Live from Emo Dojo
Live from Emo Dojo

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'sSunday. Johnny. Emotions are daily emotions. Is The podcast. That means Ido a podcast every day and if you're listening to these you're going tohear 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 andg shock was late and unprepared. Some thoroughly frustrated, but I'm going todo a podcast anyways. Just kind of feel like, you know, Ithink everything personally, so sometimes I feel like people are just trying to fuckwith my Hie, just kind of getting by doing the minimum. So ifyou just give me a second, so I'm going to go jump around theroom for about thirty seconds and shake it off. Be Right backumum, youmet. So there's a bunch of articles...

...circulating around the Internet this week aboutobesity and exercise and depression, like specifically exercise and depression, and that alwayspresents 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'simportant. It's important one to talk about. So I was I want to talkabout that particular thing with the guests, and I think what happened with theguests was this person just double booked and forgot to cancel the first booking, so shows up twice in my calendly...

...links. Anyway, I want tobring that up with with them because I think that'd be really interesting. AndI 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 emotionsof the infant, of the feat is first, obviously, and then thebaby 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 biomethat we're talking about has the same type of neurotransmitters that we have in ourbrain and fact, even more of them. A lot of people call the GUTbiome like the brain in your belly. So the brain, the belly allinterconnected. 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 nextSunday. So you've got five, six more podcasts between now and then andI'll flag it when they're on. Cool, cool. So today I wanted totalk about something totally different than I just found out about. About ayear ago, I put it off, didn't really think about it. It'stoo much to think about and nothing to think about all at once. It'skind of mind blowing. So kind of a trigger warning here if you're notin the mind space to accept some wild information. It's not deadly, won'thurt you, but it might blow your mind and setch off into a differentspace, at least temporarily. So the thing I found out about. Ilearned about is called a fantasia or a fantasia. It's spelled a Ph an Ta Sia, a fantasia. It's the opposite of hyper phantasia, andI'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 thereforehyperfantasia. The other disorder is hyper imagination. Got It, got okay, butit's not really imagination. They're talking about its visualization. And let meexplain the difference. And this is kind of especially easy because we're on apodcast. It's all audio. So I'm closing my eyes. Now close youreyes 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 leafis a slightly different color, green,...

...of course, much darker, littlebrown stem, you know, kind of a HMM, I guess we calla reflection of light, and you can just rotate it in your mind.Okay, you see that Green Apple? Cool, I just described it prettywell. Right. Well, I don't see shit. There's nothing in mymind. When I close my eyes, it is just black. The wordsI 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 theother day. So try that on yourself. It's super easy and it's mind blowingonce you realize you have this or not. So about three percent ofthe population, they estimate, have this condition. What do you see?And pick anything really like. Pick the thing you're most familiar with. Theback 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, butit's black. No matter what I described to you. I could read froma book, I could just pull things from my imagination that I've seen inthe past or can imagine in the future, but I don't actually see see anyof it in my mental imagery. And the thing I find mostly strangeis 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'tsee anything in my mind, so weird, but I can imagine everything. That'skind of the problem I have with the terminology they've come up with forthis. A fantasia, hyperfantasia, basically lack of imagination or hyper imagination.But the thing is it's not imagination.

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

...just would have imagined any green appleyou wanted to. And although I mean the idea of this came about,I think in the S, it finally kind of rose, is to popularityagain 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 sucha underlining thing. And again it doesn't really affect your daytoday, performance atall, it's just something I'm missing that other people have. But then isthat a bad thing or good thing? Because depending on your your feeling aboutmental differences, let's call them so, for example, people with bipolar disorder, for example, is a great one. Some people say I have bipolar andsome people swear the correct terminology should... I am bipolar. So thedifference there's people to say I am bipolar are typically proud of what bipolar cando for them personally, like sometimes that Hypermania. I mean the Hypomania helpsyou achieve great things and if the depression part is tolerable, well you canappear to be a genius in real life. So I get why some people sayI am bipolar as if they're proud of it. Now people who keepgetting fired from jobs and kicked out of school and spend half the day intheir bedroom when darkned curtains, they're going to more likely say I have bypolar because it feels like a sickness. which it is even more controversial isthe autism spectrum disorders, like a lot of people say I am autistic versusI have autism. Again, controversial. Not Going to get into it.I on the low low end of the spectrum. So I can totally getit mixed in with the other mental disorders...

...that get diagnosed when the first thingisn't treated appropriately. Anyway, my point being in the future time will tellwhether 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 whenI 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 crazyshit in my eyelids than I do when they're open. But again, Ican'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. Tosay somebody who doesn't have visual imagery doesn't have imagination, well, that's prettyfucked 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, andI'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'sat a fantasiacom. AP H A NTAS I is a FFANTASIACOM, so checkit out. I mean we're just be cognizant that that's an interesting thing thatsome people have and again, just one one of a million different ways wesee 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'mgoing to go to work, get my work on. HMM, trying todo 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 haveto get up and try each morning.

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

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