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Alexithymia implies not being able to recognise one's own emotions. Hunger and satiety are not fucking emotions. They are physiological responses for survival.

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amanthius, I have tried incorporating more actual food groups and so far the binging still remains, but I try every day.

The only reason why I thought replacing the satiety signal with an alarm would be useful is more so to teach me to take my time with food. 

I do binge to pass time, and I am struggling with finding a more appropriate activity (or multiple activities) because my attention span is horrible and I am very distractable, and my depression gets in the way by causing me to be incapable of any emotions, including enjoyment, and for some reason my brain thinks activities are worthless if I can't enjoy them. 

 

 

Yes, I get my hormones checked regularly. My thyroid functioning was normal about 5 months ago and within consideration, other hormones are normal 

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1 hour ago, Lexie said:

Missing internal signals are

related to

alexithymia.

Also related to being on the Autistic Spectrum, Sensory Processing Disorder and a whole other range on things.  Not ONLY Alexithymia. 

Anyway, Hopelessly Broken I have the same problem as you do. I have not yet found the magic helper that is not another person.  The only thing I have found in anyway might not be practical is to not have binge-able foods in the cupboard. Or at least not the unhealthy binge-able foods. 

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1 minute ago, helenllama said:

Also related to being on the Autistic Spectrum, Sensory Processing Disorder and a whole other range on things.  Not ONLY Alexithymia. 

Anyway, Hopelessly Broken I have the same problem as you do. I have not yet found the magic helper that is not another person.  The only thing I have found in anyway might not be practical is to not have binge-able foods in the cupboard. Or at least not the unhealthy binge-able foods. 

As it happens, all of those things have an extremely high correlation with alexithymia. :)

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1 hour ago, Lexie said:

As it happens, all of those things have an extremely high correlation with alexithymia. :)

Yes, Alexithymia correlates with half the Neurodivergent population and many Crazees. However it doesn't explain a damn thing in this situation, and quit honestly isn't helpful. And HB correct me if I am wrong, but the topic isn't about asking for a diagnosis but instead about ideas to help the current situation.

HB, I can't relate to your situation completely but I can some. I don't have the incomplete inability to feel hunger (unless I am on Stimulants), but I constantly have difficulty interpreting what my body is telling me. I will become angry/agitated/anxious and not know why until I realize I haven't eaten so I feel physically uncomfortable. This also happens to me if I need to pee (sorry TMI) or even if I have an itch. I can't identify what's making me "uncomfortable" so I react to in in a non-conventional way. This is apparently common in Neurodevelopmental Disorders like ASD, Dyspraxia, Sensory Processing Disorder, and ADHD. And no, has NOTHING to do with Alexithymia.

6 hours ago, Hopelessly Broken said:

Meaning recognising hunger and being full, when you are thirsty and when it is time to start and stop, etc. 

Who else has difficulty with this, and what do you do to help you with being self aware? 

I have tried alarms, but they just make me feel even less human and like a moron, and especially with food, I don't know how long you are supposed to eat for, so I don't know when to set an alarm for to replace the satisfied signal. 

All I know is I eat too much and I am sick of it, and one of the reasons is because I either don't have a satisfaction signal at all, or I don't recognise it, and another is I fail to eat during the day because I don't get a hunger signal, so I either just binge when I think is an appropriate time to have food all day, or I miss meals and eat one huge meal (probably enough for 10 people) at night. 

----

How do you eat slower? How are you supposed to know what you like, if you don't have any feelings or don't like anything in general? Are there ways to make replacing missing internal signals less of a task? 

(In bold) I wonder if it is the latter? Neurodivergent people experience and process things way differently. It's pretty common to have trouble interpreting physical sensations and their meaning. 

With Dyspraxia and ADHD I feel like what I experience through my senses is separate from "me" (not sure if that makes sense to anyone else), so I have to identify what feelings/sensations I'm having and then interpret what they actually mean all separately. What has helped me a lot in this area actually, is Mindfulness. It sounds dumb but learning to "be there" helps me identify what sense is going batshit, why it's going batshit, and how to calm (or stimulate) it.

It can also help you be more aware of you body while you eat so you can properly understand what your body is feeling and if it's telling you something (which may help you identify if you are satisfied, unsatisfied, hungry, full, etc.). Mindfulness skills also can be helpful in binge eating by making you aware of what you are doing, and teaches you to stop/slow down/act on what's going on in the current moment (which could help you learn to eat slower). Personally, those skills also have helped my impulsiveness and dysregulation symptoms from my ADHD.

Quote

Another is I don't know what a normal serving is, and I just hate eating full stop, its exhausting, like pretty much everything. I have read about some serving sizes, but when I have served them for myself they seem very small and they are gone in a few minutes. 

----

My entire existence has turned into what seems to be an obsession with junk food, food and how shit I am at knowing how to feed myself properly, which is a problem. 

Thanks for any advice. 

Have you seen a nutritionist (or the like)? Unfortunately learning correct serving sizes is something a Nutritionist will have to help with. But please hear me when I say that you are NOT alone in this issue. You are definitely right about "recommended serving sizes" on packages and how small they actually are. A lot of time that's because it's based on your "recommended daily nutritional value" so the serving sizes will be smaller because each serving is the max of your total daily value (calories, fat, sugar, protein, etc.). And I know you have tried eating different foods already, but eating more lean meats/protein, fresh vegetables, etc. will give you a larger serving size compared to boxed or processed foods.

I also want to say that I'm sorry you are sufferings so much. I know that is little consolation, but I do hope you find some relief. I hope anything I said holds some value for you.

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Assuming I'm correct about this being related to alexithymia, i.e. the condition of being unaware of one's internal signals (that's what feelings are), having a clue what the cause is might be helpful in finding a way to address the problem.

But sure, gang up on me... but if I'm right, it won't magically make me wrong, even if it does give you some weird short-term satisfaction.

ETA: By the way, eating disorder patients show heightened levels of alexithymia even compared to many other psychiatric patients (https://jeatdisord.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/2050-2974-1-21, and I could pile about a hundred more studies on top of that one). From what I've read, the correlation seems to be causative, as well.

But hey, none of my business, apparently.

Edited by Lexie

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Your understanding how Alexithymia works and how it is connected to ASD is quite awry. Remember where you are... we are talking about the Autism Spectrum (and related Neurodevelopmental Disorders) and how it effects missing/interpreting physical sensations. In no way is it acceptable to invalidate a members experience of ASD symptoms by simplifying the details and then redirecting conversation to what you believe is appropriate. 

You could "pile about a hundred more studies" on Alexithymia and how it *enter the point you are trying to make here* but all hundreds of them still wouldn't make a bit of difference in this topic. This topic is not about what you think is going on, but instead how to help it.

No one is ganging up on you. If you have any helpful ideas or answers to the OPs questions, you will find a lot more appreciation versus hostility.

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3 minutes ago, Sloane said:

Your understanding how Alexithymia works and how it is connected to ASD is quite awry. Remember where you are... we are talking about the Autism Spectrum (and related Neurodevelopmental Disorders) and how it effects missing/interpreting physical sensations. In no way is it acceptable to invalidate a members experience of ASD symptoms by simplifying the details and then redirecting conversation to what you believe is appropriate. 

You could "pile about a hundred more studies" on Alexithymia and how it *enter the point you are trying to make here* but all hundreds of them still wouldn't make a bit of difference in this topic. This topic is not about what you think is going on, but instead how to help it.

No one is ganging up on you. If you have any helpful ideas or answers to the OPs questions, you will find a lot more appreciation versus hostility.

Oh, is it.

I'd like to see some evidence of that, rather than your baseless claims.

And your direct contradiction of when OP specifically said it wasn't about the physical sensations. Except that it is, apparently. But then it isn't again.

Make up your damn minds. About 50% of people with ASD are severely alexithymic, almost all of the rest are moderately alexithymic, and I believe it's somewhere around 5% who are actually in "normal" range for identifying their feelings. You can tell me that isn't related all you want, but all it's going to do is make you look argumentative and uninformed.

Well, to me, anyway. I'm sure a number of people reading this will just try to tone police me, as is so very common. Not that anyone with alexithymia (or an ASD, probably) would be able to navigate the differentiation between their feelings, my intentions, and the validity of my claims--low emotional intelligence coming with the territory there, and all.

Well. Not that my emotional intelligence is fantastically high, either.

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I think you are missing what I am trying to say, Lexie. I'm not trying to make claims, not trying argue with you, and not discussing Neurology with you. I am not trying to be confrontational, nor am I trying to be aggressive.

The only thing I want to convey is that whether or not the OP is experiencing Alexithymia is not the issue at hand, and not helpful to the OP in what they are asking.

If you have any advice or experiences to share on the topic, it would be appreciated.

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1 minute ago, Sloane said:

I think you are missing what I am trying to say, Lexie. I'm not trying to make claims, not trying argue with you, and not discussing Neurology with you. I am not trying to be confrontational, nor am I trying to be aggressive.

The only thing I want to convey is that whether or not the OP is experiencing Alexithymia is not the issue at hand, and not helpful to the OP in what they are asking.

If you have any advice or experiences to share on the topic, it would be appreciated.

I'm challenging that notion and asserting that it most likely is, in fact, relevant to the discussion at hand. If you would stop challenging me on that point, maybe I wouldn't have to keep informing you of exactly how misguided it is to claim otherwise.

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Quote

Treatment of alexithymia may be incorporated into the overall treatment of the person's broader condition. 

Identifying the symptoms as Alexithymia doesn't help the OP treat the symptoms nor create scenarios to help improve their quality of life.

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10 minutes ago, Sloane said:

Identifying the symptoms as Alexithymia doesn't help the OP treat the symptoms nor create scenarios to help improve their quality of life.

To start with an aside, I don't know if you just forgot/didn't notice who OP was, but degendering him is sort of bad. Frankly. Even if he finds it acceptable (maybe, maybe not), quite a few trans people really wouldn't, so unless he explicitly told you so, um, yeah.

As for the may point, it may. Believe it or not, there are some ways to address/treat alexithymia (though I don't know much about them), so if that's what it is, it's possible that alexithymia treatments could also help with the appetite, satiety, and eating problems. That is why I offered the idea.

Edited by Lexie

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Just now, Lexie said:

To start with an aside, I don't know if you just forgot/didn't notice who OP was, but degendering him is sort of bad. Frankly. Even if he finds it acceptable (maybe, maybe not), quite a few trans people really wouldn't, so unless he explicitly told you so, um, yeah.

As for the may point, it may. Believe it or not, there are some ways to address/treat alexithymia, so if that's what it is, it's possible that alexithymia treatments could also help with the appetite, satiety, and eating problems. That is why I offered the idea.

Where did I misgender? If I did, I will apologize to HB and edit my post.

The treatments for Alexithymia are based on the condition/origin of symptoms and thus can be quite broad. That is why I felt identifying the symptoms as Alexithymia wasn't helpful. 

If you have advice on specific treatments for these type of symptoms of Alexithymia, that would be greatly helpful :) 

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Just now, Sloane said:

Where did I misgender? If I did, I will apologize to HB and edit my post.

The treatments for Alexithymia are based on the condition/origin of symptoms and thus can be quite broad. That is why I felt identifying the symptoms as Alexithymia wasn't helpful. 

If you have advice on specific treatments for these type of symptoms of Alexithymia, that would be greatly helpful :) 

Degender. Using gender neutral pronouns when you know someone's gender can be... um, problematic, since a lot of people will do just that as a way of avoiding properly gendering someone while also not explicitly misgendering them.

I know at least some of the treatments relate back to the associated conditions, such as schizophrenics experiencing more alexithymia when they're actively psychotic. However, I'm not an expert on any of that, so.

I could look into it, though. Maybe. If my brain stops trying to fry itself.

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HB I try to stay out of this forum. I do have trouble knowing when I am full or thirsty. I am not on the spectrum.

I do what you do sometimes. I forget to eat or don't eat much during the day and then eat a lot at night. I am getting better about drinking just because my mouth gets dry so I carry water with me.

I have to go now but I can add more

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36 minutes ago, Lexie said:

Degender. Using gender neutral pronouns when you know someone's gender can be... um, problematic, since a lot of people will do just that as a way of avoiding properly gendering someone while also not explicitly misgendering them.

I misread, and I see what you are referring to. I used 'their' in that sentence not as a gender pronoun, but as appropriate determiner because I previously mentioned HB. Your concern, although misguided, is noted. I have absolutely no intention in misgendering or degendering any member, however it is inappropriate to discuss another members preferred gender pronouns when they are not online to reply.

Quote

I know at least some of the treatments relate back to the associated conditions, such as schizophrenics experiencing more alexithymia when they're actively psychotic. However, I'm not an expert on any of that, so.

I could look into it, though. Maybe. If my brain stops trying to fry itself.

This is a peer to peer site, and although having an educational understanding of an issue or medication is helpful, it is not required and we don't ask for it. Peer experiences go a long long way, and giving advice on personal experiences would be more helpful than researching a topic you are unsure of.

Edited by Sloane

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4 minutes ago, Sloane said:

I misread, and I see what you are referring to. I used 'their' in that sentence not as a gender pronoun, but as appropriate determiner because I previously mentioned HB. Your concern, although misguided, is noted. I have absolutely no intention in misgendering or degendering any member, however it is inappropriate to discuss, with you, another members preferred gender pronouns when they are not online to reply.

This is a peer to peer site, and although having an educational understanding of an issue or medication is helpful, it is not required and we don't ask for it. Peer experiences go a long long way, and giving advice on personal experiences would be more helpful than researching a topic you are unsure of.

I personally know someone who experienced a great improvement of alexithymia after starting Abilify, without showing any such pronounced improvement in other symptoms.

That's about all I can say, honestly.

Also, you can stop playing high and mighty. You were in the wrong, and I don't care whether he's okay with it or not, because honestly, he's a he, and even if he'll let your degendering fly, it's extremely offensive to me for you to get defensive about that. You did something wrong. Own up to it or keep your mouth shut.

Edited by Lexie

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I have tried mindfulness for this issue specifically, but my attention span just isn't capable of it and remaining in the moment for me, isn't ideal, in fact it can make things worse because I tend to be someone that relies on and listens to my cognition too much in order to make up for my lack of emotions and signals, but my cognition is horrible because of depression. And because I uh, yeah, have trouble not ignoring body things because its not mine. 

I am still waiting to see a dietician. With not having binge food available, I have turned into a zombie that will just go to any store on autopilot and buy it, daily, and I am often not completely there because of my dissociation. 

So that's not really an option, at the moment. I often end up going to the store multiple times, and end up with both, but in the end it still adds up to calorie excess because I eat both. 

During the day, because I wake up so late and struggle to not collapse to the ground, I fail to correlate that I probably should eat, but I have tried it and done so before, but it confuses me- most people tell me that their tiredness goes away after eating, mine never goes away, so I don't identify that with needing food and often eat nothing until evening. 

Not because I identify that I am hungry, but because I am sick of watching TV or doing distraction things (which are several every 10 minutes due to my attention span) and I am, I guess, bored. 

Another thing I didn't mention, I can't taste most food either. Not unless it is excessively sweet etc. 

And, Sloane, I have no problem with using they to refer to me when I am not in the conversation, as long as it isn't used all the time and my name is also used so that anyone else in it knows that I am a male. 

And yes, I do experience alexithymia, but hunger and satiety are not emotions, so to me this issue I have, is unrelated to my alexithymia. 

Like Sloane said earlier, being autistic (and having learning disorders and ADHD, and various other neurodevelopmental things) makes our brains different. 

I didn't say this isn't about physical sensations directly, I said it is about the fact that I do not get them because I don't get the corresponding physiological signals within the brain. 

I have nothing whatsoever that internally occurs within my brain that then sends a signal to my body to say that I am hungry or full, and I asked in this forum because I know this is common among other autistic people. 

But we already know that, so....

Edited by Hopelessly Broken

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Hopelessly Broken,

I can relate to a lot of what you wrote. I dissociate, too. Mindfulness is tricky for me because observing things is natural for me,I do it a lot. It is the participating part (that is part of mindfulness, I know) that is hard for me.

Eating doesn't give me energy. If I eat a big meal, I get tired.

(As far as alexthymia, I had never heard the term before. There are times when I feel numb or can't describe how I feel. I never thought it was related).

I will step out if this isn't my place.

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so like confused I generally attempt to stay out of the ASD sub-forum--for me it's out of a concern that I would say something or give an answer that doesn't sit right given the fact that I'm not myself on the spectrum...but I did see the topic and had what I think might be a similar experience, so I'll throw it out there in case it is to any degree...with that cautionary preface.  

I personally struggle with recognizing when I'm hungry and once I start eating, recognizing when I'm full (sometimes until it's too late, meaning I already feel like crap). I don't specifically face the binging issue and I'm not sure to what degree they are intertwined such that suggestions would or would not be applicable.  Currently, the only real schedule that works for me with the not recognizing hunger is paying somewhat attention to the clock and then telling myself that it's the appropriate time...not that anyone always has to eat on a schedule, but it's helpful for me to keep in mind that my goal should be aiming for certain meals.  I noticed things were substantially better when I was traveling on a trip that had fairly concrete schedules, so I figured it was worth a try.  I still don't eat breakfast though, which I know is a big no no in the nutritionist land.  It also sounds to some degree like setting an alarm, so it might lead to the same problems.  But if it seems different enough, potentially worth trying.  

Recognizing when I'm full on the times that I don't end up overeating usually amounts to pre-planning something that should work or come close to working as far as portions/calorie needs are concerned.  That obviously doesn't translate to actually "feeling full" and even as I've managed to keep some level of consistency to it, the sensation of feeling full has not returned.  I don't have a good sense of whether there's anything that would actually lead me (or you) to recognizing that feeling because I honestly don't know if it's possible, though it seems like it should be at least possible.  I also can't really identify when it started, so I don't have a good sense of what led to it, which I know has helped some people.  Do you have any sense of when in your life it cropped up/started?  Or is there any point that you can look back and say that it definitely wasn't a problem?  I reportedly didn't have any trouble as a younger child, but I also don't have any memory of those days.  I do remember that it was an issue in at least high school, possibly middle school.  But whether it was purely a physiological//physical change or whether it was linked to crappy emotional situations or anything like that isn't clear.  Perhaps you are luckier though just because it seems like having some understanding of the cause could point you to a better solution.  

The planning in advance also does have the portion size issue that you mentioned.  Have you done any online searching with respect to it?  Not to say that google is a replacement for a nutritionist, but it maybe it would give something to temporarily work with?  The other thing I was wondering was if you have a sense of what you'd like to get from the nutritionist and, if so, whether any of that was something you could do some preliminary looking into on.

Last question (and sorry for the length) was trying to clarify whether you don't feel the sensations at all, regardless of whether you're eating or not, or if you feel them at some point in passing and don't follow them.  It seems more like the first one, but I wasn't sure. I once said that I had a hard time recognizing hunger and my friend's comment was that I seem to pick up a snack or two occasionally, so it seemed like I was recognizing something.  I really hadn't interpreted it that way and to some degree I wasn't paying attention to when I was making those decision, so I wouldn't say it was really recognition--but I can at least see the argument that had I not been hungry, I wouldn't have picked up the snack/food/etc.  I can't say the same thing with respect to main meals, but who knows if it's a start.

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I don't get them at all. I only eat because I am bored, or because my attention span is sick of constant distraction with no results (no enjoyment in activities) 

I don't have a clock, except for on my phone, and I don't see me being able to look at it, or how that would mean I can accurately determine an appropriate meal time. 

I have pre-packaged, portion controlled (according to the packets of what is in them)  meals in my fridge that I sometimes eat during the day, but even if I manage a decent amount of those during the day, I still binge at night. 

Probably because I am never awake before midday. In regards to what I want I would like from the dietician, I guess a list of what is considered a normal serving for common foods and how to spread out and meet my food group and calorie needs. 

And alternative foods for the food I can't (or aren't supposed to) eat because of my digestive problems. 

Then it would be up to me to follow her recommended meal plan. I guess that will be the most difficult, both because of me never being awake before midday and the psychological stuff, like thinking I'm a failure and I know that I am going to binge at night, regardless how good my daytime nutrition is, and in the end that still equals calorie surplus, which means more binging. 

 

 

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