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Alexithymia is the inability to identify emotions in oneself and others. People with this condition lack awareness of specific feelings and may mix up emotions and physical sensations. Alexithymia is also associated with a lack of emotional attachment. Experts do not consider it a mental disorder but rather a personality trait, though it can occur in conjunction with mental disorders and shares some traits. Alexithymia also occurs on a spectrum, similar to autism; some people are more affected by the condition than others.

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1. Symptoms of Alexithymia

The symptoms or features of alexithymia include

  • problems identifying and naming emotions
  • little understanding of the cause of emotions
  • difficulty understanding others’ emotions and facial expressions
  • little connection with others
  • a lack of impulse control and imagination
  • heightened sensitivity to physical senses
  • Professor25 / Getty Images

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