The world of love and relationships is complicated in itself, but there are times when dealing with it becomes even more difficult for people. expression and communication problems.
In fact, for some people, something as simple (theoretically) as saying “I love you” can become quite a challenge. Part of this can be due to fear of commitment, but it can also be due to difficulty expressing feelings in general. Below, we’ll see what happens when love life hits this second hurdle.
When love is an empty word
Imagine that the word love means nothing to you, And the same thing happens to you with hate, fear, guilt, or happiness. When listening sounds empty, without the emotional tinge that characterizes them. Feelings are just words other than adding to the dictionary, stop words, you know what they mean because you learned it, but they don’t mean anything to you.
You don’t know how to interpret emotions, you might know that you feel bad in general, but you can’t tell if you are sad, angry, scared, etc. You don’t know if you’re in love or if you’ve ever been was never born to say “I love you”. You do not understand looks, gestures, silences, non-verbal language is another puzzle that you do not know how to decipher.
Although this seems a curious and rare phenomenon, the Spanish Society of Neurology estimates that, at least and according to prevalence studies, 10% of the world’s population suffers from this situation, i.e. one in 10 people have a psychological disorder called alexithymia.
Features of alexithymia
The term alexithymia literally means “lack of words for feelings” and denotes a difficulty in identifying and verbally describing emotions and feelings in oneself and in others. This limitation is also observed in non-verbal language.
Some of the symptoms the characteristics of alexithymia are:
- Difficulty identifying different types of emotions and feelings.
- Difficulty relating emotions to physical or bodily sensations and expressing own affections.
- Constrained or restricted thinking style.
- Difficulty detecting the emotions of others and recognizing their facial or gesture signals.
- Little or no fantasy, dreams and imaginative activity.
- Rigid communication style, limited posture and body language, no gestures, monotonous tone of voice and no intonation.
Are people too cold in relationships?
People with alexithymia they are often described by others as cold and distant. They lack empathy and often find it difficult to recognize and respond appropriately to the moods and feelings of those around them, so family, marriage and social relationships are often severely affected.
In addition, they present a very pragmatic way of thinking, based on logic, where affective aspects have no place. They have a reduced ability to cum and for them it is almost impossible to experience fantasies and dreams or to think imaginatively.
It is not the alexithymics who have no emotions; they have them, their difficulty lies in the fact that they do not know how to recognize them and express them with words or gestures. The inability to express affection causes them to somaticize, exhibiting headaches, stomach aches, tachycardia, muscle tension, etc. They reflect in their physical state what they cannot say with words or gestures. Therefore, people with alexithymia find it very difficult to differentiate between emotions and bodily sensations.
Types of difficulty talking about feelings
Alexithymia can be divided into two categories-
1. Primary alexithymia
It is linked to organic factors. Patients with autism spectrum disorders would be included here. In fact, a high percentage of patients with autism spectrum disorders (between 80% and 90%) exhibit features of alexithymia. It is also associated with neurological damage or disease, such as stroke, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, etc.
Neurologically, this may be due to a communication dysfunction between the limbic system (responsible for regulating emotions) and the neocortex (regulates abstract intelligence, reasoning and logic), or between the left hemisphere ( he is in charge of language), logical reasoning, etc.) and law (is in charge of emotions, creativity, art, etc.).
2. Secondary alchemy
Linked to purely psychological factors, it is observed in people who have suffered emotional trauma, Such as child abuse, post-traumatic stressful situations (war, sexual abuse, abuse, etc.), or simply that they did not have adequate emotional learning in childhood (children who do not have not been properly taught to label and identify their emotions).
It is also common in people suffering from depression, cyclothymia, eating disorders, such as anorexia nervosa, or in dependent people. Secondary alexithymia, unlike primary alexithymia, can be reversible with psychotherapy, and sometimes with the help of antidepressants.
Although people with alexithymia usually do not undergo therapy, and if they do, it is because of the insistence of their immediate environment, cognitive behavioral therapy and interpersonal therapy can help them develop their emotional awareness.
The main objective of psychological treatment will help the patient to correctly identify, label and understand his emotions. It is important that they know how to make sense of emotions, verbalize them and identify the sensations associated with them.
It will also be necessary to compensate for the low capacity for emotional regulation by teaching the person to emotional self-regulation, And correctly express the affections.