As we all know, autism runs on a very wide-ranging spectrum... and with that comes a lot of stereotypes. One stereotype commonly associated with autism is a 'lack of empathy' -- however, research shows that alexithymia actually causes that 'lack of empathy' -- not the autism itself.
According to Embrace Autism, alexithymia is a "personality construct characterized by the (subclinical) inability to identify and describe emotions in the self. In a broad sense, it denotes emotion processing problems."
And while it's not officially recognized by the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), it's still a condition that's diagnosed by a mental health professional.
Someone with alexithymia might experience the following feelings:
- difficulty "reading faces"
- increased heart rate
- lack of affection
Click HERE to take the Toronto Alexithymia Scale test for yourself!
And visit Embrace Autism to learn more about alexithymia.