If someone you love has PBA (PseudoBulbar Affect), you may have trouble finding information about the condition, and even more trouble finding information on how to be a good caretaker to someone with PBA. People with PBA experience sudden, frequent, and uncontrollable crying and/or laughing episodes that are uncharacteristic of their current feelings. It can occur after a neurologic injury, or may be related to other neurologic conditions, such as multiple sclerosis (MS), Alzheimer’s, dementia, Parkinson’s, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).
How Do You Help Identify PBA?
Aside from the characteristics mentioned above, do they exhibit the following concerns?:
- Experiences added stress or frustration because of crying and/or laughing episodes
- Avoids spending time in public or with family and friends because of uncontrollable crying and/or laughing episodes
- Concerned that these episodes could be mistaken for depression or another disorder
If any of these concerns or symptoms are present, encourage your loved one to have a conversation with their healthcare or mental health professional. They can help choose the best therapy, taking into account possible medication side effects and any other existing conditions and medications currently being used.
Part of the stress of helping someone manage a condition that is not common to the general public is educating those around them. Depending on both yours and your loved one’s comfort level, talk with people openly and honestly about the condition. Most people are empathetic, and appreciate the education. This helps everyone better prepare for signs and symptoms of an episode. And this helps everyone feel more empowered to handle situations when they arise. This approach also helps the afflicted feel less ashamed of their condition. This will also help you, as the caregiver, manage your own feelings of doubt and helplessness.
Please contact us if you would like assistance with a loved one who is managing PBA. Let us put our experience in managing age-related conditions to work for you and your family.