Alexithymia: Anxiety and hostility in psychosomatic and psychoneurotic patients

M. von Rad, M. Druecke, W. Knauss, F. Lolas

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10 Scopus citations


Verbal samples obtained from 40 psychoneurotic and 40 psychosomatic patients, matched with respect to age, sex, intelligence and some social indicators, were examined using different methods of content analysis. According to the concept of 'alexithymia' it was postulated that the restricted fantasy life and difficulty in expressing feelings attributed to psychosomatic patients would be reflected at the speech level (psychoanalytic interviews). The measurement of anxiety and hostility using the Gottschalk-Gleser scales gave the following results: with total anxiety in particular, and its subscales guilt, shame, separation and diffuse anxiety, and with hostility, the psychosomatic patients showed lower values than the neurotic patients, which were in part highly significant. The results confirm the existence of the 'psychosomatic phenomenon' but they do not permit statements concerning its etiology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)223-234
Number of pages12
JournalPsychotherapy and Psychosomatics
Issue number1-4
StatePublished - 1979
Externally publishedYes


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