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TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5808
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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Up to the age of 15, I had the giggles. I laughed at anything

Resolved Question:

Up to the age of 15, I had the giggles. I laughed at anything and everything. If somebody would have offered me a substantial amount of money to not laugh for one hour, as hard as I would try, I couldn't control myself. What causes this? How is this habit picked up?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  TherapistMarryAnn replied 5 years ago.

Hi, I'd like to help you with your question.


Your uncontrollable laughter could have two causes. One is psychological. People who laugh at inappropriate times are usually reacting to deep sadness. You have probably heard of people laughing at funerals. It is called reaction formation and is a defense mechanism. It can be treated through therapy.


Before you consider the psychological though, you need to see your doctor. Uncontrollable laughter is usually neurological in cause. It is a nervous system symptoms and can be caused by a variety of disorders. Since you have had this since you were 15, the cause may be mild and easily addressed or it could be a chronic condition. A nervous system disorder can be diagnosed through a CT scan. Your doctor can guide you on possible causes and treatments.


If you do not have a neurological cause however, then seeing a therapist is the next step. Talk to your doctor about a referral or you can search on line at


I hope this has helped you,

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I haven't had this since I was 15; I had it from birth thru age 15.
Expert:  TherapistMarryAnn replied 5 years ago.

Sorry about that. Thank you for clarifying.


Since you no longer have the uncontrollable laughter, I would be more inclined to say it was psychological, though I still would not rule out a physical cause first. It is always best practice when you have a symptom that is physical in nature.


It sounds like you were having some type of reaction to a situation you were in. Were you abused in any way? Was there unusual tension in your home? Or was there some other kind of stress you were exposed to?



Customer: replied 5 years ago.
This leads me to the second question I was going to ask you and maybe it's related to what you are asking. My second question was going to be that is one possible reason why some teenagers act childish or immature like I did up to the age of 15 be because they didn't have much of a childhood growing up and they are trying to get in their teen years what they didn't get in their childhood? My brother and sister are 9 and 8 years older than I am; therefore, they never wanted to play with me because what was fun for me wasn't fun for them and vice versa. I would play with my next door neighbor, but he and I had an argument and the friendship ended quickly. Finally, for the first few years of grade school, I didn't have any friends. So, that's why I am wondering if I was trying to get in my teen years what I didn't get in my childhood.
Expert:  TherapistMarryAnn replied 5 years ago.

It could be. If you did not get your needs met in your younger years, that left you with gaps in your emotional needs and you had to try and get your needs met when you got older.


Being immature is a natural part of being a teen and male (males develop emotionally at a slower pace). Teenagers fluctuate between being like young children and adults in their emotional development. But if you were still more in the younger child category in terms of maturity, it may be that you were not able to develop normally over your younger years, when love, caring, and basic needs should be met by loving and caring parents. As you turned 15, you may have developed enough maturity to control your laughter.


Children who are deprived of a normal upbringing can respond in a variety of ways. Some develop anger issues, other become dependent, or develop other emotional difficulties. Relationships with others are affected greatly because you never had the chance to see how normal people treat one another in a relationship. Having much older siblings can also affect your development due to birth order. Older children tend to be more responsible where younger children tend to have more relaxed parenting and therefore are more relaxed themselves.


Your laughing inappropriately could have been in response to trauma you suffered (you weren't allow to cry so you laughed instead) or it could have been related to anxiety. People who are nervous tend to laugh in response to most things if they feel they can't handle what is happening and feel overwhelmed. These are the two most likely reasons for your symptom.



Customer: replied 5 years ago.

What causes attention seeking behavior? If the possibilities are infinite, please just list the first 8 possiblities that quickly come to mind. Thank you.

Expert:  TherapistMarryAnn replied 5 years ago.

Attention seeking behavior happens in response to unmet needs. If the parents did not pay attention to the child, the child will in turn act out so they can get attention. This does not necessarily mean good ways, either. Any attention will do as long as the child can get someone to focus on them. This can involve anything from crying all the time to self harm. Bullying, sexual promiscuity, yelling all the time, causing fights, dressing inappropriately, etc are all attention seeking behaviors.



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