Paul Isaacs' Blog

Autism from the inside

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The Problem with Somatisation Disorder

Image result for Somatization disorder

Note this is from a personal perspective

Certain personality types (such as mercurial/borderline) are more akin to having somatisation type disorders in which person feels they are becoming increasingly ill and/or have serious and multiple symptoms that indicated a serious illness and/disease.

“The main features are multiple, recurrent and frequently changing physical symptoms of at least two years duration. Most patients have a long and complicated history of contact with both primary and specialist medical care services, during which many negative investigations or fruitless exploratory operations may have been carried out. Symptoms may be referred to any part or system of the body. The course of the disorder is chronic and fluctuating, and is often associated with disruption of social, interpersonal, and family behaviour.”

Awareness of Emotional States and Somatic Pain

The persistence is the pain and the feeling that invokes, having alexithymia means that I have problems identifying what my inner states are leading to often painful and chronic psychosomatic symptoms which in my life time have included as follows

  • Nausea
  • Tension Headaches
  • Toothaches
  • Jaw aches
  • Lower back Pain
  • Arm and Shoulder Pain
  • Pins and Needles in Legs and Feet

The recent bout is having a pulsating tinnitus in my left ear which is anxiety/stress related and is not due cardiovascular disorder and or stroke related symptoms but never the less is persistent at the moment. Age and awareness in my case have helped with these areas of anxiety and “getting on with it” as means to move on and look towards the psychological/developmental aspects they have on me in terms and working from there.

Paul Isaacs 2018


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Autism, Processing Emotions & Alexithymia


Note this is from a personal perspective 

Alexithymia is a condition in which person cannot find words to express inner emotional feelings, now this doesn’t mean that the person is devoid or lacking in emotion however it can from a outside perspective look like that despite the inner mechanics being quite different.


I shall give you a personal account of this and look at other potential factors. I have a processing and recognition delay of emotion feelings in the context of the event that has happened – in other words from the time the event has happened to the time I get a self response is delayed this can come in the form of

  • Words for the the bodily messages that I am feeling 
  • Being able to piece the situation together from a emotional standpoint
  • Talking and having a conversation about a situation that in real-time has long since past
  • Having raw emotions that through time, experience, awareness and age I am able to better filter them

As a teenager I would harm myself when these raw emotions would take hold like attacking one’s self for their own emotions because the person in question hasn’t yet pieced together they are coming from themselves this to me a that point in time a a paradox but a worthy one to working through.


Other factors would depend on the person’s autism profile and fruit salad that would have an impact on the presentation of alexithymia such as

  • Visual perceptual disorders and not having a visual memory to process people, situations, words and mentalise thoughts.
  • Language processing disorders such as aphasia and verbal auditory agnosia needing time to find and extract words that have inner meaning to the person.
  • Body disconnectivity and not sensing or perceiving their own bodily messages
  • Diet and food intolerances are undiagnosed food intolerances having an impact on their functioning?

Paul Isaacs 2017

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Autism, Alexithymia, Accessing Emotions and Empathy

The Inside Story 2010


Personal Account of Autism, Alexithymia and Emotions 


Some people with Autism have Alexithymia with their Autism this means difficulties in extracting and verbalizing/communicating thoughts and feelings (not a lack of empathy), I have problems understanding specifically with raw negative feelings and where they come from, years ago (up to my late teens and early twenties) I used to hit myself in the head or tense my body up not knowing were these feelings came from at times. (this process sometimes took weeks, months or years in one case)

Note – Sometimes the build-up varies in my first job it took my three years to process I was being bullied (visual and social signals) and how I felt about this it was like an old computer with a slow hard drive (my brain) and a massive folder (my emotional recognition) it was slowly processing (downloading) the emotions, there have been instances like this one where years of emotions have “hit” me in one lump like this one it was at night and a wave energy came over me it was the realisation of years of bullying and how I felt about it.

Extracting the meaning of these feelings can be difficult a lot of the time. I knew there were problems with something or someone but couldn’t piece the “emotional jigsaw” together.

Recently I have pieced this jigsaw together through the help of my parents giving short islets of information “building up the emotional picture” this has helped me overcome this issue and was very helpful. Having Auditory verbal agnosia/Aphasia (Meaning Deafness) means they have used clipped, concise and direct language to help me self reflect on my behaviour as well as others and this has really helped me – but remember all Autistic profiles are different. 

Remember empowerment and positivity for a person with autism is needed in all areas including emotional regulation.  Thanks 🙂

Paul Isaacs 2014

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Asperger’s, Autism, Empathy & Alexithymia

Gramp 2011

Gramp 2011


Different profiles Aspie/Autie profiles example My Gramp who has AS has Social-Emotional Agnosia (body language blindness) to higher degree this means this emotions are internal (not seen) but are very much present within him, he just doesn’t use the same body language to convey his emotions, he has Alexithymia so is not experience this emotions in “real-time”. He feels an internal in intensity. He does like to help others and is very empathic.


Paul 13 Years old

Paul 13 Years old

I have Autism I have Visual agnosias but focus on the voice of the person because of visual fragmentation do use my body language  differently as a result, I try my best to give that person advice, comfort and need (just like my Gramp) in a more animated manner. I have Alexithymia and emotions are external to “me and my body” that means it is the other way round emotions come into my consciousness sometimes with such intensity that I would self-harm (head hitting, knuckling my cheeks, tensing my face). I have learned to deal with emotions as I have got older though.

Paul Isaacs 2014