Schizophrenia.com

Can you imagine smells and sounds?

A question for other sz.com posters. Not counting auditory or olfactory hallucinations(if you experience them) can you imagine smells or sounds? I have read that people can but I had always thought based on my own experience that people can’t . It is not something I can voluntarily do. Just another way of being slightly odd?

I tried it just now, yes I can. I can remember them and reproduce them on my mind.

Well, yeah. That isn’t normal?

Being able to imagine smells and sounds is normal or vice versa? I am not sure what you are saying from your post.

Yes, I can imagine smells and sounds vividly. More so than images. It’s very interesting that you say you can’t voluntarily do this. Have you talked with your doctor about it? Normally, smells trigger memories stronger than sights or sounds do.

(Edited so it’s correct)

Being able to imagine smells, sounds, and well, most of life.
I guess I’ve always done this, thought it was a normal thing for most people.

I never thought it was abnormal or a problem. Until reading things like this:

Have trouble remembering people’s faces when they’re not with you? Can’t recall key memories, smell the food you love, or hear the laughs of those closest to you? Well, you might have aphantasia, a condition doctors say makes it difficult for people to visualize. It’s essentially the absence of the “ mind’s eye.”

I have no doubt now that you are right having heard from several people on the subject. It’s funny what we think is normal, which isn’t, based on our own experiences. I guess for example if you started hearing voices you might think this normal until told other people weren’t hearing voices.

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Sounds like you’ve got a aphantasia, dude.

But I wouldn’t worry about what you are missing out on, like the guy they were talking about in that story you linked to does. I don’t often reminisce about my past, it seems like a completely meaningless thing to do. Mostly imagining is useful for thinking about the future, but that part is often messed up with sz anyway. (We tend to have distorted expectations of how good/bad future events will be)