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  6.  — What is “flat affect,” and could it be related to a brain injury?

What is “flat affect,” and could it be related to a brain injury?

On Behalf of | Apr 6, 2023 | Auto Accidents, Brain Injuries, Personal Injury

Suppose you have been in an accident and diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury (TBI). In that case, you may experience a series of symptoms. Most of them make it very difficult for anyone to live an everyday life, and many victims require special care to ensure that they can recover as much as possible.

Recovering from a TBI

Recovering from a TBI is challenging because you may experience symptoms that maybe you experienced before the accident and never noticed. On the other hand, TBIs are very difficult to manage because it is almost impossible to fully understand the extent of the injury, which could continue to evolve and get worse over time.

One common symptom of TBIs is “flat affect.” Affect is the way you express your emotions, either verbally or physically. How you communicate an emotion you are feeling. An individual with flat affect does not show normal signs of affect. They could seem apathetic, non-responsive to others’ emotions, and even severely depressed.

Meanwhile, what is happening in the brain is a problem in the functioning of the frontal lobe, especially in the right hemisphere and in other parts involved in expressing emotion. Flat affect can be a symptom of depression caused by a TBI or an illness caused by the accident. Depression is not a necessary diagnosis for flat affect to exist.

Is there a cure for flat affect?

There can be. Case studies and treatment have shown that through therapy and medication, health professionals can try to treat flat affect, which can be successful. As the depression lifts, you may start responding more like yourself, reacting to others and becoming more responsive.

Is flat affect always reversible?

No. In some cases, flat affect is permanent. Even though medical practitioners can work with patients to teach them to recognize levels of emotional expression and how others react, a person permanently affected by flat affect does not feel or respond the same way as a healthy person would, pointing to a more serious issue within the brain.

Traumatic brain injuries are among the most difficult to deal with after a car accident. They can be extremely challenging to accurately diagnose, treat and manage. For these reasons, you must receive the support you need if you have been injured in this way.