Do you only feel one emotion at a time?

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NotHolyRomanOrAnEmpire
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22 Jul 2022, 4:38 pm

It’s a problem. When I’m angry I’m ONLY angry and nothing else, so it kind of turns me into the worst version of myself. I get ashamed if not disgusted at the way I act when I’m angry but when I’m sad, say, I become completely passive as I can’t make myself angry enough to do anything. My anger has become even more of a danger to me (and sometimes others...) than my passivity was, but when I hold back that anger I lose all the agency it gives me. It’s like it’s a switch rather than a sliding scale.



FleaOfTheChill
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22 Jul 2022, 4:48 pm

I have alexithymia, so yeah. I'm really only good at understanding if I'm feeling angry, amused, or nothing at all. Those are my comfort zones/what I am familiar with. I know sometimes I must be feeling more complex emotions or multiple emotions at once, but it's as though my head gets hit with these and says, nope, too much, overwhelmed, and then a switch gets flipped and I feel only one or nothing at all again. Yeah, emotions are not my strong suit.



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22 Jul 2022, 10:47 pm

No

I just feel some more than others. It's more dysregulated when it comes to me, which isn't helped by some of my various personality quirks. Anger is something I barely feel, for example. I feel fear a lot, but it's not uniform, and often isn't there when it should be. I can get overwhelmed by it all fairly easily for obvious reasons. I can feel many at once. Likely autism with the dysregulation and mental illness for some of the oddities.



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22 Jul 2022, 10:50 pm

I have trouble identifying my emotions sometimes.


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Dillogic
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22 Jul 2022, 11:02 pm

Twilightprincess, that can be a symptom of alexithymia if you aren't aware of such, which is quite a common comorbid condition for those with autism (something like 50%).



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22 Jul 2022, 11:08 pm

Dillogic wrote:
Twilightprincess, that can be a symptom of alexithymia if you aren't aware of such, which is quite a common comorbid condition for those with autism (something like 50%).


That’s true.

The psychologist who diagnosed me with autism didn’t diagnose me with that.

My therapist thinks that the problem is more PTSD-related due to gaslighting and stuff.

I don’t know. Maybe it’s a combination of both.


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orbweaver
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22 Jul 2022, 11:35 pm

FleaOfTheChill wrote:
I have alexithymia, so yeah. I'm really only good at understanding if I'm feeling angry, amused, or nothing at all. Those are my comfort zones/what I am familiar with. I know sometimes I must be feeling more complex emotions or multiple emotions at once, but it's as though my head gets hit with these and says, nope, too much, overwhelmed, and then a switch gets flipped and I feel only one or nothing at all again. Yeah, emotions are not my strong suit.


This is basically like me. My emotions are just kind of a gray fog much of the time, with only the very very strong ones being anything I'm ever aware of.


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Dillogic
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22 Jul 2022, 11:47 pm

Twilightprincess, yeah, PTSD can affect emotions (thoughts and feelings too), so the therapist might just be right. It can always be both too, as you said. That one will be why I have an altered fear response, where I have little fear when it comes to just me.



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22 Jul 2022, 11:58 pm

Dillogic wrote:
Twilightprincess, yeah, PTSD can affect emotions (thoughts and feelings too), so the therapist might just be right. It can always be both too, as you said. That one will be why I have an altered fear response, where I have little fear when it comes to just me.


I startle easily, especially at night. I’ve even woken up screaming because of this. It’s a wonder the neighbors didn’t call the cops. I do have trouble distinguishing or even recognizing unpleasant emotions that are less extreme. I feel numb a lot of the time.


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Dillogic
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23 Jul 2022, 12:17 pm

Twilightprincess wrote:
I startle easily, especially at night. I’ve even woken up screaming because of this. It’s a wonder the neighbors didn’t call the cops. I do have trouble distinguishing or even recognizing unpleasant emotions that are less extreme. I feel numb a lot of the time.


I'm sorry to hear about your suffering there, and it's not easy. You have my sympathies. I know how the night terrors, exaggerated startle reflex (that's a symptom of hypervigilance), and so on go. I'm alright with recognizing emotions, even if as mentioned, they're felt to different levels of intensity, which I'm pretty sure is autism overall. I don't have alexithymia (so the tests say). I hope you find some relief from it all.



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23 Jul 2022, 4:12 pm

I used to have more intense and single-minded feelings when I was younger, but these days they're mostly finite and mixed. If I pay attention to my feelings I can usually identify them. If I don't pay attention to them, naturally I'm only vaguely aware of what they are.



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23 Jul 2022, 7:44 pm

No. :|

I feel too much.
And I have a lot of conflicting feelings and thoughts about a lot of things.

Part of me wants it, part of me hates it, rational part of me sees the reason, irrational part of me is being petty, etc.

I'm confusing myself. Everyone else is also just as confused. It's annoying.

Part of me thinks it's hilarious and fun.
Coping part of me thinks it meant I have more choices.
But part of me knew better -- being inconsistent is a long term headache and that I'm not emotionally regulated enough to not be impulsive enough to make an actual choice at such moments.


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HeroOfHyrule
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23 Jul 2022, 11:12 pm

I feel more specific emotions than just anger, sadness, etc. though I usually only recognize the specific emotion after the fact. A lot of negative emotions I feel do make me angry though, so I experience that more than other emotions.

My therapist wants me to start using a "feelings wheel" + try to not just describe negative emotions as being "frustrated", which is hard due to having autism.