Monday, October 04, 2010

Alexithymia and PTSD

Alexithymia is a term psychologists use for difficulties in identifying, processing and regulating emotions. It has been linked to a number of different mental-health problems including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Researchers from Ghent University in Belgium looked into the links between alexithymia and PTSD a little further in a sample of 136 nurses and ambulance staff working in military facilities. Looking at the different aspects of PTSD the study found that alexithymia was linked to numbing and hyperarousal but not avoidance or re-experiencing symptoms. The most important aspect of alexithymia was a difficulty in identifying feelings which contributed most to numbing and hyperarousal.

Declercq, Frederic,  Vanheule, Stijn and Deheegher, John - Alexithymia and posttraumatic stress: subscales and symptom clusters Journal of Clinical Psychology October 2010, 66(10), 1076-1089

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