Laughing inappropriately

Does any one else find the psp sufferer they are caring for has this laughing at things that are just not funny. It is driving me to the edge of my patience, quilt hanging in the commode, hysterical laughing, commode tipped on floor , funny. Can't swallow tablets cause he can't stop laughing.Knocked cup of tea over, funny, dinner plate knocked on floor , laughing non stop. Getting out the car, he won't let go of door, laughing again, and that's how it goes on all day and night. I know someone will say better than crying , but I'm at my wits end. Does any other carer have this problem.?

43 Replies

  • I did. Now I miss that laugh so much. It used to drive me bonkers as well and when I asked him one day why he was laughing at something not at all funny, it was him who said, "Would you rather I cry". It's just yet another thing we have to live with the best we can sorry to say. It was annoying at the time but had I known then what would come in the future/now, I think I would probably have been less irritated......may be!


  • It's just that I have not seen anyone else mention it in a post, it's obviously part of the illness . You are right , it's nothing in comparison with what's to possibly come, I'm tired and it's the straw that breaks the camels back sometimes.xx

  • When Chris was diagnosed the neurologist said inappropriate emotions was a symptom. Chris does laugh inappropriately , although not as much as you describe. Sometimes I get really cross but usually try to understand. I think its part of it.

    love, Jean x

  • It's a great pity one isn't give much information on diagnosis, it would be a great help to be given a leaflet listing possible symptoms and events of the illness. I had to go home and google the diagnosis but I did not see mention of emotion changes. Xx

  • Hi George laughed at our good friends funeral, and yes he laughs a lot at inappropriate times, it is part of this horrible illness, I did say to him why do you do it, and he said I am crying inside . It's hard but we have to take one day at a time. Yvonne xxxxx

  • Hello Gypsywoman

    Just the opposite for me I'm afraid - Elizabeth has maintained a straight poker face for years now showing no emotion. She does smile sometimes when I give her a big hug out of sheer frustration and that is the only response she can make because of the rigidity in her arms and hands. She has almost totally lost the ability to speak audibly over the last 2 years and can only manage a strained whisper now. Sadly I find it difficult to distinguish between yes & no. Oh deep deeeeep joy. We are all living with tragedies all with their differences but the outcomes are the same. And so it goes on.

  • It's a shocking illness, it's good to rant on here and then pick myself up and carry on.x

  • Yes Des too laughed a lot tho' now a half smile is a bonus.I laugh when embarrassed so that could be part of the reason I think. Much earlier we were with family in a pub and Des laughed very loudly at a not very funny joke,he went on laughing til the whole pub joined in! Would he did that now! You are not alone tho' sorry I can't help clear up for you Love Px

  • One of the o so many difficulties .

    . No it doesn't come with a book of instructions . It really should , to explain the symptons we can expect , albeit no two people are exactly the same or progress the same . We have all fumbled our way our way through, retaliating because we are human and have feelings of frustration ,sadness and guilt but most of all live without which we would not be able to cope at all .

    Can anyone tell me does it happen to April fools day , someone's having a laugh but not me . I have been up since seven waiting for the carers to come AGAIN .

    Once again one did turn up but isn't aloud into the house without the other carer (health and safety ) what about our health and safety and they all get paid for caring !!!!

    Not that I want paying !!!! I don't expect them to come for nothing. Just turn up will be fine .

    I have contacted social services to complain and told them we have had enough of being treated so shabbily . The administrators don't know the meaning of care and sensitivity. I will take it further now as well ..

    I feel I must m John isn't alone he has me , but there are others alone and will still be waiting some in a dreadful state ,

    I am not stressing about it . I refuse to now . John is fine because I have sorted him out . H has to have continuity of care ,, he needs to take his meds to time so that his feeding times fit as well .. In his case it's not that easy anyway he is so unpredictable .

  • What a dreadful state of affairs, health and safety over the top, we were all better off when we conformed to just common sense I think. You are right , some ill folk will be lying in bed on their own in a house wondering where their help is. Best wishes to you xx

  • We certainly were ,

    Still waiting lol.. Not even a telephone call to apologise or ask if we are ok . Not that I expected one really .

  • my husband did it all the time they cant tell the differance its like they dont no keep going i use to play music when i was feeding him it seem to work take care

  • I guess so, I find it more difficult to cope with than the physical disability, probably cause I know nothing about it and it's hard to understand .

  • Hey Laila, how are you doing? Been a while since I've seen you here. I hope you are finding comfort as you go. Love, ec

  • its hard i miss him so much every day is a strugel i somtimesfeel guilty about deciding to let him go hoe are you coping hope all is well with you

  • I must say i didn't notice the laughing with Brian it is crying.

    If he is happy or sad the tears come and he does it with a rocking motion as well. Most of our friends just ask him now is it happy or sad tears.

    When i first noticed the rocking and crying i was shocked and embarrassed but now i just take it in my stride and thank who ever that he has got some emotions still there.


  • Chris cries a lot. Has done since early in the illness. Our grand children just check my face and then accept grandad is sad. I find people very accepting of his tears. Our oldest grandson has Downs Syndrome and he gets very concerned and peers into grandad's face to wipe them.

    love, Jean x

  • Yes, my sister does laugh at inappropriate times. Yet, she can start crying anytime and for no good reason. Yes, it drives me bonkers and mad sometimes, but I try to let it pass and know that she can't help it. This is really a horrible disease and is hard to know what is coming next.

  • I remember sleeping on my mums settee and mum in her reclyner and I was woke by mum laughing uncontrolable , I said was I snoring mum she put her thumb up and we both laughed for ages , once mum started to laugh she couldnt stop for ages, she used to screech alot but never cry there was no tears. Thinking of you mum on mothers day and every day miss and love you so very much xxxx

  • my jhon alwasy put his thumb up his two fingers f yuo were getting on his nerves lol

  • Gypsywoman,

    Please go to; "This May Be A Stupid Question, But I Need An Answer Please" by SATT2015 and go to AMILAZY'S post. This was written one day ago to help someone else with similar type questions. You will get a quick yet thorough explanation of why PSPers do the things they do.


  • Thank you, don't know how I missed that piece, really informative. Much appreciated x

  • Ok so now I have to ask....what time is it there ....? if you posted 19 hours ago and its 11 am not good at math .....but its like oh 5 pm my bad i was going fwd....

    5pm there right?


  • Hello , it's 5 15 pm here , cold and the light is fading !!!!

    What state do you call home ? X

  • Northwest Arkansas....It's getting warmer and lighter with a storm impending. Hopefully it is as full blown as the forecasters predict.....2 to 4 ft (.5 to 1.5 m...or would you msr in cms?) of snow in the mts of California....pray this happens. they so need the water! and hopefully we will get some rain....I doubt it as my joints don't seem to be aching .

    So I'm guessing you're an Englishman/woman...? :)


  • Yes , but I have a brother who has lived in Dallas ,Texas for 40 years and my husband has a sister in San Francisco who has been in various parts of California for 50 years, both have American citizenship. Between them they have shown me many parts of US but we are not able to travel there now obviously. I miss our visits but fortunately my brother is here on business at least once a year so I get to see him. Beautiful country , I love the national parks , it's so vast. Xx

  • My dad (when he could talk) developed a really sadistic sense of humor - he would tell my mom you are dumb because you went to a poor school and I went to a good school - he would annoy her so much that she would start crying and then he would say "Are you a donkey? Because donkeys cry" and then he would sing "donkeys cry, donkeys cry" and she would cry even more and he would laugh...

    Later, when his speech was reduced, he would tear up suddenly at the smallest things and we would rush up and comfort him... now he is pretty much unresponsive most of the time...

  • How sad, the carer has to cope with such a lot as well as the sufferer. It's so hard for all the family x

  • yup, it's unbelievably hard - my mom took care of my dad the 2 years he deteriorated alot - there were 2 assistants to help her but emotionally it was pretty tough - when I returned on holiday in July last year, he aspirated and was pretty much bed bound - so I decided to quit my job and stay back - I haven't been able to work again since then, full-time caregiving is such an involved process...

  • You are so right and unfortunately there is not a lot of support in the NHS , different councils operate in different ways. I care 24 /7 and can only get a bit of spare time if family can help so I can appreciate how you have decided to quit work to help. Best wishes x

  • I wish you the best - it may be (it varies) a long road - do take some breaks for yourself, if possible - try and stay away for 1-2 days - have at least a night and day all to yourself - maybe he can stay in a care facility with 24/7 nursing and docs... this is imperative or you may have a physical/emotional breakdown - taking a short break will revive you a lot for the next days/weeks

  • I;m sorry I did not mean to click that I don't like it > I did appreciate it un that It made me feel so bad for your mama...well for all of you...even your dad . If he knew what he was doing or at least control it , I am sure he would have.


  • it's OK :) - thanks for your kind comment...

  • Sorry not responding earlier gypsywoman, son hogging iPad, my wife used to laugh inappropriately in early stages, one of the odd behaviours I could not understand before diagnosis, but over time voice and laugh became weaker so now like the Cheshire Cat only thing remaining is the smile. The smile though is wonderful as it shows she is still there and understanding. Though embarrassing now, enjoy the laugh, as PSP will probably rob him of it sooner than you think. The inappropriate laugh like the slurred speech made strangers think M was drunk (never was) which was upsetting but friends always understood.

    Sorry not much help best wishes Tim

  • Yeah I think inappropriate responses is a common feature with PSP. Mum does a mixture of laughing and crying but not as constant as it sounds your loved one does. Although she's doing both less now and I do miss the signs of emotion! Whether laugh or cry! Although I can understand why the laughing drives you nuts, mum finds me in any pain hilarious! If I stub my toe or bang my leg on the wheelchair etc she's in hysterics and when you're in pain it doesn't go down too well! She also laughed aloud at a funeral we went to last year which was a bit awkward !! You're obviously just tired and fed up with all the complexities PSP throws at us all, if you can get some respite or time to yourself do that, I find my patience levels are strongly correlated to tiredness and having some much valued and rare free time !

  • My husband cries at weird times. It's called Pseudobulbar Affect. You either laugh or cry at inappropriate times. They do have medication to help with that. I would talk to your dr. about the symptoms. My husband doesn't feel sad, but he cries anyway. Can't make it stop for anything. You husband is probably the same way, just laughs instead. I would love to hear my husband laugh, but probably not when something isn't funny! I'm sure it can be very frustrating!


  • It seems my dad's psp symptoms began several years ago. He was finally correctly dx just over a year ago, so I'm not sure if his what was it called? pseudobulbar affect.. hasn't gotten as bad as it will likely get or what, but so far Daddy does the deep laughing but weirdly, it's usually when things ARE actually funny and we're all laughing with him. (I'm so sorry that's not the case for you all too!!!!!) THAT SAID.. the exception is that he laughs the most about, as some of you said, when we, his caregivers are having a difficult time taking care of him. He'll sometimes laugh when his wife hurts herself. He laughed today when I was assisting him to stand and urinate in a hand-held plastic urinal, when ugh, (WARNING: this is gross so stop reading if you'd prefer, but for the rest of you brave souls haha...) the crap/poop/bm started to flow UGH all on his pants AND his pullups/adult diapers, and also on the disposable protective pad on his chair. I'm like, groaning and saying "omg you need to be on your portable toilet NOW!!!!". Of course it was too late for that (and I was alone and probably unable to get him transferred to, well, to anywhere, anyway). He just laughed at me. Sometimes it seems like he IS laughing instead of crying or laughing from a mild embarrassment but it's hard to know. When he was more agile but was constantly falling and often getting hurt by it, I remember times he wasn't in pain from the fall, like when I was able to break his fall, he'd sometimes laugh hard at my weak but valiant efforts to help pick him up off the floor. And if it wasn't so hopeless and saddening, it probably WOULD have been kind of funny in a twisted sort of way. (He's 6' tall, I'm a 5'4'' woman and I don't know how to translate that to centimeters lol!) And here it was, I thought it was bad when my Mama died of cancer, thought cancer was the worst, but now omg, this psp is so devastating it's almost surreal and sometimes I think I have a bit of PTSD. BUT!! It's ok, I'll recover, I'm where I want to be, helping my dear ol' Daddy. I want him to live forever but this is sure so hard on us all. At the moment though you all have made me grateful he still laughs at anything. DAMN PSP I hate it so much and I hate it for all of you too. (I'd give almost anything to know what causes it!!!!! For those who believe in the Bible it says in there somewhere when we get to Heaven we'll have every question answered and you can rest assured this will be one of mine!)

  • Did me good to read this, thanks for replying, very similar circumstances to what we are experiencing. I'm trying to switch off from it but it's hard . I agree on the cancer thing, my sister died at aged 34 and my mum aged 76 both with cancer , horrendous at the time but this psp beats t he lot. Best wishes as you soldier on xxx

  • WHEW! That got me.. right in the heartstrings! I'm sitting here with Daddy now and I don't DARE shed any tears in front of him for fear it would make him feel even worse than he already feels. But omg, your sister was just 34! Where is the fairness in THAT! Oh wait i almost forgot, the world isn't fair, darn it!!!!! My Mama died from misdiagnosed cancer at that same age and oooooh I'm 500 years old haha, ok I'm in my 50s, and I've always missed her so much. And cancer stole your Mom too, err I mean your MUM right! Not fair, especially for you to have to deal with psp too, on top of the evil cancer. Stay strong. You're in my prayers!

  • That will be one of my questions too!! The one thing that keeps my faith going is I do believe everything happens for a reason, and God is in control.

    We don't see the whole picture now, but someday we will. I'm holding on to that, if I don't, I'd be going down fast! Cause at the moment, I'm not seeing the good! Pseudobulbar Affect is a disorder that can affect people who have had a brain injury or neurologic disease. Causes uncontrollable crying or laughing during seemingly inappropriate times. Doesn't mean that's why your dad laughs a lot, but if it seems to be bothering him, I'd talk to his dr. about it.


  • Thanks LynnO. I'm going to throw this out to you, and hope it's not offensive for any reason, ok? QUESTION: Why do bad things happen to good people? MY STORY: I read a book many years ago, autobiographical, written by a lady who'd died in the hospital (for minutes) and was brought back to life. She said she met Jesus while she was medically dead and she wrote a book about what he said to her. Time in Heaven is not the same as time on Earth, minutes here can be hours there or vice versa, who knows exactly? She said (paraphrased,) He told her we all CHOOSE OUR CROSSES TO BEAR, OUR DEEPEST SORROWS, BEFORE WE ARE BORN, AS SPIRITS IN HEAVEN. I thought, maybe. The next day, the front of the church bulletin quoted the BIble, saying, we've all been with Him from the beginning of time. Then it clicked for me. IT ALL MADE SENSE!! I love it when life makes good sense you know? Just think of the possibility. As spirits in Heaven, we'd want to come to Earth and SUFFER because that's how we grow. We don't grow much due to good easy times. We grow due to our challenges and sorrows. AND IT IS THE ONLY ANSWER I'VE EVER EVER EVER HEARD THAT SUFFICENTLY EXPLAINS WHY BAD THINGS HAPPEN TO GOOD PEOPLE!! I don't fully believe it's true but I don't believe it's not true. I've kept my ears and eyes open since the time I read that book, for ANYthing in the Bible to disprove the theory and I haven't ever seen even ONE thing, ever. I'm leaning towards believing it. I even think that maybe just maybe, God knew how much it killed my soul when my Mama died at age 34, I was 16, and He allowed me this answer, made an exception for me, as a special gift. Also, when I told this to my best friend, she said, "WAIT if I'm the one who picked these troubles I want to change my mind! I'm ready to trade the problems in for anything else!" She was funny haha! And on that funny note, I'll leave you, hopefully with some food for thought, because ya just never know! :) Be blessed kind lady.

  • No offense taken! I very much like hearing about other people's "faith journey". I'm not sure I understand all of that, but Romans 5:3-5 tells about how "... suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us." A friend of mine would call your revelation a "God moment". Those moments are different for everyone, and I think intentionally so. I know we as people are at our best when we are helping each other. (Even though some days are much harder than others!) God is with us in everything we do and He knows our innermost feelings and all our sadness and grief. And yes, I too believe that God gives us glimpses and insight of what's to come, when we most need it. Stay strong for your dad and take care of yourself!!


  • Thank you all for your input, it helps to know how others have coped. X

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