Anxiety and Alexithymia

Remember the famous line – “The call is coming from in the house?”- from a classic urban legend horror scene?  When it’s discovered that the prank calls are coming from inside the house, the scare factor goes up exponentially.  Some people consider that scene to be one of the scariest openings in horror movie history.

It kind of happened to me the other day.  I was walking around a store and I kept jumping because my heart would explode into thumping wildly just like someone jumped out at me to scare me.  I would calm down, and then it would happen again, and again.  It was a bit creepy to figure out… it was coming from inside me.

The culprits are anxiety and alexithymia (the inability to identify or explain emotions).  I’m extremely anxious, yet I have no other emotions to go with it to know why.  The scare, accompanied by a wildly beating heart, comes completely out of the blue with no obvious reason.

It’s the stranger upstairs lurking in the shadows of my brain like the intruder in that urban legend horror scene.  Anxiety and alexithymia are a tricky combination to manage.  It takes lots of intentional positive thinking, self-care, staying in the moment, and body awareness to keep my anxiety down and possibly recognize an emotion even if I can’t name it.  The more I practice these skills, the better I can cope.

While anxiety and alexithymia together are challenging, I’d still prefer managing them to a creepy prank phone call coming from inside my house!

About Lisa Morgan

After working as a software engineer for a few years in the mid-eighties, Lisa stayed home after her first child was born for the next thirteen years homeschooling her kids.  Now, four kids later and a master’s degree in the Art of Teaching, she has taught in different school settings for 15 more years.  After experiencing the loss of her husband of 29 years to suicide, Lisa authored, Living Through Suicide Loss with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).  Now, Lisa, an autistic adult diagnosed late in life, has become an advocate for other autistic adults who have had similar experiences.  She has started a conversation with several nonprofit organizations in the US to help enhance the suicide prevention and postvention resources to be a better fit for autistic adults, as well as, to spread awareness of the resources available to the autism community.