“Alexithymia” is a term coined to describe patients who have so successfully buried their emotional problems that they no longer have any capacity for genuine insight. These patients present as being “emotionally illiterate” such that they have great difficulty in expressing or describing their feelings. Because their capacity to intellectualize and rationalize can be highly developed they often have very strong and rigid opinions about themselves and their life, making two-way communication about these very important issues very difficult and frustrating.
Importantly, such patients do not even realize they cannot identify their own feelings, and while they can use words like “love”, “hate” and “jealousy”, close inspection reveals that they have never actually experienced them. They typically show no emotion while telling sad stories, presenting details of their unhappy relationships, or discussing events of their childhood. Read More