Topic: Do I have this or is it other symptoms messing me up?

English Alexithymia Forum > Questions and Answers

Do I have this or is it other symptoms messing me up?
15.07.2018 by messedupanon

I know the quiz isn't a diagnostic tool, but I did score 131 on it so I want to know if it's worth mentioning to my therapist (who is always very concerned with my inability to understand emotions). However, I have been diagnosed with depression, anxiety, depersonalization and derealization, and attachment disorder (the last 2 from childhood trauma) and it's highly likely I have an eating disorder as well, just working up the courage to mention that as well. Anyway, I am unsure as to whether my emotional literacy is messed up because of one or more of my other illnesses, or if I genuinely have alexithymia. Could anyone else give me some insight? This issue is making therapy very difficult for me as well, and I'd like to try to resolve it asap

02.02.2019 by Tracy_Lehane

Have you looked into autism? The alexithymia and eating disorder are both common with HFA.

22.02.2019 by Will1234

I have autism and alexithymia and they do overlap in multiple areas though unless you have sensory issues, social issues, schedual issues, stupidly special interests and other shit then I doubt autism is part of you

22.02.2019 by Jute

I agree with you Will1234, there's a bit more to autism than just being a picky eater or being accused of being an unfeeling robot.

22.02.2019 by Will1234

Jute are you autistic to?

22.02.2019 by Will1234

+ what score did you get in the alexithymia test

22.02.2019 by Will1234

++ how old are you?

23.02.2019 by Jute

Yes, I have plain and simple autism. I scored 157 on the test but I think a lot of teh questions generate inaccurate responses. There are several questions that ask about what friends etc feel/think/say about you, which is totally meaningless when you don't have any friends or want any either for that matter. I'm an adult.

23.02.2019 by Will1234

I got 156 on the test.The imagination questions are confusing because I do go periods without dreams but then they come in bulk, I also am quite imaginative but all my dreams are possible in some way.

E.g a bank heist (had that one a few times)

23.02.2019 by Will1234

No autistic is simple ???

23.02.2019 by Will1234

Or the autism

23.02.2019 by Will1234

Autism is not simple

24.02.2019 by Jute

When I wrote 'plain and simple autism' I just meant that my diagnosis is for 'Autism' not for 'Asperger's Syndrome,' 'PDD-NOS' or whatever.

I dream almost every night and my dreams can be very vivid but like you said they tend to be fact based. I've had only a handful of dreams in my entire life about flying and in each case it involved a form of meditation and levitation. So that in those dreams it seemed very realistic and believable, as if it was just a mental trick that anyone could do, not like some sort of super power.

24.02.2019 by Will1234

I have ASD1 so so called high functioning autism. Bit of a bad name as people think that barely anything is wrong with you or that your totally weird and don’t want anything to do with you. When actually it’s in between because although we can live our lives mostly independently without help we are also majorly affected by slight changes to schedules, sensory issues and tons of other stuff like social problems.

25.02.2019 by Jute

Yeah, I totally disagree with those 'high functioning' and 'low functioning' labels. People assume that because someone is low functioning that they are also mentally retarded and incapable of doing anything for themselves, which isn't necessarily the case at all. Likewise, as you said, if someone is labelled as high functioning then other people assume that they don't have any problems at all and are essentially just 'normal' with a few little quirks, which as you know yourself isn't true at all. It seriously trivializes what can be quite a disabling condition. That's why I prefer referring to myself as simply Autistic, then people are less likely to make assumptions about how 'high' or 'low' functioning I am.

25.02.2019 by Will1234

Yeh I’m autistic, just autistic, neither high or low functioning as in some aspects like independence, determination and the ability to listen to people I am very good at. Though I am bad and function in a “low” way in social situations, sensory overload situations (like sunlight with loud music) and expressing and Identifying emotions without clear symptoms of emotions.

e.g crying=sadness

25.02.2019 by Will1234

I’m also really bad at asking for things I’ll take 5 minutes to plan what I’ll say for a simple question like can we have a different CD. I’ll plan go for all responses, don’t What in me causes this.

26.02.2019 by Jute

I live alone, so I shop for groceries, cook meals, clean the house, do my laundry and pay my bills, all without any help from anyone. I'm pretty independent but I have absolutely no social life, I've never had a friend ( I don't really even know what one is) and as a boy I was never invited to a sleep over or a birthday party. I've always been an outsider, the weird boy sitting alone in the corner of the yard who the other kids only ever noticed when they wanted to take the piss out of me. I've had sex with other people but for me it was purely a physical act, 'love' was never involved. I don't even know what it means. So yeah, I'm high functioning when it comes to practical things, but when it comes to any sort of social interactions I haven't got a bloody clue.

I could never ask for things as a boy but as an adult I learned that you can end up being seriously taken advantage of if you don't stand up for yourself. So, nowadays if I want something I asked for it, clearly and I don't take 'no' for an answer.

26.02.2019 by Will1234

Yeh I don’t have many friends but the few I have I would do anything for (within reason) and mean a lot to me. I got invited to my first sleepover when I was 14 and at first I thought they were setting me up for the wrong address and that they didn’t actually like me but when I realised that they weren’t lying i knew that they were genuine. I don’t try to open up with my neurotypical friends but spill them all into Jacob because he understands me and I trust him. We hang around in a group and half the time I’m silent and half I but in and won’t shut up. I view Jacob as a brother but if I’m sat next to anyone that I don’t know or don’t like I’ll give them one word answers and keep silent for all the hours I’m next to them.

26.02.2019 by Jute

I did have a brother and I didn't like him, so I certainly woudln't want another one. Because of being autistic and generally truthful I naively tended to assume that other kids were the same when I was at school, so I fell for far too many wind ups, when people thought it would be amusing (for them) to take the piss out of the 'retard.' So I quickly learned to distrust people.

26.02.2019 by Will1234

Same I used to get fall for lies and now are hyper concious of it and always assume people are lying. I don’t really like my brother much but that might change once he has properly grown up. I suppose that’s why I want to call my friend my brother as he understands me more than any members of my family.

27.02.2019 by Will1234

I hate it when people decsrine something as autism or call someone autistic because someone did something wrong. I made my friends take an autism test today and it’s out of 60 ( the higher the score the more likely you are autistic, the first got 6 and didn’t say anything. The second got 12 and claimed he was slightly autistic, at this pint I was pissed off and thought I would show them what an actual autistic gets.

I got 46/50 and he shut up shortly after luckily. I hate it when people say their slightly autistic because that’s not possible!

27.02.2019 by Will1234

Out of 50 i meant

27.02.2019 by Jute

I agree, I hate those phrases... Just a little bit autistic. Mild autism and 'Everybody is on the spectrum.' No, they're fuckin' not. There are some people who think that being autistic is somehow trendy and cool, as if everyone who has autism is like Sheldon from the Big Bang Theory or like Sherlock Holmes. Geeky but really, really clever. Nope, it's just not like that. One person in every few thousand autistics might be a super geek but the rest are mostly just ordinary people with social and sensory issues. Sometimes those issue are so bad that they can wreck people's lives. That's why many autistics end up living alone, friendless, never in a relationship and they're often virgins, except with their own hand. The incidence of mental illness and suicide among autistics is way, way higher than it is among the general population. But if people hear that you're high functioning they ignore all that stuff and just assume that you're fuckin' Sherlock, Bill Gates or Rainman.

27.02.2019 by Will1234

I think people don’t get autism because sometimes I can be fine with loud noises like at a football match but then a disco I will go mental with people asking to dance and saying no all the time, loud music I hate, people I don’t know and people asking if I’m ok over and over because apparently I look grumpy. Yeh I’m smart, I passed my eleven plus which is the top 20% but come on,way more people who aren’t autistic passed than are. Some are smart and some can’t talk and some are depressed. They don’t get that we are all different even though we have lots in common.

28.02.2019 by Jute

I don't like loud noises. I spend most of my waking hours, when I'm at home, with headphones on listening to music. I do it because I like music but also because it blocks out other sounds, which would drive me up the wall otherwise. I can hear somebody else's gate being opened a hundred yards away, even when my doors and windows are shut. I don't go to discos because I hate listening to other people's choice of music and I don't like being in crowded places. I have no interest in team sports so I don't go to watch any. I've watched one live football match in my entire life, as a favour to someone else who really wanted to go.

I passed my 11+ too and later was permanently excluded from school. However I went to college and passed GCSEs and A levels too. I did two years of a degree course at Bangor University (my choice because it's a very small city), then I dropped out because I totally lost interest. So I'm a classic underachiever, which a lot of autistics are.

People often tell me to 'lighten up' or say things like 'it's okay, it's not the end of the world,' because they wrongly think that I'm depressed or annoyed, when I'm not. I just don't walk around with an idiotic grin on my face. When I was at school we read a book called 'The Stone-Faced Boy,' about a boy who was expressionless, and the rest of the lads in my class immediately started calling me 'Stoney.'

28.02.2019 by Will1234

If there’s a background noise I’ll need the person to repeat themselves a few times even if they’re next to me but if there’s no other noise I can tune in like a radio and listen to people’s conversations even if there whispering and through a few rooms.

It really bugs me when people ask me the same question over and over like are you ok?
Because not only do they not get that I’m always neutral (unless I’m in mental mode, the over the cliff moment) but if I say I’m fine, Then I’m fucking fine, now fuck off and leave me alone.

I also hate it when people mock me because of the clothes I wear, I like flat caps with colour and I wear a black jacket and trousers with a floral pattern down the side, for some reason whenever I see my dad he’ll wave his arms around like a rapper thinking I’m a
wannabe, I still don’t get how he can think that when I just like that style of clothing.

Loud noises are ok sometimes as long as they are not sudden and I don’t mind the actual sound.

01.03.2019 by Jute

I've always had very individual taste in clothes too. High street fashion is for sheep, who have no mind of their own and require someone else to tell them what to wear (and think). What I wear is dictated my whether I like it or not, the price and whether it will cause sensitivity problems or not. So I generally wear knee length trousers, because long ones irritate eczema on my shins. I always wear a baseball cap when I go out, unless there are gale force winds, which would blow it off, then i wear a woolen hat, to keep my ears warm. I use to wear a flat cap when I was around 15 or 16 and a waistcoat too.

I don't like anyone asking me about feelings of any sort. I'll just reply 'okay' and then quickly change the subject.

I think a problem with a lot of autistic people is an inability to separate out different types of sounds. I can't do it either. I can't talk to people if there is music or a TV playing, because all of the sounds get mixed together into an incomprehensible jumble. Then I keep having to ask, "What was that? What did you say?" Over and over again.

01.03.2019 by Will1234

Yeh I love hats I have an array of different headwear: 4 flat caps, 4 baseball caps, 2 bobble hats without the bobbles.

I love colour and patterns so my clothes are very bright and you could spot me from a mile away
(would show you but you can’t put images on this site).

I’m either the smartest looking person like I’m worth 1000000 pounds, or I look like I’ve just flown over from Michigan.

03.03.2019 by Jute

I've always wore hats or some description or other, since I was about twelve.* Firstly it was a bush hat, then a flat cap, then I spent a lot of my time wearing a crash helmet, cos I had loads of motorbikes. Then I went back to a flat cap, to go fishing before settling on woolly hats for winter and windy weather and a baseball cap for the rest of the time. I've got quite a few of them but I tend to wear the same one all of the time.

*Actually before I was twelve I had an old leather pilot's helmet, which I wore all the time, even in bed.

I did go through a spell of wearing bright colours, like neon T-shirts and multi-coloured fleeces. Nowadays I tend to opt for more muted colours but if I saw something in say dayglo orange that took my fancy I'd buy it and wear it without a moment's hesitation.

03.03.2019 by Will1234

Not all of my clothes are bright, just colourful.

I have a pair of blue nike airs which are a darker colour.
Another reason I wear colour is because I only really wear sportswear so I can move freely and most of it comes in colour.

Was that pilot helmet like a WW2 one from a spitfire or hurricane or a P51 mustang?

So fucking cool.
I enjoy watching the programs where they restore WW2 tanks and planes. They find weapons like MG42’s in peoples garages. I would love to do that but I would just keep everything instead of selling it on for more.

03.03.2019 by Jute

I generally wear a pair of green and orange KangaROOS trainers, because they're really comfortable and they have zip up pockets :) They're also a bit unusual, you don't see many people wearing them.

Yeah the helmet was akid's size replica of an old WWII flying helmet. It was leather and exactly like the real thing, but boy sized. I also had a WWII kid's gas mask, one of the ones with two round glass eye holes.

Yeah that was my problem with fixing up things that I liked, when they're finished I never wanted to sell them but eventually you simply have to, cos you run out of space.

03.03.2019 by Will1234

I used to do air fix and had multiple spitfires and Messerschmidt’s, panzer tanks and battlefields but I stopped when I realised once I finished them they just sat in a cupboard.

03.03.2019 by Jute

I was never into model making for precisely that reason. When I was in primary school and most of the other boys were telling me about the latest kit that they'd bought I asked that, 'what do you do with the planes, ships, tanks, whatever once they're competed and painted?' From what they said mostly they either got hung from the ceiling on lengths of fishing line or sat on shelves gathering dust. You can't actually play with them, cos they're too fragile. I just couldn't see the point. It's like doing jigsaws, what do you do with them once they're complete? Take them apart again. Gee that makes perfect sense after just spending hours doing them.

03.03.2019 by Will1234

I like baking cakes and making fudge and stuff like that now cause you can eat it once you’ve done and it’s like a reward. I will also help with any DIY that needs doing because it gives me purpose. Sometimes I work for my dad for purpose as well as money obviously. He manages a golf course so the labour is worthwhile.

03.03.2019 by Jute

I quite enjoy cooking and I can make cakes and biscuits as well as meals, when I choose. At the moment I've pretty much stopped baking cakes and things like that because it's too easy to overeat things like that and start putting on weight.

I prefer to do things that have a point. I like riding a bike but only when it serves a purpose and I'm actually going someplace, for some reason. I don't like just cycling for the sake of cycling. I used to like gardening, because it was a healthy outdoor activity, there was always something to do and afterwards you could see what you'd done. The garden looked neater, with freshly cut grass or weeded flower beds etc.

03.03.2019 by Will1234

I quite like manual labour as it has 3 benefits
You get paid
You serve a purpose
You get bigger muscles and burn fat making you healthier.
I don’t eat exactly healthily or much different foods but sport and work keeps me in shape.
I eat vegetables but the same ones over and over:

Carrots (raw cannot deal with the texture of cooked ones)

Peas

Corn on the cob

Potato’s

I hate gravy and mushy food, I also can’t mix 2 textures of food.

04.03.2019 by Jute

I don't like veggies or fruit at all and hardly ever ate any until I had the heart attacks. Since then I've changed my diet and I do eat veggies but generally only the same ones that I can tolerate; carrots, parsnips, potatoes, onions, leeks, green beans and celery. I make my own veggie soup, and I have a bowl of it virtually every day, because that way I get to eat some of my recommended 'five a day' in away that I can tolerate. I don't eat much fruit because they're high in sugars and that doesn't go well with my diabetes.

04.03.2019 by Will1234

I can’t have soup because it’s a watery texture mixed with individual pieces of solid, the only stuff like that I can eat are beans but with a fork so I can drain the sauce. That’s one of your 5 a day and I love them so that’s good. I like parsnip but only with honey on and only fresh ones.

05.03.2019 by Jute

I roast parsnips, with honey on them too but I've never eaten beans in my entire life. There are some foods that I just will not eat, and never have, such as salmon, beans, mushrooms, tomatoes, garlic, chilies, cabbage, lettuce, sprouts. There are probably more than that and it does severely restrict what I can eat, cos it's surprising how many things have tomato, garlic or mushrooms in them, including most soups, so that's why I make my own.

If the texture difference is a problem with soup you can always use a blender and it then becomes a hot, veggie smoothy.

06.03.2019 by Will1234

I am generally ok with most individual foods except mushrooms, fish and any type of sauce including both solids and liquids like coleslaw or bread sauce But when foods touch together all he’ll breaks loose.
Gravy will forever be my nemesis, you can’t have roast potatoes soaked in a liquid based sauce.

Smoothies are a no go as they are never fully in one state.

I always have beans in a separate bowl so they don’t spread across my plate and if there are no bowls then I have to create borders using long thin veg like carrot.

The best way to describe my sensory issues is

Most people have beans on toast,
I have beans and then eat the toast.

06.03.2019 by Jute

As a boy I just ate very well cooked (black) toast, dry, with nothing on it.

I eat each item on a plate separately, starting with the thing that I like least, so that I have nice things to look forward to once the not so nice ones are out of the way.

I don't like smoothies either.

When I cook a roast dinner I always 'wall off' the veggies from the rest of the meal with a barrier of roasted parsnips. Then I eat the veggies first, cos I don't like them and just want to get them off the plate.

06.03.2019 by Will1234

I always eat the food I like first so that if I’m at anyone else’s house I can pretend I’m full because apparently saying you don’t like food is rude????

07.03.2019 by Jute

I've always made it very clear when I don't like something and I never eat outside my own home unless it is sandwiches or a packed lunch that I've brought with me.

07.03.2019 by Will1234

I always have made it clear I don’t like something but only if someone asks, I’ll just keep quiet about it otherwise because I don’t know how people will respond.

08.03.2019 by Jute

I just tell people very clearly that it's a waste of time serving X, Y and Z to me because I simply won't eat them, not ever. And if those things touch any other food on the plate I won't eat that either.

08.03.2019 by Will1234

I used to be like that but since I know people don’t like it I try not to, I do still tell them over and over but I try to do it with discretion as I already put them through so much shit.

09.03.2019 by Jute

I don't go out of my way to annoy people but I didn't eat beans when I was five, so nothing changed when I was six, twelve or fifteen, I still did eat the things. So I simply made it very clear, right at the start that when if comes to beans.... 'don't give me any because I won't eat them and if you insist on putting the bloody things on my plate I won't eat anything at all.' So very quickly they figured out it was far simpler not to serve beans, and other things that I detest, to me. Nowadays I only ever eat meals that I've cooked myself so those sort of problems never arise.

09.03.2019 by Will1234

I prefer to choice my own meals because I can eat healthy food I like such as parsnips or corn on the cob (not sweet corn) and say a burger or hot dog.

09.03.2019 by Jute

Like I said I live alone so I choose, buy, prepare and cook all of my own meals. If I wanted to I could live entirely on chocolate cakes and ice cream. Maybe if I was still ten years old I'd have done that but unfortunately I'm not. So, for health reasons I try to eat a reasonably balanced diet. That means that even though I don't like veggies, I still eat the bloody things.

09.03.2019 by Will1234

I just eat the same veggies all the time a carrot a day keeps the burglars away because carrots actually help u see in the dark.

10.03.2019 by Will1234

Well they stop you from not being able to see in the dark so they help you see in the dark.


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Alexithymia - emotional blindness - is a personality trait characterized by the inability to identify and describe emotions in the self. Core characteristics of alexithymia are marked dysfunction in emotional awareness, social attachment, and interpersonal relationship.
Alexithymia is prevalent in approximately 10% of the general population and is known to be comorbid with a number of psychiatric conditions. Due the inability to cope with feelings and emotions as described in psychology there are counseling services to establish mental health.
Psychologist have argued that the alexithymia construct is strongly related to the concepts of psychological mindedness and emotional intelligence.
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