Bulgarian Journal of Psychiatry, 2022; 7(4):42-48
50 YEARS USAGE OF TERM ALEXITHYMIA: ARE WE CLOSER TO THE AIM OF THE ISSUE?
UMHAT “Sv. Marina” – Varna, Department of Psychiatry and Medical Psychology, Medical University “Prof. Parskev Stoyanov” – Varna
Abstract. The present work examines the origin and development of the construct alexithymia through the views of different paradigms and its affirmation in 1972 by Peter Sifneos. Aspects in the observed dependence bodily sensations-emotional experience have been explored since the 19th century, when there were the first reports of a similar relationship established in recent times as a ground from which the understanding of the concept evolved to the interdisciplinary „emotional agnosia“. The dilemma of the nature of alexithymia – as a personality trait or as a newly emerging symptom – is discussed. The mental illnesses in which alexithymia occurs and the difficulties in coping with the therapeutic process are noted. The process of creating and improving test methods necessary for the exploring of the term is outlined. Theories have been proposed that research the problem both purely psychologically and integrated with biological approaches. The achievements of modern science up to the confirmation of an up-to-date eclectic model of the concept and a tool for its investigation are included.
Key words: alexithymia, holistic approach, psychosomatic relationship
Full text here.