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Psychosomatics. 2001 May-Jun;42(3):229-34.

Alexithymia and depression: a prospective study of patients with major depressive disorder.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Kuopio University Hospital, Finland.


The authors conducted a 12-month follow-up study to determine the association between alexithymia and depression in 116 outpatients with major depressive disorder (MDD) and 540 control subjects from the general population. Alexithymia was screened using the Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20), and depression was assessed using the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI). The results show that the severity of depression was significantly associated with alexithymia. In addition, the BDI scores increased or decreased proportionately with the change in TAS-20 score in both groups. These results lend further support to the idea that alexithymia may be a state-dependent phenomenon.

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