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What is “flat affect”?

On Behalf of | Apr 24, 2023 | Blog, Injuries, Motor Vehicle Accidents |

Car accidents can result in serious injuries to any part of the body, including injuries to the brain, traumatic brain injuries or TBIs, which are often one of the most severe types of injury that car accident victims can sustain.

What is “flat affect”?

There are distinct types of injuries to the brain depending on the location of the impact. Flat affect is an injury to the brain’s frontal lobe, which is the part of the brain involved in emotional responses to situations that typically elicits emotional responses.

For example, a person with flat affect may appear utterly unemotional in a situation where a normal person would express emotion, or apathetic when confronted with an emotional situation in which one would usually respond with an expression of emotion or feeling.

Other symptoms of flat affect include:

  • A reduction in facial expressions
  • A change in tone of voice to a monotone sounding tone
  • A blunted appearance
  • Apparent inability to feel or respond to other people’s feelings like one would expect

There is more than one cause for flat affect, including illnesses that have nothing to do with car accidents, but a TBI caused by a car accident can cause flat affect.

This type of harm can seriously damage a person’s brain and sometimes require lifelong care by others because the injury sustained is too severe to recover from and the person can no longer manage independently. It can also require intensive treatment.

A medical professional should evaluate people who show these symptoms as soon as possible after a car accident. While therapy and medication can sometimes help individuals with flat affect, it is often a symptom of a more severe problem and is, in some cases, untreatable.