ONLINE COUNSELING FOR ALEXITHYMIA OR DIFFICULTY IN RECOGNIZING FEELING
ONLINE COUNSELING FOR ALEXITHYMIA OR DIFFICULTY IN RECOGNIZING FEELING
September 09 2022 TalktoAngel 0 comments 388 Views
ALEXITHYMIA, ITS COMPONENTS, TYPES AND CAUSES
Alexithymia is described as an inpidual’s inability to recognize complexities of emotions and feelings. It is also defined as lack of emotional awareness of self and others. It impacts relationships, social attachment, ability to distinguishing emotions, emotional responding, showing empathy and emotional connection with self and surroundings. Although this concept is unpopular and not recognized in DSM-5 yet, it is quite common. It is estimated that every 1 in 10 inpiduals is suffering from alexithymia. It is more common in men than in women. It often occurs with already existing mental health issues, like depression and other stress related disorders.
There are two components of alexithymia, cognitive and affective. The cognitive component is an inpidual’s inability to think, understand and name an emotion. The affective component is inability to connect or respond emotionally and empathetically.
Types of alexithymia include trait and state. Trait alexithymia is inherited personality characteristic caused either due to inheritance, neglect or abuse in early childhood. State alexithymia is temporary and is caused by experience of horrifying event.
There are various causes of alexithymia, though not well understood. It can be caused due to genetics, neurological disease or injuries like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Huntington’s, epilepsy, stroke etc. and primary mental conditions like depression, eating disorders, trauma, substance abuse etc.
IMPACT OF ALEXITHYMIA
People with alexithymia have difficulty understanding what they are feeling as well as what others are feeling. An inpidual with this condition is considered strange, socially awkward and unempathetic. They often feel disconnected and cannot relate or connect with things around. The inpiduals with alexithymia sometimes know that they are experiencing something, but they don’t know what they are feeling and how to describe it. This may cause irritation and annoyance for an inpidual experiencing it as well as for people around. Alexi-thymic inpiduals are more prone to stress and emotional arousal as they are unable to recognize the emotion they are feeling. They are also considered Apathetic and strange in social situation.
Inpidual experiencing alexithymia have concerns like difficulty in naming and effectively expressing emotions, difficulty in being empathetic towards other, lack of emotional response and lack understanding behind emotions, they have more rational and logical approach. They are indifferent, have disruptive or violence outburst, lack impulse control, highly sensitive to physical touch, sound or sights.
RELATIONSHIP, ROLE AND CONFLICTS
Marriage is a relationship between two adult inpiduals, providing emotional support, economic support and effectively playing their roles and responsibilities in a marriage, regarding home, partner, child rearing, health and overall well-being. These two inpiduals planning to tie a knot in a marriage bond can be man and woman, man and man, woman and woman, basically two consenting adults irrespective of any other factor like gender, race, religion etc.
Strength of a marriage lies in the hands of both the partner as an inpidual and as a couple. If your partner hit their lows then you should be competent and available emotionally, physically and mentally to help and support them regain confidence and happiness. For an effective marriage both the partners should work as a team to share every emotion and support in every situation.
To build trust in a relationship it requires efforts, communication and commitment from both the partners over a course of time. Similarly, marital conflicts don’t happen over a small issue or difference in opinion, it occurs when the marriage is deeply damaged due to personal, physiological, emotional or social issues.
One can seek help and guidance from expert relationship counsellors to understand the underlying reasons for Alexithymia and learn ways to restructure cognitive and behavioural expressions.
RELATIONSHIP ISSUES WITH AN ALEXITHYMIA INDIVIDUAL
Inpiduals with alexithymia despite the inability to express emotions, they do fall in relationship. Although they are unable to express but they are aware that they are feeling something and most inpidual feel wide range of emotions. In most situations inpidual with alexithymia may only be able to describe happy, sad, good or bad, but may not be able to explain the reason behind that emotion to self and others.
We all are emotional beings; emotions enhance the experience of a situation. Metaphorically an inpidual without emotional competence is like flower without fragrance, it is still valuable but lacks connect.
Alexithymia plays a crucial role in marital conflicts. An inpidual’s inability to emotionally connect with one’s own self and other leads to various conflicts. In most cases alexithymia is undiagnosed and people are unaware of the issue that their partner or they themselves are facing. Not seeking help leads to various issues faced in a marriage and makes it difficult to live together due to alexithymia. They are as follows:
- Lack of emotional validation: When in a marital relationship an inpidual is unable to validate the emotions of the partner, they might not feel heard or valued. Lack of emotional response impacts intimacy.
- Feeling empathy: Inpidual with alexithymia often try to give solution-based explanation of an issue, which results in discarding the emotional experience of the partner. It is important to be empathetic to feel connected with your partner, people and world around.
- Inability to express oneself: An inpidual with alexithymia feels wide range of emotions and experience physiological response to their emotions, but their inability to name the emotions puts them in a state of confusion, leads to misunderstanding and staying disconnected from their own needs because various emotions have similar physiological response. For instance, when an inpidual is anxious or excited, in both situation they experience racing heartbeat. Also, an inpidual is unable to communicate the love they feel for their partner
- Lack of ability to interpret other’s emotions: They are unable to interpret emotional cues, lacking ability to understand emotional response and provide emotional comfort. This may also lead to emotional disconnect, pilling of emotions and may lead to breaking of a relationship. For instance, your partner is feeling anxious before a major project and your inability to comfort them, might make them feel lonely and left out in the moment of need.
- Find others feeling illogical: They try to give logical explanation in every situation and rationalize the feeling of the other inpidual. Their inability to understand and interpret emotions also make it difficult to understand the emotional experience, which makes them sound rude and rigid. For instance, a person is feeling left out because their partner is unavailable, as a friend instead of comforting them you might end up giving reason and logic and consider them illogical for feeling certain way. Your partner is feeling annoyed after delivering a baby, instead of comforting them you might give them explanations like it’s a natural process, this happens because of that reason and other explanation etc., which will lead to conflicts due to lack of comfort.
- Feeling disconnected: Inability to understand emotional cues, emotional needs of self and others will result in constant state of disconnect because of lack of relatability. The most crucial thing that connects us all and due to which the world and experiences makes sense is emotions and empathy. An inpidual with alexithymia will constantly feel disconnected, lonely, and uncertain in a relationship.
Alexithymia can be diagnosed by a mental health professional or best clinical psychologist, since it is not recognized yet in DSM-5, it is done by asking series of question. It can be also done using Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20). It can also be done on the basis of primary mental health condition. There is not a particular method or defined way to give the diagnosis. In case of brain injury, MRI can be done to check any damage to the insula.
There are is no exact treatment method but various other techniques, they are as follows:
- After the diagnosis, a mental health professional works upon various aspects like, communication, emotional awareness, emotional response, empathy, social abilities, symptoms reduction etc.
- It is also done by treating primary mental health issues faced by an inpidual, because after complete psychological evaluation they have better understanding of what is impacted and related to what. For instance, an inpidual who suffered emotional abuse in their childhood and due to lack of available safe emotional space in their childhood are more prone to develop alexithymia, impacting their ability to interpret and express emotions and thus impacting their relationship with others at present.
- It is also done by working on neurological disorders and injuries.
Online Counselling session, cognitive behaviour therapy, group therapy, couple therapy and psychotherapy to build and enhance emotional awareness, emotional intelligence and experiences One can connect with the best psychologist in India, online counsellors, couple counsellors, and relationship counsellors for online counselling.
- Other methods to enhance emotional resilience are journaling, creative arts, reading or watching emotional stories.
- Treatment is more effective when an inpidual gains insight and wants to work upon the issues faced through online counseling with best psychologist in India is of great help in overcoming challenges.
- You and your partner can have face to face consultation with Dr (Prof) R K Suri, best couple counsellor & relationship counsellor at Psychowellness center,, Delhi
- As a partner or peer, you can contribute by providing psychological support and motivating them to work upon it
- As an inpidual suffering from alexithymia, you should be mindful of your physiological response and try to find out the reason behind it either by journaling or using emotional wheel to identify the emotions.
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