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Identifying emotions as an autistic person

#1
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?
 
#2
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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