10 Symptoms of Alexithymia (Emotional Blindness) Revealed

Introduction: Understanding Alexithymia (Emotional Blindness)

10 Symptoms of Alexithymia (Emotional Blindness) Revealed


Alexithymia, often termed “emotional blindness”, is a condition that goes beyond the mere inability to express oneself. It dives deep into the heart of human emotional cognition, revealing a fascinating and, at times, troubling disconnect. Imagine a world where colors blend into a monotone gray, where feelings don’t have names, and emotional self-awareness feels like a foreign concept. This paints a close picture of the life of someone with alexithymia.


In our fast-paced, emotionally charged world, understanding and managing emotions are essential for maintaining mental well-being and forging strong personal connections. The ability to articulate one’s feelings, grasp their origins, and react appropriately provides the foundation for these connections. Yet, for some, this realm of emotional understanding remains perpetually out of reach, not for lack of trying, but because of a genuine cognitive barrier.

Distinguishing between alexithymia and other emotional or psychological challenges is crucial. While it might seem similar to conditions like autism or even some personality disorders, alexithymia stands apart in its unique presentation and challenges. The focus of this article is to shed light on the 10 primary symptoms of this intriguing condition. Recognizing these can pave the way to better support and understanding for those who live with it every day.

Symptom 1: Difficulty Identifying Feelings

Difficulty Identifying Feelings

Emotions, for the vast majority, are a vibrant palette that colors our daily experiences. A smile shared with a loved one, the quiet pang of disappointment, or the simmering agitation in a traffic jam—each is a vivid hue in the tapestry of life. However, imagine a world where these colors merge into one, where discerning between happiness, sadness, anger, or excitement becomes a Herculean task. That’s the realm of someone with alexithymia.

The crux of the issue isn’t merely about not “feeling.” People with alexithymia indeed have emotions. However, their internal compass struggles to navigate this emotional landscape. It’s a bit like having a map without clear markers or labels. The terrain is present, undulating with valleys of sadness and peaks of joy, but the ability to pinpoint a location, to say with conviction, “I am here, I am feeling this,” is elusive.

This inability to recognize emotions doesn’t operate in isolation. It reverberates through their daily life, affecting interpersonal relationships, career choices, and even personal growth. For instance, a friend’s apparent coldness isn’t just indifference; it could be their struggle to process and communicate their underlying feelings. This can often lead to misunderstandings and strained relationships.

It’s pivotal to understand that this isn’t just about vocabulary. It’s not that they don’t know what “sad” or “happy” means. The challenge lies in mapping these terms to their internal states. It’s a cognitive dissonance where words fall short, not because of a lack of understanding but due to a deeper, more intricate disconnect.(1)

More on LQ Health:
Popular Articles