Is It Possible To Be Laughing And Crying At The Same Time?


It’s a common perception that only insane people laugh and cry simultaneously. But I’m sure you have also encountered from your own experience that it’s normal for sane people to be laughing and crying at the same time. How does this phenomenon happen? Let’s first discuss the reasons why people cry and laugh.

Why do People Cry?

People usually cry when they are saddened by something or by an event, and when they are also in pain. Nonetheless, there’s also such a thing as tears of joy. This happens when you are overwhelmed by your joy that you become emotional and cry.

Your thought about being sad and in pain is sensed by the emotional receptors in your brain and your brain then triggers the corresponding organ in your body to respond to your body’s need. In this particular situation, the tear glands are activated to produce tears. This is the body’s method to get rid of your sadness.

Science has proven that when you cry, some toxins are eliminated from your system, and healing substances are released as well. That’s why when you have a good cry, you generally, feel relieved and less depressed.

Why do People Laugh?

The same neural pathway that sadness triggers is the same pathway when you’re happy - only the emotion is different. It’s now happiness. When you’re happy, laughter is typically generated. Laughter and crying are both responses by the body in times of intense emotional arousal.

Is It Possible to Be Laughing and Crying at the Same Time?

The answer is “yes”.

Normal and sane people can laugh and cry at the same time. This is because their first feeling can be overwhelming that the body tends to regulate or moderate it by triggering the opposite emotion. This is discovered in a scientific study done by researchers.

When people are extremely emotional, some may resort to crying and laughing simultaneously. But don’t worry; the hormones adrenaline or epinephrine and cortisol are increased in secretion, allowing the body to maintain its balance. It’s healthy to express your emotions unhampered, as long as it doesn’t harm yourself and anyone in the process.

According to another research, there’s also such a thing as Pathological Crying and Laughing (PLC) or Pseudobulbar Affect (PBA), where the person goes into uncontrollable bouts of laughing and crying. In this case, it’s pathological. There‘s brain injury, or an impairment of the patient’s cerebral cortex, or brain lesions. The patient has to be treated by a competent doctor and/or psychiatrist before the condition worsens.

If one of your family members or you - yourself - tend/s to experience this occurrence, you have to be alert to observe, whether the person reverts back to his original, sane self, or if he intermittently does it without any apparent reason. In this instance, you will have to take the person to a specialist. He may have brain injuries that you’re not aware of.

Pointers on How to Detect Pathological Laughing and Crying from Normal Cases

  • Epileptic convulsions occurs simultaneously with laughing
  • Wild expression of the face of the person, like someone gone “mad”
  • Inability to speak (aphasia) properly after the attack of laughter and crying
  • Inappropriate loud laughter over trivial things
  • Inappropriate excessive tears over trivial things
  • Abnormal behaviour after the episode
  • Chest pain and numbness of arms or body
  • Non-interaction and absent-mindedness
  • No apparent reason for the emotions

If you have observed these reactions in a person, don’t hesitate to consult a psychiatrist or a specialist before it’s too late.


Laughing and crying at the same time can be normal and also pathological. You will have to learn how to detect which type is yours. Likewise, with family members, identify whether their bouts of crying and laughing are normal or pathological. It’s imperative that you act promptly, once you have confirmed that the behaviour is pathological.

Otherwise, rest assured that it’s a normal response in certain situations, and that it helps your body maintain its homeostasis. Let go, and allow your emotions to be expressed. This way your health and well-being won’t be compromised. Repressed emotions can be the root of various diseases. So, go ahead and laugh and cry. It’s healthy.


Hello everyone! I’m glad to have you here. I’m a medical technologist by profession. My second love is writing. So, I’m focusing on providing content to help other people with their health problems. I hope I can be of help to you.

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