Difficulty identifying emotions linked to poor mental health in autistic people *updated*

So, today, is a crying day for me. For no reason at all, I feel tearful. I can carry on with my daily stuff, but at intervals, I stop and have a good weep. I guess it's depression and anxiety, but I wonder if it's to do with my autistic brain rather than classic depression. I feel alone and lonely, unlovable, unloved and unloving. This makes me even more prone to tears. I'm not suicidal. I never want to take my own life. I love being alive. It might be that I am overwhelmed by emotions from the previous day or thoughts and emotions about an upcoming event, and maybe this is my way of releasing tension.


Since posting, I've found some useful information about a possible explanation. "Autistic people who have trouble identifying their emotions, a condition known as alexithymia, are likely to have anxiety, depression and problems with social communication, according to a new study. Roughly half of autistic people experience alexithymia, which translates to ‘no words for emotions’ and is characterised by difficulties with identifying and describing one’s own feelings." This is more complicated than it seems. It doesn't mean that I don't have a vocabulary for my emotions, for me, at least, it's about not paying proper attention to my internal emotional states until they are too strong to ignore, and then I get confused by the sensations.


I hope this can help someone else too.

  • This happens - indulge yourself in it, you'll feel better for a good bawl.

    If ever I feel like that, I trigger it with sad songs or films to get the most from it.

    Hope you feel better tomorrow.

  • This happens to me too more than I would like I was thinking about whether or not it is an autistic thing is it the same for you in that it can last for a few hours or a few days or weeks etc and it comes and goes it does for me

  • Thanks, Plastic. I'm not consciously sad about anything. It's just like I'm overloaded by sensory input and want to cry (and bawl) for no reason.

  • Yes, it's usually a couple of hours, a day or even a couple of days. Nothing is obviously wrong. Nothing I can put my finger on. I just feel overwhelmed. I don't have any control over my sadness. It just comes and then I spend time trying to figure out why, when there is (usually) no identifiable cause. I start to attach reasons to it which only makes it worse.

  • First of all, I hope you are feeling better today.Unexplained crying can be a sign of depression.mSometimes I find yourself crying a lot more often than I’d like to and without an apparent cause.

    How are you feeling? 

  • How are you feeling today?

  • I don't know. 

  • I don't know if it's an autism thing. 

    Or a human thing in general. 

    But I do wonder if it happens more often in people with autism. 

    I have bad depression and go through phases like this that can last up to weeks, months, years. I eventually get to a point where I 'run out of tears' but still feel like all I want to do is cry. 

    But if it lasts a couple of days, even a week, I'd just say what others have said and allow yourself to wallow in it. I know 'wallowing has a negative connotation. But it's not always bad as long as you don't spend weeks, months wallowing. But from my experience the more you try to fight it the worse it becomes which makes me think maybe wallowing isn't as bad as people make out. 

  • That's perfectly ok.

  • I don't know your age or gender, but I used to get that a lot with PMT - but not exclusively then.  I agree with the others, indulge it.  Better out than in, whatever the cause.  If you try to suppress it, it will just burst out in other ways.  Crying can kind of be cleansing.  If it goes on and on without signs of having been purged from the system, then's the time to get some professional advice. (Virtual hug)  Hope you feel better soon.