Real PBA story:

Chuck, patient living with essential tremors and PBA

Chuck, a patient with Pseudobulbar Affect (PBA)
Chuck, a patient with Pseudobulbar Affect (PBA)

With the support of his wife, he found an answer

Chuck experiences essential tremors, and while that isn’t one of the six common primary conditions for Pseudobulbar Affect (PBA), it is a neurologic condition that can be associated with PBA.

In 2012, he began to cry uncontrollably at the most inopportune moments, like at a concert or a nice dinner. For years, these episodes would happen at least once a day, sometimes three to four times a day. His wife, Cindy, was by his side through all of it, yet, he said, “things just got worse and worse.”


Cindy always says that if I’m going to have an episode, to come to her first. She holds my hand, and I think she understands.


Embarrassing episodes

Chuck’s uncontrollable crying episodes caused him a lot of embarrassment. “It’s very embarrassing to be around your family, or especially out in public. And you may need to prepare yourself if you’re going to be out in public.”

His embarrassment even stopped him from talking to his doctor about what he was experiencing.

When Chuck met with a neurologist, she thought he had depression, but she referred him to another neurologist for a second opinion. Embarrassment kept Chuck from bringing up his crying episodes at his first appointment with the new neurologist. “When I came home, my wife said, ‘Well, did you talk to the doctor about it?’ And I told her, ‘No, I was too embarrassed to say anything.’”

Speaking openly about PBA

Thanks to the insistence of Cindy, Chuck went back for a follow-up appointment to address his concerns about his uncontrollable crying episodes — and the neurologist diagnosed him with PBA.


If it wasn’t for Cindy, I probably would never have gone back to the doctor.


Chuck speaks with Cindy about PBA daily and shares with his doctor what he’s experiencing. “It gives me a really good feeling that I have someone that I can talk to who understands what I’m going through.”

Chuck is a real patient and has been compensated.