Topic: Alexithymia and art

English Alexithymia Forum > Personal Experience

Alexithymia and art
06.03.2019 by Dustin_Buening

Hello all,
I've yet to be diagnosed with said condition, but I've noticed my whole life that I've never experienced love, despair, anger, or any emotions that I observe others having. I've gotten very good at mimicking said emotions to make me appear normal, and only I know they're completely fake.
I'm currently married with 3 children, but my relationship with my family is a strange one. I'm fairly certain they have picked up on my lack of emotion that I should be feeling for them, but yet they stick around. Maybe it's because I keep them fed and clothed and I'm an extra source of income, who knows.

The only difference I've found between myself and others that I've read about is that I'm very involved with art and music. A good majority of my income comes from my talents as an artist and musician, and I have a deep appreciation for the arts, but I don't connect with it on an emotional level. I paint "visions" I get at random intervals and my music is merely a constant challenge that I can never truly master. Any other artists on here?

06.03.2019 by Will1234

I love music but I don’t play an instrument, I use music to get me through any struggles I encounter. I enjoy art and have visited 2 Tate museums which were nice.

06.03.2019 by Jute

I used to paint and draw portrait and things for money. But turning art into a 'job' took all of the pleasure out of it so I stopped doing it. I no longer draw or paint, the desire to do so is no longer there.

I listen to music for most of my waking day and I've always wanted to learn to play a guitar, but even though I've had several (I currently own four and three basses) I simply can't play them, my brain simply doesn't work with languages or with playing music.

06.03.2019 by Will1234

I can rap with just the instrumental to a song but I only do it when I know I’m alone not because I’m bad (I’m actually pretty good) but I know people will make fun of me.

07.03.2019 by Jute

I couldn't sing to save my life, in fact if I tried they'd only want to shoot me even faster.

07.03.2019 by Will1234

I can’t sing but I can rap, not like grime or the British wank we have here but the true American stuff like NF or Eminem. I do the white peoples songs because I have a white mans voice.

08.03.2019 by Jute

I don't mind some rap songs but it's not a genre that I'm really into. As far as rap goes I prefer crossover stuff like Rage Against The Machine.

08.03.2019 by Will1234

I hate all that new stuff like lil pump and lil xan. They have no talent at all. They are a disgrace to music.

09.03.2019 by Jute

I don't listen to radio, MTV or anything like that, so I only ever hear music that I choose to listen to. It's always my choice.

09.03.2019 by Will1234

I’ll only listen to a playlist to sample new songs and see if there are any I like. I’ll take 10 seconds to judge it.

10.03.2019 by Jute

I only listen to bands who are new to me, if they are similar to stuff that I already like.

10.03.2019 by Will1234

In the last few days my favourite song has changed 4 times. I just want to have a song I can say is my favourite. I take my love for music quite a way I’ll eat breakfast, lunch and sometimes dinner with either headphones (for sound quality) or earphones (for practicality).

18.12.2019 by LamiaLou

I went to an art school, quit because of not connecting emotionally & a lack of motivation, & ended up minoring in art in college ~6 years afterwards. I still haven't connected emotionally, but found it easier to understand explanations of classmates who did. I'm not a musician, but it's always seemed like my brain & ears need music to function. I do come from an art family, so I'm not sure how much that plays a part of this.

18.01.2020 by User43279B98

I create digital art for fun a lot, do commissions sometimes, and do photo editing commissions too. Also, sometimes I've seen art pieces that seem to exude a certain mood. I guess that's connecting with it emotionally. This is all in reference to static visual art and contemporary art though. Music, literature, and films are much easier for me to connect with.

People who claim static and/or contemporary art literally changed their life though... literally how? How do you look at something, especially abstract stuff, and garner so much meaning your life actually changed? Even if you got an overwhelming emotional reaction... how does that influence and persist into the rest of your life so strongly it's permanently changed? If the art taught them something I might understand, but often it's something vague with no specific meaning. Just a powerful feeling isn't a life change, unless it convinced you to change your behaviour or thoughts. But they never articulate that, it seems to just be "I looked at art, got emotion, therefore life change because reasons."

I often get rated as hating art (closed to new experience) on the Big Five Personality Test, despite loving cartoons and drawing a lot. I suspect this is because I don't think my life magically changes because I saw an art piece in a museum. Honestly psychology trait measure tests are very dubious in general, this being one of the reasons why.

13.12.2020 by Katz

I used to paint a lot. But I can't seem to do it anymore. It's like a blank when I try to paint these days. And the attempt are forceful. Dunno what happened..

24.01.2021 by KintsugiRain

I draw to try to express myself, it helps me i guess, i also do it for fun but it really helps me with expression, just drawing whatever my brain tells me to.

01.02.2021 by User35448C33

I guess you can call me an artist. I’ve been drawing since very young, due to boredom mostly. Im pretty good actually. Most of my artwork is copy cat stuff, for example I can draw something that is already artwork, like something that I print offline for instance. I find it difficult to come up with something in my own head, even though I think I have a very good imagination. Sounds weird huh? Lol. I used to do all that when I was a child as a way to pass the time. Lots of people wonder why I don’t draw or paint more, and I actually don’t even know, I just don’t have a need for it I guess, and I’m busy being an adult now. I also severely lack motivation for some reason, which does bother me.

27.05.2021 by User34830M97

I sing in an entry-level choir in my home town. My crazy dream would be to learn how to play a drum set/drumkit. Not because I'm Animal by any means; rather, because my personality traits are almost the polar opposite of Animal's. I start my art therapy efforts with relatively safe projects like color wheels and abstract paintings using acrylic paint.

13.09.2021 by User74524A85

When you talk about the 'visions' you paint, what are you referring to?

28.06.2022 by User65b96F3b

I was diagnosed with Alexithymia after a bout of depression. I am a graduate of The Royal Birmingham Conservatoire and have been a chef for a decade or more. Personally I've never had any issues creatively...that being said non of my music was ever designed or inspired by an emotional medium. The only thing that comes close would be feeling of intense anger or despair...which are two emotions which unfortunately I do know...but I think I only recognise them due to therapy and the fact that they aren't subtle in the slightest lol. Everything else is a mystery to me...I'm currently in a long term relationship and struggling to provide the emotional requisites needed by my partner...she wants to talk about dreams, desires for the future, what we want and don't want....but I don't know any of that...I spent the entire day just thinking about it and realised that deep down I just don't care that much...I thought I would get some kind of epiphany...but things are never so simple.

Anyway the reason I'm writing is that I think it is perfectly plausible to have Alexithymia and be an Artist, hell I succeeded at that for years. Granted there were certain parts of music where I tried endlessly, but couldn't make it work...and I never had a clue why I would get 1st's on half my degree and barely scrape a 3rd on others.... until I got the Alexithymia diagnosis....then it's like a 1000 piece Jigsaw fell into place....