Share This Article:

A Pilot Study of the Impact of Stimulant Pharmacotherapy in College Students with ADHD on Alexithymia and Psychological Mindedness

Full-Text HTML Download Download as PDF (Size:111KB) PP. 139-142
DOI: 10.4236/ojmp.2013.24021    3,558 Downloads   5,299 Views   Citations

ABSTRACT

Objective: Alexithymia is increasingly recognized in a number of psychiatric disorders, but a possible relationship between alexithymia and adult attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) has not been studied. It is not known if psychostimulants decrease symptoms of both ADHD and alexithymia. This relationship is examined in a small naturalistic and longitudinal study. Participants: Ten consecutive stimulant-naive college students seek assessment and treatment for ADHD during the academic year. Method: Participants completed three self-report instruments quantifying ADHD symptomatology, alexithymia, and psychological mindedness prior to initiation of stimulant pharmacotherapy and after three and six months of medication treatment without formal psychotherapy. Results: ADHD symptoms decreased significantly from baseline to three months and remained low at six months. Decreases in alexithymia and increases in psychological mindedness changed more slowly, with significant differences occurring at six months compared to baseline. Conclusions: This study suggests that stimulant pharmacotherapy in college students with ADHD decreases ADHD symptoms and alexithymia while increasing psychological mindedness. These results have implications for untreated adult ADHD patients seeking psychotherapy.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

J. Matuszak, G. Miller, M. Kemmelmeier and N. Mason, "A Pilot Study of the Impact of Stimulant Pharmacotherapy in College Students with ADHD on Alexithymia and Psychological Mindedness," Open Journal of Medical Psychology, Vol. 2 No. 4, 2013, pp. 139-142. doi: 10.4236/ojmp.2013.24021.

References

[1] P. E. Sifneos, “The Prevalence of Alexithymic Characteristics in Psychosomatic Patients,” Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, Vol. 22, No. 2-6, 1973, pp. 256-262. http://dx.doi.org/10.1159/000286529
[2] R. Bar-On and J. Parker, “The Handbook of Emotional Intelligence: Theory, Development, Assessment, and Application at Home, School, and in the Workplace,” Jossey-Bass, San Francisco, 2000.
[3] J. B. Martin and R. O. Pihl, “The Stress-Alexithymia Hypothesis: Theoretical and Empirical Considerations,” Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, Vol. 43, No. 3, 1985, pp. 169-176. http://dx.doi.org/10.1159/000287876
[4] J. H. Krystal, E. L. Giller and D. V. Cicchetti, “Assessment of Alexithymia in Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Somatic Illness: Introduction of a Reliable Measure,” Psychosomatic Medicine, Vol. 48, 1986, pp. 84-94.
[5] M. G. Haviland, D. G. Shaw, J. P. MacMurray and M. A. Cummings, “Validation of the Toronto Alexithymia Scale with Substance Abusers,” Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, Vol. 50, No. 2, 1988, pp. 81-87. http://dx.doi.org/10.1159/000288104
[6] G. J. Taylor, J. D. A. Parker and R. M. Bagby, “A Preliminary Investigation of Alexithymia in Men with Psychoactive Substance Dependence,” American Journal of Psychiatry, Vol. 147, 1990, pp. 1228-1230.
[7] D. L. Beales and R. Dolton, “Eating Disordered Patients: Personality, Alexithymia, and Implications for Primary Care,” British Journal of General Practice, Vol. 50, No. 450, 2000, pp. 21-26.
[8] M. A. Edel, A. Rudel, C. Hubert, D. Scheele, M. Brune, G. Juckel and H. J. Assion, “Alexithymia, Emotion Processing and Social Anxiety in Adults with ADHD,” European Journal of Medical Research, Vol. 15, No. 9, 2010, pp. 403-409.
[9] R. C. Kessler, L. Adler, R. Barkley, et al., “The Prevalence and Correlates of Adult ADHD in the United States: Rresults from the National Comorbidity Survey Replication,” American Journal of Psychiatry, Vol. 163, No. 4, 2006, pp. 716-723. http://dx.doi.org/10.1176/appi.ajp.163.4.716
[10] M. McCallum, W. E. Piper, J. S. Ogrodnczuk and A. S. Joyce, “Relationships among Psychological Mindedness, Alexithymia and Outcome in Four Forms of Short-Term Psychotherapy,” Journal of Psychology & Psychotherapy, Vol. 76, No. 2, 2003, pp. 133-144. http://dx.doi.org/10.1348/147608303765951177
[11] V. Spek, I. Nyklícek, P. Cuijpers and V. Pop, “Alexithymia and Cognitive Behaviour Therapy Outcome for Sub-threshold Depression,” Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, Vol. 118, No. 2, 2008, pp. 164-167. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1600-0447.2008.01199.x
[12] S. A. Applebaum, “Psychological Mindedness: Work, Concept, and Essence,” The International Journal of Psychoanalysis, Vol. 54, 1973, pp. 35-46.
[13] H. R. Conte, R. Plutchik, B. B. Jung, S. Picard, T. B. Karasu and A. Lotterman, “Psychological Mindedness as a Predictor of Psychotherapy Outcome: A Preliminary Report,” Comprehensive Psychiatry, Vol. 31, No. 5, 1990, pp. 426-431. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/0010-440X(90)90027-P
[14] S. A. Safren, S. Sprich, M. J. Mimiaga, et al., “Cognitive Behavioral Therapy vs Relaxation with Educational Support for Medication-Treated Adults with ADHD and Persistent Symptoms,” Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, Vol. 304, No. 8, 2010, pp. 875-880. http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jama.2010.1192
[15] American Psychiatric Association, “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders,” 4th Edition, Washington, DC, 2002.
[16] R. A. Barkley, “Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: A Handbook for Diagnosis and Treatment,” 2nd Edition, Guilford Press, New York, 1998.
[17] G. J. DuPaul, T. J. Power, A. D. Anastopoulus and R. Reid, “ADHD Rating Scale-IV: Checklists, Norms, and Clincal Interpretations,” Guilford Press, New York, 1998.
[18] R. M. Bagby, G. J. Taylor and J. Parker, “Reliability and Validity of the Revised 20-Item Toronto Alexithymia Scale,” Poster Presentation at the 50th Anniversary Meeting of the American Psychosomatic Society, New York, 1992.
[19] H. R. Conte, R. Ratto and T. B. Karusa, “The Psychological Mindedness Scale: Factor Structure and Relationship to Outcome of Psychotherapy,” Journal of Psychotherapy Practice and Research, Vol. 5, No. 3, 1996, pp. 250–259.
[20] S. Raudenbush and A. S. Bryk, “Hierarchical Linear Models: Applications and Data Analysis Methods,” 2nd Edition, Sage, Thousand Oaks, 2002.
[21] R. Bickel, “Multilevel Analysis for Applied Research: It’s Just Regression,” Guilford Press, New York, 2007.
[22] C. B. H. Surman, J. Biederman, T. Spencer, et al., “Deficient Emotional Self-Regulation and Adult Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: A Family Risk Analysis,” American Journal of Psychiatry, Vol. 168, No. 6, 2011, pp. 617-623. http://dx.doi.org/10.1176/appi.ajp.2010.10081172

  
comments powered by Disqus

Copyright © 2018 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.