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Answers to more than 1000 questions about psychology, mental health, healthy living and relationships, written by a team of experts appointed by the Commission of the European Communities.
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The aim of Web4Health is to give good and useful free medical advice, help and self help in the areas of mental health, psychology, personality disorders, relationships, stress, anxiety, depression, emotional abuse, substance abuse, sexual abuse, types of mental illness, etc.

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Affect - The Observable Display of Feelings; Quarreling, Crying, Weeping, etc.

Written by: Martin Winkler

First version: 22 Jul 2008. Latest revision: 23 Aug 2008.

Question:

 What is affect?

Answer:

The word Affect is in psychology and psychiatry used to described observable behaviour that represents the expression of a subjectively experienced feeling state (emotion). Common examples of affect are
  • sadness,
  • fear,
  • joy,
  • anger.

The normal range of expressed affect varies considerably between different cultures and even within the same culture.

Types of affect include:

  • euthymic,
  • irritable,
  • constricted,
  • blunted,
  • flat,
  • inappropriate,
  • labile.

Euthymic mood would be considered as the "normal" stable mood without complaints.

Affective Disorders are mental health disorders with observable alteration of affect (mood). This would include Major Depression, Dysthymia / Cyclothymia, Bipolar disorder and Adjustment disorders and a broader category of depressive symptoms, which do not fit in the classical categories of mood disorders (Depressive disorders not otherwise specified).

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