Emotion and Empathy

Recognizing and expressing emotions, moods, and attitudes are critical to human interaction.

 
 
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Emotion & Affect

Emotions are our feelings - happiness, sadness, anger, disgust, surprise, etc. Affect refers to not only emotional responses but also attitudes and states (such as boredom, respect, humility). RHD can disrupt both emotion and affect. Some people with RHD may seem very ‘flat’ and unemotional, and don’t seem to get excited or upset about anything; others will be overly animated and have emotional responses that seem a bit too much. Most lie somewhere in between.

 
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Empathy 

Sometimes after RHD a person will seem less empathetic; they don’t seen to care about others in the way they did before. This is likely related to difficulties with understanding or expressing emotion, producing or recognizing prosody, and Theory of Mind deficits.