‘Baahubali’ Actor Anushka Shetty Suffering From Rare Laughing Disease? What Is It?

New Delhi: Actress Anushka Shetty, known for the blockbuster Baahubali films, revealed that she suffers from a rare laughing condition, called “laughing disease.” Medically termed pseudobulbar affect (PBA), it is characterised by sudden and uncontrollable episodes of laughter or crying.

In an interview with Indiaglitz, the 42-year-old star shared her experience and said, “I have a laughing disease. You might wonder, ‘Is laughing a problem?’ For me, it is. If I start laughing, I can’t stop for 15 to 20 minutes. While watching or shooting comedy scenes, I literally roll on the floor laughing, and the shoot has been halted many times.”

Neurologist Dr Sudhir Kumar told The Indian Express that the “laughing disease” is called the pseudobulbar affect in medical literature. The symptoms of the pseudobulbar affect include sudden episodes of laughter or crying and these episodes are violent, and last for several minutes (usually 15-20 minutes).

He further said that often, the precipitating factor for laughing may be small, which means, the emotional responses are out of proportion to the triggering event. Other people present there may not find it so funny; therefore, the person suffering from laughing disease may feel embarrassed about his/her response.

“Deep, relaxed, and slow breathing can help during laughing episodes. Diverting your mind to another topic could also help. Relaxing the muscles around the shoulder, neck, and chest wall is also helpful,” he was quoted as saying. Neurologist Dr Alok Mandliya told FirstPost that the condition, if not caused by neurological disorders, can be caused by psychological factors and is known as “maniac laughing”.

Neurologist Dr Sachin Adukia told FirstPost, “The Pseudobulbar Affect is a neurological condition that causes outbursts of uncontrolled laughing or crying at moments that are unrelated to his/ her actual emotional state. These sudden outbursts can occur in socially inappropriate situations and could lead to embarrassment, depression, and anxiety, causing various social challenges for those who suffer from it.”

“Support from friends and family is crucial to managing the condition, counselling from professionals can also really help,” he said. Dr Adukia also said that certain drugs do not cure but can help in controlling the illness. He further added that people should see a doctor for specific treatment and advice.

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