I am hoping to find a little help so that I may better determine the best treatment route.
I have the emtional acuity of a rock, for a long time i always thought that was because i was a guy, my wife certainly had emotions and when she would get frustrated she too attributed that to being of the opposite sex. I think im a good. My wife helped me discover alexithymia (inadvertently) when she asked me to describe embarrassment. I replied with "shame" and she said no, how did feel? And i felt like a walking thesaurs for every word i knew that was related to embarrassment. She then popped the golden question, "how did it make you physically feel?" My only thought was, "thats a thing?" Emotions somehow invoke a physical response? She explained that embarrassment for her involves feeling waves of heat over her body, getting read in the face and ears and the urge to cry begins to cone forward. I can only think of one real physical attribute that, at least the best I can tell, is emotionally linked. Anxiety, does seem to coexist with a small pressure just above my abdomen but below my chest. Aside from that nothing outside of things like physical pain. I've never even felt good after a massage ( to me they seem pointless).
I've come to a recent crossroads where I find myself second guessing if the life I live is the right one or not. This all started when someone asked me if I was happy, my normal response to this was "Well, I'm not Unhappy" and 99% of the time most people chuckle and move on. In this case though, they did not, they probed deeper and deeper, ultimately revealing that I can't really identify happiness, and if I'm honest, I can't recall ever experiencing it to help reference and define it.
I often think I'm a fraud in this since, I watch a lot of movies and television and believe that my social interactions, whether personal or professional are best served with an upbeat persona. I believe I can fake it really well. I believe the I know what emotions are supposed to be but can't tell you what they "feel" like. My wife, who is a saint, is trying to understand me. I've spent the past few years seeing therapists, and psychiatrists to help me find "what makes me happy." I'm not sure if I am an Alexi or not, I scored a 147 on the test. But I do see similarities between anhedonia and alexithymia. I find my current difficulty is that, everyone describes happiness as the meaning of life, as though it should be life's goal, well it logically makes me think that I'm somehow broken or that I'm missing out and so I find myself at my current dilemma.
...increasing emotional awareness. It doesn't have to be done by focusing on the body but just try to focus closely on what you experience and find the feelings and elaborate on them by trying to perceive them more closely. This could take a few attempts for each type of feeling. Days, weeks, months. After that you can try the step of identification... Again, days, weeks, months or even years if you don't have good help. After that, you can try and see how the feeling/emotion relates to situations. Try to integrate it that way. Oh and good help would be reading books about feelings, emotions, related topics and someone (therapist, etc) who can talk very easily about feelings and who can empathize with you in a way that you do (eventually) respond to that at least a bit.
... is a new term to me.
Having looked it up, it's definitely one I suffer from.
But am I anhedonic because I'm alexithymic?
Is it possible to be alexithymic and NOT anhedonic?
My first reason for investigating the concept of alexithymia was because of not experiencing pleasure, so I suppose anhedonia was my way in to all of this, but I do struggle to experience other emotions too - until they're too strong, and come out in a big whoosh, which isn't good for anybody in the vicinity.