Not in touch with your emotions/feelings?

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Sifr
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24 Jan 2008, 12:49 am

I was told that by my school counselor/psychiatrist person. She asked me if I loved my mom and I said to her "I wouldn't know what love is, I mean...I like, or love, my mom. If she died, surely she would be missed...but I don't understand this question. What does love mean? I'm sure I love her, but others might say otherwise." She: "How does it make you feel not knowing if you do?" Me: "Umm, it makes me wonder why I can't, and moreso to understand or rationalize what love means, instead of the typical generic use of the term."


During the closing of the session she asked me how I thought it went: "Uhh, it was alright, I guess. I mean, it was ok." She: "You guess? Just ok?" Me: "Uhm...yeah, ok; alright. I guess a typical response would be 'It was good'; well...?" Eh.




Anyone else not "in touch" with their emotions? I'm not sure if this is an ASD thing or just my hardline "macho" syndrome. I am certainly not macho, by any means, heh.


:?


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aspiegirl2
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24 Jan 2008, 1:17 am

Sometimes I feel emotionally "cold". It doesn't mean that I don't feel emotions, but it means that I just sometimes don't express them like neurotypicals do. Like, say, my mom died; I'd probably feel a little shocked, but not cry about it until later. Or maybe my parents just gave me a million dollars or something huge like that; I might not express myself the way I feel like a typical neurotypical (lol!) would, but I'd still feel excited on the inside. But yes, sometimes I feel "out of touch" of my emotions and I don't know why. There are times when I know that I should be happy or sad about something but don't feel that way or am not able to express that emotion at that particular wrinkle in time. It could be something to do with our AS because they say that we lack some of the neurological tools for empathy, which could play a role in the expression of our emotions.


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Greentea
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24 Jan 2008, 1:39 am

What do you mean you're not in touch with your emotions? You don't experience emotions, or you can't control them, understand them or what?


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Brittany2907
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24 Jan 2008, 6:34 am

It's not that I am not in touch with my emotions...just that at times, I can't put a word to what they are.


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Who_Am_I
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24 Jan 2008, 8:25 am

Brittany2907 wrote:
It's not that I am not in touch with my emotions...just that at times, I can't put a word to what they are.


Yeah, me too.


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kclark
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24 Jan 2008, 10:03 am

I feel the same way Sifr.
I was trying to imagine what life would be like when I moved out of the house and away from my parents.
I think the only reason that I say I love my parents is because that is what people are supposed to say and feel. I just don't know that I have felt love for them. I like them because they like me, but I am not sure if it is love. I probably wouldn't know what love felt like if it was biting my face.
The most I could come up with is that I guess I would miss them.
Then I think I mentioned about it would probably being like when my sister got married and moved away how I would sometimes expect to see her sitting in the computer chair as I walked up stairs and that made me miss her a bit.
At that point I got hit by a wave of emotion and started crying uncontrollably. I had no idea that I felt so strongly about my sister and that I missed her that much. It wasn't until I felt that loss and longing to see her that I knew I actually felt anything for my sister. I guess you could call that brotherly love.



JoanDarris
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24 Jan 2008, 2:28 pm

Alexithymia (pronounced /əˌlɛksəˈθaɪmiə/) from the Greek words λεξις and θυμος (literally "without words for emotions") is a term coined by Peter Sifneos in 1973[1][2] to describe a state of deficiency in understanding, processing, or describing emotions.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexithymia

"Research indicates that alexithymia overlaps with Asperger syndrome. In a 2004 study, Uta Frith reported an overlap and that at least half of the Asperger syndrome group obtained scores on the Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20) that would classify them as severely impaired.[30] "



Kaleido
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24 Jan 2008, 3:43 pm

Same with me, I find it very hard to differentiate between feelings and to know how to label them, not surprisingly, my Alexythemia Test was positive.



Grimfaire
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24 Jan 2008, 5:05 pm

What are these emotion things you speak of?

Does that answer the question?


I was going to be a stoic for a long time but then realized that it was no fun because I was that way all the time naturally. So since then I've gotten pretty good at faking some emotions.


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someguy
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24 Jan 2008, 5:16 pm

At the risk of sounding sexist I wonder if men with AS have a double whammy in this department. We're predisposed to having difficulty expressing emotion while at the same time society discourages us from showing too much emotion.

Add the two together and it's very easy to grow up being completely incapable of expressing feelings.



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24 Jan 2008, 5:29 pm

In echoing what JoanDarris mentioned, I've become fairly convinced that people on the autistic spectrum do tend to have emotional integration troubles. Emotions are there, but how autistics process and interpret them seems consistently very different than how "normal" people experience things. This "difference" is a thing that can get autistics and Aspies into trouble sometimes (and it has certainly happened to me); "normal" people come to expect a certain emotional response (often a reciprocal one), and when that is not displayed or reciprocated in someone with autism, we are often perceived as behaving poorly. I do nothing think it is necessarily a bad thing; it is yet another difference, something that needs to be better understood.

I do have emotions; I feel things strongly and deeply; everything seems to be there, "good" and "bad: hate, love, anger, jealousy, happiness, passion, humor, appreciation, etc... But, yes, there certainly seems to a clear "difference" for how I express and feel things compared to "normal" folks. I do have two general modes of "emotions suppressed", and "emotions wild"; I favor the suppressed state because "wild" really does mean "wild", and it can be unbalancing for me, and frighten those around me (in a scary way, not a truly dangerous way). And "suppressed" is not necessarily a bad state; yeah I can come off as cold; but I can also be "cool" when "normal" folks are unable to be. It seems to be yet another doubled-edged sword, not necessarily just a deficit.

Good fortune,

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ghostgurl
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24 Jan 2008, 5:41 pm

Who_Am_I wrote:
Brittany2907 wrote:
It's not that I am not in touch with my emotions...just that at times, I can't put a word to what they are.


Yeah, me too.

Ditto. I would say I'm feeling neutral most of the time because most of the time I don't know what it is I'm feeling. However, when I'm not feeling neutral, my moods become extreme.

On the love thing, well I know I really love my family, but I don't express it like saying "I love you." For some reason it makes me feel uncomfortable to say the words, even though I know I do love them. I know if I lost my mom (the one person I'm the most close to) I'd be so lost and have no reason to live.


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