Before we can discuss the aphantasia cure, we need to know what aphantasia is. Aphantasia is a condition in which a person is unable to picture an object inside their head. If you are to think of a rainbow and cannot imagine one when you close your eyes, then that means you have aphantasia. The aphantasia was an unknown phenomenon until 1880 when Sir Francis Galton said that 100 people from a group of men could not create a mental image of their breakfast.
This condition was not given a name until 2015, when Adam Zeman, a communist neurologist, gave this condition a name. The term aphantasia was derived from a Greek word, and it means “something without imagination”. But having this condition, you can live a normal life. The two most recognizable personalities with this condition were Pixar, Ed Catmill, and Blake Ross, who is the co-creator of Firefox.
Cause of aphantasia
There is still a lot that needed to be studied and researched about aphantasia. Aphantasia is an unknown phenomenon that no one paid heed to until 1880. After that, the proper work on this condition was being done. There is no scientific evidence to this date behind the cause of aphantasia.
Aphantasia also doesn’t have a pattern that usually other mental diseases do have, the aphantasia. From the researches done on aphantasia, it has been seen that some patients in specific parts of your brain are different from the people who have aphantasia, and this could, with more researches shortly, bring more clarity on what is the roots cause of aphantasia and find an aphantasia cure.
Aphantasia is a congenital condition, and it can be present in you by birth or can develop later in life after an accident or other mental illnesses like depression, schizophrenia, etc. it is also believed that the brain cannot reach the image in their unconscious mind other than the inability brain to form an image at all. Damage to the part of the brain where the brain forms an image can cause that. A lot needs to study about this condition even now to find an aphantasia cure.
Symptoms of aphantasia
Since aphantasia is a condition where you cannot create a mental image of an object or anything, the main way to identify it by asking a person to close their eyes and then try to imagine or create a picture of something in their head. Some of the other symptoms that might be involved along with this imaging are
- Such people have trouble recognizing faces.
- They have less vivid memories
- They are unable to imagine future scenarios or create scenes in their head.
- It’s not only an image they can’t form in their head but also other senses like touch and smell.
A study done in 2015 by Dr Zeman surveyed 21 of the people to explain this condition even further.
- Nine people could not create a mental image.
- Twelve people were not able to form an image at all.
- Ten people had involuntary flashes of those images from time to time
- Seventeen out of them were able to dream as well.
So, this study was done to define the properties of this condition and how it affects different people differently.
Spectrum of aphantasia
People with aphantasia and schizophrenia are entirely different. People with schizophrenia have a vivid imagination, so they are unable to differentiate their imagination from reality; they often hallucinate, which can be considered a reality. There is a spectrum of aphantasia since some people, as you can see, are unable to imagine any image in their heads at all.
while on the other hand, some people can imagine images sometimes. This condition is regarded medically but is not often diagnosed, so mostly identifying this condition is through the self-diagnosis of the person. There is no defined spectrum of aphantasia, but more studies can be made a bit clearer, and an aphantasia cure can be found.
There is no definite aphantasia cure due to very limited research h about this mental condition. In the past decade, more researches have been done on aphantasia, so there could be possible answers about the cure of aphantasia shortly. According to studies, the total amount of population that is suffering from aphantasia is 2.7 per cent.
This is the bed on a very limited survey, and that is why more work must be done on it. Moreover, aphantasia is a condition that needs a cure, and such people should be able to experience the world the same way other people are. Having an imagination plays an important role in few aspects of our lives, and that is where creativity comes from. So, for people with aphantasia to experience all of that, there should be an aphantasia cure for it.
Treatment of aphantasia
There has been no defined treatment of aphantasia. Still, it was observed in a 31 years old patient that he was unable to recall the images of his wife and child but was able to dream at night. This could be a spectrum of aphantasia. After 18 weeks of therapy, he was able to recall the images of his wife and children right before going to sleep and was still not able to do that in the daytime. Following are the list of techniques used in his therapy
- Afterimage technique
- Card game for memory
- Activities involving describing the objects that they see outside and verbally explaining the scenes are playing outside.
- Pattern block memory activities
- Computer activities also include digital picture recognition.
All these things may be able to help a person who has aphantasia. Having aphantasia is something that you have no control over. Still, with some defined therapy, you will be able to better this condition. You will be able to recall some of the images.
This is everything that you can know about apahantasia until there is more scientific evidence about this condition in human beings. Aphantasia cure is one of the concerns that need to be addressed and worked on.