I first saw mention of this from Thomas Wictor, but I neglected to save the tweet or unrolled thread. I did save this, but I don’t quite understand all the stuff about microexpressions (there are other sources from Mr Wictor, but I didn’t follow-up on them). Nonetheless, he provides a good example of person affected. By the way, the condition is defined here Psych Central:
Flat affect is having a lack of emotional expression. It is a symptom typically observed in people with schizophrenia, autism, depression or traumatic brain injury. A person with flat affect may appear unresponsive to the world around them.
It is interesting how well these all fit into that description of the “quiet person who seemed nice” description.
Update (20190805): In addition to correcting the term “affect”, I came across this too.
August 3, 2019, 5:18 PM
We see from the photos that the El Paso mass shooter has flat affect.
In other words, he’s catastrophically mentally ill.
This thread will trace the timeline of the failed social experiment of “deinstitutionalization” – allowing the severely mentally ill to remain on the streets, refusing treatment.
In 1962, Ken Kesey wrote One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.
People assumed that the novel represented conditions in all federal mental institutions, but here’s the thing:
Kesey took LSD every night before he went to work as a nurse’s aide in the psychiatric wing of Menlo Park VA hospital.
He was tripping the whole time.
On October 31, 1963, John F. Kennedy signed the Community Mental Health Act (CMHA).
Patients would be released from mental institutions and would VOLUNTARILY report to community mental-health centers on an outpatient basis.
The CMHA would allow schizophrenics and other psychotics to have jobs or live in their own homes.
The federal government provided grants to states for building community mental-health centers.
Less than HALF the centers were built, and NONE Were fully funded.
The states DIVERTED the grants to other things.
On July 30, 1965, Congress created Medicaid.
Because Medicaid DOES NOT COVER institutions for mental illness, states were forced to move the mentally ill out of hospitals and into nursing home or general hospitals.
These facilities were not trained or funded to handle the violently mentally ill.
Patients were released due to the cost and the dangers they posed to staff.
In 1967, California Governor Ronald Reagan signed the Lanterman-Petris-Short Act (LPS), which made it almost impossible to commit people against their will.
This was to protect their rights.
Every state in the union passed similar laws.
Therefore from 1967, it became impossible to commit the catastrophically mentally ill against their will.
On October 7, 1980, Jimmy Carter signed the Mental Health Systems Act (MHSA).
It provided grants to community mental-health centers that were devoted to “rehabilitation.”
The MHSA emphasized “social support systems.”
In 1981, President Ronald Reagan signed the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1981
(OBRA, aka Gramm-Latta 2).
OBRA withdrew all federal funding for mental institutions and provided states block grants to use for treating the mentally ill.
All federal mental-health hospitals were closed.
The states used the block grants for others things, because laws prevented any enforced treatment of the mentally ill.
The final nail in the coffin was the Great Recession of 2008, which forced states to cut virtually all funding for mental health.
Today there are 43,000 psychiatric beds in the entire country of 330 million.
The Law of Unintended Consequences and political ideology ON BOTH SIDES created this mess.
Leftists believe that mental illness is a lifestyle choice, and conservatives are terrified of Big Brother.
As a result, we have mass shootings.
Until BOTH SIDES grow up, we will continue to have mass shootings.
Using a loaded exaggerated term like “Big Brother” with a loaded exaggeration “terrified” seems rhetorically solid and dialectically baseless. I’ll stick with my terror, thank you.