“How are you feeling?” In most people the answer to this question is not difficult: we may feel surprise, anger, irritation, excitement, etc. But for some to describe their emotions much more difficult.
Clinical psychologist Professor UWA Rodrigo Becerra is an expert in the field of alexithymia or emotional blindness. “It is not a disease but a feature of personality. Some people are very good at detecting and describe their feelings and others don’t”, – he said. And it’s not lack of emotion.
By the way, if emotions are very strong, people with alexithymia usually can identify them. “If you’re mad, you’re mad, you have a red face, I think everyone understands that this is an episode of anger. But in real life emotions are not as vivid and dramatic,” says Becerra.
Emotional blindness can make people vulnerable. For example, when increased anxiety or depression, alexithymia seriously hampers the therapy, writes medicalxpress.com.
“Emotions – this is the currency of therapy. If you do not have good opportunities to identify their emotions and to convey what you feel therapy sessions are more time-consuming”, – explains Becerra. Also alexithymia may create difficulties in everyday life, for example, in the relationship. Usually people suffering from emotional blindness, do not recognize this and seek help only on the advice of the partner.
“From alexithymia, there is no single reason, part of it may be related to our upbringing. The risks are higher in people who grew up in an environment where expression of emotions was not encouraged,” the scientist said. Also experts believe that emotional blindness can be caused by changes in the brain, e.g., as a result of traumatic brain injury. The risk of its development increases if there is damage to the frontal lobe part of the brain responsible for abstract skills, motivation, and control and emotional regulation.