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Identifying emotions as an autistic person

Hi. I was diagnosed with Aspergers syndrome when I was very young, and for a long time I thought I couldn't feel emotions normally. I've struggled to answer honestly when people have asked how I'm doing, and I often recognize emotions too late, such as only recognizing I'm having a bad time once I spiral into serious suicidal ideation and self-harm urges, or only recognizing I'm very frustrated when I start doing chores in an agitated or aggressive manner. I've recently learned that this is a common autism trait known as "alexithymia", and this revelation has allowed me to reevaluate a lot of my thoughts and behaviors.

Any tips on how to get better at recognizing emotions for someone on the autism spectrum?
As for tips to help you to recognise emotions I’m not sure I have any, other than the first step is to acknowledge that this is something you find difficult. As you’ve already stated because you know this is a trait it has allowed you to re-evaluate your thoughts and behaviours. Knowledge and logical thought is your power and armed with this knowledge you will be better able to understand yourself. I think perhaps you are not alone in that I certainly spiralled down without really fully recognising or noticing that I was doing so until it was too late, but I do not think I am on the spectrum. I think it is quite common for people to power through and keep going when things get tough, slowly eating away at your reserves until there is nothing left. I am however very concerned by the number of people on SF who are autistic, some diagnosed and others not. Two of my own children are diagnosed with Aspergers and I am frighteningly aware that there is a much greater chance of depression and suicide in people on the spectrum. In fact both of them have already had spells of depression. I have spent the whole of their lives trying to make the world around them a more comfortable place for them to be in, to try to understand when they are struggling and stand beside them when needed. But I will always worry about their future and what it may bring.

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