Health issues are common these days, and so are the breakthroughs in the medical field. A lot of work has been put into this field to fight against a lot of odds. But do you know which concern has been part of it since the beginning and does a lot of damage occasionally? Don’t worry it’s not a disease, but misdiagnosis. Many times in the hurry or for some random reasons, people are misdiagnosed and hence provided wrong treatment. The only remedy against this is knowledge, and ensuring we know it right and hence do a proper diagnosis and ultimately the correct treatment.
Continuing on this wavelength, today we are discussing Pseudobulbar Affect (PBA) often at times misinterpreted as Depression. PBA is a neurological condition that triggers uncontrollable laughter or crying or some other emotional outburst. If you are thinking what’s wrong with that, we have all done it sometime depending on the situation. True that, but the key issue here is, ‘uncontrollable’ and ‘exaggerated’ and situation not really calling for such an outburst.
A person suffering from PBA will show extreme laughter/crying response in inappropriate situations, wherein it won’t be right. Also, the duration may not make sense to others and the one suffering don’t seem to be able to control themselves and realize it won’t be their response in normal circumstances.
PBA is also known as Emotional Incontinence, Emotional Liability, Forced Crying and others.
Causes: There can be various reasons that may cause it, like brain injury or neurological disturbance. Also, diseases like Multiple Sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease can trigger it. People who suffered stroke most likely develop PBA. Some other conditions like depression or other may trigger it as well. More research is being done to get more details.
Symptoms: Symptoms are exaggerated crying or laughing at a situation which may only be mildly sad or happy. It could be other ways as well, like laughing at a funeral or crying uncontrollably at a joke. Sometimes this behaviour may erupt from a non-stimuli. These episodes may last anywhere from a few seconds to few minutes. You can very well imagine the consequences of such actions especially when other people aren’t aware of the condition. This uncertainty of when the next cry/laugh bomb might explode impacts the person’s social and personal life as well. People become withdrawn and avoid other in hope to avoid the awkwardness that arises.
Because of the extreme emotion, it gets misconstrued as Depression. But these are poles apart. Depression is mood based so you generally feel sad, but PBA is not mood dependent, no matter what you feel you may still end up in a pool of your own tears or laughter bubble. Depression lasts for months or years, whereas duration of PBA episodes is minutes, yes it may happen many times.
It isn’t curable, but the ray of hope is it’s treatable. The certified drug for it is Dextromethorphan. Apart from that, the therapist is the best person to decide the course of treatment. But longer ways are not paved alone, so in this journey, you need to take your family, friends, along. You need to speak to them and explain, it’s not a burden you carry alone.
So Take care, someone said, “Care is a state in which something does matter, it is the source of human tenderness”. Life can be tough but in each case, it’s worth living.