Suffering from flat affect

Hi all,

I’m new here but I’m only 4 weeks into my recovery. I’m very much struggling with a condition known as ‘flat affect’ and I wondered if anyone had any good strategies or approaches to combat this lack of emotion in both my verbal and non verbal responses.
thanks everyone and all my best,


Bore da Samm, aye, I had and maybe still do to some extent (three years later) succumbed to what I knew then as a blunted emotional response. Whereas, some stroke survivors would spontaneously laugh or cry, I had developed the emotional capacity of a Dalek. I didn’t feel like that inside, but I couldn’t express anything sufficiently emotive. To be honest, it was the least of my concerns at the time but I did make an effort to explain to people that my response was not how I felt about things. The stroke I had was cerebellar stroke, and from research came to understand that that part of the whole cognitive machine is an emotional integrator, it fine tunes emotions, so it made sense that things had gone a bit silly with my interpretation of the world around me on an emotional level.

I think things did improve over time, albeit, a few backfires and splutters, but at four weeks you are at the very start of a journey, so I think a good way to measure your progress, emotionally or otherwise, is to keep a stroke diary. Write or record daily experiences in your rewiring journey and this will give you a means to look back and see what improvements you have made.


Hi @SammHaillay and welcome to the forum :slightly_smiling_face:
This flat affect (blunt affect), numb, emotionless state you are in is a combination of your medications and the shock of the stroke (PTSD), and is indeed a blessing you needn’t concern yourself with. In fact you’ve gotten off lightly in that respect, there are some on here who suffer more with anxiety and depression…far worse :frowning_face:

I had that flat affect for many months after my stroke but it did gradually wear off. I’m 3yrs post stroke now and, if I’m honest, there are times I wish I still had it. Naturally medications such blood pressure tablets are going to calm you down as they are meant to reduce your blood pressure. Plus, you are better off being in neutral at the moment while your brain is healing. So you are in the best state of mind for your recovery.

I don’t have any advice on how to combat this as that was the least of my concerns and I left it to take care of itself, which it did over time.


Hi @SammHaillay hope your recovery is still going ok. Unfortunately I’ve been the opposite with my emotions but hope you get sorted


@SammHaillay Hi & welcome to the community. Sorry you’ve had cause to join us.

Emotions are often affected after a stroke and in time should start to settle. Some people cry a lot or laugh inappropriately and others have no emotions. If you haven’t already perhaps have a look at this leaflet.

4 weeks is very early in your recovery so be patient with yourself.

Best wishes

Ann x

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You are going through great changes, don’t get too involved as the scenery changes, it will settle down eventually. Don’t be scared of having ‘not doing anything’ stages. You’ve experienced a huge trauma and need time to relax and recuperate.

Nevertheless don’t give up, it is a long road and you will have improvements.

You can’t be given an accurate prediction of how things will work out. Each of us has his/her path to tread. We vary in symptoms, outcomes even mood, but you will find that others who have been through this themselves will understand you better. Love and be kind to those around you, in many ways it is a mystery they just can’t understand.

It is important to try but equally important to take a break, be kind to yourself. Life is worth living. Have a laugh, it is allowed.

Oh yes, stick around, we want to know how things are going for you, keep us posted.

keep on keepin’ on
:writing_hand: :smile: :+1: