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Eur J Med Res. 2010 Sep 24;15(9):403-9.

Alexithymia, emotion processing and social anxiety in adults with ADHD.

Author information

  • 1Depart. of Psychiatry, Rurh University, LWL, Hospital Bouchum, Germany.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

given sparse research on the issue, this study sought to shed light upon the interactions of alexithymia, emotion processing, and social anxiety in adults with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

SUBJECTS AND METHODS:

73 German adults with ADHD according to DSM-IV diagnostic criteria participated. We used the Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20) to assess alexithymia, the Social Phobia Scale (SPS) and the Social Interaction Anxiety Scale (SIAS) to assess different features of social anxiety, and we applied the German "Experience of Emotions Scalerdquor; (SEE) to measure emotion processing.

RESULTS:

40% of the sample were found to meet the DSM-IV criteria of social anxiety disorder, and about 22% were highly alexithymic according to a TAS-20 total score ≥ 61; however, the mean TAS-20 total score of 50.94 ± 9.3 was not much higher than in community samples. Alexithymic traits emerged to be closely linked to emotion processing problems, particularly 'difficulty accepting own emotions', and to social anxiety features.

DISCUSSION/CONCLUSION:

our findings suggest interactions of alexithymia, emotion processing dysfunction, and social anxiety in adults with ADHD, which may entail the therapeutic implication to thoroughly instruct these patients to identify, accept, communicate, and regulate their emotions to aid reducing interaction anxiety.

PMID:
20952350
PMCID:
PMC3351908
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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