Topic: What exactly is it like to feel emotions?

English Alexithymia Forum > Personal Experience

What exactly is it like to feel emotions?
09.05.2019 by Alexithymic_User

If you don't have Alexithymia and are just stumbling across this question to help me achieve an answer, I'd love to know. I understand I've had emotions and one time or another I've felt them all to an extent, but now I'm not able to feel many emotions. All I do is sit there and people's words fill my head instead of my own thoughts or emotions. It's quite blank, honestly, until I consciously control my own thoughts. My thoughts have never been something that has been out of control or spontaneous, they are controlled on and off by me. It's a little insane to think that perhaps I could be different than many other people, and that makes me wish I knew what it felt like to experience emotions all of the time. Not just a few minutes, but constantly discovering emotions. I say my Alexithymia is almost like an emptiness besides people's words, and when I'm all alone or no one is speaking, the silence fills my head and occasionally I'll let my own thoughts (controlled by me) slip through, no emotions attached. Perhaps I don't have Alexithymia, but the question still bothers me constantly. What does it feel like for others to be thinking or to have emotions? If I have emotions, my thoughts are gone and it's just me and my emotions there, showing ourselves and being in plain sight. I don't ever think about my emotions, and perhaps I should a little bit more often, but they just happen instead. My head is filled with my emotions rather than thoughts. And, when I don't have many emotions going on, or I don't recognize them, my thoughts are gone and words/silence is there. If you see a pattern here, thoughts and emotions, to me, are quite rare. Thoughts don't often come for me, only for a short amount of time after a long period of time. If you don't have Alexithymia, I don't wish to change because it is what it is, but what is it like? Is it always physical or mental? I can't tell about emotions, specifically because I don't know how they work. My emotions are always quite physical, and it's hard to believe you could experience anything mentally with emotions. If you don't have Alexithymia, please tell me, are your experiences physical or mental (or both), and what are they like when you have emotions?

13.12.2019 by User96835C83

Hi, I know this is late to your question, I personally can't answer what it's like to have feelings. I'm 59 yrs old and to the best of my knowledge I've never had feelings. I do however possess a unique gift, when talking with someone face to face I just know what they want to hear, so that is how I've managed to fake feelings with people over the yrs. But I too have wondered what it would be like to have feelings. As far as my thoughts go I'm always in control of them, they never slip for me. For me I also don't get the physical ques from my body. I'll say good luck in finding someone to answer your questions though.

10.01.2020 by User25417C14

Hi there :) I don't have Alexithymia. Admittedly, describing emotions to someone with little to no reference to them, is a challenge (even for someone with feelings). I might not do the best job but I'll try my best. I think everyone experiences thoughts and emotions differently but most people experience emotions both mentally and physically. Most emotions are felt mentally like boredom, contentment, joy, etc. But intense emotions can cause both physical and mental reactions such as sadness driving you to cry and even feel physical pain, excitement might cause your heart and thoughts to race, anxiety might make you sweat and make breathing difficult.

If you do feel some form of emotions, i would encourage you to practice "stepping into" them, explore them and familiarize yourself with those sensations. For example, focus on an emotion. While it's in your head, try to bring your attention to your body and take some time to make note of any physical sensations you feel such as tension, goosebumps, increased heart rate, etc. Then bring your attention inside your head and notice any images, shapes/colors or sounds that might come up. I think exploring with some sense of curiosity is a good place to start.

22.04.2020 by Logan_spenga

I scored a 151 on the test. I’ve come to find out that it’s likely I have alexithymia. I also told my parents about it and why I couldn’t explain why I was crying so much and why I enjoyed it for some reason.

I asked my mom what sadness felt like and she told me how she would hate feeling it and want it to go away. But I was the opposite trying to cultivate and intensify the emotion.

But Thinking back on my life I don’t really have a grip on what emotions feel like. That’s why I ask other people sometimes.

02.05.2020 by User52475O20

But I was the opposite trying to cultivate and intensify the emotion.
this is scary. i did that too. i always knew i had a hard time letting my emotions out, and the once in a blue moon i'd have a tear inducing moment i would try to intensify it so i could identify what i was feeling.

06.09.2020 by Skye_

I imagine its quite exhausting.

I scored a 156 -- I don't see this as a disadvantage. I like being able to view life logically without being torn up thinking of emotions all the time. And anyway, alexithymia doesn't mean no emotions -- its just deep rooted emotions that are difficult to recognize.
I prefer to keep things light, anyway. When others talk about emotions I get exhausted and anxious.

I tend to get 'empty' and 'down' at times when I leave myself alone too long and start overthinking everything. Which is why I enjoy learning new hobbies in all my spare time. I'll often get home and randomly decide to start learning a new language, or learn how to program, or dance, or a million other things.
Having a focus helps keep me grounded and satisfied with my life.

01.05.2021 by Seriously

Hi I’m new here. I scored a 166 and am starting to realize that I’m not a strong person, that I may be broken in this way. Kind of weird. But I do feel stuff sometimes. My normal emotions are anxiety, stress, and anger. My anger is not explosive but more simmering or possibly absence of injustice. I don’t know. Most of the time I am not experiencing these things but if I’m feeling something, it’s usually one of these three. In January something really bad happened and for the first time in my life (that I can remember) I cried. All night I balled like a baby. And afterwards I felt calm. Those were two different feelings that I hadn’t felt as far back as I could remember and it hasn’t happened since then. What’s weird is that I run a crisis center. My degree is in human service counseling with a focus in trauma. I guess this condition allows me to handle the situations we see every day without emotionally breaking down. Although I do at time’s feel over stressed and am able to identify that I need a break or vacation to reduce my stress levels. What really got me on the questionnaire, were the questions about sex. Sex has always been a mechanical release for me, never emotional. My wife always tells me that she wants sex to “feel connected or loved”. I don’t understand that, but I know there are times when I need sex and it’s important for our relationship that we both orgasm and she likes it more when we both do it at the same time. I never realized that my view on this was not in the realm of normal for guys. Interesting.
I’ve learned so far that people with this often exhibit other disorders. I am not autistic although my sister is. I do exhibit some addictive personality allotted traits. Specifically I drink wine every night. But I don’t know if it’s at the level of addictive personality disorder.
I don’t know what I expect from this post, possibly some affirmation that my experiences are shared or maybe just to help me think through this. But in just this last hour I have learned more about myself than I have in the last few years. So that is good I think.