What is flat affect for schizophrenia?

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  • AMark Morocco, MD, Emergency Medicine, answered
    Flat affect, which is also called blunted affect, is one of the negative symptoms of schizophrenia. A person with negative symptoms lacks a normal range of feelings and behaviors. The word "affect" means one's emotional state. To have a flat, or blunt affect means that a person appears to lack any emotion at all. People with schizophrenia often show flat affect, and they do not smile, frown, grimace, or make any emotional expressions with their face. Even when others are laughing, or very upset, a person with schizophrenia may maintain a flat appearance. In addition to a flat affect, people with schizophrenia might speak in a flat tone of voice as well. Their voices do not show the normal emotional range that most people display. Rather, they speak in a monotone.
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