Autism Spectrum Disorder - Deepstash
Handling Difficult People

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Autism Spectrum Disorder

Autism Spectrum Disorder

Research shows an overlap in symptoms between schizophrenia and autism. This may sometimes include a flat affect, which has confused experts for decades because the two conditions are very different.

Some autistic people may have a hard time expressing emotions or responding to social interactions, which can present as a flat affect.

For example, in a small 2019 study, researchers found that autistic people had more muted muscle movements in their faces when watching films designed to stimulate emotions than a control group.

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Muscle Disorders And Other Causes

  • Facial paralysis, such as after a stroke or from other muscle disorders, can give someone the appearance of a flat affect.
  • People with Parkinson’s disease may experience hypomimia, more commonly known as a “masked face.” This refers to a progressive decline in facial...

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Depression

Depression

As you may know, depression exists on a spectrum.

In some cases, a flat affect may be present along with related symptoms, like anhedonia, or the inability to feel pleasure. This isn’t always the case, though.

Flat affect can result from a decreased emotional response to events around...

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Antidepressant Medications

Antidepressant Medications

Certain medications, like antidepressants, can cause a flat affect.

In a 2017 study that examined 3,243 user reviews of antidepressants from three health websites, 41% of reviews reported negative emotional and behavioral effects, including a flat affect.

In this case, the reviewers w...

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Dementia

Dementia

Some forms of dementia can cause changes to the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain, which can sometimes manifest behaviorally as a flat affect.

Although not always the rule, symptoms of dementia may include progressive aphasia (the inability to communicate) and a loss of facial express...

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Schizoid Personality Disorder

Schizoid Personality Disorder

People who live with schizoid personality disorder may sometimes have some symptoms that overlap with schizophrenia.

According to the diagnostic criteria in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th edition (DSM-5), this includes avoiding social interactions and display...

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Treatment Of Flat Affect

If you have a flat affect, you may consider treating it. With the appropriate treatment plan in place, this symptom may be treatable and recovery is possible.

It’s highly advisable to reach out to a doctor, neurologist, or mental healthcare professional. A trained professional will be able ...

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Flat Affect

Flat Affect

  • The term “affect” refers to your ability to express emotions. 
  • Beyond your facial expression, your affect also includes your hand gestures, body language, and even your tone of voice.
  • A flat affect refers to low or lack of an emotional expression when the situation may merit ...

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Kinds Of Treatments For The Flat Affect

Kinds Of Treatments For The Flat Affect

Medications

If a medication is causing your flat affect, your doctor may change the type of medication you’re taking or the dosage.

 Psychotherapy

Therapy is considered a first-line treatment in many of the conditions associated with a flat affe...

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Causes of A Flat Affect

Causes of A Flat Affect

While researchers don’t know the exact cause of a flat affect, it may be related to brain chemistry.

More specifically, certain parts of your brain, like the sensorimotor system or the amygdala, may be underactive compared with people who don’t have a flat affect.

While a flat affect ...

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Signs and Symptoms of Flat Affect

Signs and Symptoms of Flat Affect

Having a flat affect doesn’t mean that you don’t feel emotions. Rather, it means that your reactions on the outside don’t necessarily match what you’re feeling on the inside.

Some telltale signs of a flat affect include:

  • appearing to lack interest
  • avoiding eye contact

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