affects the emotions. It can cause lack of control of your
emotions and an improper response may happen at inappropriate
times. This is called the Pseudobulbar
Affect (PBA). PBA, also known as emotional lability,
is a distinct neurologic disorder that causes involuntary crying or
uncontrollable episodes of crying and/or laughing, or other emotional
estimated that nearly two million Americans suffer with
(PBA). Stroke survivors are just one of several neurologic
conditions that suffer with this side-effect. PBA doesn¨t
discriminate. It can affect men and women, old and young. One
of the biggest problems for the stroke survivor is that PBA completely
removes the control of their emotions. Damage can disrupt
brain signaling, causing a ｀short circuit¨, triggering his or her
episodes of inappropriate and involuntary crying or laughing.
PBA episodes are
typically spontaneous crying or laughing eruptions that do not reflect
the way a person is actually feeling. They are inappropriate for a
given situation, they are exaggerated, more intense or last longer than
the situation calls for.
The good news is that PBA is manageable
and treatable. Below are several tips to use in coping with
open about it - Let people know that you cannot always
control your crying or laughing because of a neurologic
condition. This can help ensure that people are not surprised, confused
||Look away and distract yourself
- If you feel an episode coming on, look
at something else and try to focus on something unrelated.
- Take slow deep breaths until you are in control.
- Release the tension in your forehead, shoulders, and other muscle
groups that tense up during a PBA episode.
your body positions - Note the posture you take when having
an episode. When you think you are about to cry or laugh,
change your position.
your loved one has PBA, let them know that this is a very common
side-effect of stroke. Tell them that most stroke survivors
initially have this side-effect after having one. You
can help by letting that person know you understand that his or her
episodes are involuntary and are not something they can control. Let them know what the tips are for
managing this problem. Talk to their doctor about
it. Anti-depressants have been known, when properly
administered, to greatly reduce the degree of PBA. This,
coupled with the above mentioned coping mechanisms can all but make the
stroke survivor feel that their PBA episodes are gone. Time
after stroke is another factor with PBA going away.
someone you love has PBA, he or she may be embarrassed by his or her
outbursts and reluctant to talk about his or her condition.