Dealing with uncontrollable laughter in bipolar disorder

Sometimes the feeling of hopelessness that comes with bipolar disorder can be overwhelming, and it’s not uncommon to have different emotions come up. Lately I’ve been dealing with bouts of uncontrollable laughter which, at times, has left me feeling embarrassed and exposed.

It’s an odd sensation, one that I don’t really understand. And it doesn’t help that I often can’t contain it; the laughter just keeps on coming no matter how hard I try to keep a straight face or quiet it down. It can be embarrassing at the worst of times, especially as people around me may think I’m laughing in an inappropriate manner or for no reason at all.

I’m trying to cope by taking things much more slowly; if I find myself in a situation where laughs might arise, or where my sense of humor would usually take over, I pause for a moment before speaking or reacting - which gives me the time to read the situation properly and make sure my response is going to be appropriate for what is happening around me. That helps me stay grounded and better in control of my reactions, rather than letting any ‘uncontrollable’ reactions override my good judgement in certain situations.

I still don’t know why this happens - why these emotional shifts happen - but coping strategies like this can help me stay present and manage these funny outbursts.