Alexithymia when you can’t name your feelings

Alexythymia – having no words for emotions.

Eventhough we all may run out of words to describe the feelings from time to time, Alexythymia is a personality dimension which persists as a subclinical phenomena which is not evaluated or treated in usual clinical practice. This state may be primary or secondary to mental health disorders and traumatic life events. Individuals with Alexithymia may be at a higher risk for depression. As emotions and its understanding plays an important role in our everyday life, this can hamper our everyday interactions with other individuals.

 

 

Alexithymia is best understood in combination with other conditions, adds Dr Srinivas Rajkumar, formerly with AIIMS. “Data suggests that exposure to traumatic events can result in symptoms of anxiety, depression or post-traumatic stress disorder, which can be accompanied by alexithymia.”

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Alexythymia is not a classified mental health condition in ICD or DSM (the classificatory manual used by mental health professionals). As alexithymia affects interpersonal relationships and also increases risk for depression, a session with psychiatrist or psychologist can help to understand the nature and severity of this condition and take therapy to improve the awareness and ability to describe the emotions.

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