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A systematic review of childhood psychological traumas and alexithymia among persons with alcohol dependence syndrome

1 Department of Psychiatry, Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College, Datta Meghe Institute of Medical Sciences (Deemed to be University), Sawangi, Wardha, Maharashtra, India
2 Department of Psychiatry, Parul Institute of Medical Sciences and Research, Parul University, Vadodara, Gujarat, India

Correspondence Address:
Ajinkya Sureshrao Ghogare,
PhD Scholar and Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College, Datta Meghe Institute of Medical Sciences (Deemed to be University), Sawangi (Meghe), Wardha, Maharashtra
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/aip.aip_54_21

Psychological traumas may occur during childhood in the form of physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, physical neglect, and/or emotional neglect. Trauma may be experienced when a person experiences serious loss or his/her life is under grave threat. If such traumatic event is neither dealt effectively nor resolved completely, it may predispose such a person to development of mental health issues such as drug dependence including alcohol dependence syndrome (ADS). Persons who experience or suffer from childhood psychological trauma tend to consume alcohol in order to cope with their trauma related experiences. Hence, generally, onset of alcohol dependence is preceded by the occurrence of childhood psychological trauma(s). Childhood psychological trauma especially emotional abuse acts as a risk factor for the development of alexithymia in later life among persons with alcohol dependence. Alexithymia is a state of emotional dysregulation, which is characterized by the triad of difficulty in identifying one's own feelings, difficulty in distinguishing between the physical sensation and emotional arousal, and difficulty in explaining one's own feelings to others, which is known as externally oriented style of thinking. Alexithymia is itself a risk factor for the development of ADS. Thus, both childhood psychological trauma(s) and alexithymia play a significant role in the development of ADS. Findings of the present study showed that childhood psychological trauma(s), alexithymia, and ADS are interconnected. The present study findings conclude that significant relationship exists between childhood psychological traumas, alexithymia, and ADS.

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