How Do I Explain Alexithymia To Non-Alexi's
I scored a 155 on the test and I am 100% sure that I have alexithymia. My family is in general very emotionally connected, and I think that telling them about my alexithymia may negatively impact our relationship. I care for my family (although exactly why I don't know), and I don't want them to be too confused about how to deal with it. I've learned to fake very very well, so I imagine it would come as a bit of a shock to them. Does anyone have some idea of how to tell them and what I should expect?
DBow107, I told my wife I took an online test for imagination (it was on aspietests.org) and it gave me a link this site. I told my wife that I found out 85% of people with Asperger's also have Alexithymia; no big deal.
It may seem awful but I tend to believe that it's best for everyone if they aren't told.
With families, it seems unethical to me to destroy their delusions. They are more comfortable believing that I love them, feel affection for them, feel connected to them and have attachments, even if I don't demonstrate that. That "deep down" I'm really just like them - and not actually entirely different in a base neurological way.
I find it a better situation all around if people are allowed to believe their own lies. It saves the alexithymic party from fuss and unnecessary drama, and saves the "normal" side of the equation from emotional damage.
CV, it seems to me that most families operate under illusions.
Mine definitely did.
And yes, I destroyed my mom's "illusion" by telling her what MY truth was..........
Ok, to the OP, how to explain Alexithymia.
My version is: "I have feelings, but cannot name or describe them." Thusly, I do not know what reaction I'm supposed to have.
if you marry, you might want to talk to your intended. I had been married to an alexi, unknowingly, for thirty years. As he aged, he became uninterested in any sexual intimacy, and the traits become more pronounced. Eventually, about ten years ago, I discovered the online test which he took and scored in the 97th percentile. While we now know what is happening, he is not interested in seeking treatment. Afterall, he is relatively happy.
I, on the other hand, face the vagaries of the aging process essentially on my own. I have adjusted out of necessity. However, had I known 20 years earlier what I know now, we might well have divorced and I could have pursued other relationships that were more emotionally fulfilling.
I'm seeing some weird ideas here...?
1) cyberisak, You don't need to know whether the partner has alexithymia or not, you just need to be aware if the relationship is emotionally fulfilling for you.
2) In general, I don't see the illusion to be shattered here. Alexithymia is not psychopathy. No dark secret, it just means you have difficulty accessing your feelings.
The BBC's got a good article on this, actually. It's where I found out about alexi.
OK to answer OP...
I'd just say I have difficulty accessing feelings. That it takes me a long time to do so. That I think I don't feel anything when actually in the background there might be something going on. But at the same time I'm not a sociopath or completely unemotional even if I tend to believe that by default. And I'd emphasize that I do know when I care about someone, I'm able to have commitment to people who are important to me.
But I see no point in talking about this to people really. What's the purpose with trying to tell them?
Oh and the BBC article linked in the post above mine is also good with emphasizing "a kind of emotional “colour-blindness” that prevents them from perceiving or expressing the many shades of feeling that normally embellish our lives". That's the best way of putting it that I've ever seen.
Hmm going on with the article.
"Even as his wife walked down the aisle, the only sensation he felt was his face flushing and a heaviness in his feet; his mind was completely clear of joy, happiness, or love in its conventional sense."
I guess I can imagine the face flush as a type of emotional excitement, actually. (If I noticed anything, I would notice the emotional state (cognitively) itself sooner than the face flush, though. I'm just guessing it's an indicator of some strong emotion for the person in the article because a face flush means you are *involved* on a level. Which can mean emotional involvement, yes.) Not sure about the heaviness in feet.
"How can you fall in love, for example, when you lack all the basic tender feelings of affection that normally spark a romance?"
Such a good question actually. I don't think it has to be very nuanced emotionality though if it can ever be made to surface somehow. So that part is okay.