Original Articles

Is alexithymia a separate dimension in schizophrenia?


Erenkoy Mental Health and Neurological Diseases Training and Research Hospital


Erenkoy Mental Health and Neurological Diseases Training and Research Hospital


Mugla Sitki Kocman University, Medical Faculty, Department of Psychiatry,


Manisa Hospital for Mental and Neurological Diseases, Department of Psychiatry


Usak University, Medical Faculty, Department of Psychiatry

Alpha Psychiatry 2020; 21: 565-571
DOI: 10.5455/apd.85663
Read: 1531 Downloads: 745 Published: 01 December 2020

Objective: The aim of this research is to study the structural features of alexithymia dimension in patients diagnosed with schizophrenia, the relation between alexithymia, depression and negative symptoms, which overlap in terms of schizophrenia clinical presentation, and to find out whether they differ from one another. Methods: The study has been conducted with 208 outpatients treated at the Outpatient Clinic of schizophrenia of the Erenkoy Mental Health and Neurological Diseases Training and Research Hospital. Patients with schizophrenia were evaluated via the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale, the Calgary Schizophrenia Depression Scale, the Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF) and 20-item Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20). Findings: Alexithymia rate was found to be 36.7% in patients with schizophrenia. Alexithymia was found to be associated with negative symptoms and clini-cal variables. In the control group with A+ (alexithymic schizophrenia), the age of onset was earlier than in the A- (non-alexithymic schizophrenia) group and the average scores of the GAF were lower. Conclusion: In this study, Alexithymia in schizophrenia was found different from negative symptoms and depression in terms of dimension. TAS, which has three subscales, is factored into two subscales (difficulty identifying feelings (TAS-A) and difficulty describing feelings (TAS-B)) in patients with schizophrenia. Clinicians may use TAS-11, 14 versions or existing 20-item version for the assessment of alexithymia among schizophrenic patients. Assessment of alexithymia as a separate dimension has the potential to offer a new approach to understand the neurobiology and treatment of schizophrenia. [Anadolu Psikiyatri Derg 2020; 21(6.000): 565-571]

EISSN 2757-8038