Hi. How do I find any professional who would have even heard of alexithymia or of AfDD, let alone who would know how to help us? So far 3 different GPs looked at me blankly and admitted they don't know what these are and 2 therapists from the largest counseling company in the area said they never heard of either condition. I feel suicidal as even my children now think I am crazy and I can't explain to them why I appear this way. I don't have anyone at all, not a single person around who'd see my struggles of living with someone who is not only unable to provide emotional support but is actually the one who hurts me the most for the best part of two decades. No one around me can understand why I'm acting so irrationality. I am the spouse of someone who is potentially alexithymic (they scored 117). Or maybe my spouse is simply emotionally abusive and I should stop looking for excuses for their behaviour. They certainly refuse to see how they hurt me. Who can help here, please? Thank you.
Topic: How to find help?
Is this is your spouse's problem? Then it must be them who recognizes that this is a problem and agrees to seek help. An alexithymic may have difficulty feeling the way you do or expressing what emotions they do have, but I would hazard a guess that very few would be completely uncomprehending of the meaning behind the emotion if you informed them you were suicidal due to their treatment of you. If your spouse values you in any way, or has a typical structure of compensatory cognitive ethics, they should feasibly be open to addressing the problem.
I know that at times however an alexithymic can be unaware of the harm they are causing an emotional person. You have to spell this out for them - what they are doing, why it hurts you, what you feel, what action you are going to take if the situation does not change, and then suggestions as to how the problem can be addressed.
If your spouse is abusive, a good indication of this I imagine would be to tell them you are feeling suicidal due to their treatment and see if they respond to this at all. If they show no interest and no intention to change anything, my money would be on abusive, not alexithymic. If however they respond that they really had no idea their behaviour was so damaging to you and agree to formulate a way to mitigate that in a fashion that is possible for them, they may be alexithymic rather than abusive.
Alexithymia is often more common in people with neurological disorders, such as autism. If you found a therapist who specializes in autism, they will potentially be more familiar with autistic alexithymia, and therefore understand what alexithymia is in someone neurotypical. Other therapists who may be more understanding of a neurological basis for alexithymia may also work with psychopaths. And I am not suggesting the two are the same in the slightest. Simply that emotional differences are present in both groups on a similar neurological level. If your spouse is this way due to emotional damage of their own that affected their emotional development, a therapist who specializes in post-traumatic stress or trauma may be more informed. A general-services GP may indeed not understand what you are talking about at all. At best, they may have professional affiliations which can allow you a referral to someone more specialized.
As stated however it has to be your spouse who initiates this. You cannot do this for them.
Have you or your husband been able to find any help. I am looking myself. I am the guilty party in my relationship (scored a 149). My wife and try to discuss this but it usually does go to well.
I would offer gently that you are not "guilty" of having alexithymia. It isn't anything you chose or had a hand in. I would suggest that it is less likely to be productive if you come at it from the perspective that you should bear guilt and shame. The fact that you are recognizing it and trying to do something about it is worthy of praise.