Talk to your doctor about managing PBA
PseudoBulbar Affect (PBA) is a real condition with its own symptoms—and there’s help.
Getting an accurate diagnosis is key
Because PBA always happens with certain neurologic conditions or brain injury, its symptoms are often misunderstood. Sudden, frequent, uncontrollable crying or laughing from PBA can be mistaken for other states or conditions, such as:
- Learn more about PBA and depression here
- Bipolar Disorder
- A disorder associated with mood swings
- Excessive laughter sometimes associated with conditions like multiple sclerosis (MS)
- (post-traumatic stress disorder) – A disorder that follows a traumatic event, sometimes associated with conditions like traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- A feeling sometimes communicated through crying, especially in people with Alzheimer’s disease
It is possible to have any of these symptoms while having PBA. Each condition should be diagnosed and managed by a doctor.
Only your doctor can diagnose PBA. That's why it's important to give a full picture of your laughing and/or crying episodes —including how often they occur and their impact.
Think you might have PBA?
How to start a new conversation with your doctor about PBA
- Take a short PBA quiz
- Show the results to your doctor
- Use the tips on this page to guide your conversation
Tell your doctor if you or someone you care for:
- Sometimes feels fine one minute, then suddenly cries over the smallest things or for no reason
- Laughs at very inappropriate times
- Has added stress or frustration because of crying and/or laughing episodes
- Avoids spending time in public or with family and friends because of uncontrollable crying and/or laughing episodes
- Is concerned that these episodes could be mistaken for depression or another disorder
Questions to ask your doctor
Suggestions for your next appointment
Are you caring for someone with these symptoms? These tips are for you, too. For extra help, read our suggestions for supporting someone with PBA.