“Why Do We Laugh Uncontrollably?” This is a question that we often find asking ourselves. Normally, it could just be a strong response to proactive stimuli that is emotional. A study conducted at Yale in 2015, revealed the same thing that in some strong stimuli situations, people tend to give strong emotional reactions.
Who wouldn’t like burning their calories with laughter?
Who wouldn’t like to feel good due to the chemicals released while laughing and bonding with the people around?
Endorphins get released while laughing insanely. A relaxing sensation spreads across the whole body, while we laugh.
Yet, sometimes our minds contemplate why do we laugh uncontrollably. Going deeper into the matter, it could probably be because of a medical condition termed as PseudoBulbar Affect (PBA). There are some other medical conditions with a similar symptom, but this is a major symptom for PBA.
Similar medical causes could be:
- Gelastic seizure
- ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease)
- Kuru (TSEs)
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Parkinson’s disease or various other diseases.
The uncontrollable laughing or any emotional outburst is sometimes also regarded as pathological laughing or crying, or involuntary emotional expression disorder.
PseudoBulbar Affect (PBA)
What Does It Mean?
Neurologically, PseudoBulbar Affect (PBA) is when we suffer from a condition where unmanageable laughter or any other emotional outburst keeps occurring without any reason. It happens quite a few times and you don’t know how to stop it. It could be a neurological disease or due to a brain injury.
In the brain, the larger part, cerebrum has a grey matter which in turn has four lobes. These lobes work as a processor to process, interpret, and give out a meaningful perception. Out of the four lobes, the frontal lobe majorly deals with emotions. The other parts of the brain, namely, the cerebellum and the brain stem deal majorly with the motor or sensory functions or give out the reflexes.
During this condition, the frontal lobe and the cerebellum and brain stem get detached. As a result, the detachment between the places where emotions are controlled and where reflexes occur takes place. So, during certain situations, an emotional outburst happens. And, we unknowingly think of, why do we laugh uncontrollably.
Read more: https://www.icytales.com/why-laugh/
What Are the Probable Causes Behind It?
- Presumably, the chemical messengers that send signals across the body, participate to lead to this condition. Serotonin, Dopamine or Norepinephrine are some of the neurotransmitters which are looked at as contributors to PBA.
- Another reason might be a brain injury where various nerve routes might be in turmoil from certain parts of the brain to the cerebellum. It could lead to unmanageable control over emotional reactions.
- Majorly, this condition occurs due to neurological diseases or disorders. Some of the disorders are as follows-
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Brain tumors
- Traumatic brain injury
- Parkinson’s disease
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and many more.
What Are the Signals to Understand That PBA Has Hit Someone?
Remember, when you watched Joker by Todd Phillips, and Joaquin Phoenix, who got the Oscar for the Best Actor in the movie. Remember, when you got stunned by his uncontrollable laughter and kept wondering why does he or even why do we laugh uncontrollably? The character Arthur Fleck went through several mental illnesses and all were based on one medical condition- Pseudobulbar Affect.
Video Source: YouTube: The Comical Universe
Arthur Fleck struggles with getting accepted in a city and shows different signs of PBA. Check around on your loved ones or yourself. Don’t just sit back and bother about why do we laugh uncontrollably. Here, are some signs to help you identify PBA-
1. It Is Sudden and the Switching Power Is Strong
The outburst of laughter or even crying comes unwelcomed. The moment you’d be questioning why do we laugh uncontrollably, a switch in the emotions could take place. In PBA, it doesn’t take much time for the laughter to become tears and tears to become laughter.
2. The Laughter Doesn’t Have to Do Anything with the Situation
My friend, if you are laughing, being out of control and even when your reaction is out of context, it is PBA. The laughter that comes out in this condition is nowhere connected to the ongoing situation and mood. It is inappropriate to the situation.
3. The Laughter Is Intense and Exaggerated and Lasts for a Few Minutes
If you ask “Why do we laugh uncontrollably?” frequently, and notice that your emotions have become quite exaggerated and intense than usual, it is a sign of PBA. It lasts for a few minutes.
How to Deal with PBA?
During Chicago Humanities Festival, in the speech “Humor Humours, Laughter and the Brain”, by Steven Small, who is a Professor in Neurology and Psychology, laughter got termed as a reflex and stated that humor doesn’t need to be involved in it. So, how to treat this reflex?
Subsiding the medical treatment, if we doubt about why do we laugh uncontrollably, then we should be vocal and open about it. Whenever it hits us, we should take deep breaths and change our body posture. It helps to lower it down to some extent.
It is important to treat it medically or at least, get it evaluated by a neurologist or a psychiatrist. It gets evaluated through criteria or standardized scales.
After evaluation, PBA’s intensity could be lessened. No permanent cure has been found yet. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a drug Nuedexta which could treat it. Some antidepressants like sertraline, Tricyclic antidepressants, and many more are used to cure the symptoms.
The research is doing rounds to find an effective cure for the same.
Laughter is contagious. Why do you laugh just by hearing that laugh track on television? But, uncontrollable laughter is dangerous. It is dangerous in a way, that the person suffering from it, would want to find places that are off the beaten track. He/She would want to avoid social situations. He/She might be prone to isolation or embarrassment.
If that he/she is you, talk to someone and ask them to hear you out. If he/she is any of your closed ones, just be there for him/her. When the question of why do we laugh uncontrollably gets answered, another question of, who is going to be there for us, pops up. Well, it’s easy! It’s God!