Do you know what "alexithymia" means? Can you imagine that you cannot understand and express whether you feel happy or sad, whether you are depressed, or perhaps not at all, maybe you are afraid, or anxious? This is the confusion that person with alexithymia experiences. Such people also have a difficult time understanding what emotions other people feel as well. Lack of this capability also makes it very difficult to create close and supportive relationships.
This is how you might feel if tžyou had alexithymia:
- you have no clue how you are feeling. WHen you are asked "how do you feel", you just draw a blank
- usually you can only distinguish between feeling "good" or "bad"
- you can explain your actions logically, but cannot relate them to emotions serving as motivation or energy source
- you are not sure of your needs or desires
- sometimes you experience unexpected physical symptoms like racing heartbeat, difficulty breathing, pains and aches - but you cannot explain their origin
- you do not understand where all of your drive or motivation has disappeared, you often procrastinate and do not find joy in any leisure activity
- sometimes you feel like you are a distant observer of your life, not being able to control many things. Just getting through the day seems to be a tedious task.
Alexithymia is a diagnosed disorder by itself, or may accompany other disorders, such as eating disorders. Alexithymia may develop because of genetic reasons, brain damage also as reaction to some somatic illnesses.
Alexithymia treatment is first of all related to treating primary illness that is causing it. Education about what are the emotions, what are their types, relying on behavioral therapy and introspection, learning to relate thoughts and emotions. A personal therapy is also very helpful. Getting involved in the activities that usually provoke emotional response, such as watching and participating in various art forms, listening to music, dancing, reading emotional books, etc.
Alexithymia is not something you cannot deal with. If you feel like you are experiencing similar symptoms, you are very welcome to contact me for a counselling session - or another psychologist or therapist that you like :)
My name is Monika, I am health and nutrition psychologist. I help to deal with daily and difficult questions about behavior, thinking, emotions. I write, teach and provide psychological counselling. Book my talk to know more!
Photo: Alexas_Photos from Pixabay
#spoonfulofreason #psychology #emotions #therapy #alexithymia
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