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A 44-year-old member asked:

what does it mean to have flat affect?

1 doctor answer2 doctors weighed in
Dr. Jason Adler
Pediatric Critical Care 24 years experience
Flat affect: A flat affect is often used to describe the lack of emotion in a situation that would be expected to elicit emotion. Often, this term is used to describe the emotional state of a person with depression or other mental health issues.

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A 33-year-old member asked:

Do drugsl cause a flat affect?

2 doctor answers10 doctors weighed in
Dr. Paul Pancner
Clinical Psychology 18 years experience
Some: Not all drugs causs a flat affect, although some psychotropocs can. Dependent partially dose, the atypical antipsychotis are capable of this; although twhe older generation antipsychotics are more apt to produce this side effect. Antianxieyu meds, particularly the benzodiazepones, can cause this at high doses.
A 48-year-old member asked:

My boyfriend says he has a flat affect. I don't notice. So should this be cause for worry?

1 doctor answer2 doctors weighed in
Dr. Paul Hartlaub
Preventive Medicine 34 years experience
Perhaps: If your boyfriend thinks it is a problem, it may well be. Or it may just be normal for him. It would be good to have him evaluated for depression or other mood disorders by his primary care provider. A good preventive resource that outlines general screening tests, including a screen for depression, is an iphone app called my health checklist 2012.
A 38-year-old member asked:

What is the difference between shallow and flat affect?

1 doctor answer3 doctors weighed in
Dr. Glen Elliott
Child Psychiatry 43 years experience
Quality and degree: Shallow affect refers to people who do not show much range in emotion; they rarely if ever feel intense moods, either highs or lows. Flat affect refers to a near-complete absense of affect: the person simply does not show an emotional response even under pretty extreme conditions such as the loss of a loved one.
A 19-year-old male asked:

Can disulone really affect the behavior of a person? My uncle has been taking that drug and now he has a flat affect. He is sometimes incoherent.

1 doctor answer1 doctor weighed in
Dr. Pamela Pappas
Psychiatry 42 years experience
Of course: When you take a medication, there can be effects in every system of your body -- including your central nervous system which organizes behavior. Infections like malaria can affect behavior, affect, and ability to concentrate too. Please tell your uncle's physician about your observations. The medication may need adjusting or changing, or something else may need attending to.
Houston, TX
A 42-year-old female asked about a 16-year-old male:

What does "slow to respond to questions, flat affect" mean?

1 doctor answer1 doctor weighed in
Dr. Clarence Grim
Endocrinology 57 years experience
Flat affect: At your age I would say this is normal esp if you have your cell phone on when talking to the Dr. Slow to respond means you do not answer questions quickly. Flat affect means you don't seem to care what is going on during the interview. Best to ask your Dr what it means in medical speak for you.

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Last updated Jul 1, 2018

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