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 Marcia Purse

Can't Stop Laughing or Crying? Could Be PBA, Not Mental Illness

By February 11, 2013

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Pseudobulbar Affect causes laughing and crying

Out of the blue, your husband starts crying for no reason - again and again. He says he isn't depressed and doesn't know why he's crying, but you don't believe him and want him to get help. When you find out he also bursts into uncontrolled laughter, you suspect bipolar disorder and pressure him to see a doctor.

But a psychiatrist may not be the kind of doctor he needs. The culprit might be an illness called pseudobulbar affect, or PBA.

PBA is rare, but probably not as rare as thought. Many patients with PBA are mistakenly diagnosed with a mental illness because of the symptoms. It can take years to get the right diagnosis.

Take a look at this disease with such misleading symptoms: Depression, Bipolar - Or PBA?

Photo: Andreas Kuehn / Getty Images

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