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Intensity of Affect

June 22nd, 2019


The intensity of affect refers to the strength and depth of a patient's emotional expressions. Assess whether the patient is intense in their responses, or have a distinct lack of emotional expression.
  • Interpretation

  • Increased intensity of affect: intense emotional expression with inflexibility in convictions, which may be accompanied by abusive statements.Bipolar affective disorder, cyclothymia, borderline personality disorder
  • Normal: appropriate intensity of emotional response.
  • Blunted affect: reduction in the intensity or range of emotional expression - the patient may seem unresponsive, emotionless, or indifferent to their surroundings. Schizophrenia, severe depression, bipolar disorder, post traumatic stress disorder, brain injury, Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, substances
  • Flattened affect: complete lack of emotional expression, with no emotional response to events, people, or situations around them.As with blunted affect, however more severe
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