Alexithymia - it ... alexithymia as a psychological problem

Consider how sometimes even the most healthy person is difficult to describe his emotions when he watches the sunset, smell the spring flowers, hear the sound of rain on the roof.What is already talking about a patient alexithymia, which is absolutely not able to give a verbal form to his feelings and experiences.

essence term

Alexithymia - is the inability to express emotions verbally, pick up the necessary words to convey to the interlocutor the full range of internal sensations.Psychologists say that it is not a disease.Rather, alexithymia can be called an individual feature of the psyche of an individual, a syndrome or psychological problem, which has nothing to do with intellectual disabilities.A man may be wise, for example, the famous scientist or researcher, but you do not ever say that he felt while watching the tear melodrama.

More 70 years of the last century, a renowned expert Peter Sifneos watching patients with somatic disorders, the first to use the term "alexithymia".It's in psychology meant that the patient, or does not know how to describe my feelings, or does it inaccurate, wrong, laconically.Peter Sifneos argued that such people lack imagination, sometimes they do not distinguish the line between internal bodily sensations and feelings, can not understand the feelings of another person.These features occur simultaneously or one of them prevails.


struck alexithymia How many people?This is a difficult question, the answer to that is still there, as individuals do not always seek the help of psychologists, considering its natural state and natural.According to the latest statistical data, the syndrome occurs in 5-25% of the world population.A strong discrepancy in figures is also due to the fact that professionals use a variety of diagnostic tests to determine the presence of disorder and its degree of severity.

Thus psychologists say that alexithymia is not synonymous with total insensitivity.These people, as well as healthy, worry, that's when they find it difficult to express inner emotions verbally.The deficit of the external manifestations of their results in body-vegetative reactions: feelings, finding no way out, suppressed, transformed into psychosomatic illness.If, however, this person has autism, the link between intelligence and senses can be completely interrupted and impossible.Therefore, these patients think that the verb "feel" and "think" - synonyms.


study alexithymia - an important task for modern psychology.Until now, some aspects of the syndrome are not clear and unexplored.Despite this, the experts were able to identify two forms of violation: primary and secondary.Each of them has a different nature and the outward manifestation.Primary alexithymia can get as a result of birth trauma.It also develops due to the formation of intrauterine disorders of the brain in the fetus.It manifested at an early age.Noticing something was wrong, parents should consult a neurologist.

Secondary alexithymia - the result of trauma, which is sometimes accompanied by brain dysfunction and neurological disorders.It can be a manifestation of post-traumatic stress disorder, increased anxiety or depression hidden.The development affects primarily the wrong upbringing: overprotection or, conversely, lack of basic attention of the parents.Primary practically not treated, the secondary can handle.


Alexithymia as a psychological problem has primary sources.They are becoming a fertile source, which grows syndrome.The difficulties of access to the verbal expression of emotions explained numerous researchers have identified three main reasons:

  • suppression pulses directed the limbic system that is responsible for feelings to the cerebral cortex.
  • disconnect between the left and right hemispheres: the first of them can not recognize the signals of experiences that produced in the second.
  • genetically transmitted defects of the central nervous system.

concept of alexithymia, as mentioned above, suggests that the breach arises as a result of improper upbringing.The child may lose the ability to express emotions because of imposed stereotypes, such as "men should not cry" or "express feelings in public is indecent."Some scientists also admit: alexithymia may be the result of a head injury - damage to the corpus callosum, which is responsible for the relationship between the hemispheres.

Alexithymia manifestations - is a violation of the emotional psychology of human functions.In this regard, the nature of these individuals has some features:

  1. difficulties with communication, in which people are constantly verbally express their feelings, describe a particular state of mind.
  2. penchant for solitude.Realizing that he was not like the others, a person often withdraws into himself, he begins to avoid society.
  3. limited imagination.Such individuals rarely become artists, artists or designers.They are completely absent ability for creative work.
  4. impossible to see bright and colorful dreams.
  5. Having a good logical thinking, a tendency to the synthesis and analysis capacity for debriefing.
  6. denial of intuition.

If a person suffering aleksimiey, ask him what he feels at that moment, you can hear the following answers: "cold", "hurt" or "uncomfortable."Such people always confuse emotion with bodily sensations.


When an individual diagnosed with alexithymia, which means that he can form parallel psychosomatic disorders.They refer to two models of behavior: denial and scarcity.The first involves a strong inhibition of affects that allows for the possibility of reversibility syndrome.Although many patients disorders irreversible and can not be changed, even with long-term therapy.Such people still live without imagination and emotions.Model deficit - more than adequate.People who choose it, not completely devoid of feelings, but only some of them, or they express their feelings, but in an incomplete form, not to the end.Sometimes they are even able to imagine and create.

Psychologists finally decided whether alexithymia situational state or whether it refers to a stable personality characteristics.Some experts believe that violations occur only during certain activities, such as in communication with an opponent.Left alone, such a man is quite able to express their feelings and emotions.


Many problems at the physical level is alexithymia: that peptic ulcer disease, dermatitis, gastritis, colitis, asthma, hypertension, coronary heart disease, stroke, atherosclerosis, allergies, migraines, and so on.Unexpressed feelings are accumulated inside the mind and gradually find a way out in bodily form: the individual is disturbed hormones, there is a malfunction of organs and systems, which becomes the cause of the above diseases.

Another consequence of alexithymia are extra weight and obesity is even stronger.According to numerous studies, the inability to express feelings quickly transformed into overeating, irregular meals, changing culinary tastes in favor of low-quality and hazardous products.This treatment of the syndrome on the background of excess weight is often a challenge for doctors.For particularly difficult cases also include the development of alexithymia both with individual addiction to alcoholism or drug addiction.


alexithymia often confused with other psychological reactions: depression, schizophrenia, or cognitive underdevelopment.So the question is accurate and professional diagnosis is very relevant in our time.To determine the presence of the syndrome helps alexithymia scale developed by the American scientist Taylor.The questionnaire was translated and adapted in St. Petersburg specialists from the Psychoneurological Institute named after Vladimir Bekhterev.With the help of more than a hundred patients were examined, with the result that it was established that patients with hemispheric brain asymmetry Bole views are unfavorable in terms of treatment.

diagnosis is carried out with the help of another scale - Schelling-Sifneos.Doctors use questionnaires John Krystal, and projective techniques, because such people have no imagination, so their responses, and the standard of the same type.Despite this, the use of tests for clinical purposes can be difficult, since there are no normative data.In addition, the physicians do not have enough time to conduct experiments, as well as error-free interpretation of their results.


As noted above, it is difficult to give in the primary treatment of alexithymia.At the same time the secondary, which is a consequence of childhood experiences may be resolved with the help of modern methods to influence the consciousness of the individual.When a person is diagnosed with alexithymia, treatment is initiated with conventional psychotherapy.Applied also Gestalt therapy, psychodynamic modified technique, art therapy and hypnosis.The main goal - to teach the patient to express their feelings and emotions.

Much attention is paid to the imagination, helping to expand the range of emotional displays.With regard to medicines, the scientists do not come to a common conclusion: they help or not.Some psychologists say good effect from the use of tranquilizers in the presence of psychopathological disorders, such as panic attacks.In any case, doctors believe that treatment should be complex.At the same time a big role in it is played by people close to the patient, who go out to meet him, to help reveal the inner world of a loved one, to throw out the flow of his repressed and hidden emotions.