A disorder that leads to a lack of the subjective experience of emotion. go to glossary index
A disturbance in affective and cognitive function that can be present in an assortment of diagnostic entities. Is common in psychosomatic disorders, addictive disorders, and posttraumatic stress disorder. The chief manifestations are difficulty in describing or recognizing one's own emotions, a limited fantasy life, and general constriction in affective life.
inability to verbally communicate distress; a condition characterized by distance, lack of insight, somatization, poor sense of humor, and rigidity.
A disruption in both affective and cognitive processes. It is not treated as a 'true' psychiatric syndrome but rather as a general charactersation of a number of traits which are often seen together in a variety of disorders including those with psychosomatic origins and some addictions and drug-dependency disorders. Typically the alexithymic person has relatively undifferentiated emotions and thinking tends to dwell excessively on the mundane.
This term was requested by a student and is a term we are not very familiar with. As a result, we searched for a definition and found the following...we hope you find it useful: Sifneos (1972) coined the term alexithymia to designate a group of cognitive and affective characteristics typical of many patients with psychosomatic illnesses. It is thought to be a personality trait that is characterized by a decreased ability to communicate feelings, a decreased ability to identify feelings, a cognitive tendency toward detail and external operations or events, and a paucity of imaginative thought, dream recall, or fantasy (Taylor, 1994).
Alexithymia (pronounced: ) from the Greek words Î»ÎµÎ¾Î¹Ï‚ and Î¸Ï…Î¼Î¿Ï‚, literally "without words for emotions") was a term coined by Peter Sifneos in 1973 to describe people who appeared to have deficiencies in understanding, processing, or describing their emotions.