The purpose of this investigation was to measure alexithymia in 90 newly abstinent alcoholism treatment candidates and to examine the relationship between alexithymia and depressive symptoms. Subjects completed the Schalling-Sifneos Personality Scale (SSPS) and the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) at the time of application for care. The correlation between subjects’ SSPS scores and their BDI scores was statistically significant (r = ––0.398; p < 0.001). Study participants with high BDI scores tended to be ‘more alexithymic’ than were those with low BDI scores. The authors conclude that alexithymia may serve as a defensive operation for alcoholic patients denying painful affect.

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