Preparing for Your

Healthcare Appointment

Unfortunately, not all healthcare providers are familiar with PBA. That's why finding the right provider and preparing for your next healthcare appointment are so important. Find tips for what to do before you speak with your healthcare provider or a specialist who treats PBA.

There is a treatment option for PBA. Go to your next doctor’s appointment prepared to discuss PBA.

Images of people affected by Pseudobulbar Affect (PBA)
Images of people affected by Pseudobulbar Affect (PBA)

All ambassadors are real patients living with PBA or
caregivers for real patients living with PBA.

All ambassadors are real patients living with PBA or caregivers for real patients living with PBA.

Find a specialist who treats PBA

Are you ready to schedule an appointment with a healthcare provider to discuss PBA but don't know where to start? Let us help. Enter your ZIP code to find a specialist familiar with PBA near you:

Before your appointment

Before your next healthcare appointment, take our 7-question PBA Quiz and see if your symptoms could suggest PBA.

Take the PBA Quiz
Dan is a real patient living with PBA.

Dan is a real patient living with PBA.

Prepare for your healthcare appointment

You may find it difficult to describe your sudden, frequent and uncontrollable crying and/or laughing episodes to others, which is why it’s so important to take steps to prepare before having a conversation with your healthcare provider. The more information you can provide, the better they will be able to help you manage your episodes.

Caregivers: Find more information on caring for your loved one at Caregiving for PBA.

Do these 5 things for your next appointment

It’s also good to take notes during your appointment. If you prefer, keep notes in your smartphone so you always have them handy.

Don’t worry about asking “the right questions,” just open up. Your healthcare provider wants to help you understand your symptoms. Here are some example questions:

  • Could my uncontrollable crying and/or laughing be a sign of PBA?
  • What should I know about PBA with my neurologic condition?
  • How is PBA different than depression?
  • If I do have PBA, what can I do to manage PBA?

Because PBA is sometimes mistaken for other conditions, make sure to describe your symptoms. How often do they happen? How long do they last? How do you feel while they’re happening? What are common triggers? Details matter. Here are some examples:

  • I cry and/or laugh suddenly at the smallest things for no reason.
  • I cry and/or laugh at inappropriate times.
  • My crying and/or laughing doesn’t match how I feel.
  • I’m concerned my crying may be mistaken for depression or another disorder.

Help your healthcare provider understand how your symptoms impact your daily life. What has changed in your life because of your crying and/or laughing episodes? For example:

  • I avoid going out in public because I’m afraid I’ll have a crying and/or laughing episode.
  • I stopped being social to avoid having an episode in front of my friends/family.
  • I’m afraid my episodes are affecting my ability to work.

They can help you remember what you learn from the healthcare provider — and help you remember what to ask.

Getting an accurate PBA diagnosis is key.

Because PBA can only happen in people with certain neurologic conditions or a brain injury, its symptoms are often misunderstood. Sudden, frequent, uncontrollable crying and/or laughing from PBA can be mistaken for other conditions or symptoms, such as:

Bipolar Disorder

A disorder associated with mood swings


A common mood disorder, characterized by excessive sadness, that affects how a person feels, thinks, and handles daily activities


(post-traumatic stress disorder)

A disorder that follows a traumatic event


A feeling sometimes communicated through crying, especially in people with Alzheimer’s disease

It is possible to have any of these conditions while having PBA. Each condition should be diagnosed separately and managed by a doctor.

Only your healthcare provider can diagnose PBA. That's why it's important to give a full picture of your crying and/or laughing episodes — including how often they occur and their impact.