Topic: Desires aren't emotions?

English Alexithymia Forum > General Information

Desires aren't emotions?
04.12.2017 by CWHoneybadge

I always assumed that when I really want something or have a strong sense of aversion to something then that's all emotions are. Or they are purely mental things. Physical sensations are entirely separate.

I only learned recently that most people actually feel physical sensations that correspond with what they 'feel' and that emotions are more than a purely intellectual thing.

I'm so confused by this. What are people talking about?

I always assumed I was just as emotional as everyone else but that was when I lived with my family, and it's a big family with two brothers and 2 sisters and a mom and dad, but now that I live alone I notice that I never laugh at anything even when I watch comedies. So my laughter was purely social. I don't react to anything or seem to have my own 'real' feelings. And that's another feeling . . . what's actually the difference between a 'real' feeling and an unreal one? It seems the same thing. Emotions seem fake.

Physical sensations are real, intellectual interests and desires are real. But what else is there? There's pain and pleasure and there's the taste of food and the sensation of sex and touch, but what the hell does any of that have to do with emotions???? Those are the only kind of sensations there are. I don't get it.

Anyway, I'm new here, I'm 29 from the UK. I scored 152 on the test.

Yes they are not
15.05.2018 by bpaull

From what I have been led to understand desires are not emotions.

I am not well equipped to describe what they actually are, but emotions are the hidden motivations behind acts that might not seem on the face of them logical. Emotions are why people are unpredictable even when you do something that you are sure will have a certain result. People's emotions will often have them do something entirely unexpected.

I have spent a lot of time trying to master working with other peoples emotions and even so have had very little success. We are naturally good at mimicking other's emotions in order to avoid being stigmatized, so your social laughing is a fine example of that. But while we may not laugh on our own those with emotions are just as likely to do so with people as without people.

Empirical evidence that I have observed suggests that they do exist but they are hard to observe and predict and there are few tools provided to us in order to work with emotions. It is as difficult as prospecting for oil without ground penetrating radar but we know oil exists.


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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.
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