research to start to address.
I checked the image streaming thing. Like you, I couldn’t even start. I think that’s more for people who can visualize, but want the pictures to be more vivid.
I think overall for me this is the wrong question. I do not see it as a conditon or disability to cure but just a neurodivergence. A different way of thinking. I do agree however that if it is acquired from injury or trauma then it could change if healing for that issue was obtained. So that points to the deeper need to ask, is this aquired or something one is born with? Or perhaps even acquired in utero.?. Also could be both depending on the individual. For me it seems as if it has always been how I process information. Always part of my normal. Never really a problem just interestingly different. Those who process in a hyperphantasia way do not normally try to "cure" it. So why would I.