Guidance From Lawyers Who Care

What is flat affect, and could it have been caused by a car accident?

On Behalf of | Apr 25, 2023 | Car Accidents

Car accidents are no joke; being involved in one can cause lifelong psychological trauma and physical injuries. Sometimes, those injuries are severe, particularly when the injury is to the brain.

A traumatic brain injury, or TBI, can cause flat affect, which is a state of emotional bluntness or apathy and the inability of the person to respond to situations that would typically elicit an emotional response.

The person may seem depressed and have limited facial expressions. Their personalities can also seem to change. They speak less, and when they do, they speak in a monotonous tone.

Flat affect impact on the brain

The frontal lobe is the part of the brain where normal emotional responses come from. Patients with flat affect display injuries in that specific area of the brain. This injury can vary in severity from mild to severe.

Flat affect is common after a car accident because TBIs are common in car accidents, and flat affect can be a symptom of TBI.

There is limited research on this topic, and while treatment works for some individuals, it does not work for others. It could be due to the injury’s force and where it impacted the brain.

Consequences of flat affect

Flat affect limits an individual’s ability to live an everyday life. While it can range in severity, most people notice when an individual has a flat affect because of their inability to respond emotionally, which impairs that person’s ability to have normal relationships.

Unfortunately, it can cause other problems and disable the person, who may need assistance for the rest of their life. A medical professional must examine the person as soon as possible after the car accident to evaluate and determine whether these symptoms exist and if they are signs of a traumatic brain injury.