Paradoxical Laughter

killing joke

Paradoxical [par-uh-dok-si-kuhllaughter is an exaggerated expression of humor which is unwarranted by external events. It may be uncontrollable laughter which may be recognized as inappropriate by the person involved. It is associated with altered mental states or mental illness, such as mania, hypomania or schizophrenia, and can have other causes.

Paradoxical laughter is indicative of an unstable mood, often caused by the pseudobulbar affect (a neurologic disorder characterized by uncontrollable episodes of crying and/or laughing), which can quickly change to anger and back again, on minor external cues. This type of laughter can also occur at times when the fight-or-flight response may otherwise be evoked.

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