The relationship between posttraumatic stress disorder, childhood trauma and alexithymia in an outpatient sample

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Abstract

One aim of this study was to examine the strength of association between post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and alexithymia relative to other psychiatric disorders in a sample of 252 treatment-seeking psychiatric patients. The other aim of this study was to explore which type of childhood trauma was associated with a greater level of adult alexithymia. The study found that PTSD and borderline personality disorder (BPD) were the two disorders among selected psychiatric disorders to contribute independently to a higher degree of alexithymia. Another finding was that a greater severity of emotional neglect and physical neglect, rather than abuse, was significantly related to higher levels of alexithymia. In addition, the study found that among these variables, BPD had the strongest relationship to alexithymia.

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