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goatfish57
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14 Apr 2024, 12:14 pm

I recently learned that my inner monologue is called worded thinking.  There is only the thought of a word, no sound.  Images and emotions take extra work and require a verbal cue.

About 25 percent of people have only worded thinking.  Some with more sound and more imaging, others less.  The rest of the world thinks differently.  They use a combination of visual/spatial thinking and words. Giving them the ability to recreate life or fiction in their minds.  Just like Walter Mitty.  That never occurred to me.

I discovered that my empathy skills are poor, no suprise.  Trying to anticipate how someone will react is difficult.  I make many mistakes.  Tolstoy wrote in Anna Karenina, "They are dancing to music I can not hear."  I try. It is exhausting.

My inner self is simple, elegant, and mathematical.  A generous description of who I am and what I like.  Live, learn, and try to improve for I will never be an NT.


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Edna3362
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14 Apr 2024, 1:37 pm

My inner self is chaotic and childlike.
I wish to be the opposite. My inner monologue is very loud. Then I found a solution to tone it down, along with other internal less voluntary noises ones.

And my inner monologue is nonverbal, nonvisual, non-auditory visceral like patterns that can be abstract, emotional, mental or something else entirely.

Had to translate it into pictures, sounds and sensations few several times before translating it into words. I struggle with words.

Otherwise, I can voluntarily imagine with every senses I have so far and able to manipulate it.

I am not a neurotypical.



Your issues with visual imagination means that there's a good chance that you have what is called Aphanthasia.
Common with autistics.


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Last edited by Edna3362 on 14 Apr 2024, 1:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

autisticelders
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14 Apr 2024, 1:44 pm

I had no idea it had a name. I don't see or hear anything in my mind. the word thoughts have a voice, it is the only voice of my mind, it does not change. Interesting post. I was diagnosed at age 68 with autism, and learned I am also aphantasiac only after my autism diagnosis. I was totally amazed to learn there were others who thought in pictures or sounds, and could actually see and hear things in their minds.


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goatfish57
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14 Apr 2024, 1:52 pm

@Edna3362: Yes, thank you. All the senses are on a bell curve. My visual is the best. They call it hypophantasia. The rest of the senses are close to nonexistent. Your description is fascinating. I am a typical low-ender on the spectrum.

Just learning the words and the cues has been helpful. I am trying to use the new knowledge to help me slay my shame monster. Give it labels, attributes, and a memory kryptonite. A very joyful memory to recall whenever the shame monster starts troubling my thoughts.

@autisticelders: Does your voice have a sound or is it an unvoiced thought. The whole thing got my mind spinning. Changed the way I understand people.


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autisticelders
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14 Apr 2024, 4:42 pm

my best communication is through words, written and read. I am not sure how to explain how I hear the words I think. It must be like people seeing things in their minds... the thing is not really there but it is seen anyways.When I read words, my mind says them in the same voice that it uses when I think. ( hope that makes sense). the words are not spoken by me or anybody else yet I 'hear" them in my head. This is different from auditory hallucinations, which I have also had a time or 2 in my life, and which are difficult to distinguish from something a person is actually saying. It is a different mode of perception. (Isn't the brain something of a marvel and a miracle?)

No images appear in my mind, except for a few fleeting moments, not even seconds when I am falling asleep. Then sometimes I 'see" in my mind for just a flash, and I know I am falling asleep. I do see things in my dreams, although I don't remember most of them, and never in great detail.


It is my understanding this is because it uses a different part of the brain when we dream, than we do during times we are awake. not only am I aphantasiac visually, but I have only 25th percentile visual processing and 35th percentile auditory processing. this means both my vision and my hearing are not very reliable for interactions, so over the years I have relied on writing and reading to get my best information and do my best understanding and communicating.

Forums like this one are a gift and a godsend to somebody like me who is not equipped to do almost anything "in real time" or face to face interactions.
That means videos, tv, movies, lectures, concerts, etc are all pretty much upsetting and overwhelming, let alone going out in public places and trying to interact with others in a group...team sports, work groups, seminars, classroom experiences all no good. Until I could read and write my homework in school, I pretty much failed at "classroom". I pretty much failed at most jobs for the same reasons. getting diagnosis at the late age of 68 finally explained a lifetime of struggles and frustration. What a relief!


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goatfish57
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15 Apr 2024, 9:23 am

Your thought process is similar to mine. There is no sound in my head, only unvoiced words. Some people can recreate actual voices in their thoughts. Reading a note from a spouse is heard or felt with the spouse's voice. Same for reading books. They have more of an inner dialogue when I have an inner monologue.

I dream well. But, there is never any sound or I do not remember it.

The people in this forum have unique minds and their thought process is fascinating. Thank you for helping me understand. This is a part of who I am. Acknowledging it improves my ability to adapt.


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15 Apr 2024, 11:16 am

My inner world is that of images, art and toys I would like to make. I have a very visual inner world. There are also lots of Om Noms hopping around in my inner world.


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goatfish57
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15 Apr 2024, 11:36 am

@CockneyRebel: That sounds beautiful. I would never leave.


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kpopmultistan20
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25 Apr 2024, 8:59 pm

autisticelders wrote:
When I read words, my mind says them in the same voice that it uses when I think. ( hope that makes sense). the words are not spoken by me or anybody else yet I 'hear" them in my head. This is different from auditory hallucinations, which I have also had a time or 2 in my life, and which are difficult to distinguish from something a person is actually saying. It is a different mode of perception. (Isn't the brain something of a marvel and a miracle?)

No images appear in my mind, except for a few fleeting moments, not even seconds when I am falling asleep. Then sometimes I 'see" in my mind for just a flash, and I know I am falling asleep. I do see things in my dreams, although I don't remember most of them, and never in great detail.


I always thought people all thought somewhat like this until I stumbled upon this forum, and I realized that not everyone has an actual voice in their head. I always had a voice in my head that would read things like books and random words aloud as it is doing while I'm typing this, and probably from hearing so many times of "...voice in your head...tell yourself...self-talk..." I took it literally and came to think that everyone has an actual voice in their head like me. I also have a very hard time actually picturing things in my head. If I try to imagine anything visually, all that comes up is a dark abyss that holds the very very limited amount of visualization my brain can manage, and that disappears very quickly. Instead the voice usually takes over and says something like "And that's over there and there's that over there" and I just kind of get the general feeling and vibe of the visual but no actual visual. I guess I've learned something new today :)