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Keywords:

  • emotional awareness;
  • alexithymia;
  • addictions;
  • depression

Abstract

We explored emotional awareness in substance-dependent patients and its relationships to self-reported alexithymia. Sixty-four outpatients with drug dependence or alcohol dependence were evaluated before the beginning of treatment with the Hamilton Depressive Scale and the Covi Anxiety Scale, and they completed the Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20) and the Levels of Emotional Awareness Scale (LEAS). Subjects exhibited low levels of emotional awareness and TAS-20 scores were high. Both measures were not related to depressive and anxious symptomatology. This research is the first to provide LEAS results with substance-dependent patients and highlights their deficits in emotions' differentiation and complexity. The lack of a relationship between LEAS and TAS-20 is discussed from the methodological and theoretical points of view. © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Clin Psychol 66:1–12, 2010.