Laughing and crying at the same time psychology

Laughing and crying at the same time psychology


Laughing and crying at the same time psychology


Is it weird to see a person crying laughing in such a short time? Exaggerated cries and laughter that turn into a short time are the outstanding character of a person with emotional distress. Experts in the field of psychology and neuroscience call this emotional malaise !!!  the so-called pseudobulbar effect.

 Other names for this complication include:

  • Pathological laughing and crying
  • Emotional lability
  • Emotional dysregulation
  • Emotional incontinence
  • Involuntary crying
  • Laughing and crying at the same time psychology


What you will read next:


What is Pseudobulbar Effect?

Symptoms of pseudobulbar effect

Pseudobulbar effects and depression

What is the cause of Laughing and crying at the same time psychology?

Pseudobulbar effect detection




What is Pseudobulbar Effect?

We have said that exaggerated crying and laughing, which occurs suddenly and out of proportion to the situation and temporal conditions, is called a pseudobulbar effect, although these people can have normal feelings at other times.

Pseudobulbar effect is most often seen in people with certain types of neurological diseases and brain injuries. Brain injuries in these people that cause involvement and damage to parts of the brain that are involved in controlling emotions.



Symptoms of pseudobulbar effect

Initially, the person may experience the following symptoms:

  • Involuntary and frequent jumps !! in expressing emotions
  • Intense, exaggerated and uncontrollable cries that are not appropriate to emotional situation, the place and time.
  • Expressing intense laughter that is not appropriate to temporal and emotional conditions.
  • Laughter that immediately turns into intense crying, and the emotional state of the person between these attacks is completely normal.
  • Facial mimics disproportionate to the emotions expressed !!!
  • Sudden and unreasonable anger and outbursts
  • Crying is generally more common than laughing.
  • Affected people may have a very strong crying or laughing reaction to things that are normal for the majority, and it may take up to a few minutes.



Pseudobulbar effects and depression

It is interesting to know that pseudobulbar effect is often confused with depression because it is often associated with crying but we must say that crying attacks in people with pseudobulbar effect are short and they do not have the same sadness like people with depression.

people with pseudobulbar effect, like depressed people, also suffer from sleep disorders and changes in appetite, and also depressive disorder is common in people with pseudobulbar effect.



What is the cause of Laughing and crying at the same time psychology?

Pseudobulbar effect can be seen in people with the following disorders:

  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Strokes
  • ALS (a progressive disease of nerve cells)
  • Brain injuries following traumas and injuries
  • Tumors



Pseudobulbar effect detection

Many cases of pseudobulbar effects are not diagnosed due to lack of awareness or shame, so if you or those around you have these symptoms, you need to see a neurologist and psychiatrist for more detailed examinations.

Pseudobulbar effect is difficult to diagnose due to the overlap of its symptoms with mood disorders. Sometimes, but not always, your doctor may order a brain scan to rule out a diagnosis of epilepsy

There are two specific questionnaires that your doctor often uses to get an accurate diagnosis:

  1. Pathological Laughing and Crying Scale (PLACS)
  2. Center for Neurologic Study-Liability Scale


Sometimes people are misdiagnosed as having schizophrenia, major depression, generalized anxiety disorder, epilepsy, bipolar disorder, so it is important to honestly explain all of your or the patient's symptoms to your doctor.




The main goal of treatment is to reduce the severity and frequency of repetitive attacks of crying and laughing inappropriately. A person with Pseudobulbar effect suffers from involuntary and uncontrollable emotional jumps !!! that cause embarrassment, frustration, loneliness, disruption of social interactions, loss of friends and even interference with one's job and career.


  • Pharmacotherapy:

Medications used by physicians to control and treat the pseudobulbar effect include the following types:


  • Specific drugs approved for the treatment and control of pseudobulbar effect:

The combination of dextromethorphan hydrobromide with quinidine sulfate, known as Nuedexta, is the only FDA-approved drug for the treatment of pseudobulbar effects.


  • Antidepressants:

Two of these drugs, tricyclic antidepressants and serotonin reuptake inhibitors, are usually given in low doses and can reduce the number of seizures.

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