A brief summary of current research.
Wood, R and Doughty, C Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation: Vol. 28 (2), pp 98–105.
Individuals who have difficulty coping after traumatic brain injury also usually experience trouble expressing how they feel. This increases their risk of suffering psychological distress. Difficulties expressing emotion and identifying feelings are features of alexithymia, which is common following TBI.
In this study, participants with TBI had significantly higher rates of alexithymia than those without brain injuries. Those with alexithymia also had higher rates of psychological distress and lower levels of task-oriented coping when compared to people with TBI, but without alexithymia.
Early screening for alexithymia after TBI can help to identify individuals who are most at risk, and allow health care providers to develop treatment plans to reduce psychological distress.