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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I havent seen anyone talk about Alexithymia on the forum...

I am very curious wether you feel if you fit into the catagory, as I know it fits me to perfection!!! What are your thoughts???

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Alexithymia is a manifestation of a deficit in emotional cognition. People with this problem are mostly unaware of their feelings, or don't know what they signify, and hence they rarely talk about their emotions or their emotional preferences; they operate in a very functional manner and rarely use imagination to focus their drives and motivations. Alexithymia refers to this distinctive cluster of characteristics.

Alexithymics have been described as human robots, or emotional illiterates. They score very low on measures of emotional intelligence and are likely to fare rather poorly in life, whatever their intellectual abilities. Their interpersonal relationships are frequently hampered by poor emotional communication. Many also suffer chronic medical problems, particularly psychosomatic or somatoform illnesses.

Although alexithymia is a clinical construct, it does not constitute a diagnostic illness in its own right. It is a clinical feature associated with a range of medical diagnoses, such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Anorexia Nervosa or Asperger's Syndrome. There is, however, a strong case for construing it (or more properly the associated psychological deficit) as an independent condition or cognitive-affective dysfunction. Though it can have a profoundly disruptive effect on an individual's life and prospects, it is arguably inappropriate to call it a disorder or disability.

Also:
What is alexithymia?

In brief, alexithymia is the inability to talk about feelings due to a lack of emotional awareness. Alexithymics are typically unable to identify, understand or describe their own emotions, and the construct of alexithymia refers to some of the chief manifestations of this deficit in emotional functioning. (You can read some more precise definitions here.)

The term was coined from the Greek a- (prefix meaning "lack"), lexis ("word") and thymos ("feelings"), and hence can be read literally as "a lack of words for feelings". Note that alexithymia does not mean "a lack of words for feelings". Its meaning is determined by its definition and is not constructed from the literal senses of its etymological roots. The term means the syndrome described in the literature and not simply an absence of emotion words.
Two conceptions of alexithymia

There are two closely related conceptions of alexithymia in the academic literature?psychiatric (in medical literature) and psychometric (in psychological literature), though the distinction is rarely acknowledged.

The psychiatric concept emerged in the context of psychosomatic medicine. Alexithymia in this sense refers to a set of characteristics, similar to la pens?e op?ratoire, observed in a subset of psychosomatic patients. The classification is applied to people who exhibit the key symptoms of a deficiency in emotional cognition, as determined by a standard examination protocol, such as the Beth Israel Questionnaire. Alexithymia may be used to describe the behavioural profile of patients with a number of different syndromes, but it does not constitute a clinical disorder in its own right. It is a general clinical descriptor, like akinesia (lack of movement), aboulia (lack of will) or apnoea (breathing difficulties).

Alexithymia has a non-medical range of application in psychometric psychology. Here it is principally conceived as a dimensional personality trait. It implies a continuous range of abilities and although people who have an alexithymia rating above a certain arbitrary value can be classified as alexithymic, the term is not necessarily indicative of a clinically significant impairment. The difference in definition is subtle but important.

Most theoretical discussions of alexithymia seem to imply the psychiatric model, but most of the tests adopt the psychometric model. The confusion is often apparent within single publications. For example, many studies identify an assumption from the psychiatric literature, then examine the corresponding hypothesis by selecting non-clinical subjects with the psychometric questionnaire and conclude that the hypothesis is not supported; however the psychometric test has implicitly redefined the construct and widened its range of reference. Accordingly, it is questionable whether the results of many empirical studies have a direct bearing on the psychiatric conception of alexithymia.
 
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
thanks for posting that.

The one characteristic of DP that I can't identify with (and I identify with everything else) is the "no emotions" part. I feel very strong emotions, ranging a whol range. Usually I feel like I'm feeling them through a cloth or something, in a numbed way, but I'm still feeling them.

Does anyone here really have "no emotions?"

:?:
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I still feel very profound emotions...in fact at times it feels as if the emotions of fear and sadness are heightened. I understand the defense mechanism of apathy, and it has its benefits...but I cling onto my emotion and with that comes the strong feelings of sorrow. I still feel that I need this sensation as I may totally lose touch without it.
 

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i find that all the happy emotions have gone....extremley blunted...but i can feel anger....upset.....and anything else that makes me appear as a right miserable cow......which i wasnt before :( i do think this is related to the dp though
 

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i feel intense emotions. sometimes feelings of love/grief, sorrow, fear, despair are too much. i've never connected to the lack of emotion symptom and feel for me it's the opposite
 

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I dint feel, good or bad. I posted this when I first visited the forum looking for anyone else who had the same experience. I dont think its so common. :?
Anyone else know what I mean?
 

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For me I don't feel emotions like I used to though I still do feel emotions it's usually bad ones, usually self deprecating or self hatred feelings, like not feeling emotions liek usual a numbing of emotions would be a good description of how I feel

I also get angry a lot, I like to smash things up, this is something ive done since young, if im frustrated I take it out on objects around me or sometimes on my self, my temper seems to just linger beneath the surface but I can burst at any minute , most probably due to the frustraion factor of having dp/dr and also not feeling the same interconnecyness I used to feel with my enviorment and others, I always feel like I have to release this subcounious anger energy and I also have uncounsious anger towards others, but having not expressed this anger I therfore express it in other ways, I draw , I isolate myself, and I also hurt mysself, Liek today i decided to cut myself a bit, made me feel better anyway and now i sound like a total fuk up, but oh well I guess i am.
 

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Though I'm no expert, this sounds like a more profound disorder, like Asperger's Syndrome (a less disabling "version" of autism).

The spectrum of Asperger's includes very functional, bright people, but they have difficulty "interpreting" emotions, i.e. someone smiles and there is something in the brain that doesn't recognize the image, or interpret it correctly.

I'd say this is a completely different problem.

The loss of emotional feeling in DP/DR comes from a different place. When severely DPd my one emotion is of abject Horror. At other times I can be happy, very sad, etc. My emotions are not deadened, they are... "filtered" ....

Hope this makes sense.

The brain is infinitely complex. And many metaphors/analogies we use to describe one mental condition/cognitive disorder "seem" to overlap, but there are really clear distinctions.

That isn't to say that someone with autism or Asperger's couldn't have DP along with their illness. I remember one young woman who used to post on the old DP Board who had autism (high functioning) as well as DP symptoms.

Best,
D
 

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Also, many with Asperger's, high functioning autism will say, "I don't have a disorder, this is who I am." Very interesting.

I suggest reading Oliver Sack's book "An Anthropologist on Mars" where he discusses and talks with Temple Grandin, Ph.D. A very gifted woman with Aspergers who communicates/feels more comfortable with animals than people.

Fascinating.
 
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I've always been a bit destructive to myself and my surroundings. I'm a bit of a local hero/asshole for my extreme acts of vandalism and destructive observational humor. I don't do things like that quite as much as If i need to release some frustration, i'll do it to myself and not fuk with other people's property. Although i've diffused about 5 inflatable snowmen in the past week and a half which does not count.

I've also branded my arm a few times...at first it was just to kill my anxiety, but eventually i did it a few more times to make it look cooler. I've now got a Roman numeral 10 on my arm and I feel damn badass.

I also like to tap into my southeast pa pride with some painful jackass stunts which are both ridiculously stupid and insanely funny to me at the same time. I live about 20 miles from west chester where most of the jackass wanks are from and i've met the margera family (morons).

I originated the art of jumping and rolling around in people's shrubberies many many years ago.
 

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I used to self harm at times of high emotion, when I felt unable to control the situation. Nothing severe and not very often but always an option. I have always felt very strongly up until this(three years ago now) and did suffer anxiety, confusion along with DP/DR just before the nothingness. As Ive posted previously I believe its probably the better of two evils as I function very competently, perhaps even better without emotional reactions. However I have two young children and I know it does affect these relationships.
 
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