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Laughing at a Funeral: Pseudobulbar Affect and Inappropriate Laughter

Updated on May 03, 2016

LMAO, But What's So Funny?

Pseudobulbar Affect (PBA) involves a mismatch between one's inward experience of feelings and his or her outward emotional expression.
Pseudobulbar Affect (PBA) involves a mismatch between one's inward experience of feelings and his or her outward emotional expression. | Source

Giggles At A Funeral: Just Tell Me It's Not True

Most people would say that it takes a dark, twisted heart to get a case of the giggles at someone's funeral. But I did it. And the last time I checked, my heart wasn't dark at all.

My husband and I were sitting in the front row at the funeral for his elderly father. It was a small service of about 40 people. His father had survived a massive stroke 36 years prior, and against all odds he had learned to walk and talk again, only to have died as a result of a hip fracture.

And here I was about to bust a gut at the funeral of this long-suffering man. I had no good explanation for it. I wish it were not true.

I was fine until the singing started.

My husband's uncle (a priest) delivered the eulogy, then an aunt (a nun) joined him in singing a hymn. However, instead of singing in unison, the two siblings sounded deadpan awful. Both were tone deaf and oblivious. And they sang with gusto, as if my father-in-law's entrance to Heaven's gates depended on it.

PBA: Laughing Your Head Off In the Wrong Situation

When you have PBA, you never know when the fits of inappropriate laughing or crying will strike.  Sometimes, it's terribly inconvenient and potentially embarrassing.
When you have PBA, you never know when the fits of inappropriate laughing or crying will strike. Sometimes, it's terribly inconvenient and potentially embarrassing. | Source

Reader Experience Poll

Do you know anyone who has a habit of laughing inappropriately?

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As they belted out their celebration of our loved one's recent entry into Heaven, I felt an irrepressible urge to laugh. Each time they sang the line, "Oh, Death, you have no POWER!" it was like holding back a sneeze.

As I bit my lip, I instinctively pressed my chin to my chest, trying to conceal any facial expression with my long hair. My shoulders shook. I squeezed my husband's hand hard, and he squeezed back knowingly.

Luckily, the song ended and I pulled myself together before I bellowed aloud.

It wasn't the first time this had happened.

Uncontrollable Fits of Laughter

PBA affects about 10% of people with neurological disorders such as stroke, MS, Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, traumatic brain injury, and ALS.
PBA affects about 10% of people with neurological disorders such as stroke, MS, Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, traumatic brain injury, and ALS. | Source

Laughing At A Sad Movie: "What Is Wrong With You?"

I vividly recall the first time I was overcome by a case of inappropriate laughter. I was in a crowded theater watching a tear-jerker movie, "My Life."

The 1993 movie, starring Michael Keaton and Nicole Kidman, is about a man with terminal kidney cancer who is about to become a first-time father. The man makes videos of life lessons so that his son will some day know his father, even if it's only through film.

Now, I'm not hard-hearted. I was just as sad as everyone else about the story line. But you'd never know that from what happened next.

There was a man in the row ahead of me who had been crying, and just as Michael Keaton's dying character embraced his newborn child, my muse in the audience loudly inhaled —no, he gasped for air in what sounded like a snort.

Somehow, this struck me as hilarious. I cannot explain it.

I burst out laughing. I didn't just chuckle. I guffawed, and I couldn't stop. There were people in the crowd who shushed me. My husband elbowed me and asked "What is wrong with you?" My inappropriate cackling continued for about 10 minutes.

I was mortified and could not account for myself. Ten years later, I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, a condition that often coexists with Pseudobulbar Affect (PBA).

Reader Poll:

Had you ever heard of Pseudobulbar Affect before reading this?

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When you have PBA, medicine and/or behavioral coping mechanisms can help you control the inappropriate laughter or other emotional displays.
When you have PBA, medicine and/or behavioral coping mechanisms can help you control the inappropriate laughter or other emotional displays. | Source

What is Pseudobulbar Affect (PBA)?

Pseudobulbar Affect (PBA) is a neurological disorder involving unpredictable and uncontrollable emotional displays of laughing, crying, or both.1 Less commonly, PBA may be referred to as emotional lability, pathological laughing and crying, or emotional incontinence.2

PBA entails difficulty with emotional expression and regulation due to problems with a person's neurotransmitter systems. An individual with PBA experiences emotional eruptions that are disconnected from their inner feelings of happiness or sadness.

Although sometimes the emotional displays may be prompted by something funny or sad (e.g., off key singing), the fits of laughter or tears may be particularly intense and last an inappropriately long time.

Emotional Incontinence: Crying Jags For No Reason

Someone with PBA may not know why they are crying.  Their emotional displays may be mistaken as depression.
Someone with PBA may not know why they are crying. Their emotional displays may be mistaken as depression. | Source

Tips For Dealing With the Uncontrollable Emotional Outbursts of PBA

If you (or a loved one) experiences PBA, here are some techniques that may help when inappropriate outbursts crop up:6

  • Get distracted. Have someone knead or rub your shoulders or arm to help relax and distract you. For example, at my father-in-law's funeral, I found it helpful to squeeze my husband's hand and have him squeeze mine back. This allowed me to maintain just enough control to avoid bellowing out loud.
  • Leave the room. Remove yourself from the situation. Go to a quiet place and play some calm music if you can.
  • Practice 7-7-7 relaxation breathing. Close your eyes. Then inhale deeply, slowy counting to 7. Hold your breath, slowly counting to 7. Slowly breathe out as you once again count to 7. Repeat as necessary. This simple technique is effective at inducing calm in a variety of situations.
  • Mood incongruence. If dealing with laughter, for example, think of something mood-incongruent — angry thoughts, something disgusting, etc.
  • Educate others. If you have PBA, let those around you know before any uncomfortable incidents. A little advance education is better than hard feelings and profuse apologies later.

Who Gets Pseudobulbar Affect (PBA)?

The condition is a separate neurological disorder which accompanies existing neurological damage.3 PBA affects as many as 7 million people who have neurodegenerative diseases and neurological conditions such as the following:

  • Parkinson's disease
  • Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
  • Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS)
  • Stroke
  • Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and
  • Alzheimer's disease/other types of dementia.4

A conservative estimate is that 10% of people with the preceding medical conditions also experience Pseudobulbar Affect.5

People who experience PBA often experience frustration, embarrassment, worry, and confusion about their inappropriate displays of emotion. The condition may interfere with relationships, social activities, and employment. Symptoms can range from mild and occasional (like mine) to debilitating and constant.

Men have greater prevalence rates of inappropriate laughing, while women tend to suffer more from episodes of inappropriate crying. The type of emotional expression is also related to the location of a patient's brain lesions. Onlookers may sometimes confuse PBA sufferers' emotional outbursts as mental illness, particularly because patients cannot explain their behavior.

The condition is not widely recognized and thus is underdiagnosed, although there is now medical treatment available for it.

In 2010, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the drug Nuedexta for the treatment of PBA. The medication can control as much as 80% of inappropriate displays of emotion.

If you know someone with one of the above neurological conditions, and you notice inappropriate emotional displays, encourage them to talk to their doctor.

A Great Explanation Of Pseudobulbar Affect

Notes

1National Stroke Association. "Effects of Stroke - Pseudobulbar Affect (PBA)." Last modified May, 2013. http://www.stroke.org/site/PageServer?pagename=pba.

2Minden, Sarah. "Pseudobulbar Affect (Uncontrollable Laughing and/or Crying)." National MS Society : National MS Society. Last modified 2012. http://www.nationalmssociety.org/NationalMSSociety/media/MSNationalFiles/Transcripts/transcript-Uncontrollable-Laughing-and-Crying.pdf.

3Allen, Jane E. "Involuntary Laughing, Crying Disorder Pseudobulbar Affect." ABC News. Last modified November 4, 2010. http://abcnews.go.com/Health/DepressionTreatment/involuntary-laughing-crying-disorder/story?id=12028237.

4Work, S S., J. A. Colamonico, W. G. Bradley, and R. E. Kaye. "Pseudobulbar affect: an under-recognized and undertreated neurological condition." National Center for Biotechnology Information. Last modified June 6, 2011. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21660634.

5King, R R., and J. P. Reiss. "The epidemiology and pathophysiology of pseudobulbar affect and its association with neurodegeneration." Dove Medical Press. Last modified May, 2013. http://www.dovepress.com/the-epidemiology-and-pathophysiology-of-pseudobulbar-affect-and-its-as-peer-reviewed-article-DNND-recommendation1.

6Larkin, Carole. "Alzheimer’s or Pseudobulbar Affect." Alzheimer's Speaks Blog. Last modified July 29, 2013. http://alzheimersspeaks.wordpress.com/2013/07/29/alzheimers-or-pseudobulbar-affect/.

Sometimes, You Just Have To Go With It

Sometimes you cannot help but laugh.  Just go with it.  If it's a little inappropriate, people will either understand or they won't.  Don't let it keep you from living.
Sometimes you cannot help but laugh. Just go with it. If it's a little inappropriate, people will either understand or they won't. Don't let it keep you from living. | Source

© 2013 FlourishAnyway

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    • FlourishAnyway profile image
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      FlourishAnyway 9 minutes ago from USA

      Kobe - Thanks for sharing your situation. Sorry it happened for you. It may not be PBA, but imagine that happening frequently and you know the effects. Again, I appreciate your comment.

    • Kobe Jones 10 hours ago

      today i had a presentation with 2 other people and one of the people in my group was bad at reading so when he started he couldn't say anything right and he couldnt sound out anything i new it was rude to lugh but it was hilarious I tried to hold it in but it just came out not really loud but everyone could hear it

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
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      FlourishAnyway 4 months ago from USA

      ldc - Laughing uncontrollably (and the uncontrollable part is the emphasis) at a funeral or other serious, inappropriate situation can be embarrassing and very socially inappropriate. (Weeping uncontrollably in inappropriate situations can happen, too.)

      I agree with you that behavioral modification should always the first choice, thus tips are highlighted in the sidebar. However, for people with very bothersome cases, it's good to know there's a medicine that could help. Imagine being a priest or counselor, an executive, a judge or health care provider with PBA. Someone tells you a serious medical, legal, or spiritual confidence and instead of responding with empathy, information or a decision you bust out laughing for 10 minutes straight. You are right to raise the question though, so thank you!

    • ldc 4 months ago

      Maybe u just have a different sense of humor than others, based on what u said i would have laughed too! There are ways to control your behavior w/o medications. This medication is good for extreme cases,but keep in mind there serious side effects and consequenses when taking medications that literally change your brain chemicals!!

      It sounds easy to just take a pill and it will fix everything?right? But remember to read the fine print of ALL meds.

      And always try to modify things yourself before taking meds. There are so many other things u can try first.just My opinion...

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
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      FlourishAnyway 6 months ago from USA

      Nadine - Who knows why he was laughing (he may not have even known). When it happens with me, it comes out of nowhere and is irrepressible. I'm glad you found this informative. Thank you for your words of support.

    • Nadine May 6 months ago

      Thanks for that very informative post. I learned a great deal and now look back and wonder if my first husband was having these symptoms. He would laugh at me when I was truly very hurt or sad. From now on I will be less judgmental when someone laughs inappropriately.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
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      FlourishAnyway 9 months ago from USA

      Shyron - It's quite an unpredictable condition. I can't imagine being in certain lines of work and suddenly breaking out in inappropriate emotional displays. Grief counselor, preacher, surgeon, etc. Thanks for stopping by!

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 9 months ago

      Flo, I am glad you were able to hide and suppress your laughter at your father-in-laws funeral. I try not to question someone's emotional reaction in any situation. "We all cry at weddings" don't we?

      Thank you for sharing this personal problem with your readers and followers.

      Blessings and hugs dear friend.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
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      FlourishAnyway 12 months ago from USA

      Linda - Hopefully your dad would have approved, even if your aunt did not!

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 12 months ago from Orlando, FL

      This article brings back memories...My sister and I who were 20 and 24 years old, burst out laughing at our dad's funeral. I cannot remember what made us do this, but I do remember being reprimanded by an aunt, our dad's sister. We were bad girls.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
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      FlourishAnyway 12 months ago from USA

      pinto2011 - Thank you. I'm glad I could help explain it for those who don't have it but can empathize.

    • pinto2011 profile image

      Subhas 12 months ago from New Delhi, India

      Being in the medical field, this terms really drew my attention to read it. You have very well elaborated it.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
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      FlourishAnyway 21 months ago from USA

      thelostone - If you find that Pseudobulbar Affect seriously impacts your life, talk to your neurologist (or other physician/healthcare provider). There is an oral medication called Nuedexta that can be prescribed. I talked to my neurologist but decided that my symptoms were not bothersome enough at this time at least to require medication. Good luck to you both, and thank you for asking. It is a serious medical concern.

    • thelostone 21 months ago

      Thank you for your insight. My son and i havr that issue. I noticed that in serious syressful situations we laugh... Its not that we don't care, we just cannot control ourselves. Literally. What kind of assistance can we get to better manage this behavior?

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
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      FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

      Suzanne - That video is what it feels like! Thanks for finding it and sharing. Have a terrific day.

    • justmesuzanne profile image

      justmesuzanne 2 years ago from Texas

      Very interesting, well-researched and well presented information, which immediately made me think of Mary Richards at Chuckles the Clown's funeral:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YmBK5GslDaQ

      A little song, a little dance, a little seltzer down your pants!

      Voted up, useful and interesting! :D

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
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      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      Better Yourself - Just the other day, someone was telling me about a story involving a school principal tripping down a flight of stairs in front of a bunch of middle schooler). Not funny, but I heehawed throughout their account, barely managing to stop in order to eek out questions about if the poor principal was ok. So glad I was not there to see the incident first hand. Most people can identify with a little inapprpropriate emotion.

    • Better Yourself profile image

      Better Yourself 3 years ago from North Carolina

      Really great hub! To be honest I was not familiar with PBA, you did an excellent job of breaking the info down and I'm sure this will be extremely helpful to many who are confused by their unpredictable emotions. I got tickled by your stories, although I'm sure in the moment for you it was more stressful. I like how you approach it towards the end - Sometimes you just have to go with it - laughing and crying are both great releases for your body and mind. I have not experienced unpredictable emotions to the extreme you mention, but I always find myself laughing harder and longer than anyone else, and sometimes I will be the only one laughing (but it hasn't been in a situation like a funeral, it's usually because I think of something funny and I'm laughing so hard at myself I can't stop long enough to tell anyone why I'm laughing). Well done, Voted Up!!

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      Frank - Thanks for stopping by. I promise I have never laughed at anything you've written. (Too chilling and imaginative, especially lately!) Have a great 2014.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 3 years ago from Shelton

      maybe if I get nervous ill chuckle.. but what an interesting hub Flourish oh and Happy new year!!!

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
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      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      ologsinquito - Thanks for stopping by and for pinning. Have a great day.

    • ologsinquito profile image

      ologsinquito 3 years ago from USA

      I'm pinning this to my "Things You Really Need to Know" board.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
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      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      ologsinquito - Things are always funnier when you're sitting in the first pew and when more people are watching!

    • ologsinquito profile image

      ologsinquito 3 years ago from USA

      I've never heard of this. But I do remember my cousin and I, when we were about 10 and 11, laughing uncontrollably at church. We were sitting in the first row, of course.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
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      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      rohanfelex - Thank you for the compliment. I have also had to pinch myself sometimes when it comes to very angry people. They can be so animated and out of control.

    • rohanfelix profile image

      Rohan Rinaldo Felix 3 years ago from Chennai, India

      Wonderful progression through the article... Indicates the class of the writer... As far as uncontrollable laughter at inappropriate times is concerned, I've done it... I've found funerals and even terribly angry people funny! Voted up and awesome!

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      Rebecca - I can imagine that; working on little sleep your defenses are down. Thanks for reading and commenting.

    • Rebecca Furtado profile image

      Rebecca Furtado 3 years ago from Anderson, Indiana

      Awesome hub. I have laughed inappropiately and uncontrollably when I have not had enough sleep. Voted up!

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      Suhail - No need to apologize as it is quite odd laughing at inappropriate times. Sometimes a contagion effect starts and others start laughing for no reason because I'm laughing supposedly for no reason. It can be a bit surreal. Thanks for reading and commenting.

    • Suhail and my dog profile image

      Suhail Zubaid aka Clark Kent 3 years ago from Mississauga, ON

      I never heard of this disorder. I think that I generally laugh to the fullest just because life has been good to me and I find small opportunities to let that laughter come out to let me celebrate it. I hope it is just because of that and is not a harbinger of any disorder that comes later.

      Oh yes, I found something to laugh reading your misery and I apologize for that. Needless to mention, this article is also informative and educational for me.

      Regards,

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      stuff4kids - I'm so sorry about your mother and your experience with family members not understanding. It was probably all the stress. Things can come out all wrong and we're only human. A big hug to you...

    • stuff4kids profile image

      Amanda Littlejohn 3 years ago

      Oh goodness, I'm so glad I read this.

      My mother died some years ago and when I was told about it, the first thing I did was laugh. I laughed right out loud. It wasn't at all that I thought it was funny - on the contrary it was devastating news. It was - think now - a stress response that kind of came out wrong.

      At the time, however, it really shocked the rest of my family who thought I was being incredibly insensitive or had simply gone mad.

      I guess, I've always had a bit of residual guilt about it - even though I know that inside I felt nothing but grief. This hub has really helped me understand that experience and put it in perspective.

      Bless you. :)

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      Rosemay50 - I'm sorry about your sister's stroke. I certainly hope with all the other challenges she must be experiencing that the expression of inappropriate laughing or crying isn't just one more thing she must deal with. If it is, however, at least you'll know what's going on and why. I'm glad I made you laugh.

    • Rosemay50 profile image

      Rosemary Sadler 3 years ago from Hawkes Bay - NewZealand

      I had never heard of this condition before rteading this so thank you for making us aware through sharing your own experiences.

      I am like Faith I tend to laugh when I am nervous. as does my son who once had a whole waiting room at the doctors in fits of laughter, it was one of those 'infectious' laughs.

      It is good to know about this though as my sister has recently had a stroke and the more we learn the more we are prepared to deal with it.

      Thank you for such an interesting and informative article, and yes you made me laugh too

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      SandCastles - Good information. Thanks for reading and commenting. We are all so imperfect, and it's good to know that others have similar experiences, whatever the causes.

    • SandCastles 3 years ago

      People with Asperger's do this to sometimes and sometimes a person just gets embarrassed and shocked by information and they end up laughing.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
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      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      CrisSp - Thanks for reading. It's a real adventure! I never know when the giggles are going to come. At least it's not the crying type. That would be tough.

    • CrisSp profile image

      CrisSp 3 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

      Oh my, this is very interesting! I never knew such condition exists. Thank you for sharing your personal experience. Now, I'm more knowledgeable about it. Great tips!

      Voting up, useful and passing this along.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
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      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      DDE - Thanks for reading and commenting. It can make for some awkward moments, especially for those who are with you. My husband is a real trooper!

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      Leann2800 - That had to be a terribly embarrassing experience, but at least you found a way to hide it! Mom really would've been beside herself if you had laughed out loud. Thanks for reading and sharing your experience.

    • leann2800 3 years ago

      I did laugh at a funeral once. I didn't want to but couldn't stop it. My head was in my lap the whole time. The shaking of my shoulders had others think I was crying. Only my mom knew. She was so ill with me.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Laughing at a Funeral: Pseudobulbar Affect and Inappropriate Laughing and Crying something I haven't heard of but know of people who behave in such a manner. I didn't know until now. Voted up. useful and interesting.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
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      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      Rajan - Thanks for reading, commenting and sharing. Sometimes it seems like the more a situation demands that folks not laugh, the harder it is for us to control a chuckle (even for those without the condition).

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 3 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      Vey interesting information, a very useful read of a medical condition I was not aware of. Though I do not suffer from any of these conditions some serious situations like off key singing in a serious environment does lead me to uncontrollable laughter.

      Voted up, interesting and useful. Sharing this.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
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      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      Oh, Crafty, my warped and wayward kindred spirit - This is awful, but reading your account is making me laugh! Watching medical and especially surgical documentaries on tv (and I actually LIKE them) makes the wheels come completely off the bus for me. I can empathize with what you were experiencing as onlookers wondered whether you were dealing with a full deck. Been there! I laughed AND cried like a mad woman when my mother's colonoscopy prep didn't quite empty her out and she pooped all over the hospital restroom floor. I was also gagging at the time. I wrote about it in a hub called, "Holy Crap! Batman's Secret's For A Better Colonoscopy." Thanks so much for sharing your story. Loved it.

    • CraftytotheCore profile image

      CraftytotheCore 3 years ago

      Wow! This was so interesting! I never knew it had a name. The first time it happened to me was when I was walking down the sidewalk to a small mall. I was heading toward a grocery store. An elderly gentleman (bless his heart), fell off a curb and broke his ankle. I stood there laughing hysterically at the poor man while onlookers must of thought I was nuts!

      I couldn't help it. I felt terrible. I couldn't stop doing it though. I had to leave the area.

      The second time it happened to me was when I witnessed a car accidentally drive through the front end of a retail store and almost mow several people down. I squatted down in the front seat of a car and laughed until I had tears streaming down my face. I couldn't stop laughing and had to leave once again.

      I'm not dark hearted either. But it's a terrible thing to laugh when it's totally inappropriate and no one understands. :D

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
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      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      bac2basics - Thanks for commenting and reading. I'm thankful that my husband wasn't offended. He tends to roll with things pretty well at this point. Bellowing at the movie was embarrassing but at least it was in the dark!

    • bac2basics profile image

      Anne 3 years ago from Spain

      Hi Flourish.

      I think many people are inclined to giggle inappropriately when nervous, and I suspect there were more people than you knew trying to control themselves at the funeral, I would probably have been one of them but it must have been very embarrassing all the same. I have never heard of this condition though and you did a great job in explaining it.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
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      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      Yep, Deeda, we all have some degree of weirdness. This one is MS-related, but many of my other eccentricities are probably just that -- being gloriously off-kilter. If you can't change it, embrace it!

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
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      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      epbooks - Once the giggles start, it is impossible to stop so you have to either disguise it, remove yourself from the situation, try stress reduction, or just go with it until it passes. I can only imagine how your boss took your laughing (yikes!), and I hope that you were able to somehow disguise your reaction at your friend's funeral. It can't always be helped! Thanks for reading and commenting.

    • Deeda 3 years ago

      Holy Crap Flourish, I never knew this. Batman might disown you! Makes sense though, and gives insight to other normalities of life I have observed first hand.

      Interesting and Voted up++++

      Deeda

    • epbooks profile image

      Elizabeth Parker 3 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      Oh goodness- I am one of these people who laugh at the most inopportune times, one was for a friend's funeral and the other was for a superior at work. Mind you, I loved them both, but something triggered me to laugh and when I start, I can't stop. Same goes for movies, Church, libraries or any place it's required that I be quiet. My nerves take over and it ends up with me laughing. Thank you for posting this. I think I might have that affect as well!!

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      Bill - Thanks for reading, commenting and sharing. If you friend has brain lesions associated with one of those conditions and they're having fits of uncontrollable laughing, crying or (OMG) both in the same episode, the culprit may indeed be PBA. There are brief on line screening tests for PBA to help your friend decide whether they should talk to their neurologist about it.

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 3 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hi FA. I have never heard of the Pseudobulbar Affect. How interesting. Now that I think about this I think I know someone who may have this? I'll have to mention it to them. Very interesting, voted up, shared, etc...

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
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      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      bravewarrior - Thankfully I don't have a bad case of it. I do tend to laugh at medical/surgical documentaries. Thank God I am not in the medical field, huh? It's never interfered with work but I dodged a bullet at that funeral.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
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      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      Faith Reaper - Glad I made you laugh. It's really hard not to. I am just glad I don't have a tendency to weep inconsolably for no reason!

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 3 years ago from Central Florida

      Bless your heart. I don't know anyone who has PBA, but I can see how disturbing it can be to all concerned. Thanx for the information, Flourish. I've known people who giggle when they're nervous, but I was unaware of this disorder.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 3 years ago from southern USA

      Oh, my goodness ... I am afraid I may have a bit of a touch of this "Affect" for when I get nervous, I will laugh just a little bit, when there is nothing to laugh about. Thankfully, it is not as extreme as you have described here. Now, you did make me laugh here ...LOL

      This is an extremely interesting hub here. I never really heard of this in particular, but I knew that sometimes for whatever reason, usually when one is nervous, in my case, people will laugh and not meaning to be rude or anything.

      Voted up ++++ and sharing

      Awesome write! Have a great rest of the weekend.

      Faith Reaper

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