Alexithymia

[PICTURE CREDIT]

Sometimes as autistics we’re not sure how we feel/find it hard to articulate emotions, not because we don’t feel them, but because they can be “too big”.

When people ask me how I (Chloe) feel I often answer “small” – which my partner always replies with “that’s not a feeling”. But to me it is.

Alexithymia is characterized by difficulties in identifying, describing, and processing one’s own feelings, often marked by a lack of understanding of the feelings of others, and difficulty distinguishing between feelings and the bodily sensations of emotional arousal. It is especially important to note that Alexithymia does not constitute a clinical diagnosis and is best conceptualized as a dimensional personality trait that is normally distributed in the general population (estimates of 10%). – Living Autism Foundation 

For more on:

  • what alexithymia is, feels like (realising after the fact that you were experiencing something; only able to articulate bodily sensations as emotions)
  • why it can be a problem (not realising you are on the verge of meltdown/burnout etc.)
  • and how to accommodate it (e.g. avoid the news, social media etc.) please see Autistictic’s blog.

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