​The 16 Disorders And Alterations Of Affectivity: Why Do They Occur?

Given the appearance and manifestation of a certain psychopathology, an alteration of the affective or emotional state inherently appears.

Usually, these types of psychological expressions tend to be confused since they are usually used incorrectly and indistinctly. In order to know concretely the definition of affect deviations, We have made a list of the main emotional disorders.

    What is affectivity?

    Affectivity is defined as the set of states and tendencies that a person experiences directly and immediately, that is, it has a mainly subjective nature.

    Besides, considerably influences the formation of the personality and behavior of the subject, being therefore transcendental in the psychological development of the individual and is intrinsically associated with the communication property since this is one of its fundamental purposes. They are usually indicated using pairs of antagonistic terms such as joy/sadness, pleasure/pain, pleasant/unpleasant, etc.

    In the DSM definition, affect is understood as behavior that expresses the subjective experience of a mood, or in other words, emotion. Thus, this concept is linked to a more changing and brief phenomenon, while humor refers to sustained and more permanent emotions.

    1. Pathological joy

    It refers to an extreme state of euphoria and hyperactivity and is related to the presence of a manic episode. or an organic condition called “moria”, which is characterized by excess excitement, childish behavior and a tendency to play word games.

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    2. Pathological sadness

    Set of symptoms based on an intense feeling of grief, sadness and affliction in which the person experiences a significant decrease in interest in the environment. It is common in depressive episodes.

      3. Pathological distress

      It is a manifestation related to a notable increase in the state of physiological tension accompanied by a permanent feeling of intense fear, like a state of continuous alert. This deviation is common in anxiety disorders, mainly.

      4. Indifference or emotional coldness

      It refers to a state of absence of experiencing emotional sensations and is usually linked to apathy. or poor emotional reactivity. It usually occurs in schizophrenic conditions, in histrionic personality pathologies, in organic-cerebral or endocrine disorders.

      5. Anhedonia

      Anhedonia is defined by the inability to experience pleasure and is common in schizophrenia and depression.

        6. Parathymia or emotional inadequacy

        In this alteration, an incongruence occurs between the affectivity expressed by the person and the contextual situation in which it manifests itself. It is typical of both schizophrenic disorders and organic-cerebral conditions.

        7. Emotional or affective lability

        This pathology is characterized by sudden changes in affect combined with the inability to contain oneself emotionally.. It is typical of dementia and pseudobulbar conditions. In this last syndrome, uncontrollable attacks of laughter or crying can occur, more frequently the latter.

          8. Dysthymia

          This state is defined by the manifestation of a permanent low mood, with few fluctuations. In the DSM V, dysthymic disorder is distinguished or, in other words, persistent depressive disorder. It is chronic in nature although the intensity of the symptoms is less than in the depressive disorder.

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            9. Dysphoria

            It is understood as a feeling of general emotional discomfort, with a depressed mood. and presence of anxiety and cognitive restlessness, rather than physiological. A significant presence has been observed in sexual identity disorders.

            10. Aprosody

            This pathology is defined by an alteration in the use of affective language, more specifically in prosody (tone, rhythm, accent, intonation) and emotional modulation. This condition is found in Parkinson’s patients or in patients who have suffered an injury to the right cerebral hemisphere.

            11. Alexithymia

            In this case, an alteration also occurs in the emotional language, although referring to the propositional aspects of the language.. That is, the person is unable to find a word that expresses his or her emotional state. It is common in chronic pain disorders.

            • More information: “Alexithymia: the inability to say ‘I love you'”

            12. Affective rigidity

            In this affectation, the ability to modulate and modify the emotions experienced is lost. and is associated with episodes of mania, depression or schizophrenia.

            13. Ambivalence or ambithymia

            In this manifestation, the expression of opposite emotions about the same object or phenomenon occurs simultaneously.. It is found in various personality disorders and can also occur in non-clinical subjects.

            14. Neothymia

            It is defined as a “new appearance” feeling, in which the patient states that he cannot recognize it in himself. or have experienced it before. (stolen or imposed emotional states). It is usually associated with psychosis, epilepsy or significant substance abuse.

            15. Apathy

            Lack of motivation, absence of “the desire to do anything” and indifference towards the external stimulation received which is attributed to depressive states.

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            16. Abulia

            It is defined as the inability to perform any action voluntarily., lack of energy to respond behaviorally. It is related to those pathologies of decreased motivation in the child clinical population.

            • Related article: “Abulia: what symptoms warn of its presence?”

            Bibliographic references:

            • CEDE (2012) CEDE Manual of PIR Preparation, Psychopathology. VOL.1.
            • Casado, M. (2015) Preparation Manual for the PIR Exam vol. 1” MAD Publishing.