Topic: Imagination

English Alexithymia Forum > Personal Experience

17.06.2014 by ttme123

I understand that a trait of alexithymia is using imagination in logical ways (ie. to solve problems) and having an imagination that isn't particularly spontaneous, but mostly controlled and logical. Both of these fit me. For instance, in school (geometry especially,) I would visualize something in my head and interact with it in to solve problems. In geometry, if I wanted to, for instance, find the surface area (that's what it's called right? it's been awhile) of a cube, instead of using formulas I would visualize the cube, and "highlight" or "select" one side of the cube and find it's area, and then move on to the next side, rotating it if needed. In geometry and subsequent math courses, whenever I would need to find the cross section of something, I would simply visualize the object and slice it where ever needed, generally much easier than many others.

I'm also aware that people without Alexi do things like these if they're really good and visualizing things, but for the most part their imaginations are also, well, imaginative.

A few months ago I wrote this mini paper for my friend about how I view my brain. I know that not all of this is relevant/necessarily related to Alexi, but the logical/computer/robot view is, and I want to know how many others think the same way.

Part of it is that I always have a hard time concentrating and focusing, which makes it hard to do a lot of things. i.e.: karate. Doing combos with weapons like escrimas or swords I always mess up because I lose concentration and forget which move comes next. The same thing happens in dance, which is very troublesome during recitals. When I’m writing, I’ll start a project and get distracted, immediately losing motivation and abandoning the project, which is why I never write anything more than one chapter, and I try to keep it short. (I have two chapters on last updated a year and a half ago that I keep promising people I will update soon but I know that that is never going to happen because I’ve tried but I don’t even care about those stories anymore.) Both inside and outside of school I’ll be doing my work but then I lose motivation and suddenly can’t focus on it anymore. Or when I’m reading or playing a video game and I’ll get distracted and can’t focus on it and I often lose motivation and therefore leave many books and video games unfinished. When I’m watching TV I get bored and always pull out my phone or have to get up and go to the bathroom or get food or talk and I really don’t want to. The same thing happens when I’m on the internet: I get distracted which makes me lose my motivation and abandon whatever I’m doing, even if I was really passionate and I want it to be finished, I just can’t finish it. Same thing when I’m playing the Sims, once I get distracted I can’t go back and keep playing because I’m no longer motivated. Even when I’m talking to people I find it hard to focus on the conversation for too long (unless it’s very interesting) and I zone out (and daydream) or interrupt.

It’s not even that these things become boring, just that something else becomes more interesting, or I just can’t handle focusing on that thing anymore because I get all twitchy and I feel sick unless I go do something else. Sometimes, no matter what I’m doing I get distracted by my hair and I’ve spent more than 20 minutes sitting and playing with my hair while at the same time thinking ‘I need to stop! I’ve got something I need to do!’ I also spend around 90% of the time that I’m awake staring at a random spot and ‘daydreaming.’ It doesn’t feel like something that should be described as daydreaming, because it feels more like my brain is a computer (although the screen is usually infinite), and I’m minimizing the window of what’s actually happening and opening the one that shows what I’m thinking about. Sometimes this new file is an audio file (often I have one playing music whenever there’s a song stuck in my head, but this one is minimized and playing at various volumes behind the other files), which is sometimes me thinking instead of a song or both at the same time, sometimes the audio of a scene from a show or game (even if it’s a scene I’m making up) and sometimes it’s just random words and thoughts zooming past. Other times it’s a movie clip, almost always a scene from something or one that I’m making up, and it often has audio, but something I can’t process the visual as fast as the audio and so the audio will be ahead and I keep having to pull back the audio and try to line it up, but then I can always hear a ghost of the audio that keeps speeding up or skipping (this also happens with the music, to the point that it sometimes sounds like the music is in a round when all I want is just the regular song. Sometimes instead of an audio or movie file, it’s an interactive program, which is helpful in geometry. In fact, while I have real life, multiple movies, and a song minimized, right now the main window is just a black screen with a red (3D) ‘A’ which I can drag, spin, zoom in/out on, and probably edit in any way I want. There are actually two songs playing in the background right now, and the loudest one keeps wavering between the two, a video that is also playing somewhere in there, my thoughts, and the real life sounds. On top of this there is ALWAYS without exception, a voice (my voice, I guess, although now that I think about it I have no idea what it sounds like, perhaps it isn’t an audio file, but maybe an image, text floating across the screen. More likely however, it’s a system command that doesn’t have an appearance) telling me to close all of these windows and focus on real life, especially since I’m often in the middle of something, like school work, or typing this, which I’ve had to get up and do something multiple times while typing this, and I’m having a really hard time finishing because I really want to be doing something else and this is taking every last ounce of energy and I know that if I were reading this I would have dropped out a long time ago.

This is all true EXCEPT for when I get very obsessively interested in something, in which case I can do it for hours on end (things like reading a physics book, or any really good book, playing The Sims or Zelda, talking about something that’s interesting/fascinates me, or watching a really good show.) I can do these things for hours but as soon as I get distracted (daydreaming, a piece of my hair, someone talks to me, I have to go to the bathroom, I’m hungry, I hear something, any number of things, really.)

There was so much more I’ve wanted to write but now I’ve already lost motivation and it makes me really sad to do this but I can’t and I have to stop writing now. (The only reason this will look organized is because I will go back later and move stuff around. Just know that the really frantic writing was near the end when I just couldn’t handle this anymore.)

Dozo yoroshiku
18.08.2014 _T('by') Bushido

Hello ttme123,
An interesting post you have. I am not much of a visualiser in that my images tend to blur. However I am fairly good at finding patterns and remembering minute details.
I don't get distracted all that easily but I do get bored and then am prone to "shutdown". However I can get myself to do things that I have no interest in with no real difference in the level/quality of work done (much to the annoyance of most people since they feel those are bad work ethics and so forth). Not that I'm a driven person just a "mind-over-matter" thing I guess.

Thank you for your post

01.09.2014 _T('by') Toxophile

I can completely relate to your post since I also have ADD. Have you ever looked into that?

03.09.2014 _T('by') Elita

Hello time, I can clearly relate to you. Like when I day dream I tend to make it look realistic almost game-like with the character standing surrounded with realistic things and its easy for me to make things look 3D-like except I cant seem to know the details in zoom view as I need specific details like where is this line pointed at but also because there's so many details that I cant seem to know where to start because I want to draw or line it in a very specific manner and as for loosing motivation... well, no wonder I keep failing Math ...LOL... I sometimes wish I can be smart like those people here 'cause of Alexi but the only thing I seem to be smart at is understanding and things based on facts and observation and self-understanding, making me seem like a philosopher at times (lol) and I dont know why people keep asking me why I'm so good in drawing and I'm like, are you kidding me? It's so easy, I would prefer drawing still-life, anime or anything that catches my attention so long as they wont keep moving too much so I draw them easily. On the other hand (okay, I'm becoming bored now) I guess I now know why I suck at math... I just dont find it.. appealing and and I end up zoning in and out

11.09.2014 _T('by') SnowWhite

Unter Ideenflucht bezeichnet man in der Psychopathologie übermäßig einfallsreiche Gedankengänge, wobei durch vemehrte Assoziationen das Denkziel permanent wechselt. Das Denken wirkt dadurch zwangsläufig oberfächlich, der Betroffene ist durch äußere Reize leicht ablenkbar, gerät dabei vom Hundertsten ins Tausendste, denkt und spricht Sätze meist nicht zu Ende. Ideenfucht ist u. a. ein Leitsymptom der Manie.


put it in Google translator, I was sent this by a close friend of mine... (who is for the fun of it? analysing me...)

it's been a while
11.09.2014 _T('by') ttme123

Sorry it's been so long since I was last here. Thank you everyone that has replied so far, I find them all to be very interesting. RE: Toxophile, I technically haven't been diagnosed with ADD but I have noticed that I exhibit all of the characteristics. To be entirely honest, I think ADD is more of a subset of personalities that really struggle doing things (like school, typical socializing, work, etc) because they way people with those personalities function is very different from most people (as in, the people that designed society and the people it's run by/made for.)
This leads me to a different topic, one I believe I was discussing or following on a different thread here. What myers-briggs personality types do you guys (other people with alexi) have? I am an INTP (a type which fits the ADD description perfectly, and is also very disconnected from emotion) and, from what I've heard, alexi is a common trait of INTPs, INTJs, and sometimes ENTPs and other similar ones.
Also apparently a lot of people that have alexi are actually depressed (or may have similar issues, such as a bipolar disorder). I don't think I'm depressed even though I do have many of the symptoms. Perhaps I match the symptoms for other reasons?
Also, I took a self-report psychopath test (not the most reliable, I know) as suggested by a friend, and got slightly concerning results. For primary psychopathy I got a 4.2 and for secondary I got a 3.8. (the test is at: http:// personality-testing. info/tests/LSRP. php (without the spaces)) On multiple antisocial personality disorder tests I also got high results, but not on sociopath tests. What about you guys?

11.09.2014 _T('by') SnowWhite

Your score from primary psychopathy has been calculated as 2.1. Primary psychopathy is the affective aspects of psychopathy; a lack of empathy for other people and tolerance for antisocial orientations.

Your score from secondary psychopathy has been calculated as 4.6. Secondary psychopathy is the antisocial aspects of psychopathy; rule breaking and a lack of effort towards socially rewarded behavior.

so what? ;-) I'm not worried... reached the end of the road - just don't care anymore ...:-) good morning every-one!

11.09.2014 _T('by') SnowWhite

You score for primary psychopathy was higher than 50.45% of people who have taken this test.

You score for secondary psychopathy was higher than 99.01% of people who have taken this test.

translated - means : I am an interesting "girl", LOL

11.09.2014 _T('by') SnowWhite

a lot of people that have alexi are actually depressed (or may have similar issues, such as a bipolar disorder)

I can "sing you a song" about it... see you ...