UNDERSTANDING PBA

Knowing the signs, causes and symptoms can help people impacted with PBA realize what’s wrong and why – and get treatment to help manage the condition.

What is Pseudobulbar Affect?      |      Recognizing Signs & Symptoms      |      Differentiating PBA from Depression      |      FAQs

RECOGNIZING SIGNS & SYMPTOMS

Many cases of PBA go undiagnosed because so many people don’t know the condition exists. Knowing the signs, causes and symptoms can help people impacted with PBA realize what’s wrong and why – and get treatment to help manage the condition.

PBA can be frustrating for individuals who experience it – and for those around them. People with PBA may laugh uncontrollably in response to something that isn’t that funny – or isn’t funny at all. Or they may cry in situations that others don’t see as sad.

For family and friends or for caregivers and strangers, this behavior may seem like a kind of “emotional mismatch.” PBA is often mistaken for moodiness or depression, but an individual’s PBA outbursts are unpredictable and uncontrollable, with little or no relationship to the person’s actual emotions.

PBA can take an emotional toll on individuals who have it and those around them. PBA outbursts can be hard to watch, difficult to understand, and challenging to diagnose. They can make everyday life stressful and many different situations uncomfortable. For example, an individual with PBA may burst into laughter during a serious client meeting, have an intense crying episode in the grocery store aisle, or have an outburst while driving that could impact his or her focus on the road. Understandably, PBA can make a person anxious about social situations, embarrassed by them, or feel the desire to avoid them altogether.

THE GOOD NEWS?

More accurate and timely diagnosis and treatment are possible as awareness of PBA increases.

COMMON SIGNS & SYMPTOMS OF PBA:

Frequent, involuntary and uncontrollable outbursts of crying or laughing that don’t seem appropriate to a given situation.

Outbursts of frustration and anger.

Facial expressions that don’t match emotions.

A “normal” mood between episodes.