Background & objectives:
Epilepsy is a chronic neurological disorder that disrupts normal brain activity due to abnormal electrical discharge of brain cells. Mood swings, depression and anxiety are the common complications in epilepsy. The aim of the present study was to compare alexithymia in patients with Tonic-clonic epilepsy, Juvenile Myoclonic Epilepsy
(JME), and healthy individuals.
In this casual-comparative study, sampling was performed by convenience sampling method. The study population consisted of all epileptic patients and the study sample included 134 participants (N= 74 Patients and N= 60 healthy people) individuals aged 18-35 years. Among the patients, 14 were excluded due to lack of selection criteria and 60 samples (N= 29 with myoclonic and N= 31 with Tonic-clonic
Data regarding alexithymia was gathered by Toronto Alexithymia Scale, and analyzed by ANOVA, Scheffé post - hoc test and t-test were performed for independent groups.
Findings showed that the mean of Alexithymia in those with JME, tonic-clonic epilepsy and normal individuals were 64.44, 61.41, and 54.24, respectively. The difference between the two groups with myoclonic and tonic-clonic epilepsy was not statistically significant. However, there was a significant difference found between those with tonic-clonic epilepsy and normal individuals (T= 6.82; p
<0.01). In addition, patients with JME
and tonic-clonic epilepsy had more difficulty in identifying and describing emotions, and external thought direction compared to normal ones, while no such a difference was observed between the two groups with epilepsy.
Epilepsy is accompanied by reduced processing of emotional information such as alexithymia. Individuals with tonic-clonic and juvenile myoclonic epilepsy are less qualified for recognizing and describing emotional information, and their intellectual orientation is mostly external. Also, since the location of discharge in both types is widespread and similar, no significant difference in alexithymia was observed between the patients with tonic-clonic and myoclonic epilepsy