Question for People Diagnosed with AS and Alexithymia

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Rebel_Nowe
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30 Jul 2012, 10:29 pm

Is there a discernible difference to you? How do you tell what is aspergers emotional difficulties vs. alexithymia? Is it the difference between just not understanding the emotions of others vs. not understanding your own emotions?

I ask because I am fairly certain for many reasons of my aspergers. I mean, the vocabulary of aspergers is what saved the relationship that became my marriage. However, I also definitely seem to exhibit signs of alexithymia. The fight that led to me seriously researching aspergers (based on what little I knew of it at the time) was about me being unable to identify my own emotions to discuss them and my now wife thinking that I was withholding for some insane manipulative reason. I feel unemotional a lot. I sometimes just don't bother to really identify and understand my emotions when they aren't strong. I also have executive dysfunction/decision making issues that This Topic leads be to believe could be related to both AS and alexithymia.

I'm trying to understand myself and looking for input from people who know where I'm coming from. What means alexithymia instead of just emotional issues related to aspergers?


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Ganondox
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30 Jul 2012, 11:11 pm

I don't think you get diagnosed with Alexithymia.


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Verdandi
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30 Jul 2012, 11:17 pm

You can be diagnosed with alexithymia. I think it doesn't have any diagnostic codes, however.



autotelica
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31 Jul 2012, 6:14 am

Alexithymia is a symptom. It's like you are asking how do people know the difference between Asperger's and stimming. Stimming is a part of the syndrome, even though not all people with Asperger's stim.

I'm alexithymic. It is impossible for me to know if I'm alexithymic because this is just the way I am versus it being the result of having an "autistic" brain. My brain IS me. So the question does not compute.



Verdandi
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31 Jul 2012, 7:38 am

autotelica wrote:
Alexithymia is a symptom. It's like you are asking how do people know the difference between Asperger's and stimming. Stimming is a part of the syndrome, even though not all people with Asperger's stim.

I'm alexithymic. It is impossible for me to know if I'm alexithymic because this is just the way I am versus it being the result of having an "autistic" brain. My brain IS me. So the question does not compute.


I agree with this too: I think alexithymia is generally a symptom. My mother had it as a symptom of PTSD, I've had it my entire life as a symptom of autism.

I don't think there really is a difference. I can't describe what my brain would be like without alexithymia any more than I could describe what my brain would be like without autism.



Rebel_Nowe
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31 Jul 2012, 10:43 am

Between discussions here and This Article I was under the impression that Alexithymia was something more distinct. So AS and alexithymia and executive dysfunction are just a big ball of trouble that tends to come together? xd


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31 Jul 2012, 11:04 am

Rebel_Nowe wrote:
Between discussions here and This Article I was under the impression that Alexithymia was something more distinct. So AS and alexithymia and executive dysfunction are just a big ball of trouble that tends to come together? xd


No. Alexithymia occurs outside of other disorders as well, which is why it can be diagnosed. Unfortunately, you run into people who think "not in the DSM or ICD, not a real diagnosis." This is despite the fact that such diagnoses are widely used and accepted. It can be diagnosed with an ASD, but I think in that case it is a part of the ASD.