Autism/Asperger's and Emotions: What emotions can you feel?

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06 Apr 2012, 2:18 pm

What emotions come easily to you? What emotions are you unable to feel or feel only slightly?

FYI: i have an Asperger's diagnosis and am unable to feel more complex emotions, such as pride. Also unable to respond to things that apparently send a shiver down "normal" people's spines, such as a sunset or a baby's cry. Also unable to feel other people's emotions, such as joy for another person if they succeed at something, although I can intellectually appreciate their success.



NewlyHuman
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06 Apr 2012, 2:26 pm

I feel loads of emotions, but cannot separate them from each other, they sort of form a solid mass. Subsequently, any emotional event can trigger all the other emotions, so I cry at the drop of a hat, for no apparent reason. This has also caused me to block all emotions to avoid the triggering ones, sometimes quite successfully.

Something that baffles me is vengeance. Never got it.



Joe90
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06 Apr 2012, 2:30 pm

I can feel every emotion. When I watch something sad in a film, I actually go all weak before I cry, and uncontrollable tears come out before I can stop them. When somebody says something offensive to me, I get hurt. When a loved one is diagnosed with some sort of an illness (even if it's mild) I feel a twinge of worry and start asking questions like ''will he/she be all right?'' When somebody boasts or says something they're doing what I want to do, I get jealous and when I get jealous I feel a slight hot feeling behind my ears for some reason. When someone makes me angry, I feel my blood boiling and want to shout and scream (this emotion can sometimes be hard to control, depending on my current state of mind). When I think of an oncoming situation that is nerve-racking, I feel nervous or depressed. When I think of an oncoming situation that is exciting, I get a wave of happiness go through me, which is excitement. When I'm enjoying myself that means I'm relaxed or happy (usually). I feel lots of other emotions aswell.

The trouble is, I feel too many emotions, and sometimes it can cause terrible mood swings, causing hyperactivity then depression. I'm not Bipolar, it's just because I have an anxiety disorder but can also be rather sociable and happy, but sometimes the two opposite emotions can clash and I don't know what to feel. Then awkward feelings come down on me where people are expecting me to be happy but I've developed a mood swing and go all serious and snappy.

I cry a lot too.


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Cerberus_01
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06 Apr 2012, 2:41 pm

As far as I can ever tell, I experiance emotions fine, just not the same as everyone else. Definantly not extremes of emotions at almost any time, but that may be colored by my stoic outlooks, or my outlooks could be caused by that, who knows.



DaBeef2112
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06 Apr 2012, 2:51 pm

I think I feel them all. However I am not very good at expressing/sharing those emotions with others.


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diniesaur
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06 Apr 2012, 3:03 pm

I feel a lot of emotions, but I'm not very good at naming them or translating them into ways that Neurotypicals can understand. Many times, it's hard for me to even tell if the emotion is positive or negative. If it's a common emotion, I understand it easily.

One emotion I don't seem to feel nearly as often as Neurotypicals is Embarrassment. I can feel it on occasion, and I see that it is unpleasant, but it's very, very rare for me. I also don't understand Social Discomfort. It doesn't seem to be the same as Embarrassment, but it seems to be an emotion. I've never felt it, though. I also don't get Disgusted at the same things that most people do, but I get Disgusted at things that don't disgust most people.

I think I experience emotions differently, possibly due to synesthesia? For me, the emotions take up space and have shapes, colors, sizes, densities, temperatures, textures, and locations. I wish I could draw them for people, but even computer software isn't complex enough to properly show these emotions, since they have colors, shapes, and textures both inside and outside. It's almost...four-dimensional? It's very hard to explain, but these pictures are a lot easier for me to understand than the words that are supposed to go with emotions like "pride" and "worry." I understand the words for more simple emotions like "happy" and "sad" and "anxious."

Another thing I think is important is that just because I can't explain, understand, or describe an emotion doesn't mean that I can't experience it.



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06 Apr 2012, 3:14 pm

I have difficulty figuring out my emotions. I know I experience most emotions less than most people.
Sunsets/ beautiful landscapes etc mean little to me. I can be out with someone and they will say 'what a beautiful view'. I just see fields and sky. If it is particularly hilly and steep I may wonder if I can get up there with one of my off-roaders (one of my obsessions). A baby's cry is just a painful noise. Love is a bit of a mystery to me. As far as I can tell I don't even love any of my family.

Other people's emotions affect me very little. A close friend's wife has just been diagnosed with a cancerous tumor in her brain. She's already had one lung removed due to cancer and the prognosis isn't good. I feel rather guilty that I don't feel upset about it. Am I really that cold?


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diniesaur
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06 Apr 2012, 3:25 pm

RazorEddie wrote:
I have difficulty figuring out my emotions. I know I experience most emotions less than most people.
Sunsets/ beautiful landscapes etc mean little to me. I can be out with someone and they will say 'what a beautiful view'. I just see fields and sky. If it is particularly hilly and steep I may wonder if I can get up there with one of my off-roaders (one of my obsessions). A baby's cry is just a painful noise. Love is a bit of a mystery to me. As far as I can tell I don't even love any of my family.

Other people's emotions affect me very little. A close friend's wife has just been diagnosed with a cancerous tumor in her brain. She's already had one lung removed due to cancer and the prognosis isn't good. I feel rather guilty that I don't feel upset about it. Am I really that cold?


That lack of love and concern doesn't seem like Autism--maybe you have something else in addition to Autism that is causing that, or maybe you have some problem that makes you block your emotions so you don't notice them?



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06 Apr 2012, 3:49 pm

i have emotions, perhaps a bit muted, though. when i was younger, i had stronger feelings. being 55 has given me perspective to dampen the excesses of emotion. i still tend to get very angry when i see someone taken advantage of. my main lack is that very little makes me laugh, never has. if i think something is funny, i say, "ha, ha."



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06 Apr 2012, 4:11 pm

Like others I have difficulty working out what they are. What I do have is probably a fairly limited range: Anger, anxiety, fear, love and contentment/satisfaction. Not sure if I've ever felt happy.



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06 Apr 2012, 4:27 pm

diniesaur wrote:
That lack of love and concern doesn't seem like Autism--maybe you have something else in addition to Autism that is causing that, or maybe you have some problem that makes you block your emotions so you don't notice them?


You may have a good point. I have no diagnosis and have never talked to a psychologist so I'm only guessing that I have ASD. To be honest I don't know if I don't feel these emotions, if I suppress them or if I just don't recognize them. A lot of my behavior could be explained by schizoid personality disorder. I fact, looking at the DSM I probably tick enough of the boxes for a diagnosis if you ignore the ASD type symptoms. I've taken several on-line tests for SPD and usually score fairly low due to my extremely pragmatic temperament. I generally score pretty high on ASD tests. Just to complicate the issue my father was emotionally abusive though I don't remember most of it. Most of my family can't understand why we get on reasonably well these days. They think I am very forgiving but I simply don't remember much of my childhood. Again I don't know if that is due to my poor memory in general or if I am blocking those memories.


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06 Apr 2012, 4:39 pm

For the most part, I am hyper-emotive; when I am happy, I am elated; when I am saddened, I experience melancholy; when I am angry, I am infuriated. That being said, I find it extremely difficult to become angry at someone, barring myself: I can feel angry at a situation, yes, and I can feel angry about specific mannerisms and incidents of others, but I find it difficult, if not downright impossible, to maintain anger at another being for more than a day or so--at least anger that I can detect.
I also do not understand the neurotypical feeling of vengeance--again, at least not that I can detect.



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06 Apr 2012, 5:00 pm

I feel most emotions, but my expression of them is complicated.

A lot of the time, my emotions 'assault' me. It's like little ping pong balls of emotion bounce off of my brain one after the other, and I'm left in a state of confusion, beause I know I'm feeling SOMETHING, but I don't know WHAT. This is a tough one for my boyfriend, because he'll see the confused look on my face, and ask what's wrong, but when I respond that I don't know, he thinks I just don't want to tell him. It usually takes minutes, hours or even a day to sort through my emotions and figure out why and what I felt.

There are other emotions that I have that I either hyper- or hypo-express. Excitement is the major one. Things that would excite most people...going to a concert for their favorite band, visiting Disney World or getting accepted into a prestigious school (all examples from my life), don't excite me in a visual way. I mean, I'm pretty sure I'm excited, or at least looking forward to or happy about those things, but I react very neutrally to them. I enjoy concerts and love Disney World and am very happy to be going to a prestigious school...but I don't talk about it or show excitement the way most do. When I got into school, my boyfriend could hardly contain himself! He told every single person he encountered! There are still people close to me who don't know, because I don't think to share it. :oops:

Ironically, when I DO show excitement, it's for bizarre things, like finding this cool stuffed Michael Myers doll (I love Halloween) and finding one of my favorite songs in the Rock Band store! Those are two recent examples where I briefly jumped up and flapped my hands and squeeled! Yet, you'd think it was any ol' rainy day when something 'truly' exciting happens. haha.

Oh, and I cry easily, and A LOT. Sometimes I know the reason, but sometimes I'll just start crying and have to figure out what it was that made me cry! 8O


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06 Apr 2012, 5:13 pm

I experience the primary emotions quite intensely. Happiness, anger sadness, fear... the basic ones, I can get quite carried away in those emotions.

There are four emotions I 've always had trouble with, and for the longest time I was uncertain if I could feel them at all. They are guilt, gratitude, regret, and shame. Of course, these emotions usually have to do with how one relates to other people, and that's always been something I've never fully grasped.


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06 Apr 2012, 5:54 pm

I experience all sorts of emotions, and they are extreme in their intensity, but I struggle to decipher what is what and they all merge together and it gets confusing and when the emotions are that strong and that complex, that's when the problems occur. I think I feel emotions way too strongly though.


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