incongruity of affect

Last reviewed 01/2018

In the healthy person, mood is consistent with thoughts and actions.

In some psychiatric disorders, most often schizophrenia, there is incongruity of affect e.g. the patient will have happy thoughts and look happy when talking about a sad event.

Incongruity of affect should be distinguished from:

  • the cheerfulness of embarassment
  • the "smiling depressive", who is severely depressed but fails to show the characteristic facial expressions of depression