Pseudobulbar Affect

Pseudobulbar affect (PBA) is a possible symptom of MS, as well as other neurological disorders. It is essentially a form of emotional incontinence.

Patients exhibit exaggerated forms of emotional distress, in response to any particular situation. It’s important to remember that PBA is directly linked to neurological damage.

Individuals with this diagnosis are not capable of exerting control over their degree of emotional responsiveness to any given situational trigger. Sometimes, PBA may be characterized by the production of emotional responses that are the exact opposite of the specific situation at hand. For example, a situation that would typically elicit anger may instead produce prolonged crying.

Thankfully, there is now an FDA-approved treatment for PBA, known as Nudexta. It is effective in alleviating the emotional distress produced by living with PBA.

Quite honestly, I have experienced periods of PBA, throughout my extensive history of living with MS. There have been periods of time when I would find myself crying uncontrollably, for an excessive period of time.

Naturally, this created tension in my personal relationships with others. I felt completely overwhelmed when this happened. I truly felt unable to modulate my excessive emotional reaction to any given situational trigger taking place.

Such emotional incontinence has been yet another invisible symptom of having been diagnosed with a chronic neurological disorder. It appears that others are relatively more willing to accept that physical, as emotional, symptoms are not capable of being under one’s complete control.

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