Relations between Alexithymia, Anxiety, Depression, Psychological Distress, and Psychological Well-being

Document Type : Research Paper



The relations between alexithymia, anxiety, depression, psychological distress, and psychological well-being were investigated in a sample of students. A correlational analysis was performed to assess the kind of association exist among alexithymia and its three components including difficulty identifying feelings, difficulty describing feelings, and externally oriented thinking with psychological well-being, psychological distress, axiety, and depression. Three  hundred and six students (136 boys, 170 girls) from the University of Tehran were included in this study. All participants were asked to complete Farsi version of the Toronto Alexithymia Scale (FTAS-20), Mental Health Inventory (MHI), Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI), and Beck Depression Inventory (BDI). Analysis of the data involved both descriptive and inferential statistics including means, standard deviations, multivariate analysis of variance, pearson's correlation coefficients and regression analysis. Alexithymia showed a significant negative association with psychological well-being as well as a significant positive association with psychological distress, anxiety, and depression. The results also revealed that total alexithymia and difficulty identifying feelings can predict changes of psychological vulnerability and psychological well-being. Externally oriented thinking could predict only changes of anxiety. It can be concluded that alexithymia is associated with mental health, anxiety, and depression indices. Results and implications are discussed.