How to describe feeling

List of Adjectives to Describe Someone's Feelings, Emotions and Tone


    Adjectives describing girls emotions


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The English language would be very dull without adjectives. They dress up nouns whenever there is a need to punch things up a notch. With an adjective, that heartache someone is feeling is no longer just a heartache, it's a crippling heartache or debilitating heartache that is tearing them apart, or maybe just a small heartache that they'll get over quickly. Whenever you're speaking or writing, use words to describe feelings, emotions or tone to get your point across with a little extra oomph. When it's time to do so, call in the big dogs: the adjectives.

Adjectives Accentuate the Point

Adjectives help express the tone, feelings and emotions of words by accentuating the point. Considering the example of heartache above, it's not hard to see that it would be difficult to quickly ascertain how severe (or minor) a person's heartache is without the use of adjectives. Of course, context clues would eventually reveal more, but adjectives allow situations to be described succinctly.


Adjectives for Feelings

A person's feelings can sometimes be observed or experienced visibility. For example, the way a person smiles can reveal something about how they are feeling, such as that they're sad, mad, happy, or ecstatic. Feelings tend to house emotions, often amplifying a particular situation.

  • adjective for negative feelings - The uncomfortable girl flushed with embarrassment.
  • adjective for positive feelings - The delighted girl flushed with anticipation.

List of Descriptive Feeling Words

Some feelings are clearly positive or negative, while others depend on the rest of the sentence to make the meaning clear. Sharing a list of feeling words with kids can help youngsters learn how to express how their feelings. Grownups sometimes also need help.

Positive Feeling WordsNegative Feeling WordsContext-Specific Words


Adjectives for Emotions

Emotions and feelings are very similar. In fact, the definition of feeling is to have an emotion. The only difference is that emotions tend to refer to that which isn't tangible or easily seen, while feelings are sometimes observable.

  • adjective for negative emotions - The miserable boy walked home in the rain.
  • adjective for positive emotions - The jubilant boy walked home in the rain.

List of Descriptive Emotion Words

It may be possible to guess that someone is either sad or happy, but emotions aren't always expressed. Rather, they are sensed. Check out these examples for positive and negative emotions, as well as ones that depend on context.

Positive Emotion WordsNegative Emotion WordsContext-Specific Words


List of Adjectives for Tone

A person's tone is often an indicator of their feelings or emotions, but it wouldn't be described with emotion or feeling words. Instead, words that describe tone focus on how the person's disposition or mood is conveyed. For example, describing tone can help clarify whether a statement or story is positive is negative.

  • adjective for a negative tone - Carla sarcastically stated that she is happy for Sarah.
  • adjective for a positive tone - Carla excitedly exclaimed that she is happy for Sarah.

List of Descriptive Tone Words

Discover some examples of words that convey positive and negative tones, along with some tone terms that could be positive or negative, depending on the context in which they are used.

Positive Tone WordsNegative Tone Words Context-Specific Words


Printable Word List for Emotions, Feelings and Tone

You don't have to commit all of these words to memory in order to use them in appropriate situations. This printable is a full list of words to describe emotions and feelings, as well tone. This is only a selection of the thousands of adjectives in the English language, but it should be enough to help you verbally convey a certain tone, feeling or emotion!

List adjectives describe tone feelings emotions

Click to View & Download

Tips for Using Adjectives

It can be difficult to find just the right words to describe feelings, emotions or tone. You never want to come across sounding trite or use an adjective that's too weak to express the gravity of a particular situation. However, it's important to use adjectives in moderation. Don't douse every noun in sugar. Instead, sprinkle a little sweetness on the situations or words that will truly benefit from a tasty addition.

  • use for clarity - Adjectives should help clarify your meaning, not muddy the waters. Take a quick scan through your work. Do your adjectives illustrate the point or situation? Are they at all unnecessary? For example, do you really need to say "the hot, sweaty baseball player" or would "the sweaty baseball player" be sufficient?
  • avoid overindulgence - Don't use a slew of different adjectives, such as in the following statement: "The timid, nervous teacher slowly approached the noisy classroom with fearful trepidation. " If you start using too many adjectives, your writing will be flowery and hard to read. Not only are you going to confuse your readers, but your writing will appear choppy or even phony.
  • take your time - Don't be afraid to take some time to figure out how to best describe a situation. For example, you might have to analyze the tone of a short composition for a school assignment. Sit back for a while and let the words really sink in before you choose words to describe the tone.

Using adjectives properly is a bit like building your vocabulary. The more you read, the more you'll discover new words and meanings, including adjectives, and how they are used to highlight emotions.


Descriptive Adjectives for Descriptive Writing

Hopefully, these tips will help you not only use words to describe feelings in your own conversations or writing but also teach them to your children or students. Using adjectives appropriately can enhance conversations and writing. While adjectives are on your mind, take the time to discover the many different types of adjectives. Then get to know other types of descriptive words, such as adverbs and gerunds.

Feeling Words and Emotion Words in English • 7ESL

Learn useful feeling words and emotion words with pictures and example sentences to improve and enhance your vocabulary in English. There are many times when you may need to talk about how you are feeling, or perhaps describe how someone else is feeling. For this reason, it is important to be able to talk about the various emotions in English. You may also need to understand these emotion names in situations where someone is explaining to you how they feel, and by being able to recognize what they are saying, you will be better able to help them.

With this article, we will be explaining what feelings are and the difference between feelings and emotions, if that’s not enough, we are also going to share with you various positive and negative feeling words and a detailed list of feelings and emotions in English!

Table of Contents

Feeling Words & Emotion Words

On Earth, there are currently over seven billion people and yet no two are the exact same. However, if there is one thing that we can find we all have in common with each other; it’s feelings. We all feel and we all go experience some difficulty at some point in our lives putting those feelings into words, as we still don’t completely understand what feelings really are.

What Are Feelings?

Feelings have been around for a very, very long time. However, we only officially succeeded to discover them around the 1830’s, thanks to Thomas Brown. That was also when the word was officially added to the dictionary with the meaning we still use today. As before that, the meaning of feelings meant something a little different. The word ‘feelings’ has two separate meanings; physical and emotional.

The physical side of the word ‘feelings’ was the first to be discovered and added to the dictionary, as a verb as it’s a physical thing. A physical feeling is what you feel physically, for example, the warmth you feel while you lay under the Summer sun or under a blanket during the harsh Winter. Another example would be, when you get too close to a flame or break a bone.

The emotional side of the word ‘feelings’ is an adjective and the one we will be focusing on in this article. An emotional feeling, is something you feel on the inside. This could be: happy or sad, angry or disgusted.

Now, when you feel something physically it can be a lot easier to find the words to describe it, as it’s physical. However, when it comes to describing emotional feelings, you’ll find that it can be a lot harder to do so. This is because we all feel differently and can sometimes confuse a feeling for another, this is completely normal and you may just find out why in the next section!

Emotions vs. Feelings

Despite it has been over two-hundred years since feelings were discovered, there is still a lot we don’t know about them. But it can be said that we have made tremendous progress in expanding our knowledge and we’re still not done. One thing people often get wrong, however, is the belief that emotions and feelings are the exact same thing. Now, they may be similar, but they are not the same thing, whatsoever.

The concept of emotions was discovered thirty years before feelings, around the 1800’s by Thomas Brown. Years later during the 1970’s, psychologist Paul Eckman, concluded that humans had six different emotions: happiness, sadness, disgust, fear, surprise and anger. However, as studies continued, it was quickly discovered that, that number is a lot higher than first believed. Raising the number six to a shocking twenty-seven and debates that claim the total number of emotions are even higher that twenty-seven, are still taking place to this day.

Now that we know the story behind emotions, what exactly are they and how do they differ from feelings?

There is a reason as to why we say ’emotional feelings’ and that is because emotions are what cause feelings. Emotions are a physical response to our environment; this means emotions are aroused before feelings. And due to emotions being physical, it can be easy to identify them, with observation. Feelings, however, are mental associations and reactions to our emotions and because they take place in our mind, rather than our body like emotions, it’s a lot harder to identify a feeling.

For example, imagine you are scared of the dark and all the lights in your home go out due to a storm. Now your body will represent fear, your eyes are open wide and you’re moving slowly. But on the inside, you’re feeling cautious and worried, perhaps even nervous. Those are the feelings that come with that specific emotion. In conclusion, emotions take place on your body while feelings take place in the mind.

List of Feelings (from A – Z)

Here are some words to help you describe what you feel!

Positive Feeling Words
Amused Feeling Words:
  • Absorbed
  • Beguiled
  • Busy
  • Charmed
  • Cheered-up
  • Convulsed
  • Delighted
  • Diverted
  • Engaged
  • Entertained
  • Glad
  • Interested
  • Involved
  • Pleased
  • Preoccupied
  • Regaled
  • Wowed
Happy Feeling Words:
  • Beaming
  • Blessed
  • Blissful
  • Carefree
  • Cheerful
  • Confident
  • Content
  • Delighted
  • Euphoric
  • Exhilarated
  • Glad
  • Glowing
  • Gratified
  • Inclined
  • Joy
  • Pleased
  • Powerful
  • Radiant
  • Secure
  • Self-accepting
  • Strong
  • Thrilled
Peaceful Feeling Words:
  • Amicable
  • Anxiety-free
  • Blissful
  • Calm
  • Committed
  • Composed
  • Content
  • Cordial
  • Flexible
  • Harmonious
  • Isolated
  • Patient
  • Pleasant
  • Productive
  • Quiet
  • Relaxed
  • Restful
  • Secure
  • Serene
  • Soothed
  • Stable
  • Tranquil
  • Undisturbed
  • Untroubled
  • Unworried
Pleased Feeling Words:
  • Acceptable
  • Amused
  • Content
  • Contented
  • Delighted
  • Elated
  • Engaged
  • Entertained
  • Glad
  • Good
  • Grateful
  • Gratified
  • Happy
  • Lovely
  • Nice
  • Overjoyed
  • Pleasant
  • Satisfied
  • Self-approving
  • Superior
  • Thankful
  • Thrilled
  • Well-pleased
Powerful Feeling Words:
  • Athletic
  • Buff
  • Compelling
  • Controlling
  • Dominant
  • Dynamic
  • Hard
  • Herculean
  • High-powered
  • Important
  • Influential
  • Intoxicating
  • Irresistible
  • Manly
  • Mighty
  • Persuasive
  • Ripped
  • Shredded
  • Solid
  • Spirituous
  • Stiff
  • Strong
  • Sturdy
  • Thunderous
  • Tough
  • Vigorous
  • Well-built
Romantic Feeling Words:
  • Affectionate
  • Amorous
  • Beautiful
  • Charming
  • Dreamy
  • Erotic
  • Fond
  • Generous
  • Grateful
  • Humble
  • Idealistic
  • Illicit
  • Intimate
  • Kind
  • Lovable
  • Lovely
  • Lovesick
  • Loving
  • Lustful
  • Passionate
  • Romanticist
  • Satisfied
  • Tolerant

Negative Feeling Words
Angry Feeling Words:
  • Annoyed
  • Bad-tempered
  • Conceited
  • Crabby
  • Cross
  • Disgusted
  • Displeased
  • Dissatisfied
  • Enraged
  • Exasperated
  • Fuming
  • Furious
  • Hot-tempered
  • Hot-headed
  • Intolerant
  • Irritated
  • Jealous
  • Mad
  • Outraged
  • Provoked
  • Raging
  • Resentful
  • Stingy
  • Waspish
  • Wrathful
Bored Feeling Words:
  • Bummer
  • Disinterested
  • Dull
  • Fatigued
  • Inattentive
  • Flat
  • Lifeless
  • Monotonous
  • Spiritless
  • Stale
  • Stodgy
  • Stuffy
  • Stupid
  • Tamed
  • Tedious
  • Tired
  • Tiresome
  • Tiring
Disgusted Feeling Words:
  • Annoyed
  • Appalled
  • Dismayed
  • Displeased
  • Dissatisfied
  • Embarrassed
  • Grossed-out
  • Horrified
  • Nasty
  • Nauseated
  • Offended
  • Outraged
  • Repelled
  • Repulsed
  • Revolted
  • Shocked
  • Sickened
  • Trashed
  • Ugly
  • Unwanted
  • Used
  • Violated
Insecure Feeling Words:
  • Anxious
  • Apprehensive
  • Diffident
  • Doubtful
  • Fearful
  • Hesitant
  • Inhibited
  • Introverted
  • Passive
  • Self-conscious
  • Self-doubting
  • Shy
  • Timid
  • Unassertive
  • Uncertain
  • Unconfident
  • Unsure
  • Worried
Sad Feeling Words:
  • Awful
  • Blue
  • Broken-hearted
  • Depressed
  • Doleful
  • Down
  • Downhearted
  • Gloomy
  • Glum
  • Guilty
  • Heartbroken
  • Lonely
  • Low-spirited
  • Miserable
  • Mournful
  • Needy
  • Pitiful
  • Regretful
  • Small
  • Sorrowful
  • Sorry
  • Unfortunate
  • Unhappy
Scared Feeling Words:
  • Afraid
  • Agitated
  • Alarmed
  • Confused
  • Fearful
  • Frantic
  • Frightened
  • Horrified
  • Hysterical
  • Impatient
  • Indecisive
  • Intimidated
  • Jittery
  • Jumpy
  • Nervous
  • Panicky
  • Petrified
  • Rigid
  • Shaky
  • Spooked
  • Stressed
  • Terrified
  • Worried

Feeling Words

List of Feeling Words & Emotion Words

Following is a list of adjectives to help you narrow down exactly what word best describes your current feelings and emotions.

  • Happy
  • Afraid
  • Sad
  • Hot
  • Amused
  • Bored
  • Anxious
  • Confident
  • Cold
  • Suspicious
  • Surprised
  • Loving
  • Curious
  • Envious
  • Jealous
  • Miserable
  • Confused
  • Stupid
  • Angry
  • Sick
  • Ashamed
  • Withdrawn
  • Indifferent
  • Sorry
  • Determined
  • Crazy
  • Bashful
  • Depressed
  • Enraged
  • Frightened
  • Interested
  • Shy
  • Hopeful
  • Regretful
  • Scared
  • Stubborn
  • Thirsty
  • Guilty
  • Nervous
  • Embarrassed
  • Disgusted
  • Proud
  • Ecstatic
  • Lonely
  • Frustrated
  • Hurt
  • Hungry
  • Tired
  • Smug
  • Thoughtful
  • Pained
  • Optimistic
  • Relieved
  • Puzzled
  • Shocked
  • Joyful
  • Sleepy
  • Excited
  • Skeptical
  • Bad
  • Worried


Feeling Words & Emotion Words with Pictures

List of emotions with useful example sentences illustrated with images.


– I want to make you happy!



– I hope I can find the one who is afraid for losing me.



– This music always makes me sad.



– She was hot and sweat dripped into her eyes.



– I could see she was highly amused.



– The boys were getting bored.



– He was anxious to preserve his reputation.



– I am confident of my future.



– She felt cold in her flimsy dress.



– I’m very suspicious about her motives.



– She was very surprised when she saw me.



– She was a warm and loving mother.



– I’m curious to know what she said.



– She was envious of her sister’s beauty.



– Why are you so jealous of his success?



– She looked rather strained and miserable.



– I’m totally confused. Could you explain that again?



– She was really stupid to quit her job like that.



– He changed his mind, which made me very angry.



– She was very sympathetic when I was sick.



– You should be ashamed of yourself.



– She became withdrawn and pensive, hardly speaking to anyone.



– I pretended to be indifferent to it.



– I’m sorry, but I’m busy right now.



– He was determined to retrieve his honor.



– You’re crazy to go out in this weather.



– The boy was too bashful to ask her to dance.



– He began to feel depressed and helpless.



– She was enraged at the injustice of the remark.



– The child is frightened by the ugly man.



– I’ve always been interested in music.



– The child was shy and hid behind his mother.



– I am hopeful that she will come tomorrow.



– He is regretful for what he has done.



– I was scared of the big dog.



– He is a stubborn character used to getting his own way.



– I often feel thirsty when it’s very hot.



– I feel so guilty, leaving all this to you.



– I was too nervous to eat.



– She felt embarrassed under his steady gaze.



– I am completely disgusted with her.



– He is too proud to see his own mistake.



– Annie was ecstatic about the idea.



– I live all alone but I never feel lonely.



– They felt frustrated at the lack of progress.



– She was very hurt by his unkind words.



– I’m hungry – let’s have lunch.



– Are you tired after your labours?



– She was very smug and self-satisfied about getting the promotion.



– She’s a very kind and thoughtful person.



– She was pained when you refused her invitation.



– She is optimistic about her chances of winning a gold medal.



– I am relieved to hear that this isn’t true.



– You look very puzzled about something.



– His mother was shocked at the news.



– She was joyful of her good result of the scientific experiments.



– I was so sleepy, I couldn’t keep my eyes open.



– What are you so excited about?



– I am rather skeptical about their professed sympathy for the poor.



– I feel bad about the mistake.



– I’m worried about my husband’s health.


List of Feelings | Pictures

Feeling Words & Emotion Words | Emotions and Feelings Image 1


Feeling Words & Emotion Words | Emotions and Feelings Image 2


Feeling Words & Emotion Words | List of Emotions and Feelings Image 3


Feeling Words & Emotion Words Videos

Learn a huge list of feelings with American English pronunciation.

APPENDIX 1. WORDS TO DESCRIBE FEELINGS. The morning after the loss

APPENDIX 1. WORDS TO DESCRIBE FEELINGS. The morning after the loss


The morning after the loss
Dates Bob



It is not easy to put your feelings into words. The task becomes even more difficult with strong feelings, positive or negative. We often say: "There are no words, what a beautiful sunset" or "I love you so much that it is impossible to put into words. " We also say, "I have no words to describe how much his death hurt me."

Expressing feelings in words is difficult, but important. Describing the feeling of grief is an act of recovery.

The first reason for the inability to express our feelings lies in the language we use. We usually say "I feel" when we mean "I think". For example: "I feel, it is necessary to do so-and-so ..." It is talking about a thought, not a feeling. Misuse of the words "I feel" creates a barrier to the expression of feelings.

The easiest way to make sure you are talking about feelings and not thoughts is to replace "I feel" with "I think". If you describe feelings, the phrase will become meaningless. For example, "I feel pathetic and broken after this loss" makes sense, while "I think I'm pathetic and broken" does not. The first sentence certainly describes feelings.

However, if you say: "I feel my experience of this loss is the worst thing that has ever happened to me," then this sentence can be changed to: "I think my experience of this loss is the worst thing that has ever happened to me. " The meaning remains the same. So, you were not describing feelings, but thoughts in connection with the loss.

The following words express feelings. As you write your diary or work through the exercises in this book, refer to this list. Find the best word to express the feelings you want to describe.










Carecrow 9000 Ferocious



In a fit of anger












9000 9000



Curiosity DOUBT









0 Pessimism3


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REMINDER KEYWORDS AND CREATIVE WORDS Reminder keyword (or phrase) ? such a word that is able to "absorb" a wide range of specific images; they are then recreated when the given word or phrase is activated. Most often in this role

What is alexithymia and how to understand your feelings? It leads not only to problems in interpersonal relationships, but can also cause psychosomatic illnesses. We talked to people living with alexithymia and learned from experts how to deal with it.

“It’s like not being able to taste and smell”

Tatyana, 21 years old

I have schizoaffective disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder and Asperger’s syndrome — the first signs were in adolescence, diagnosed several years ago. As a child, for the first time, I realized that it was difficult for me to define emotions and feelings. I could cry and didn't realize why. Because of the pain or because I'm sad.

When I realize that I feel something, I try to pay attention to the sensations in my body. If heaviness appears in the chest, most likely, these are negative emotions - sadness, sadness, resentment. If warmth is felt in the body and limbs, then it must be positive.

For a long time I did not understand what love and sympathy are and whether I can experience them. I was able to distinguish them from other feelings when I met my boyfriend at the age of eighteen. This is a completely different level of feelings that I felt physically : my heart beat faster when I thought about him, I wanted to be near him, when talking it became hot, my palms sweated, there was a feeling of intoxication in my head. And somehow I realized that this is something new and that I can love someone.

Fear also manifests itself more physically: lack of air, headache, severe tinnitus, spasm in the intestines, muscle stiffness, coldness in the body, trembling. It looks like the beginning of a cold - I would say so that it was more understandable.

The most difficult thing for me is to tell my relatives how I feel if they ask me about it or wait in a conversation for me to say something about emotions. I just feel like I can't find the words for this, it's like there aren't any, and I don't know what to say. At such moments, people think that I do not feel anything, and my silence confuses them.

Sometimes relatives get angry - apparently, they are waiting for an emotional response in the course of a conversation, and I often don’t know what to do, what emotion to show, squeeze out of myself. But I think that they are not angry on purpose. Once I talked with my mother about further education, I explained where and for whom I want to study, to which she replied that I was speaking without interest and emotions, as if I didn’t care.

You seem to be deprived of the opportunity to fully experience emotions. It’s like they don’t exist, and you don’t know what they are, because anger and joy feel equally insipid. For me, it's like living with a constant runny nose and not feeling the taste and smell.

I didn't tell my parents about alexithymia and Asperger's syndrome. They are of the old school, all people with autism for them are those who cannot speak and are kept in boarding schools. Also, we are not very close, and I don’t even know how to gently talk about my states. I tried to explain my mental disorder to my mother, but for her it’s “you can’t control yourself”, so all my stories and articles shown on this topic are useless. I have a physical disability - my parents treat me the way they treat people with disabilities in Russia: they consider me weak and unable to work. They are aware that I am mentally ill, but if you also tell them about problems with emotions and Asperger's syndrome, they will treat me with even more pity and think that I am not like normal children, and that this is their punishment from God. But my young man is aware of my problems, and after he found out about them, we began to understand each other better.

I am in therapy and it is very difficult for me to talk about how I feel about my emotions. But the more time passes, the more I learn to describe my emotions in images. For example, sadness is a dark and cloudy cloud . It's a strange experience, but I like it.

"I was considered a callous and unsociable person"

White, 35

I have Bipolar 2 disorder. I am currently in remission and continue medication. I have long felt that it is difficult for me to describe emotions and feelings, but for the first time I realized this about ten years ago. Then we often played word games in the company, and several times I got questions of the format “what do you feel about ... (a person, phenomenon, event, and so on)?” Such questions plunged me into a stupor, and at the same time I noticed that other people had no problems with answers. I tried to understand how they find words so quickly, for a while I even suspected that they were making them up on the go. Later, I accidentally stumbled upon an article on alexithymia on the Internet and recognized the familiar symptoms.

In my case, alexithymia does not affect creativity and professional tasks: I love fiction based on the problems of human relationships, sometimes I write prose, poetry, songs myself. Feelings are easier to formulate on behalf of a lyrical hero, besides, this is verbalization training.

But in my personal life and communication with friends, alexithymia leads to problems: relatives often noticed that I had difficulties with expressing emotions - before, they were mostly angry and took the position “why can’t I immediately say normal.” For a long time I was considered a callous and unsociable person, because I did not understand how to express various kinds of empathy. Several times I quarreled with my girlfriend almost to the point of breaking up, because my reaction was “wrong”: it did not correspond to the situation and incorrectly displayed my own emotions.

After I started to warn about my problem, there were fewer conflicts, we started talking more about feelings with loved ones.

I also have trouble making decisions because of the inability to understand what feeling guides the opinion, but this is rather good: you have to learn to look at things from a rational position, fixing the pros and cons, instead of succumbing to emotions.

“My feelings are a mystery to myself”

Anton, 30 years old

Until recently, I did not know about such a problem as alexithymia, but I began to notice that I did not understand my emotions and feelings in my youth. I could not understand how to react to the actions of classmates and friends - when to laugh, get angry and upset. I still can't tell a joke from an insult if it's not obvious. For example, I can be offended to tears if they say “fool” to me in a friendly way, and laugh when I hear a mate addressed to me.

Trying to socialize, I repeated after other people, but it looked awkward, I did not catch the norms. I was bullied at school, but I didn’t know how to react: I was silent on insults, and for a slight irony I could get into a fight, then I was ashamed and apologized.

When I started working, I could not settle down in the team, because I did not read other people's attitude towards me and, accordingly, did not know how I should treat people. Many said that I was being arrogant, which surprised and upset me, because I was just silent all the time. My unsociableness leads to the fact that, despite high professional performance, career growth and a leadership position do not shine for me. In the humanitarian field in which I work, relationships with people, the ability to understand and read the emotions of others, are extremely important, especially if you want to manage a team.

Relations with friends and close people do not develop for the same reason - mutual misunderstanding, which even strong romantic or friendly affection could not overcome. I felt the difference in the direction of these attachments only by the presence of sexual desire, which manifests itself in a standard human way. However, his absence did not stop me from rash acts: I confessed my romantic love to my girlfriends and even friends, although I did not think about sexual relations with them, I was simply drawn to them and in their presence it became physically warm and comfortable. People, to put it mildly, were surprised in response to my proposal to meet, and the guys expressed dislike. Relations with many wonderful people were ruined once and for all, even an apology did not help restore friendship.

And after the breakup, I didn't understand what I was feeling - sometimes I was sad, sometimes I was happy, and it drove me crazy. When the ex-girlfriend moved out from me, my breath often took hold in an empty apartment, my pulse quickened, especially when I recalled our life. The reasons are not clear, because there is nothing to be offended and angry at, because we parted on my initiative. And somehow a friend posted a photo from the party, and everything boiled inside me, my breath also caught (it seems that this is my standard reaction to anything), but I did not understand what was happening inside me. I called him and asked why he went there, which sounded very stupid - he did not understand this question, and I no longer understood why I was asking it, and even in a breaking voice. My friends know that I am not a party lover in principle, and I know this about myself, so I did not hold any claims in my mind, but some emotions were overwhelmed, judging by the physical manifestations. I would call them meaningless, phantom.

Trying to explain to people that I have problems with emotions does not help: even those closest to me are sure that this is a whim and I just don't want to control myself and "try to understand others."

When I first went to a psychiatrist, he said that problems with emotions are a neurosis. I was treated with various drugs for a long time, but the situation did not get better, until now my feelings are a mystery to myself. Psychotherapy is weak, but it helps: the doctor taught to determine how feelings differ from emotions, but it is still difficult to recognize them. I learned that emotion is a small, short-term acute sensation, like a flash, lightning, you don’t have time to think about anything. And a feeling is a long-term state accompanied by a bunch of thoughts. For example, I hit a chair and screamed, my hands clenched, instinctively hit the chair in response - it means that the emotion of anger arose. But I had a colleague at a former job who set me up, and if we went on the same shift, then I felt muscle tension, heart palpitations and often thought about how he could be such a lousy person.

The hardest thing for me is to tell the doctors what I'm experiencing: no matter what words I choose, everything seems like a lie or a fantasy. This applies to both mental and physical sensations. As soon as I go into the office of a gastroenterologist or a therapist and start complaining, I listen to myself more carefully and start thinking that I dreamed the sensations. It’s the same with a psychotherapist and a psychiatrist: it seems that I’m actually a healthy dreamer, because I can’t convey exactly how I feel, and specialists are not telepaths and cannot understand.

"I can't put my feelings into human language"

Kristina, 28 years old

I went to a psychologist with borderline and depression issues, one day he asked me to describe myself and I felt confused because I didn't know Who am I. I told him that I consist of layers: on the outside there is a polite shell, under it is an evil gopnik, and under it is a kind soul that saves everyone, and it is she who is protected by the gopnik. Then again something dark that I do not understand and am afraid to analyze, and so on ad infinitum. Later, these layers emerged into some subpersonalities, and their emotions were perceived as alien, which I cannot understand or control. I gave them names, and they speak in my head like separate parts of me: kind, aggressive, overly emotional, my ordinary.

I can describe my feelings with the help of a table of feelings, in psychotherapy pairs (I studied as a doctor) we were offered to use it to tell others about our feelings. But sometimes I experience things that are not in this table or there is no name for these feelings.

I have developed empathy, I easily understand others, but inside of me is either a mixture [of feelings], or nothing at all. This does not affect my hobby: I draw the necessary emotions for my characters, sometimes the drawing helps me figure out what I feel, or others begin to understand it - sometimes they are horrified. Due to alexithymia, I do not communicate with people much, because I cannot respond with the emotional reactions they need.

For example, if a person raised their voice at me, I may cry, even if I just feel like I'm being pressured, or I get too angry and yell. There is no average response to pressure. If they regret it, I roar.

The most difficult thing is to tell those who expect warmth from me that I experience this warmth, but I don’t show it, because I don’t know how. This feeling is blurred, it is impossible to concretize it in words. Also, I can’t tell people what specifically offended me, because words get stuck or I can’t put feelings into human language. It's hard to be locked up and not understand how I really feel . I ignore my feelings more often than I track.

Alexithymia often leads to psychosomatic manifestations: when I am nervous, the temperature rises to 37–37.5 degrees, pains in the abdomen, heart, head, teeth ache, allergies begin (I itch, I get covered with a rash), breathing problems (I can’t do breath or I don’t feel oxygen in the air), anything can hurt at all, regardless of the absence of physical pathology.

Why does alexithymia occur and how to deal with it?

Alexithymia is most characteristic of autism spectrum disorders, but can accompany any mental disorder (depression, personality disorders, etc.). It is associated with the mechanism of formation and maintenance of a psychosomatic symptom, but not the only reason for its occurrence. Clients with alexithymia, as a rule, first of all turn to somatic doctors with physical discomfort.

According to the results of some studies, difficulties with the expression of emotions are more common in men than in women, alexithymia is practically not studied in people of a different gender identity. However, the quality of most research on alexithymia is quite low.

The exact causes of this condition have not yet been identified. There is evidence that mirror neurons are involved in the occurrence of alexithymia, structures such as the amygdala, insula and cerebellum are involved. Violation of dopaminergic metabolism in these structures is associated with manifestations of alexithymia.

Nevertheless, the environment plays a significant role in the development of difficulties with understanding one's emotions: whether the child sees the expression of emotions, hears their names, whether they tell him what emotions are, how they manifest themselves.

Alexithymia can lead to difficulties in building or maintaining interpersonal relationships - in these cases, I would recommend contacting a specialist. If you notice that it is difficult for you to interact with people, there is a feeling that no one understands your goals, motives, and it is often difficult for you to understand people when they talk about their emotions, you can independently study materials about emotions, gradually learn to notice them from yourself and other people, observe them and express.

By itself, this problem does not require medical treatment. A psychotherapist works with alexithymia at the beginning of any psychotherapy, since it is important for a specialist to understand how the client feels in problem situations.

Relatives can help a person by talking about their emotions and thereby showing the experience of living them, and also by asking about the person's experiences, thereby drawing his attention to the emotional sphere.

Alexithymia is indeed common among my clients and makes interaction in the first meetings much more difficult. At the beginning of the work, the specialist collects information about what is happening with the client (about his behavior, thinking, emotions), of course, alexithymia hinders this process. In such cases, we dedicate several meetings to the client to find out what emotions are, how they manifest themselves, how they feel, learn to notice them in themselves, name them, observe them. The most difficult for me case of alexithymia in a client required eight meetings of work on the identification, observation, description and expression of emotions.

How does alexithymia affect physical health?

Alexithymia can lead to the occurrence of psychosomatic symptoms - pain, squeezing, bursting, tingling, and others, but at the same time, according to tests and studies, doctors do not find anything.

There is evidence that patients with higher levels of alexithymia suffering from bronchial asthma require longer hospital stays. In patients with primary arterial hypertension, with the severity of alexithymia, higher blood pressure numbers are noted, and hypertension may be resistant to drug therapy. There is a relationship between the severity of alexithymia and the blood levels of cortisol, adrenocorticotropic hormone and norepinephrine. In patients who have difficulty with the perception of emotions, there is a decrease in immunity . Higher levels of alexithymia in studies have been shown by patients with medically unexplained symptoms.

People suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, Parkinson's disease, chronic pain syndrome, skin diseases, bronchial asthma, coronary heart disease, gastric and/or duodenal ulcer, ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease also showed a higher level of alexithymia than in the rest of the population.

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