Alexithymia means a specific characteristic or deviation of the personality, which is expressed in the inability of a person to perceive, analyze or interpret his/her feelings and emotions.


  • an inability to identify and think/make sense of our feelings and emotions
  • an impairment in our ability to distinguish body sensations from our emotional ones
  • difficulty in clearly articulating/expressing our emotional experiences and feelings


The causes of this condition still haven’t been fully established to this date. In psychiatry, alexithymia is divided into two types:

  • Congenital – a unique characteristic trait of the personality, of a primary type of nature, which occurs in early childhood. In this case, we are talking about a genetic predisposition.
  • Acquired – it occurs as a result of an occurred event that could come both from internal or external environment. In this case, the condition plays the role of a defense mechanism.

Some signs of alexithymia:

  • Excessive gripping with various actions, as well as some unnatural ones (for example, unconscious movements of the limbs or fingers.)
  • The inability to verbalize feelings and emotions.
  • Dissatisfaction.
  • Distance and loneliness.
  • Inability to cope with stress, etc.

Diagnose and therapy

Alexithymia is not a disease and therefore it cannot be diagnosed, but there are some questionnaires such as the Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20) or the Bermont-Worst Questionnaire that have been used successfully to identify it.