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Vol. 47, No. 2, 1987
Issue release date: 1987
Psychother Psychosom 1987;47:101–104

Electrodermal Activity in Low and High Alexithymia Neurotic Patients

Rabavilas A.D.
Department of Psychiatry, Athens University Medical School, Eginition Hospital, Athens, Greece

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This study explores the relations between alexithymia and level of arousal in patients suffering from anxiety states. Among 105 patients investigated, two groups were finally identified by means of the Schalling-Sifneos Personality Scale; a group of patients with ‘low’ and a group with ‘high’ alexithymia. These groups underwent a psychophysiological assessment concerning electrodermal activity measures recorded during resting and stimulation periods. The results suggested that high alexithymia patients demonstrated significantly higher levels of electrodermal arousal and slower recovery time in novel situations as compared with low alexithymia patients. These findings support the view that an exacerbated degree of arousal may be an important factor with respect to the development of alexithymia, even in a nonpsychosomatic population.

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