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Axel Foster
Axel Foster

Flattening Of Emotions


Many of the conditions that cause flat affect can be treated. For some people, this can mean that their ability to express emotions can be restored. In other cases, treatment can help improve symptoms of flat affect or even prevent it from occurring. Treatments for conditions that cause flat affect vary, so talk to your healthcare practitioner or a mental health provider about which options are right for your needs.




Flattening of Emotions



The difference between contristed, blunted, and flat affect lies in the degree to which a person's emotional expression is affected. Constricted affect causes a diminished level of intensity and variability in how emotions are displayed. Blunted affect involves a more significant reduction in emotional expression. In flat affect, a person has minimal or absent emotional expression.


The Brvtalist is pleased to premiere a new track from Tolga Baklacioglu & Lady Maru. "Flattening Of Emotions" comes off the Ukraine fundraising Flattening Of Emotions EP on Berlin based DARK DISCO.ORG.Out June 3rd in digital formats. Get yours on Bandcamp: -baklacioglu-lady-maru-flattening-of-emotions-ep-name-your-price-all-revenues-go-for-ukraine@dark-disco


Blunted affect refers to feelingemotions but only showing some of what you're feeling. (It's a less intense form of the flat affect because you still show some response.)


Flat affect and emotional blunting can have an impact on treatment, especially if people go off medication they can benefit from. In another study, nearly 75% of more than 750 people in the acute phase of depression (and about 25% of those in remission) said they had severe emotional blunting. About 56% thought depression caused the emotional blunting, while 45% said antidepressants had a negative effect on their emotions. More than one-third were thinking of stopping medication or had already done so.


Introduction: Across four countries (Canada, USA, UK, and Italy), we explored the effects of persuasive messages on intended and actual preventive actions related to COVID-19, and the role of emotions as a potential mechanism for explaining these effects.


Methods: One thousand seventy-eight participants first reported their level of concern and emotions about COVID-19 and then received a positive persuasive text, negative persuasive text, or no text. After reading, participants reported their emotions about the pandemic and their willingness to take preventive action. One week following, the same participants reported the frequency with which they engaged in preventive action and behaviors that increased the risk of contracting COVID-19.


Results: Results revealed that the positive persuasive text significantly increased individuals' willingness to and actual engagement in preventive action and reduced risky behaviors 1 week following the intervention compared to the control condition. Moreover, significant differences were found between the positive persuasive text condition and negative persuasive text condition whereby individuals who read the positive text were more willing and actually engaged in more preventive action compared to those who read the negative text. No differences were found, however, at the 1-week follow-up for social distancing and isolation behaviors. Results also revealed that specific discrete emotions mediated relations between the effects of the texts and preventive action (both willing and actual).


Schizophrenia is widely regarded to be a neurocognitive disorder, i.e. a dysfunction of the neural and cognitive systems subserving thinking and reasoning, memory, language, attention and perception. However, although cognitive dysfunction is certainly a cardinal feature of schizophrenia, we argue that dysfunction of emotional brain systems may be even more important in understanding the disorder. Indeed, in recent years research on the emotional aspects of schizophrenia is accumulating at a high rate. Here, we review the available evidence regarding behavioral and neural manifestations of abnormal emotional systems in schizophrenia. This evidence comes from patient studies using tasks of emotion recognition, emotional expression and emotional experience. Furthermore, studies of schizophrenia patients using structural MRI have demonstrated volume reductions of the amygdala, a key structure of the emotional brain. Finally, functional fMRI studies have revealed an attenuated response of the amygdala to emotional stimuli as compared to neutral stimuli. Beyond demonstrating that dysfunction of the emotional brain is a hallmark of schizophrenia, we propose a model that integrates previous neural accounts of emotional abnormalities in schizophrenia, and specifies a neural basis for differential emotional correlates of positive and negative symptoms. Specifically, a lesion to the amygdala in combination with reduced interconnectivity with the prefrontal cortex is hypothesized to give rise to reduced emotional expression (affective flattening) and emotion recognition deficits. In contrast, an imbalance in dopamine systems may underlie increased anxiety and autonomic arousal, and the assignment of emotional salience to insignificant stimuli, associated with psychosis. We also hypothesize that the central and basolateral nuclei of the amygdala may contribute differentially to these abnormalities.


Reduced affect display, sometimes referred to as emotional blunting or emotional numbing, is a condition of reduced emotional reactivity in an individual. It manifests as a failure to express feelings (affect display) either verbally or nonverbally, especially when talking about issues that would normally be expected to engage the emotions. Expressive gestures are rare and there is little animation in facial expression or vocal inflection.[1] Reduced affect can be symptomatic of autism, schizophrenia, depression, posttraumatic stress disorder, depersonalization disorder,[2][3][4] schizoid personality disorder or brain damage.[5] It may also be a side effect of certain medications (e.g., antipsychotics[6] and antidepressants[7]).


Blunted affect is a lack of affect more severe than restricted or constricted affect, but less severe than flat or flattened affect. "The difference between flat and blunted affect is in degree. A person with flat affect has no or nearly no emotional expression. They may not react at all to circumstances that usually evoke strong emotions in others. A person with blunted affect, on the other hand, has a significantly reduced intensity in emotional expression".[9]


Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) was previously known to cause negative feelings, such as depressed mood, re-experiencing and hyperarousal. However, recently, psychologists have started to focus their attention on the blunted affects and also the decrease in feeling and expressing positive emotions in PTSD patients.[23] Blunted affect, or emotional numbness, is considered one of the consequences of PTSD because it causes a diminished interest in activities that produce pleasure (anhedonia) and produces feelings of detachment from others, restricted emotional expression and a reduced tendency to express emotions behaviorally. Blunted affect is often seen in veterans as a consequence of the psychological stressful experiences that caused PTSD.[23] Blunted affect is a response to PTSD, it is considered one of the central symptoms in post-traumatic stress disorders and it is often seen in veterans who served in combat zones.[24] In PTSD, blunted affect can be considered a psychological response to PTSD as a way to combat overwhelming anxiety that the patients feel.[25] In blunted affect, there are abnormalities in circuits that also include the prefrontal cortex.[26][27]


Blunted affect is very similar to anhedonia, which is the decrease or cessation of all feelings of pleasure (which thus affects enjoyment, happiness, fun, interest, and satisfaction). In the case of anhedonia, emotions relating to pleasure will not be expressed as much or at all because they are literally not experienced or are decreased. Both blunted affect and anhedonia are considered negative symptoms of schizophrenia, meaning that they are indicative of a lack of something. There are some other negative symptoms of schizophrenia which include avolition, alogia and catatonic behaviour.


With all its ups and downs, experiencing emotion is a normal part of life. Everyone has a different experience of emotions. Some people feel more strongly than others, while other people may have long-term or temporary difficulty feeling a full range of emotion.


Also if, after trying these techniques, you are still struggling with processing through your emotions then consider scheduling an appointment for kinesiology. You can book an appointment with me via:


This symptom can affect one type of emotion, many types of emotions, or all emotions. It can also change where you feel nothing for one type of emotion at one time and then feel something for that one again but feel nothing for a different emotion at a different time.


Since the amygdala is a part of the Limbic System, primarily responsible for emotion responsiveness, increased fear reactivity by the amygdala can suppress our emotions, making them feel flat, lifeless, and disconnected.


Moreover, since fear can be traumatic, some people dissociate from traumatic experiences to protect themselves psychologically and emotionally. Dissociation can flatten emotions, causing emotional numbness.


Research has shown a tight mind and body connection. Since our emotions are primarily caused by how we think, and since the body's physical health can influence how we think, our emotions are caused by a complex combination of biological and psychological factors.


This symptom really scared me (Jim Folk) when I first experienced it. My emotions were so numb, flat, disconnected, and unusual, I feared I was on the verge of a complete mental and emotional breakdown. As you know, fearing your symptoms and what you think they could do only makes things worse. 041b061a72


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