September 9, 2022

Effect of Alexithymia [Problem Feeling Emotion] and Difficulty of Emotion Regulation, Neuroticism, Low Extraversion, and Suicidality on Quality of Life in Epilepsy

Abstract found on PubMed

Objective: The objective of this study was to investigate alexithymia, emotion dysregulation, suicidality, and personality traits in people with epilepsy (PWE) and to evaluate their effects on quality of life.

Materials and methods: Forty-six consecutive PWE and forty healthy control subjects (HC) were recruited for the study. Both PWE and HC were interviewed and completed the following questionnaires: Toronto Alexithymia Scale-20(TAS-20), Difficulties in Emotion Regulation Scale (DERS), Eysenck Personality Questionnaire, Suicidal Ideation Scale, Beck Depression Inventory-II, Beck Anxiety Inventory, and Quality Of Life In Epilepsy-31.

Results: TAS-20 and difficulty identifying feelings which was the subgroup of TAS-20, scores of total and non-acceptance, goals, impulse, strategies, and clarity subgroups of DERS were statistically significantly higher in PWE (p = 0.01, 0.004, 0.01, 0.07, 0.009, 0.06, 0.01, respectively). Considering the personality characteristics, neuroticism was more common in PWE, while extraversion was less common. Suicidal ideation and anxiety scores were higher in PWE than HC (p = 0.02, p = 0.003). Anxiety, suicidal ideation, neuroticism, alexithymia and emotion dysregulation had a negative relationship on quality of life. (r = -0.54, p < 0.001; r = -0.54, p < 0.001; r = -0.62, p < 0.001; r = -0.32, p = 0.02; r = -0.52, p < 0.001).

Conclusion: Difficulty identifying feelings, dysregulation of emotions especially nonacceptance, goals, impulse, strategies, and clarity are common in PWE. Anxiety, suicidal ideation, neuroticism, alexithymia, and emotion dysregulation had a negative impact on quality of life. Each of these are important for psychosocial wellbeing of our patients and must be questioned considering their effects on quality of life.