Alexithymia and not feeling in love?


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tiger91
Alexithymia and not feeling in love?
2017-04-06
In the test on this site my score was 132 yesterday, which is apparently in the lower half of the high (alexithymic) side on the scale.

But I don't relate to this in the wikipedia article: "difficulty distinguishing between feelings and the bodily sensations of emotional arousal".

But maybe it's because I separate the two things pretty strongly - if I detect a feeling or emotional state in myself, it is never ever localized in my body. I just have the feeling state "somewhere", and this "somewhere" is not in my body at all. And on the other side of this, I'm good at recognizing the bodily sensations of mine that have physical reasons so I don't tend to mix that with feelings either.

To be clear - I don't often feel anything and if I do, it's usually fleeting for a couple of seconds. With the exception of irritation/anger, I can feel that for minutes and I feel it often enough. Also, I do identify some basic emotions just fine. All the subtler ones I have had a problem with though. A lot of them are more like "disaffectation" than an emotional state. (Look up disaffectation at wikipedia.)

Anyway, due to this separation of feeling and body sensation, it is very rare that I do see an emotion as felt in the body. Even if sometimes I do detect a bodily sensation that I know is not due to physical reasons, I can't really blend it with the emotional state itself. I see them separately, alongside each other if that makes sense, hard to imagine the emotion as "blended in" with the bodily sensation.

I do however know that I have the bodily sensation due to some sort of stress in these cases because it's an immediate reaction to what I was thinking/experiencing. I just call it physically felt stress since these are situations that are supposed to elicit negative emotions but somehow instead of feeling the negative emotion, it gets translated into the bad (but momentary) physical reaction. This luckily doesn't happen often.
(The negative emotions would probably be things like intense despair but I'm not sure.)

So if that separation of the two is alexithymia, okay... Please let me know if that's an alexithymia thing.

Also the psychosomatic stuff is not typical of me. I did have actual psychosomatic issues only twice in my life, for shorter time periods - psychosomatic since I did not recognize these as being of an emotional origin or being due to stress. It took me a few days before I realized for the second one that it was due to that. The first one I can only theorize that it was due to that but I'm 99% sure it was (that also lasted about a week).

These two psychosomatic issues were in one relationship. That relationship was very weird to me on the whole, the most contradictory one I ever had, I definitely couldn't be in love though there either, that was the only missing element in that relationship, where I found the person otherwise great (more great than other guys, I found him special in that way). And that pretty much caused a lot of problem there really. I definitely wouldn't be able to exclude the idea that that's why I had the psychosomatic issues there, what's more, I'm 99% sure there was a connection yes.

Essentially, I didn't ever have a relationship where I thought I felt enough to truly claim I was in love. I had relationships and felt a bit of bonding, but not that. I instead just have the vague notion that I'm missing something and that I'm waiting for it but it never gets conscious what it is exactly that I am waiting for in the relationships.

So that's due to alexithymia definitely?
Athanasa
2017-04-08
03:24
But I don't relate to this in the wikipedia article: "difficulty distinguishing between feelings and the bodily sensations of emotional arousal".


For explanation: In my case, I feel anxiety (and all mostly adrenaline based emotions) as vague nausea and/or stomach pains. Which makes sense, because nausea and stomach pains are actually physical symptoms of anxiety. However, I do not really feel the anxiety itself.

The flip side is that I interpret genuine low grade physical illness (nausea, stomach upset) as ALSO being anxiety, because it feels exactly the same.
tiger91
2017-04-08
22:00
Thanks for the reply.

I'm the exact OPPOSITE of this. I feel the feeling "somewhere" as a some pretty diffuse and abstract thing/state usually, but it is not in the body! No bodily sensation accompanies it.

If I do notice a bodily sensation, I always sense it as a physical thing, so for example, I interpret illness as illness, not as an emotion, but I don't believe that *any* physical sensation should be an emotion anyway.

I really really get weirded out by the idea that I should feel emotions in the body. I was told before to try and notice emotions as bodily sensations but just the idea already upset me. It makes me uncomfortable to even think about trying it, let alone actually trying - it doesn't work, it instantly just weirds me out.

Do you never feel any emotion that's *not* a physical bodily sensation to you?
Athanasa
2017-04-09
01:40
I really really get weirded out by the idea that I should feel emotions in the body. I was told before to try and notice emotions as bodily sensations but just the idea already upset me. It makes me uncomfortable to even think about trying it, let alone actually trying - it doesn't work, it instantly just weirds me out.

Emotions are hormones and chemicals, hormones and chemicals cause physical reactions. Increased heart-rate, increased blood flow to the face, tightening sensation of the throat, vertigo-type feeling of the stomach... all physical, but caused by chemicals whizzing around your brain.

Logically, it makes complete sense and should not freak you out at all.

https://www.nopanic.org.uk/anxiety-symptoms-explained/


Do you never feel any emotion that's *not* a physical bodily sensation to you?

I... don't think so? Everything is a body sensation - guilt is a strange feeling in my throat, and a heaviness in my stomach. Anxiety is as I mentioned above. Or I assume it's guilt.
tiger91
2017-04-09
02:48
Clearly, not everything is so neatly fitting into this logical theory if I find trying to blend emotions in with the bodily sensations uncomfortable. I don't know the reason for it but it's what it is. Just simply an uncomfortable thing. It's almost like my brain does not have the right wiring for trying to force this.

The link you gave about anxiety, as an example of bodily sensations I guess, I don't really have these bodily sensations. The list of them sounds like some very strong reaction. That's not really me. I'm familiar with the feeling of having some general arousal in preparation for something, but it's much weaker than what's described there.

Do you relate to the last couple lines on relationships I wrote about in my OP?
Athanasa
2017-04-09
03:06
Do you relate to the last couple lines on relationships I wrote about in my OP?
I'll try to reply in detail tomorrow, need to sleep for work.

I don't think I've ever felt LOVE. However, I do get obsessive/fascinated with people (but mostly in a non-sexual way... although if they asked for a roll in the hay I'd only say no because that's a turbo trip to Drama Town). Especially if they're really good at something, and I can even border on something similar to hero worship. But that's a fascination with their capabilities AND them, rather than just them. I absolutely love learning. There's also lust in there, but I suspect that's to do with an instinctive attraction to power. It's probably basic social survival - jump in bed with someone powerful, stay close and you benefit yourself. Interestingly, it's usually only one or two "targets" at a time I'm interested in.

I guess that makes me some sort of knowledge vampire? I'll be fascinated with someone, hang onto their every word, ask them questions about what they know, how stuff works, their views (if it interests me intellectually). But... once they've got nothing more to give me that I don't already know (and if they also cease to offer entertaining non-emotional conversation) then all 'desire' dries up. That or I find something out about them that instantly dumps them into the "nope" category.

For example, was sort of at the initial stages of a long distance relationship with some dude in the US. Older than me, but that just meant there was more life experience I could learn from him. One night we got into a conversation about childhood bullying, and he basically said that only weak people got bullied. Into the trash he went, right there and then. Severed all ties, never spoke to him again.

As for love in EXISTING relationships, I don't know. I feel that my ACTIONS constituted love, or at least loyalty like you'd hope to have in a relationship based on love.
tiger91
2017-04-11
15:12
I'm curious about the more detailed reply. :)

So about what you did write about - interesting. I can't relate to this type of survival strategy of being attracted to power. But yes I know some people are like this.

I do agree that actions are needed too to confirm you actually care about or love someone.
Terry-Townley
2017-11-26
14:24
Never related to anything in my life like I do with this post, never really felt love, just weird physical sensations.
Were in a relationship, what now? Nap.
I’v never had that deep connection to anyone and if I do, we probably go on adventures and do stuff that doesn’t require any emotions, you fell over, who cares it’s just a scratch, it ain’t like your gonna die.

I never really dated in my school years, didn’t see the point, a girl hugs me from behind to get some emotional response, all I felt is her arms, her long hair on my collar and her fragrance “what’s happening” it’s just weird or am I just weird for not wanting a girl to sit on my lap with my big strong arms making her feel safe while I tease her.

You got all the other guys at least sharing some emotion and I don’t care because I feel nothing, i feel empty. I been called a psychopath a few times, other girls either felt crushed by the way I rejected them and others wish to find out more of me on an emotional level but I just can’t.

That’s my personal experience and it’s only a problem if I want a type of relationship with this form of intimacy, i like to interact with people if I can practice being a decent and likeable guy who’s smile can lift anyone.
I’m not really bothered with this alexithymia, I think objectively and if I have to fake emotional responses to get closer to people then that’s all I can do.





ALEXITHYMIA .us .org .com .info Terms/Impressum [04:44:59]:UID:
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Alexithymia - emotional blindness - is a personal trait which affects roughly 10% of the population.

Alexithymia describes the difficulty of people to perceive and describe emotions of others and themselves. Most persons concerned are not aware about this deficit and usually they are just recognizing it in contact with others, especially close friends, within their family or their partner.

These pages should deliver additional information about Alexithymia and offer information for affected persons, relatives and generally interested people.