Got the Giggles?


Nervous laughter is no laughing matter

            What may start off as a soft chuckle or two can aggregate into a series of intense, uncontrollable laughing fits. I’m talking about nervous laughter, also known as inappropriate laughter syndrome, that has been affecting people all over the world for centuries.

            While people who suffer from this condition laugh excessively (in some situations after every clause or word in a sentence), nervous laughter is truly no laughing matter. It’s not simply caused from embarrassment or low-self esteem, which seems to be the common misconception. Rather, nervous laughter has its roots in the psychological and biological constructions of our brain.

            Clinical psychologist Joseph Carver from Counseling Resource said, “When there is a history of cerebral vascular accident (stroke), especially in the frontal lobes of the brain, nervous laughter can develop.”At other times, nervous laughter can result from anxiety and stress, as reported by CureResearch. 

             Psychologists agree that persistent exposure to anxiety in a conversation is necessary for people to better understand their fear of unwanted attention.  Simply meditating or waiting for nerves to settle before resuming a conversation can greatly reduce the chance of nervous laughter. If you know someone who may suffer from nervous laughter, remind them that nervous laughter is no quick fix, but dealing with it is certainly achievable.