Topic: Has anyone ever been cured of Alexithymia?

English Alexithymia Forum > Questions and Answers

Has anyone ever been cured of Alexithymia?
10.10.2019 by User22498P67

My therapist diagnosed that I suffer from a bunch of disorders, from which I only admit to experiencing anxiety and depression. Depression is not one of the disorders I am supposed to have. Then, some day he told me that my disorder is alexithymia and a lot of fancy terms were introduced to me, such as low emotional intelligence, empathy and so forth. I admit to being a bit of fucked up, but, honestly, I find this diagnosis and alexithymia bullshit, just another term invented to describe something that cannot be precisely determined. According to my experience, my initial diagnosis was confusing and vague, what followed, alexithymia along with the fancy terms relating to emotions, was the definition of vagueness.

I don't see any reason for trying to make perfect use of emotions when that emotional system of yours is deficient. If you act like a "robot" when you suffer from alexithymia, why not act precisely like a "robot" (robots are really useful in our society, right?), which means elimination of any deficient emotions, instead of trying to restore their functionality in vain? I mean what's the problem when your whole system functions as it should function, while you don't experience any emotions? Is it better to experience bad emotions that affect your whole system or just not experience anything? Moreover, what's the problem with relating emotions to external factors? If certain material and non-material things or benefits are taken away from a non-alexithymic person, wouldn't their feelings and emotions deteriorate? Wouldn't they feel unhappy?

The real question for me is: Has anyone ever been cured of alexithymia? If yes, how did that happen? By fixing their emotional system or by eliminating their bad emotions?

I took the alexithymia test a couple of years ago and today I did the same. My score today is 20 points lower than a couple of years ago and the new test results also suggest high alexithymic traits. So am I making any progress? Since I was aware of alexithymia, I have tried to better understand emotions and the fancy terms, but I don't really understand any substantial improvement concerning my quality of life, my relationships, my existence in general. On the contrary, I have been engaged into situations and thoughts that cause distress and depression.

12.11.2019 by aletteinthemaze

Hi @User22498P67,

Your Q: "Anyone ever been cured of Alexithymia? How? By fixing their emotional system or eliminating their bad emotions?"

"Running on Empty" by Dr. Jonice Webb was our introduction into realizing that Childhood Emotional Neglect and Alexithymia go hand and hand.

Assumption: "Emotionally Dumb, An Overview of Alexithymia" is known among this group (?). I hate the title, it's insulting, but the material is solid. Amazon:

It describes of two causes of Alexithymia. Primary and Secondary Alexithymia. In layman's terms, primary alexithymia is something you're 'born with' or that occurred from an injury and secondary alexithymia is caused from intense trauma as a child where expressing emotions were dangerous.

In secondary alexithymia, for example, my husband was neglected from birth until age 16. His parents were narcissistic/authoritarian and "religious addicts" (any problem he had that he needed parental guidance on he was told to give it to God and that the reason he was struggling with the problem was because he was a sinner and not following God's law, etc.).

He was whipped with a paddle for showing any feelings or emotions. If he was upset for any reason, if he cried, or overly excited, ANY feeling or emotion expressed was punishable by paddle. He was told what he felt and punished if he disagreed. He disconnected his feeling ability from his logic ability.

I'm curious to know more as to why you have alexithymia (injury/born with it/childhood trauma).

My husband is getting better but there has been terrible collateral damage to our 8 months marriage. His alexithymia (and other issues) were triggered by getting married. Our 2 years of dating was wonderful.

He's trying so hard. He knows I will wither w/o a close connection to my mate. That's because I am an Intuitive Empath with Claircognizant abilities. We couldn't be more opposite. But, it's because of my ability to feel isn't seen (I could feel th distortiones and confusion of feelings and emotions inside him that he never expressed or often expressed in ways that provoked me or were unkind).

Past girlfriends broke up with him, finding him "weird" or used him (taking advantage of his naivety and lack of emotional awareness of a situation - those b**ches).

As an Empath, we seek to always speak our truth. It took 3 months before I came out of my trigger PTSD response to his behavior, thinking he had lost his mind and/or was a psychopath (past narcissist and psychological abuse relationships kept me single 20 years).

I'm leery of therapists, just like you. The opposite end of the spectrum to Alexithymia, I was very shy as a child but felt EVERYTHING (I thought something was wrong with ME). As an adult, always being told I overthink, I'm too sensitive, go with the flow, etc.

I feel *everything* but did not know I was an Empath (until 40) and I couldn't tell what was my feelings/emotions vs someone else (nor did I even know that such a thing existed).

Psy put me on anti-depressants at 26 years old. I'm 51 now and went cold turkey at 49.

It was pure hell.

Anti-depressants are like an "emotional/feeling governor:" All the trauma, pain, hurt and everything that happened to me that I couldn't handle emotionally from 26 to 49 was never fully felt.

When I stopped anti-depressants, I was FLOODED with feelings and emotions. 20 years of unfelt feelings/emotions in the 4 months while my Alexithymic fiance did what he could (kept me alive by making sure I was fed, sheltered, but could not comfort me). I really thought I was losing my mind. I'm so angry at the psychiatry profession.

Many empaths get diagnosed as depressed. NO, we just feel everyone else's feelings.

I can't imagine experiencing life and situations w/o emotions/feelings. However, maybe I have experienced it. Example: If something hurtful happens for a long period of time, such as a close friendship where the other person has turned their back on you and you feel (I feel) deep hurt for months and months, I get to a point where I "see" the hurt rather than "feel" the hurt. It's like a coping mechanism.

My husband says he CAN feel, but it's delayed 24-ish hours. Is this the same for you? Ex: If I'm upset or something traumatic happens, he go es into auto-pilot "robot" mode, no emotion, task driven, calm.

He "filters" - this is where I'm suffering deeply. Anything I say that's emotionally charged is "ignored" while non emotional conversation is replied to. I feel neglected and invalidated.

I do believe Alexithymia CAN be "cured" in some cases. It's a coping mechanism to survive a traumatic childhood. Or did you have a different experience?

One last thing: There are no "bad" emotions/feelings. Feelings never lie. We may deny them, but they are our internal guidance system. Happy to talk more about this... (out of character space).
~~~ :-)

24.10.2020 by User87801K22

My husband has alexithymia. He has never gotten therapy for it. He has been actively working on empathy and has made a lot of progress. He began doing so because it helps him evaluate his world view and connect with our children. He began being introspective something that is really hard for most people with alexithymia. Putting himself in other peoples shoes and coming to terms with what he went through as a child. I wouldn’t want him “cured” unless he truly wanted but I support him when he wants to improve is emotional literacy. My stepfather and two cousins have alexithymia (Asperger’s and emotional childhood trauma). The goal isn’t to be “normal” for my husband. He is working on identifying a wider range of emotions so he doesn’t suffer psychosomatic symptoms like unexplained stomach pain, migraines, etc. a trick we’ve been doing is when we are talking about difficult topics and he has a physiological response that he can’t connect with an emotion, he describes it and I suggest what it could be. I KNOW he feels things he just doesn’t have the ability to say them. Once he has a word for what he is feeling he can reference that if it when he feels that physical sensation again in similar circumstances. He cried during the birth of our child and thought it was because his eyes were dry. He was feeling joy. He has felt a whole bunch of things that we have been able to match with an emotion. It’s a process. The goal isn’t to change him or necessarily cure him. It’s to help him understand himself and his reactions. If you want to get better at identifying your emotions I hope this helps but I think neuro typical people put too much pressure on people who don’t process things the same way. You are worthy regardless if you can/do change or not. I wish you all the best in your journey wherever it may lead.

As for the other spouse who commented. If you are an empath can’t you help your partner identify those emotions since empathy means you sense what he is feeling? I understand that it can be difficult understanding a perspective different from your own but I don’t think it’s fair to say he is making you “wither”. I’m a very emotional person. I can pick up on the emotions of others and be overwhelmed by them especially in crowds. But I find that my husbands quiet manner helps calm me and look at situations outside of JUST emotional responses but logically as well. It helps me make more well rounded decisions as a whole. And I provide the emotional side of things for him to have a deeper understanding of his relationships with his children, friends, and family. Life is about balance. I like to think my husband and I balance each other out. My husband has been supportive through my post partum depression and PTSD. I have never had anyone be so invested in my recovery and so willing to hear me out. I have learned to express my emotions to him in a logical format “I feelwhen_because_.” So we can understand one another. I would rather have a partner who values my emotions and tried to resolve negative ones together than someone who can empathize fully and not care. I would suggest not putting expectations on your spouse that he may never be able to meet. Not everyone with alexithymia can gain a large range of emotional identification and it may set one or both of you up for disappointment