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Daedelus1138
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22 Nov 2010, 9:08 am

kfisherx wrote:
Oh CRAP! Another freak'n label!! ! And this one really fits me too. I am a Storm Veteran and the Doc also dug up PTSD issues with me along with avoidance. Good Lord, I am a flipp'n mess. How the hell do I get out of this?? ?


Alexithymia (it's a descriptive symptom more than a unique disorder), besides being correlated with Asperger's and Autism heavily, is correlated alot with PTSD, eating disorders, panic disorders, and substance abuse disorders. One psychoanalytic theory says one is exposed to too much emotional trauma that cannot be processed, it leads the subconscious mind to dissosciating from emotions altogether. So that's possibly why its associated with PTSD and other disorders that have a high amount of anxiety. It can also be caused by Autism and brain injury.

Alexithymia makes a patient resistent to any psychotherapy focused on talking about feelings. Play therapy and art therapy are more productive. You have to develope a vocabulary of emotions first and this can only be done through contextualization of feelings. Alexithymia is also associated with diminished imagination and sexual/relationship problems (sex can become a mechanical act devoid of emotions or a person is asexual altogether). It's a paucity or emptiness of an inner life that can leave a person feeling like a robot.



kfisherx
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22 Nov 2010, 10:26 am

manBrain wrote:
hey kfisherx.
I have total alexithymia.
If someone asks me, (or I ask myself) "how do I feel?", I have no idea how to answer that.
So how to deal with life?
...


Thank you so much for this post. It gives me great hope. I actually have an amazingly productive and full life that includes sports/physical activity already. I play professional full contact (female) football and do bodybuilding in the off season. I am a senior engineer at Intel Corp. In my "spare" time, I play classical guitar (including performances) and I own a farm as well as some rental properties. I do not have any issues such as depression or feelings that my life is empty. I have close friends even though I live alone on my 40 acres to save my sanity. I am single (somewhat asexual) but that is by choice and I do not think of this as a bad thing. It is different but I am used to being different and accept that about me. IMHO normal is boring.

I guess what I am saying is that I do not see danger nor the harm in the way I process emotions. In fact my closest friends all wish they could do it the same. So in a way, I do not want to change who I am through therapy at any real level. I just want the hypersensitivity to stop. The stimming is somewhat annoying but I work in a big lab with a bunch of excentric computer geeks so I can pace and rock all day long and not get called out. This weekend, I got a lot of sleep and spent most of my time alone on my farm. I was able to be in the store late last night without earplugs and I only had a tiny bit of a hard time staying on task while I was in there. There is a long weekend coming up and I plan to be mostly alone. Hoping that helps some.



kfisherx
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22 Nov 2010, 10:42 am

Daedelus1138 wrote:
...Alexithymia makes a patient resistent to any psychotherapy focused on talking about feelings. Play therapy and art therapy are more productive. You have to develope a vocabulary of emotions first and this can only be done through contextualization of feelings. Alexithymia is also associated with diminished imagination and sexual/relationship problems (sex can become a mechanical act devoid of emotions or a person is asexual altogether). It's a paucity or emptiness of an inner life that can leave a person feeling like a robot.


I really do not have the symptoms yet associated with this "thing" but am going to seek to find a bit more of a vocabularly surrounding emotions. So far I have read 3 completel books and a dissertation just to get to the point where I can be articulate at all in sessions. Therapy has been this completely weird experience for me. There are different rules of social relationships in there and the words are very different than the words I use at Intel every day. Cognitive therapy, goal discrpeceny theory, xyz therapy... all day open ended questions that seem to have no point and honestly over diplomacy. It has been a rough few sessions with me being from Mars and him from Earth. The first two sessions I could do little more than shake and rock I was so scared. With my studying and taking time to explain stuff to him, we seem to be able to communicate a bit but I still feel the need to seek information outside of his office given that these "labels" make me a fairly unique case. According to him, phsychitrists (and research in his field even) are primarily targeted and trained o treat NTs so he has to make this ASD thing up on the fly.



Meow101
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22 Nov 2010, 10:37 pm

I don't deal with grief the "normal" way either, not when it comes to death. I tend to take *that* fairly well, not too much crying, quite calm, but when it's more of a "symbolic" loss, like a breakup or a friendship loss with someone I really cared about, I go off the deep end. Meltdowns, obsessing, just can't get over it. I'm going through that right now. I have to wonder if it's related to my mother dying in 2005. I really didn't cry much, or feel much (ashamed to say), but then again we weren't that close so I don't really know. It's like when someone *chooses* to part ways, especially when I can't "get" exactly why, it's this overwhelming, painful, rip your heart out experience, but death isn't like that. It's something that happens TO people, yeah, it's horrible, yeah, it sucks, but they're not doing it TO me, so it's more of a "pure" loss, one I can deal with better...or, am I just rationalizing and putting off the grief? Who knows?

~K


_________________
Ce e amorul? E un lung
Prilej pentru durere,
Caci mii de lacrimi nu-i ajung
Si tot mai multe cere.
--Mihai Eminescu


JPOZ
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09 May 2011, 8:17 am

I stumbled across this post while searching for some way to help and support my partner David (AS) with the death of his Mum. His father passed in 2003 and he certainly has had a slow, long grieving process. It hasn't been as strong a display of emotions as I (NT) have experienced with major losses in my life but nonetheless was grief.

I will be seeking information from my AS Partner's support network on this specific topic and will post if I find any articles, studies or information.

In the meantime, and note I'm certainly no expert on the subject of AS, it may be helpful to learn more about grief in general and then apply some of this to knowledge you have on how AS impacts you specifically. My understanding with AS is that it is difficult to understand emotions, yours and others, and therefore may be hard to process grief. It sounds like your body is giving you physical coping signs for the grief that you can't verbalise.

Maybe crying isn't for you. I know Dave struggles with this over the big things and often has a release when watching something unrelated on TV which triggers tears in small doses. This helps. Perhaps you could try a "rational" approach to grieving.

Grief is about loss. Loss of people or things you anticipated, hoped would be or needed to be around for longer. Grief isn't necessarily about regretting the past, that may be part of feelings someone has, but there is a lot of looking back at the good times in the past, which generally causes the tears as NT people realise there will be no more of these with this significant person in the future.

With AS, you may be able to rationally process this about the good times but perhaps your physical reactions are more about other aspects you will miss about your father. People with AS often display their affection by doing things for their loved ones and I find it is best to show my affection for my AS partner in the same way.

Perhaps if you listed all the things your Dad did for you, whether it was a sounding board for decisions or problems, helping you to fix things around your home, an exercise partner, movie, camping companion (whatever your relationship was) and then talked to your counsellor about how you will manage these from now on or who else can help you with these things. Might be somewhere to start and if your physical signs start to reduce then perhaps you'll have stumbled on the cause of your stress

Bright side of AS, being able to immediately look at your past fondly without generating bucketloads of tears. I know as an NT person I'm still struggling 2 years later, so don't worry too much if the tears don't come. Everyone grieves differently. Every AS person is different. So the combination of the two mean you are certainly unique.

One thing I did learn when grieving was to do things in your own time, your own way and stay true to what feels right for you. Everyone around you will tell you what you should or shouldn't do, often not very good or informed advice too. They say this with your best in mind, but if their advice doesn't feel right, just thank them, tell them you appreciate their kind thoughts and explain that grief is a unique thing and with your AS you will need to deal with it how it seems right for you.

I read so many books on grief trying to understand what I was going through. Books by Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross & David Kessler such as On Grief & Grieving were brilliant. So were How To Go On Living When Someone You Love Dies by Therese A. Rando and I Wasn't Ready to Say Goodbye: Surviving, Coping and Healing After the Sudden Death of a Loved One by Brook Noel. Hope these help.

Good luck.



estrellaSMC
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06 Apr 2012, 12:50 pm

I've been looking for information on if there are any special strategies for people with AS to help them deal with grief since I am grieving over the loss of my pastor. He was a father figure to me and he retired from my church and moved several states away at the end of last June. I did find an article online. Unfortunately, I can't post the link, but do a search for 'Death, bereavement and autism spectrum disorders' and you will probably find it. It's on a UK site. It seems to suggest that stimming and hypersensitivity can be ways that people on the autism spectrum express grief.



estrellaSMC
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06 May 2012, 7:51 pm

Hi again.

Does anybody have any recommendations of books? Not ones that have tips on how to help yourself with the grieving process, but apparently there are books out there that help you understand grief better. Has anyone heard of any such books and, if you have, what ones would you recommend?