Concepts that relate childhood neglect to alexithymia (dysfunction in emotional awareness, social attachment, and interpersonal relating) state that perceived lack of attention and insufficient exposure to adaptive emotional learning can lead to impaired emotion regulation of alexithymic subjects. Regarding associations between childhood abuse and alexithymia, it has been suggested that alexithymia serves as a defense mechanism against intolerable thoughts and feelings

Source: Study explores genetic relationship between childhood trauma and emotional inhibition