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Affect is the immediate expression of emotion, and can be used to objectively assess a patient's mood. 
Affect can be assessed by covering a wide range of topics through the course of the conversation. Enquire about personal losses as well as loved ones and achievements.
Flattened affect: limited range of emotion, but not to the point of apathy.Mild to moderate depression
Blunted affect: apathy, decreased intensity and small-ranged affect. The patient does not express happiness or sadness and has no depth of conviction.Chronic schizophrenia, severe depression
Blunted and flattened affect are often used interchangeably.
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