This personality trait is correlated with other conditions such as autism, post-traumatic stress disorder, panic disorders, substance abuse and depression. The treatment for Alexithymia may be dependent on the disorder it accompanies, but if you are in a relationship with someone who suffers from it, the following suggestions may help minimize the communication problems. There is a spectrum for this disorder, meaning some people may suffer from it minimally while others suffer severely.
1. If you are in a committed relationship with someone suffering from this disorder, the most important thing is to take care of you. Begin therapy for you for emotional strength and guidance.
2. Since your partner cannot appreciate emotions and discuss them, it will be important to establish a group of close friends who are aware of your situation.
3. Become invested in your interests, especially if they are of the emotional nature. This will help you feel more complete.
4. When you do things with your partner make sure they are things you both enjoy doing together. Sharing activities can keep you close and connected on a physical level.
5. If you have mature children, both you and your children should discuss the trait so your child understands. Helping your children understand their parent’s inability to express or understand emotion helps them feel more secure in themselves.
Since the majority of these relationships are not strong, it is important that you don’t blame your partner for what they cannot do. It is a trait passed on genetically, or a reaction to severe stress. I have seen couples work through this disorder, but it requires patience and understanding from both partners. Having Alexithymia is not a death sentence for a relationship if the couple works together ensuring both partners’ needs are fulfilled in other ways. –Mary Jo Rapini
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