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What is a flat affect and could it be related to my car accident?

Flat affect can be a symptom of a traumatic brain injury (TBI) caused by the impact to the head involved in a car crash. It happens when the frontal lobe of the brain is damaged, which is the part of the brain that controls the expression of emotions. People with flat affect do not express their emotions or respond to emotions in the same way than other people do.


People with flat affect display limited facial expressions and a monotone tone of voice, which can be very confusing for their friends and family because they do not understand why the person is acting this way. They appear to undergo a personality change because of their inability to express or respond to emotions.

In addition to the above symptoms, a person with flat affect displays an apathetic appearance, may seem depressed and can avoid eye contact with other people. It is a common symptom of a traumatic brain injury (TBI), although it can be a symptom of other illnesses, too.

No cure for flat affect

While there is no cure for flat affect, there is treatment, therapies and medication that have shown to be effective for people with flat affect and can reduce the symptoms associated with the problem. Not everyone responds well to therapies or to treatment, however, and some people do not recover at all. The goal in recovery is to get the individual to a place where they can feel emotions, express them and respond to others appropriately.


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