Dr. David B. Adams – Psychological Blog

Psychology of Illness, Pain, Anxiety and Depression

Alexithymic (ah-lex-eh-thy-meek)

alexithymicAlexithymic individuals (males more than females) cannot express their feelings verbally. They either act them out (destructively) or hold them in (intrapunitive and equally destructive).

These alexithymic individuals are more prone to develop somatic symptom (formerly somatoform) disorders (excess focus upon bodily) complaints. They are also more prone to psychophysiologic (formerly  psychosomatic – physical destruction arising from psychological) disorders.

It is possible to psychologically examine these patients and determine that they have a pervasive pattern of inability to healthily express emotions.

Family members will often refer to the patient having this problem. For many of these patients, their bodily focus will decrease when they have the opportunity (with assistance) to discover what they truly feel and how to appropriately deal with these feelings.

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