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LivingPower
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31 Aug 2019, 2:29 pm

Hey everyone. So, a significant part of my daughter's diagnosis is aphantasia, the impairment of the ability to form visual images. According to the diagnosing psychiatrist, this impairs her ability to make decisions and to feel motivation for the future. Honestly, this explains a lot about her behavior.

I was wondering if anyone here also experiences aphantasia and how this has manifested in your life in terms of -- well -- anything, I guess. I suspect it will make it difficult for her to make decisions about her future, among other things.

Thanks!
Karen



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31 Aug 2019, 2:38 pm

One of my very best friends has that. He is also Autistic. He cannot visualize at all. Not even a tiny bit. Once he is done looking in the mirror, he cannot even remember what he looks like. He also cannot remember what his children look like. He simply cannot make mental visualizations. But that has not hindered any aspect of his life in any way. Other Autistic traits have tremendously but the fact that he cannot visualize has not hurt him one bit. He just uses other methods to do what we do with visualization. I would not allow a doctor to convince your daughter that aphantasia should hinder her. She has had it all her life and has never visualized. She has no concept of what visualization is. It should not hinder her at all.


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31 Aug 2019, 3:54 pm

I can't imagine images,smells,sounds,taste and touch .


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Jon81
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31 Aug 2019, 4:20 pm

What a condition. To me the brain is all about visualizing things and I don't know what else I would do with my brain. I often live inside my brain during the day (meaning I imagine things constantly instead of being "here"). I sometimes think about mindfulness - which is a contradiction in itself. So these people with aphantasia have more mindfulness instead?


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31 Aug 2019, 4:28 pm

A good site.

http://sites.exeter.ac.uk/eyesmind/


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strings
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31 Aug 2019, 9:38 pm

I have aphantasia, and see no mental images. I was unaware of it until fairly recently, and for many decades I just assumed people were wildly exaggerating when they said they could see things in their mind's eye. In my case, at least, I never felt I was missing out on anything, and I suppose I just developed my own way of thinking about things without the benefit of imagery, and without realising anything was lacking. I believe all my thought processes consist of holding a silent internal dialogue with myself.



kmarie57
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01 Sep 2019, 7:05 am

I think I might have this. I'm pretty sure I can visualize certain things, but there is no mental image. I don't see an actual picture. I'm not sure how that works or if that even makes sense.



psychogirl
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01 Sep 2019, 9:02 am

Wow... I'm constantly visualising things. And often my brain will put together something I see in a strange way, so that for a split second I see something for what it most certainly isn't. So yesterday, I was looking at a tree and I saw a panda, because of the way the leaves were arranged and with the dark background because it was dark outside but there was street lighting so I could see the leaves. But of course it wasn't a panda. I've also mistaken someone's bag for a shetland pony before, I think that was because of how the bag was interacting with other things.

Sorry this is the complete opposite of what you are talking about. I am not too good at visualising faces, so I try to remember what people are wearing and their hair colour instead if I'm looking for them in a shop. But again, that's visualising. I might have to conclude that I can't visualise not being able to visualise, and I'm sure that's not very helpful, and I should maybe delete this post but I'm trying to censor myself less.

It sounds like she will be able to cope, and now you know she has this problem you can understand and support her with coping strategies; maybe pictures to carry round might help?



civil4life
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02 Sep 2019, 4:12 pm

I have aphantasia and autism. I have known about the aphantasia for many years, but only the name for a couple years. I still have imagination and creativity. It is just way more difficult. Somehow my brain can work without the images. Instead of looking at a picture, I guess for me it is reading a book.

This guys description of his experience I could have written myself.

https://www.facebook.com/notes/blake-ro ... 777480504/

I think the strangest thing is that I am a civil engineer. I need to be able to visualize how things work.

I do have lower than average processing skills. I think that is due to some sort of extra step I need to make mentally go from a thought to articulating since I cannot visualize it.



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02 Sep 2019, 4:28 pm

^ I have poor spatial skills. However on the Facebook aphantasia groups there are a good number of people with good/very good spatial skills .


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LivingPower
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12 Oct 2019, 10:30 am

Wow, it looks like this is a fairly common aspect of ASD. I am currently researching aphantasia to lean how DD can work with it or around it. It significantly impacts her ability to make even simple decisions. It is something that has her basically living in the present all the time. That, combined with an emotional flatline, means she has zero motivation. She knows what she wants to do in life, she has a great passion for working with animals, but getting motivated about going to post-secondary education next year or for anything else in the future doesn't happen. She can't visualize it, which means there is no emotion connected with it. It makes planning for the future incredibly challenging. I know the key is to find ways that work for her, so that's what I'm working on.



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12 Oct 2019, 10:45 pm

In June I emailed Adam Zeman of Exeter university about my having been diagnosed with Asperger's. He thanked me for letting him know, and said some papers were on the way.


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Dimples123
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13 Oct 2019, 12:29 am

I haven't been diagnosed with it but sometimes if people are telling me a story or something I have a hard time picturing in my head what exactly they are talking about. I also have spatial awareness issues too.



kraftiekortie
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13 Oct 2019, 5:34 am

What sort of papers?



firemonkey
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13 Oct 2019, 6:28 am

kraftiekortie wrote:
What sort of papers?


He didn't say. However I'm thinking ,as I mentioned Asperger's to him, that they will include info about asd/Asperger's/autism .


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wrongcitizen
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13 Oct 2019, 6:31 am

I experience a more severe degree of hyperphantasia. I experience all senses almost as directly as they have been perceived, and though I can remember abstract concepts I tend to remember almost exclusively sensory-based data.

I still struggle with many issues including those that can present in Aphantasia. One of the major issues that people on the autistic spectrum tend to experience involve executive functioning, which includes motivation and organization. In my case, I still lack motivation but my goals, opposite to what you describe, are grandiose or vividly exaggerated, and often unattainable.