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

Same
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.


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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.
These pages should deliver additional information about Alexithymia and offer information for affected persons, relatives and people generally interested in this personality trait.

This webpage does not intended to diagnose or cure any disease or symptom.
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