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Treating Involuntary Crying and Laughing

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This content is created or selected by the Healthgrades editorial team and is funded by an advertising sponsor. The content is subject to the Healthgrades medical review process for accuracy, balance and objectivity. The content is not edited or otherwise influenced by the advertisers appearing on this page except with the possible suggestion of the broad topic area. For more information, read the Healthgrades advertising policy.
At Your Appointment

Pseudobulbar Affect Appointment Guide

Ask the right questions at your next doctor’s appointment. Answer two questions below to personalize your appointment guide.
  • Please describe the symptoms and issues you’re having that led you to schedule this online appointment. Start at the beginning of this current episode and tell me how and when things have changed and progressed.
  • Have you noticed any changes in controlling your emotions that concern you?
  • How often have you had emotional episodes in the last month?
  • Have you had episodes that caused you distress or embarrassment?
  • Have you had any episode-free days? How many?
  • What distraction tips have worked to help cope with your episodes?
  • Describe your symptoms. Are you having episodes of crying, laughing, or both?
  • How long do these episodes last?
  • Do you feel happy or sad when these episodes occur? Do you feel any other emotions during them?
  • Do these episodes seem to have a cause or a trigger?
  • Can you control or stop the laughing or crying?
  • Have you had a traumatic brain injury, stroke, or other brain-related condition?
  • How is pseudobulbar affect different than depression?
  • Could I also have a mood disorder, such as depression?
  • What tips can help me manage emotional episodes?
  • What medications are available to treat pseudobulbar affect?
  • What else can I do to keep my brain healthy?
  • Do I need to work with a therapist or counselor?
  • Do my symptoms mean I have pseudobulbar affect?
  • What other possible causes could be responsible for my symptoms?
  • How do you diagnose pseudobulbar affect?
  • What causes pseudobulbar affect?
  • What should I do if my symptoms get worse?
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Medical Reviewer: Meredith Goodwin, MD, FAAFP
Last Review Date: 2018 May 26
THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.
  1. Pseudobulbar affect (PBA).https://www.biausa.org/brain-injury/about-brain-injury/pba
  2. Understanding pseudobulbar affect. (2022). a href="https://www.geron.org/images/gsa/publications/insightsimplications01.pdf">https://www.geron.org/images/gsa/publications/insightsimplications01.pdf