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Pseudobulbar affect, emotional lability


Senior Member
I've had increasing problems with this.
Mostly intense crying when Angels it frustrated, that leaves as soon as I drop trying to communicate.

I've thought lately it must be a progression of Lyme disease, perhaps undiagnosed MS... Perhaps a Harbinger of pending decline of cognition.

The literature calls it " rare". There's no mention of it in ME/CFS.


I have no Alzheimer's genes and a normal MRI; increasing tremors, neuropathic itch, something new every year or so that no one pays attention to.
I don't sense any cognitive decline. Brain fog isn't a problem.

I can't make a point when frustrated without crying; extremely humiliating if at the Dr.

Women think I "turn on the waterworks for sympathy".
They tell me to stop. I can't.
Then it's suddenly gone.

I was never this way.
Never sentimental even.
I went through a horrific divorce at the height of my CFS, blamed it for years on Loss, etc.

Now it's clear it comes on like a storm, usually when frustrated or angry, and is over and I feel nothing in a minute or so.

It's not depression.
Fatigue might make it more common, but it happens in good days too.

Anybody else?
I have had a lot of this pseudobulbar affect, my brain went into this crying mode and it didn't come out, it just lasted and lasted. I had to start vortioxetine because of this, it has helped a bit. It was some kind of brain jam, like being somatic emotion, very hard to explain. It can be other emotions too, like irritability/rage being stuck for no reason.
I also remember going deep into this pseudobulbar state after quitting Armour thyroid in the past. It could have thyroid component in my case.


Donate Advocate Demonstrate
Yes. I have posted about this elsewhere. I also get the hysterical laughter of pseudobulbar. It is horrible.

The crying and the laughing can come on even if something is not that sad or that funny and i then become hysterical and actually physically cant stop laughing or crying and it becomes so overwhelming i feel like i might explode.

I have started avoiding both laughing and crying (they give me PEM anyway and due to MCAS i get more reactive if i cry), but this is not really a long term solution.

It can also be embarrassing if other people are there when it happens.
Medford NJ
Me too . I went through a period of about 5 years like this. Over the last year of so this has improved a lot. For me it had absolutely nothing to do with any problems I was having. I find spending time in the woods helps this.

I am sorry for anyone who has to deal with this . I withdrew from friends for a few years , if I tried to shop in a supermarket by the end I would burst into tears at the checkout counter. Everyone would ask me what was wrong and I told them I was just exhausted and it was a physical reaction. . Ugh, I hate the way this is blown off as brain fog.