Chitrankana Bandyopadhyay, Akash Kumar Mahato


It has been classically postulated that alexithymia is related to a pervasive inability of emotional recognition and expression. This leaves some individuals little choice but to somatise unprocessed emotions commonly caused by internal conflicts. The present study thus aimed to explore the nature of conflicts, controls and stress tolerance, affect, self-perception, and interpersonal perception and behavior in somatization patients with alexithymia. 30 individuals of both sexes and of the age range 20-50 years, diagnosed with somatization disorder and alexithymia, were purposively undertaken for the study. Toronto Alexithymia Scale 20, Sack’s Sentence Completion Test and the Rorschach Test – Exner’s Comprehensive System were used to screen for alexithymia, to measure conflicts and the other aforementioned domains respectively. Results revealed that conflicts related to self-concept, sex, and family were primarily present in this sample. Characteristic patterns of underlying vulnerabilities seemed to account for poor stress tolerance, affective complications, negative self-perception, and maladaptive interpersonal functioning. It is suggested that alexithymia and a tendency to develop conflicts in somatization are based on the foundation of certain fundamental personality predispositions. Identifying said personality patterns could aid in appropriate and effective goal-setting in psychotherapy, specific to this otherwise treatment-resistant patient population.


somatization; alexithymia; conflicts; Rorschach domains

Full Text:


DOI: https://doi.org/10.37708/psyct.v14i2.589

Creative Commons License
ISSN: 2193-7281
PsychOpen Logo