Sunday, February 23, 2014


Since I have been learning more about myself through research and reading books, blogs of Aspie's, YouTube videos of Aspie's, and chatting with Aspie's online through my new Facebook page that is exclusive to those either with autism or who are my special friends from my old FB page who understand me and show that they care. Speaking of YouTube videos, my friend sent me one to view from Paul Issac about Alexithymia. Here is some information for you to find out if perhaps you have it or if you would like to further investigate and do some research on it (which I highly recommend).

 The only time I know that I am emotional is when I am very happy or very mad: that is alexithymia. I don't feel any other emotions like jealousy, envy, sadness, or pity, fear, it's like an empty pit that I have no understanding of nor can I do anything about it to change. I don't know if it is because of the trauma I had in my childhood, if it's the autism, or if it's the PTSD. I do feel love for certain people such as my son who is my universe. I feel protective over him but when accidents happen I don't react like I have observed that other people do. I don't laugh, cry, or leap for joy when great things happen. I am just stoic, I feel like a robot but I can't help it. People judge me because of this, because sometimes when I speak it sounds sarcastic as they have told me but I do not understand sarcasm so how could I be sarcastic?

Wrong Planet Information on Alexithymis

Alexithymia  Alexithymia /ˌeɪlɛksəˈθaɪmiə/ is a personality construct characterized by the sub-clinical inability to identify and describe emotions in the self. The core characteristics of alexithymia are marked dysfunction in emotional awareness, social attachment, and interpersonal relating. Furthermore, individuals suffering from alexithymia also have difficulty in distinguishing and appreciating the emotions of others, which is thought to lead to unempathic and ineffective emotional responding.In tests the subgroup of autistics that also have alexithymia had bigger problems with the processing of face expressions than those without. There was no correlation between facial expression processiong and the "severity of autism", only with degree of alexithymia. The hypothesis is that the way alexithymics process (or don't process) emotions interferes with their ability to understand other peoples emotions. Some researchers want to change that aspect of the ASD (autism spectrum disorder) diagnosis to reflect the findings. It is believed that 50% of autistics have alexithymia as opposed to 10% of the neurotypical population.

Following is the information I found the website, Wise Geek but I do not know how reliable it is only that I know that there is some of it that I find untrue such as lacking the empathetic abilities. I have empathetic abilities it's just that I don't know how to express them verbally or in body language. I do it well on paper/in writing by sending letters and cards. I never understand why other people do not respond to me and do the same thing though. Therefore, I just don't have that understanding of emotions that neurotypicals have.

Wise Geek Information on Alexithymia

Alexithymia is a maladaptive psychological disorder characterized by the inability to identify and verbally describe emotions and feelings in oneself as well as in others. The word literally means "no words for emotion," and comes from the Greek a for "lack" lexis for "word" andthymia for "emotion."
People who suffer from alexithymia are limited in their ability to experience fantasies or dreams or to think in an imaginative way. Rather, they exhibit an externally focused way of thinking, relying on facts and specifics. People with the condition are often described by others, including their loved ones, as cold and aloof. They severely lack empathetic abilities and have great difficulty in effectively understanding and responding to other people’s feelings.
This condition can be a variable characteristic that is often measured by researchers and psychologists through multiple choice questionnaires or surveys. Each answer has a predetermined score, and the total score of the questionnaire is analyzed to indicate the presence or lack of alexithymia in a particular individual. Research that relies on these measurements has shown that those who score high are severely limited in their ability to form and maintain intimate relationships. Lower scores show only difficulty in relationships.
In the past, alexithymia was classified and limited to psychosomatic disorders, which are disorders that involve physical symptoms of the body that are created or exacerbated by the mind. For example, someone who is very angry but does not express his or her anger may develop a stomachache. This condition as a psychosomatic disorder often manifests in the form of bodily complaints and symptoms of an individual who can not effectively express emotion. Research has revealed that it can be present in individuals who do not suffer frompsychosomatic disorders or physical complaints, however.
There are two types of this disorder: state and trait. State alexithymia has a specific cause and is usually a temporary condition. Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), caused by experiencing a horrific event, is one example that is known to trigger this type. Traitalexithymia is thought to be a characteristic inherent in one's personality. This type can be inborn or caused by events that occur in a person's early childhood, such as abuse or neglect from a primary caregiver.

The construct of alexithymia encompasses the characteristics of difficulty identifying feelings, difficulty describing feelings, externally oriented thinking, and a limited imaginal capacity. These characteristics are thought to reflect deficits in the cognitive processing and regulation of emotions and to contribute to the onset or maintenance of several medical and psychiatric disorders. This article reviews recent methods for assessing alexithymia and examines how assessing alexithymia can inform clinical practice. Alexithymia is associated with heightened physiological arousal, the tendency to notice and report physical symptoms, and unhealthy compulsive behaviors. Alexithymic patients may respond poorly to psychological treatments, although perhaps not to cognitive-behavioral techniques, and it is unclear whether alexithymia can be improved through treatment. Interpretive problems regarding alexithymia include its overlap with other traits, whether it is secondary to illness or trauma, the possibility of subtypes, and low correlations among multiple measures. Nonetheless, we encourage the assessment of alexithymia in applied settings.
Mr. A., a 50-year-old, obese man with hypertension, was referred by his physician for psychological assessment after the patient experienced an atypical panic attack in the clinic waiting room. The patient reported that the walls seemed to close in, and the voices of the other patients became a buzz. He reported experiencing no fear or apprehension, mental images, or fantasies associated with the event, and he could identify no precipitants other than the waiting room. The man was well-educated and married, but he had few close friends, was compulsive and detail-oriented, and had difficulty taking others’ perspectives. He displayed little emotion other than mild irritability. He showed minimal insight into his feelings or psychological life, and he focused primarily on external factors (e.g., the weather, light, diet, job, his wife) as potential symptom triggers. Psychotherapy was rather boring and ended some months later with little progress, even though the patient reliably attended all sessions and even took notes.
Ms. B., a 45-year-old woman, was referred by her physician for treatment of the chronic pain condition, fibromyalgia, as well as other health problems, including irritable bowel syndrome and depression. When emotional topics such as her punitive childhood were explored in therapy, Ms. B expressed facially and nonverbally various negative emotions, particularly sadness, shame, and fear, but she had difficulty labeling her feelings and linking them to her psychological experience and memories. In particular, she had difficulty identifying anger— indeed, she was surprised when a chiropractor told her how much “anger” she carried in her muscles. When her negative feelings became intense, she typically shifted focus to her body and talked only of somatic pain rather than emotional pain. Interestingly, she was very attuned to and concerned about others’ feelings, including those of the therapist, and appeared to accurately identify the feelings of others. Therapy proceeded slowly over several years, but rapport was easily established, the therapeutic alliance was quite strong, and the patient eventually showed some gains. Behavioral exercises, particularly assertiveness training regarding communicating with family, and experiential exercises designed to help her access and then verbally express anger led to some improvement in pain and dysfunction.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Newly Diagnosed and Not Happy With My Family

I had finally found the answers when the therapist told me that I had Asperger's Syndrome/otherwise known as autism now in the DSM-V. It was my epiphany that all my life as I had felt like a misfit always trying to fit in, trying to conform and be a perfectionist....that there was a name for the anxiety that I was feeling the angst in the pit of my stomach, the migraine headaches that I had as a teenager. However, when I reached out to my mother for loving support to validate my diagnosis, my relief that I had finally found my answers to all the questions that I had in my 49 years of my life even after my autistic son had been diagnosed. She had just given me a sigh and moved on to the next subject. I felt the pit of my stomach drop.

I was diagnosed as Bipolar in 2001 because when I was pregnant I was on Zoloft and was so manic that I was out of control. I had so many episodes of rage that I don't understand how my partner could take me. But he supported me even through my son's birth. I have had support of others in my life but I typically shun them because I do not know how to trust since I have been hurt so many times, hence the episode with my mom. We do have a history of pain between us and mistrust that is why our conversations consist of the weather and what we are having for dinner .

Now that I know that I am an Aspie, I am proud! I am a single mom of an autistic son and an Aspie! I am making it below the poverty level on a disability check, I am not able to work because I can barely leave the house to be around people and function, I can barely walk and use my feet because my feet have severe arthritis so bad but I know that I am blessed with my son, and even though I feel depressed at times and lonely......I still prefer to be alone with my son. I wouldn't change my life, it is as it is meant to be.