Dissociation and alexithymia among men with alcoholism

Psychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences (Impact Factor: 1.63). 02/2008; 62(1):40 - 47. DOI: 10.1111/j.1440-1819.2007.01775.x
Source: PubMed


Aim: The aim of the present study was to evaluate the relationship between alexithymia and dissociation 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 taxon 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. The relevance of this triad for prevention and treatment of alcoholism deserves interest in further research.

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    • "Alcohol addiction is a major public health issue worldwide1 and is associated with a range of psychiatric disorders.2,3,4 Research has indicated that childhood trauma is a predictor of the co-occurrence of trauma-related disorders5,6,7 and alcohol dependence.8,9 Several studies have shown a relationship between alcohol dependence, post-traumatic stress disorder,10,11,12,13,14 and dissociation.9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17 "
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    ABSTRACT: Objective Addiction is often considered a dissociative behavior that is related to alexithymia and developmental trauma. The study aims were to explore the relationships between early trauma, alexithymia, and dissociation. Methods A total of 117 (males=60; females=57) alcohol-addicted individuals and 117 healthy individuals (males=60; females=57) were administered a series of self-report questionnaires that assess traumatic experiences, alexithymia, and pathological dissociation. Results Correlation analyses indicated significant correlations between alexithymia, dissociation, and trauma and a significant difference between the target and control groups, with higher alexithymia and dissociation scores in the target group. Conclusion These findings suggest that trauma, alexithymia, and dissociation are predictors of alcohol addiction.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2014 · Psychiatry investigation
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    • "Others (including their family members) may suffer from affect dysregulation, creating unexpected mood fluctuations and disturbing subjective well-being and/or interpersonal relationships. Some individuals are rather prone to alexithymia, including difficulty in identifying or expressing feelings and leading to frequent somatic complaints or alcoholism (Evren et al, 2008). Some authors have described this composite syndrome as complex PTSD (as a variant of its classic form), which usually has an origin in a traumatic childhood like it might be the case for depressed patients with an underlying chronic dissociative disorder. "

    Full-text · Chapter · Jan 2011
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    • "Alexithymic individuals appear to lack mental representations of emotional states, leading to an inability to self-regulate emotion (Lundh & Simonsson-Sarnecki, 2002; Taylor, 2000). Alexithymia has also been associated with dissociative experiences (Clayton, 2004; Evren et al., 2008); for example both are conceived as ways to manage painful emotions (Tutkun et al., 2004). However, the link between the two is not straightforward. "
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    ABSTRACT: Much attention has been paid recently to the role of anomalous experiences in the aetiology of certain types of psychopathology, e.g. in the formation of delusions. We examine, instead, the top-down influence of pre-existing beliefs and affective factors in shaping an individual's characterisation of anomalous sensory experiences. Specifically we investigated the effects of paranormal beliefs and alexithymia in determining the intensity and quality of an altered state of consciousness (ASC). Fifty five participants took part in a sweat lodge ceremony, a traditional shamanic ritual which was unfamiliar to them. Participants reported significant alterations in their state of consciousness, quantified using the 'APZ' questionnaire, a standardized measure of ASC experience. Participants endorsing paranormal beliefs compatible with shamanic mythology, and those showing difficulty identifying feelings scored higher on positive dimensions of ASC experience. Our findings demonstrate that variation in an individual's characterisation of anomalous experiences is nuanced by pre-existing beliefs and affective factors.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2010 · Consciousness and Cognition
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