Welcome to the Alexithymia information resource.
The home of the Alexithymia FAQ, an unofficial guide to the concept of alexithymia.
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Alexithymia

Alexithymia is a manifestation of a deficit in emotional cognition. People with this problem are mostly unaware of their feelings, or don't know what they signify, and hence they rarely talk about their emotions or their emotional preferences; they operate in a very functional manner and rarely use imagination to focus their drives and motivations. Alexithymia refers to this distinctive cluster of characteristics.

Alexithymics have been described as human robots, or emotional illiterates. They score very low on measures of emotional intelligence, whatever their other intellectual abilities. Their interpersonal relationships are frequently hampered by poor emotional communication. Some also suffer chronic medical problems, particularly psychosomatic or somatoform illnesses.

Although alexithymia is a psychiatric construct, it does not constitute a diagnostic illness in its own right. It is a clinical feature associated with a range of other psychomedical conditions—such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Anorexia Nervosa or Asperger's Syndrome—which are more pertinent diagnostic categories for the purposes of therapy. The broad category of alexithymia only supports generalisations relevant to research in psychiatry, psychology and psychosomatic medicine. Alexithymic personalities, and their presenting complaints, are too diverse for a unified treatment programme.

This public information resource presents key facts about alexithymia for a general readership. A more detailed academic resource—comprising an extensive research bibliography, selected quotations, web links, therapeutic recommendations, and summaries of theoretical debates—is available for members of the international research network.