John | Podcasting
John | Podcasting

Episode · 1 year ago

Aphantasia, Hyperphantasia and The Problem With Labeling


I talk about this thing I discovered called “aphantasia” where I can't actually see anything in my mind when I close my eyes. I have no visual imagery. I can imagine it in a way I can describe to others, but I don't actually SEE see anything. Here's some other points I cover (in order):

But first, My High
Aphantasia Vs. Hyperphantasia
Visual Imagery Vs. Imagination
The Problems With Mislabeling
Are Mental Differences Bad or Good?
I AM (condition) Vs. I HAVE (condition)

All right, all ride, it's Sunday. Johnny. Emotions are daily emotions. Is The podcast. That means I do a podcast every day and if you're listening to these you're going to hear them backwards. So it's best to just subscribe and listen every day. So we're going to have a guest today and the guests didn't show up and g shock was late and unprepared. Some thoroughly frustrated, but I'm going to do a podcast anyways. Just kind of feel like, you know, I think everything personally, so sometimes I feel like people are just trying to fuck with my Hie, just kind of getting by doing the minimum. So if you just give me a second, so I'm going to go jump around the room for about thirty seconds and shake it off. Be Right backumum, you met. So there's a bunch of articles...

...circulating around the Internet this week about obesity and exercise and depression, like specifically exercise and depression, and that always presents a conundrum like, well, how do I exercise if I'm depressed? And that's a super valid question, having experienced clinical depression myself, but it's important. It's important one to talk about. So I was I want to talk about that particular thing with the guests, and I think what happened with the guests was this person just double booked and forgot to cancel the first booking, so shows up twice in my calendly...

...links. Anyway, I want to bring that up with with them because I think that'd be really interesting. And I saw something else that I kind of connected it to the same situation, mostly because it's belly that the GUT biome of a mother forms. The emotions of the infant, of the feat is first, obviously, and then the baby the POPs out. It seems obvious when you say it out loud, but it's a lot more intricate than that if you realize that the gut biome that we're talking about has the same type of neurotransmitters that we have in our brain and fact, even more of them. A lot of people call the GUT biome like the brain in your belly. So the brain, the belly all interconnected. And I want to hear more about how exercise effects depression. So we'll hear from an expert and I...

...think that person will be here next Sunday. So you've got five, six more podcasts between now and then and I'll flag it when they're on. Cool, cool. So today I wanted to talk about something totally different than I just found out about. About a year ago, I put it off, didn't really think about it. It's too much to think about and nothing to think about all at once. It's kind of mind blowing. So kind of a trigger warning here if you're not in the mind space to accept some wild information. It's not deadly, won't hurt you, but it might blow your mind and setch off into a different space, at least temporarily. So the thing I found out about. I learned about is called a fantasia or a fantasia. It's spelled a Ph a n Ta Sia, a fantasia. It's the opposite of hyper phantasia, and I'll get into kind of the issue I...

...have with the mislabeling all ready, right here from the start, but let's get into it. So affantasia, it's kind of a word that means lack of imagination, like a phantasia. Phantasia means imagination in Latin. So a fantasia means lack of imagination and therefore hyperfantasia. The other disorder is hyper imagination. Got It, got okay, but it's not really imagination. They're talking about its visualization. And let me explain the difference. And this is kind of especially easy because we're on a podcast. It's all audio. So I'm closing my eyes. Now close your eyes and now imagine an apple. Let's just call it a green apple, a bright green apple with maybe one little leaf up the top. The leaf is a slightly different color, green,...

...of course, much darker, little brown stem, you know, kind of a HMM, I guess we call a reflection of light, and you can just rotate it in your mind. Okay, you see that Green Apple? Cool, I just described it pretty well. Right. Well, I don't see shit. There's nothing in my mind. When I close my eyes, it is just black. The words I just said or words that I know, because I'm creative and I can. I remember the description of a green apple I saw in the store the other day. So try that on yourself. It's super easy and it's mind blowing once you realize you have this or not. So about three percent of the population, they estimate, have this condition. What do you see? And pick anything really like. Pick the thing you're most familiar with. The back of your hands, your mom's face, your favorite coffee Mug, like now, try to imagine it in your mind. Like I can imagine it, but I can't actually see anything.

When I close my eyes it's black. There's some undulating lights from you know, whichever direction I turned my head, the light kind of changes a little bit inside behind my eyelids, but it's black. No matter what I described to you. I could read from a book, I could just pull things from my imagination that I've seen in the past or can imagine in the future, but I don't actually see see any of it in my mental imagery. And the thing I find mostly strange is that I make my living in the creative field, particularly graphic design, like I'm a brand designer at a marketing firm. And Yeah, I can't see anything in my mind, so weird, but I can imagine everything. That's kind of the problem I have with the terminology they've come up with for this. A fantasia, hyperfantasia, basically lack of imagination or hyper imagination. But the thing is it's not imagination.

I've tons of imagination, like all throughout school that was a problem the kids, I mean the teachers, wrote on the report cards. Well, he doesn't? He sure? As a vivid imagination. Well, that's how it's conveyed, because I do have a vivid imagination, but under this labeling, their kind of convoluting visual mental imagery with imagination, like the creation of thought, and I think that's going to do a disservice to this whole cause moving forward. That said, can you do it like close your eyes? Freaky? Huh? Well, I guess it's not freaky if you can totally imagine it. But imagine closing your eyes and always just seeing black. I'm used to it. I just I didn't know that people could actually see see things. Of course, the way you see a green apple, for example, might be different. If I didn't give it so much detail, you probably...

...just would have imagined any green apple you wanted to. And although I mean the idea of this came about, I think in the S, it finally kind of rose, is to popularity again when they did a real scientific study in about two thousand and fifteen. So that's why it's that's why most people haven't heard of it. Just such a underlining thing. And again it doesn't really affect your daytoday, performance at all, it's just something I'm missing that other people have. But then is that a bad thing or good thing? Because depending on your your feeling about mental differences, let's call them so, for example, people with bipolar disorder, for example, is a great one. Some people say I have bipolar and some people swear the correct terminology should... I am bipolar. So the difference there's people to say I am bipolar are typically proud of what bipolar can do for them personally, like sometimes that Hypermania. I mean the Hypomania helps you achieve great things and if the depression part is tolerable, well you can appear to be a genius in real life. So I get why some people say I am bipolar as if they're proud of it. Now people who keep getting fired from jobs and kicked out of school and spend half the day in their bedroom when darkned curtains, they're going to more likely say I have by polar because it feels like a sickness. which it is even more controversial is the autism spectrum disorders, like a lot of people say I am autistic versus I have autism. Again, controversial. Not Going to get into it. I on the low low end of the spectrum. So I can totally get it mixed in with the other mental disorders...

...that get diagnosed when the first thing isn't treated appropriately. Anyway, my point being in the future time will tell whether people accept this affantasia as a benefit or as a deficit. Because personally, I wasn't missing anything and I kind of like the piece and quiet when I close my eyes, when I took acid and you close your eyes, or when you take acid and close your eyes, I see way more crazy shit in my eyelids than I do when they're open. But again, I can't visual I can't like direct those crazy lights, you know what I mean. But it's not going to help unless we get the labeling right. To say somebody who doesn't have visual imagery doesn't have imagination, well, that's pretty fucked up. So again here's a problem with the labeling, the marketing, the branding, all that stuff. However, if you think you have this condition, it appears that there is a...

...thing called the affantasia network, and I'm not sure what it is exactly. Obviously some sort of group or community. It doesn't look like a social network or anything like that, but that's at a fantasiacom. AP H A NTAS I is a FFANTASIACOM, so check it out. I mean we're just be cognizant that that's an interesting thing that some people have and again, just one one of a million different ways we see the world so much differently one from another, when we appear so similar. All right, anyway, something to think about. So tomorrow, Monday, back at it, whatever it is that you do each Monday. I'm going to go to work, get my work on. HMM, trying to do great things. I got big plans. We'll see if they work out, who knows, but I do have to get up and try to have to get up and try each morning.

If you don't tomorrow, cool. Enjoy sleeping in, watching prices right, whatever it is you do. I appreciate you listening. Thanks for listening. It definitely is nice to be heard. And now back to the wall.

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