The Emotional Blindness of Alexithymia

Posted on April 8, 2014

The clinical term for this experience is alexithymia and is defined as the inability to recognize emotions and their subtleties and textures.

Sometimes I work with children and adults who can't put words to their feelings and thoughts. It's not that they don't want to - it's more that they don't know how.

Alexithymia throws a monkey wrench into a person's ability to know their own self-experience or understand the intricacies of what others feel and think.

Alexithymia has long been associated to a range of psychological disorders, from autism, depression, schizophrenia, and somatoform disorders, just to name a few. It’s very challenging for those who struggle with alexithymia to cope with co-existing psychological disorders because their innate vulnerability to understanding themselves and others complicates recovery.

If you live with alexithymia, the goal is to strengthen your ability to identify and understand feelings. Teaching yourself about the subjective experiences of others will be important too. Keep in mind that stretching and learning emotional awareness can be a very challenging journey. Here are some ways to broaden your skills.

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Source material from Scientific American

Mental Health News