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

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marshall
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27 Jun 2013, 3:29 pm

I definitely have the full range of emotions. It often seems like I react more to fantasy or get triggered by music more than anything positive I feel in real life though. It's kind of sad to think about.



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28 Jun 2013, 11:51 pm

I do not understand emotions well. When I'm neutral I can feel happy/laughing (good) or angry/sad (bad) I also often feel other states of mind such as dissociation or apathy but I do not know if these are actual emotions. After that it gets confusing.



ThePaladin
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29 Jun 2013, 6:01 am

I feel everything and have no trouble expressing them. However I feel them at wrong times. I'm fairly certain I wouldn't feel anything if most of my friends died (something I've never admitted to anyone, by the way) but I've broken down over completely innocuous things.



ChristinaTheHobbit
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29 Jun 2013, 12:34 pm

I feel most emotions very strongly. However there is a disconnect between feeling and expressing, so I might giggle when someone is hurt and I am worried about them, or gratitude turns into rudeness.

I don't get such thing as dishonesty and disloyalty.


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r84shi37
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29 Jun 2013, 6:32 pm

When I learn that someone I know has died two things happen. First, I feel a chill down my spine, then, nothing. I thought I was a bad person for it at first but I think it's just because I'm a little more logical than emotional. When my grandpa died I thought, "Yay! His suffering has ended!" (terminal cancer). Or for instance, my dog was euthanized last night and I didn't even blink because it made sense, he could barely walk, he wouldn't eat, and he was 13 years old. He had a good life. End of story. I feel rage intensely though at things that I probably shouldn't feel rage about. I keep it in unless it's consequential like on the internet. :P I don't think I have trouble expressing my feelings, I just choose not to. Why would I want to? No one will make me feel better, they will see me differently, and I may look weak. I'm fairly sure that I hide emotions from myself effectively. I view this as a good thing because emotions cloud judgement. The downside is that every couple months it all comes out (only if I'm alone) and I'm yelling and laughing and crying in the same 5 minutes.


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drchcat85
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13 Dec 2015, 3:08 pm

I feel lots of emotions at a high level. Sometimes, at a wrong time. For example, I feel anxiety in safe situation. I also feel a strongly need for attachment, therefore I like meeting my friends. I have some trouble expressing my feelings, because I tend to express them in an abstract an logical way, while my NT peers tent to express in an concrete way. For example, when someone tells me that feel something, I tend to explain why he/she is feeling that emotion. I'm not able to feel some complex emotions such contradictory emotions at same time. I read that NTs are able to have a mix of contradictory feelings at same time in complex social situations. For example, I struggle with a competitive environment, perhaps because I don't feel the mix of feeling of inferiority, frustration, power, excitement. In such environment, I don't feel nothing and then I only feel frustration and then I begin to see others as enemies. In assumption of the gender roles, are also involved complex and contradictory feelings.


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Joe90
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13 Dec 2015, 4:32 pm

I feel all emotions. Right now I am feeling depressed because my Simpsons collection of DVDs has been stopped abruptly and can only be viewed online which I can't get in the UK anyway, and also the bus service I get a lot is to be changing in the new year so all that is making me feel depressed, anxious and angry at the same time.

I can feel happy for others, unless I am bitter and jealous of them. I still act happy for them, but inside I'm horribly jealous. But that can be quite normal in humans, and is nothing to do with lacking ability to feel things.

I can feel excited too, like if I'm going on holiday or something, and I get sad and tearful at funerals. I feel sad for people who have bad things going on in their lives, and I may not be very good at offering advice but I can listen and understand. That's why I don't offer much advice to people's personal issues here on WP, it's not because I don't care, it's just that I read their post, picture myself in their situation, but then be unsure of what to put, so I don't write anything.


But I can identify my own emotions and pick up on other people's emotions. My diagnosis doesn't seem to affect me in that way. My symptoms are more based around anxiety and attention issues, more so than identifying and understanding emotions. I am fine with all that.


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Joe90
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13 Dec 2015, 4:51 pm

But even NTs themselves have said that emotions can affect people in strange ways. When my grandfather died, I didn't cry straight away when I was told the sad news. I sort of just got on with the day as normal, although I knew I felt sad. But it was just due to disbelief. Then when his funeral came, it all hit me and I couldn't stop sobbing.
Then when I shared my emotional reaction with my NT relatives, they said that my emotional reaction was completely normal, and that they felt the same way; they reacted rather calmly to the sad news and didn't display much emotion, then when the funeral came it hit them more.

Emotions can be subtle. It's not all black and white. I know a lot about emotions, and I love talking about feelings and emotions to other people. I do like to ask why they're feeling that way, not because I don't know, but because I just like to discuss it with them. Usually people are inclined to go more into detail about how they're feeling, and I enjoy listening.

A lot of emotions are irrational. Like now with me and my depression about not getting my Simpsons on DVDs any more and about my bus changing, some people might say "oh moping about being miserable won't change it". I know moping about feeling miserable won't make Al Jean suddenly decide to release the next 9 Simpsons on DVD, or won't make the bus company keep my favourite bus service how it is, but it's just how I feel. Each time I do try to feel cheerful, a little voice in my head reminds me that I have things to feel pissed off about.


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13 Dec 2015, 5:09 pm

I feel lots of emotions in avalanche proportions and they can be very overwhelming. I can feel happy, excited, depressed, sad, angry, afraid, frustrated, confused, jealous. Those are the main ones. I don't always know what they are when I am feeling them though. Sometimes it takes me a long time to figure out what they are and how to identify or express them. It usually takes me a day or so after the fact to be able to start to figure them out.


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13 Dec 2015, 5:15 pm

The one emotion that I have trouble feeling is sorrow for people I don't know and did not see. For example, after the attacks in Paris, I didn't feel anything because I didn't know anyone who died or got hurt. I don't tell people I have these feelings, or lack thereof, because I'm afraid they'll think I'm a terrible person. All other emotions hit me very intensely, but mourning for victims of things like 9/11 or the Paris attacks just doesn't come naturally to me. If I saw these things happen and saw people die, though, then I would feel it. But not seeing or knowing victims means no feelings come to me.



Nickchick
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13 Dec 2015, 11:38 pm

Joe90 wrote:
But even NTs themselves have said that emotions can affect people in strange ways. When my grandfather died, I didn't cry straight away when I was told the sad news. I sort of just got on with the day as normal, although I knew I felt sad. But it was just due to disbelief. Then when his funeral came, it all hit me and I couldn't stop sobbing.
Then when I shared my emotional reaction with my NT relatives, they said that my emotional reaction was completely normal, and that they felt the same way; they reacted rather calmly to the sad news and didn't display much emotion, then when the funeral came it hit them more.


Yeah I think that's a little different because it's a common occurrence apparently. I was very close to my grandma and when my mom told me I yelled at her "what? you're lying" but that was it. I didn't feel anything until the way to her house then I started crying so for me I guess it was denial.

Grammar Geek wrote:
The one emotion that I have trouble feeling is sorrow for people I don't know and did not see. For example, after the attacks in Paris, I didn't feel anything because I didn't know anyone who died or got hurt. I don't tell people I have these feelings, or lack thereof, because I'm afraid they'll think I'm a terrible person. All other emotions hit me very intensely, but mourning for victims of things like 9/11 or the Paris attacks just doesn't come naturally to me. If I saw these things happen and saw people die, though, then I would feel it. But not seeing or knowing victims means no feelings come to me.

I don't feel anything either..perhaps it would be different if you actually saw it because I can cry at a movie for example



Anyway, I don't think I've ever experienced true happiness..at least not since I was a kid. I can feel content maybe or a brief moment of excitement. I think that has to do with having depression though.
As far as jealousy, I rarely feel that. Envy I do feel plenty of times but I can recall only one time I have felt jealous. When I love someone I tend to love them with all my heart (esp if they're a guy) but I don't get attached to people in general. The friends I have I do care about them in a sense that they are a human being but love is too far strong a word for the majority of them. It comes with feeling detached I guess. It's really difficult to connect with the GP.

Mental impairment probly does help but I often wonder if a part of me has died since I was so close to my grandma. I hate to think that because she wouldn't want me to be sad but it would explain the lack of happiness.



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14 Dec 2015, 12:32 am

Another feeling I don't experience very often is fear. More specifically, fear over harmless things. I made a thread about this, but it seems like so many people are afraid of harmless snakes, spiders, cockroaches, etc. I never understood people's aversions to creatures like those. Something else is flying in planes. I've only done it a couple times in my life, but I loved it. However, so many people are afraid of flying even though planes are much safer than cars. I just don't get it.



izzeme
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14 Dec 2015, 3:59 am

I can identify (both in myself and in others) the basic emotions: anger, fear, happiness, sadness.
There is one more, which NTs (apparantly) have trouble grasping: "neutral".

I know that complex emotions are combinations of the above basic ones, but i cannot really identify them for what they are.



Joe90
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14 Dec 2015, 7:15 am

Most fears are complicated to understand. Those types of fears are what you call "pathological fears".

My fear (or more like anxiety) of plane crashes is far more higher than how I feel about car crashes. It must be a pathological fear, because I don't understand why I'm so afraid of something as rare as a plane crash happening to me when there's a greater risk of getting killed in a car.
But when it comes to most fears, statistics don't change how I feel. So it's no good saying "oh thousands of people die a year in car crashes, far more likely than a plane crashing" because those statistics will not make my anxiety of planes go away. I hate it when people try to bog me down with numbers.


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marcb0t
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14 Dec 2015, 9:04 am

marshall wrote:
I definitely have the full range of emotions. It often seems like I react more to fantasy or get triggered by music more than anything positive I feel in real life though. It's kind of sad to think about.

Heh, same with me. Certain musical melodies and chord progressions will make tears come from my eyes. But if a loved one dies, I may not cry or feel really sad until I see the body in a casket after about a week. It's like I have to have that visual confirmation.

And movies like "Bolt" and "Toy Story 3" will make me cry because of the more emotional parts towards the endings.


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