English Alexithymia Forum > Questions and Answers I have been "Diagnosed" with Alexithymia by a Specialist- I can attempt to answer questions if people have any.
09.12.2020 by Milkbad
As the title reads I have Alexithymia. I have had just over 30 sessions with an Alexi & Autism Specialist and would be willing to try and answer questions for anyone who has them.
30.12.2020 by User53342A93
My specialist and I found this forum and he thought it would be a good place for me to try and help people who might experience what I have or other symptoms of Alexi, with his guidance on certain topics.
One thing we do ask, is that anyone who comments -please be a thorough as possible, even though that is difficult with Alexi-. Also, please be patient as responses may take awhile while I talk with him. We will also not provide links to materials after reading the terms of service of this forum. We are also not liable for misinformation here, we are only trying to offer basic help and anything concrete would need to come from personal interaction with a specialist.
Ill be checking at least once a week.
at first thanks for this offer.
I'm from Germany, there's a german forum, too and i've been searching a lot of information about alexithymia for about 2 years, but i get the feeling, that it's not a known thing in Germany. I haven't actually heard of anyone that has been diagnosed or of information about where to find help. So in the german forum there are like only people diagnosed by themself and it couldn't really help me. That's why i started to look at the english version and found out that there are many more people.
As i am also not officially diagnosed with alexithymia, i've got lots of questions, but maybe i should first explain how it feels like for me. The most difficult problem personally is that i can't find words for my feelings. It's like i'm not speaking the right language to explain it. So when i try to explain a feeling and start to think about what i feel, i suddenly feel nothing at all. It's so difficult to talk with someone and want to tell them but you just can't. And i don't think i will ever be able to do it.
It would be really interesting to know how you handle with your diagnose and if there are any possibilities to help people having alexithymia.
Apologies for not answering you sooner, for some reason the forum has only just now updated for me, but I will be happy to share those details with you. I often see people attempt a self-diagnosis on the English forum too, that worries me a lot and I always try to tell them to seek a specialist.
Alexithymia is relatively new to modern mental research even though its been known about for 50ish years. It not typically seen as detrimental to the population so isn't a top priority for mental healthcare professionals most of the time.
Alexi presents differently for many different people. In my case, I experience a few different complications from it besides the basic lack of emotional capabilities. Most notably, I have a kind of emotional lag. My emotions about a situations or events occur in the moment, but I have realizations much later on, sometimes weeks or months.
-An example is when I was with my most recent partner. We broke up and I felt fine for about 1 months and understood what was going and that I thought I handled the situation well and then suddenly all the emotions I had felt previously flared up and I had something very close to a nervous breakdown and I was so sore, I could barely lift my arms or walk.
-I also experience muscle tension on a constant basis. I was having really bad pain in my jaw, neck, shoulders and back ( I have found ways to help those issues now). The tension I experienced was from not realizing i was emotionally stressed and I didn't even know why I was constantly in pain.
I have trouble expressing my emotions verbally and experience the same issue you do, but not so much via writing where I can take more time to think. I also had extreme difficulty understanding my previous partners emotional state as she wasn't straight forward with her emotions verbally. I did my best at the time to try and create ways to express myself to her, but getting reciprocation was something she would never help me with.
To help myself and others, I find it easier to do things physically or very straight forwardly, which is difficult for many people because people are more reserved than they ever have been.
Feel free to ask me any specific questions you have and I will answer as soon as I can!
Due to past experiences, I think my emotional hollowness was due to shutting out bad experiences/emotions so strongly it's affected good ones too (however considering what I went through, I can say honestly it's for the best)
05.02.2021 by User75375H92
Still, this feeling is strange, literally, there is none.
I smile, laugh, cry, appear angry and look polite automatically, but on the inside I'm completely void- there's nothing there at all. So it's exhausting having to continue the facade 24/7 as if I try to embrace my true self, people become worried and ask questions. I feel it's gone on too long already to just try and explain, not to mention I've already tried and it's beyond possible for me to put into words effectively.
It's like there's a barrier just beneath my skin encircling this misty nothingness.
But like I said, it's easier than what I felt before.
So I suppose what I'm asking for is advice on how to best live freely as myself whilst accommodating people's expectations of me?
User19029G42, I am definitely interested in the response from the OP, as he is diagnosed and working with a specialist but I wanted to add a little of my own thoughts from the perspective of a Certified Social Worker who works with children and adolescents who experienced trauma, and I specialize in Neurodiversity.
09.02.2021 by User58466M89
As I work with my clients, I often find myself wondering.... Is the emotional blindness they appear to be struggling with, a side effect of trauma (parent trauma, neglect, divorce, abuse, and bullying.... plus a lot more, but that's the common ones) or is it Alexithymia...?.... Sometimes we can figure it out together, sometimes we can't....
Living freely is pretty much ALWAYS the goals I'm going for with them, and balancing expectations of others whilst living freely is even more difficult! sooooo, we must reduce the pressure from others expectations! How is that done?? By developing a strong understanding of who you are as a person, being aware that the way you experience emotions is different than a lot of people, being solid and OK with that aspect of yourself, and then.... live free :)
When you are struggling to emotionally connect with someone, say making friends or even dating (because emotions are a *huge* component of the human connection), you just keep being you, keep rolling as yourself, whether that's being an extrovert and super talkative and it annoys people... If they don't like it, they will move on. Whether its being an introvert and wanting to listen before relating.... If they don't mesh, then.... they will move on!
What's the other option?
You force yourself to not be you and.... the relationship crumbles either way, but with a lot more time and energy used from yourself to just start all over. And then.... All of the negative thoughts that you probably say in your head like.... "man, if only I had been more...... they would have stayed...."
Hey, Im brazilian, female. I'm new to the forum and I'm not fluent in English, forgive me if I make any mistakes. I've always had a difficult time expressing myself, knowing what I want, knowing what I'm feeling. Many times, I feel like crying and feeling other sensations that I can't identify. When I cry, I know I'm sad. When I am most willing, I know that I am happy.
If someone asks me how I am, I always say the same: well. This is because when I try, in some way, to verbalize the feeling, I always say confusing things or
the feelings do not seem to exist. I know I won't be understood, so I get frustrated and keep it to myself.
In one of my researches about emotions and feelings, I identified myself too much with Alexi's symptoms. I've tried going to psychologists, but the problem of communicating and saying what I'm feeling leaves me even more frustrated.
I was never able to open myself to anyone, I feel distant from my family and I feel like nobody knows me since I don't even know myself. I can talk about external things, but never about my feelings.
I have never been in a romantic relationship for lack of emotional connection and disinterest when the relationship reaches a certain point.
I'm young but I have no goals for my future because I don't know what I like.
I hate it when people come to talk about their problems and things that involve sentimentality, I don't know what to do, so I just repeat what everyone usually says for these situations.
I can keep few virtual friends because I can think and plan my text messages.
I feel like having friends, understanding myself, being a normal person. I always felt alone because of that.
I was not diagnosed by a professional, but I scored 153 points on the test. Now, I don't know what to do, but I don't want to continue like this, as these things always attract me to suicidal thoughts. How can I end this?
13.03.2021 by GeekyUser17316B44
From what I've read here you seem to have been able to describe how you feel pretty plainly. You feel there is a void or nothingness and you feel the need to put on a façade for people in order to fit into an automatic role in society. I would say that is not typical behavior of Alexi, because generally people dealing with Alexi, have a "blindness" or overlook how they act around/view others around them emotionally.
You definitely seem to be dealing with some sort of emotional disconnect, but after speaking with my therapist, it seems knowing that you have that emotional disconnect at all, means it is unlikely that you are suffering symptoms of Alexi.
As for the question you posed (this is all me- not advice from my therapist), you cant live freely and be under the scrutiny of expectation. If you are consistently feeling the need to meet expectations, you will always feel trapped. That is not healthy. I struggled with similar issues outside of Alexi and worked through them with the help of a therapist I had before my current specialist. If you feel you cant conquer that issue alone, it would be wise to seek professional help on the topic because I cannot give you social help here, only advise about Alexi. I don't want to say something irresponsible that seems set in stone.
I have only just recently heard about this. At present I am self diagnosed ASD and having taken the test on this site it also suggests alexithymia. But I am not convinced.
When taking the test I am not sure that I was answering truthfully. There are some emotions I get quite strongly, generally more extreme levels. Anger, frustration being key in my mind.
In my past I have recently realised that I used to self harm as I was unable to understand these emotions and pain seemed preferable. Then I found escapism through role playing games, then drugs, then alcohol. As of a year ago I have stopped the drugs (nearly 20 years ago) and alcohol last Feb. I still role play, but I have to consciously not do too much otherwise I would ignore everything else.
What I believe is that I am avoiding real life emotions, but can express them when disconnected from me.
I have read a number of views here and can see myself in some, but where I am confused is that I do get emotions, just do not know how to express them or handle them. When it comes to the more subtle emotions of love, I am a bit clueless. I have been married for nearly 30 years and this is a big issue. Overshadowed by the other challenges.
But now I need to find out who I am and am I capable of actually showing and expressing my affection in anything but an almost robotic say this, do that manner. There is never any depth or true feeling in what I seem to be able to offer.
Alexi presents in many ways, but as suggested by professionals and myself, it's generally specifically centered around emotional "blindness". I would say that if you are feeling emotions and know you're having them in the moment, you are most likely not dealing with Alexi.
In my own experiences I have never been driven by vices. I actually don't understand myself why people use them from a non-logical standpoint, even though I have tried many. I never had any sort of mental relief from trying drugs or alcohol and never felt any different than normal trying roleplay scenarios. I typically enjoy or respond better to physical stimuli than I do mental or emotional.
An example for me was love language in my last relationship. Instead of trying to express to her in words, I started using touch to express how I felt and that worked better because it didn't require explanation, only action. Three taps on her thigh or butt was basically: "I love you" or "I'm thinking about you/I want you to know I care for you" even though I wasn't necessarily thinking it or recognizing those feelings, my girlfriend has mentioned how much I had been tapping her. It was really frequent.. Two taps was: "I need some space even though I don't know why" or "I think I'm going to have an emotional episode" (I have delayed emotions that I don't understand and cant explain).
I have also never had the compulsion to self-harm in any significant manner. Handling or expressing emotions can definitely be part of many mental troubles, but I would day that if you are having trouble dealing with emotions, that the trouble you face regularly is a sign that you do not have Alexi. Generally you wouldn't realize you were having trouble at all unless someone said something or you did something drastic without knowing why, as two examples.