Understanding Affective Disorders: Types, Causes and Treatments

In psychology and emotional theory, affect refers to the subjective experience of feeling or emotion. It encompasses the range of emotional states and expressions that individuals can experience. While there are various models and theories regarding affect, here are some commonly recognized types or dimensions of affect:

1. Positive Affect

Positive affect refers to pleasant and uplifting emotions such as joy, happiness, contentment, excitement, or satisfaction. It encompasses feelings of well-being, optimism, and enthusiasm.

2. Negative Affect

Negative affect refers to unpleasant or distressing emotions such as sadness, anger, fear, anxiety, or disgust. It encompasses feelings of distress, frustration, irritability, or fearfulness.

3. Valence

Valence refers to the overall positive or negative quality of an emotional experience. It is a continuum that ranges from extremely negative (e.g., extreme sadness) to extremely positive (e.g., elation).

4. Arousal

Arousal refers to the level of physiological and psychological activation associated with an emotional state. It ranges from low arousal (e.g., calmness, relaxation) to high arousal (e.g., excitement, anxiety).

5. Mood

Mood refers to a relatively enduring emotional state that is less intense and more stable than specific emotions. Moods can have a positive or negative valence and may persist over an extended period.

6. Emotion Regulation

Emotion regulation refers to the processes individuals use to manage or modify their emotional experiences. It involves strategies such as cognitive reappraisal, expressive suppression, or seeking social support to influence or regulate emotions.

These are general dimensions and concepts related to affect, and different theories may propose additional or alternative dimensions. It’s important to note that affect can be complex and multi-faceted, and individuals can experience a wide range of emotions and emotional states depending on various factors such as personal circumstances, personality traits, and situational contexts.