Aim: The aim of the present study was to evaluate the relationship between alexithymia (The Inability to label or identify emotions) and dissociation (See below) among men with alcoholism.
Methods: Participants were 176 patients consecutively admitted to the inpatient unit of a addiction treatment center. The Toronto Alexithymia Scale, the Symptom Checklist-Revised, the Dissociative Experiences Scale, the Beck Depression Inventory, the Spielberger State-Trait Anxiety Inventory, and the Michigan Alcoholism Screening Test were administered to all participants.
Results: Fifty-three patients were considered as having alexithymia.
The alexithymic group had a significantly higher rate of dissociative relationships members (patients with pathological dissociation; 62.3%) according to Bayesian probability.
Trait anxiety, overall psychiatric symptom severity, and pathological dissociation predicted alexithymia on covariance analysis.
A multivariate analysis of covariance demonstrated that these predictors were related only to difficulty of identifying feelings, whereas trait anxiety was a significant covariant for difficulty of expressing feelings as well.
Conclusion: Alexithymic phenomena are interrelated with dissociation and chronic anxiety among men with alcoholism.
Definition; Dissociation is a state of acute mental state in which certain thoughts, emotions, sensations, and/or memories are compartmentalized because they are too overwhelming for the conscious mind to integrate.
Evren C, Sar V, Evren B, Semiz U, Dalbudak E, Cakmak D. Dissociation and alexithymia among men with alcoholism Psychiatry Clin Neurosci. 2008 Feb;62(1):40-7.