Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Random outbursts of laughter


My 19 year-old son was recently discharged from his second hospitalization in 4 months. He is tentatively diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder. He is taking his medications (risperidone, gabapentin and ativan) and cooperative with treatment. This is his first consistent use of antipsychotics. In the past 4-5 days, he has began having uncontrollable outbursts of loud laughter. When asked about it, he rarely tries to explain and usually just stops laughing for a few moments. The doctor just says he needs more antipsychotics because he continues o respond to internal stimuli. Although I prefer laughter to rage or deep sadness, which is how he was before, it doesn’t seem to be provoked by humor, whether internal or not. It seems almost like a Tourette’s type outburst.
Has anyone’s loved one’s exhibited this type of behavior or symptom? Does anyone have any thoughts or suggestions?


One of my friend, also a schizophrenic, told me that why sometimes he laughed to himself. His voices in the head were actually telling him something that was being perceived by him as funny.


Yes my son has gone through this, several times. Once he went through an extended period of doing this. His last break was in October and even now he still laughs randomly at either thoughts or voices. He says they aren’t voices but he seems to be listening so I don’t think it’s thoughts. I have gotten my son to tell me what is so funny. Images of poltergeists and peoples faces melting, as well as other weird thoughts that just are not funny unless you are experiencing psychosis I guess. On each occasion I do believe that my son required more medications then what he was on which is hard since I advocate for the least amount but sometimes more is needed to get over a break and then once stable they can be decreased some.


For me, i laughed hysterically at funny random thoughts.they became louder in my mind than they would if I were not ill at the time.
Just things that struck me as funny
This really did go on for an extended period of time while I was in hospital.

Thoughts as clear and loud and this would really get in the way. Psychiatrists call that thought blocking, Because what is going on in the mind is more important than what was said or what you are expected to say when you say hello to someone for example.


Thank you all for your insights. His doctor has also suggested an increase in his risperidone. Thank you CloudDog especially because I just don’t want him to be scared or lonely. When he doesn’t respond to my attempts at conversation, I have been afraid it is because he can’t understand. However, what you describe about the inside of your mind being more important than what I am saying makes a lot of sense because that is exactly how he acts. Kind of like paying attention to me takes a lot of effort and he isn’t really interested. It is not like I am saying anything interesting. I think that is better than a lack of understanding.

I have also think it better that he is laughing than just sitting quietly, looking sad and far away. My husband has been more distressed by the laughing. I think because if he goes anywhere with us, he can be a little disruptive. But I figure if he is able to find humor in his disorder, maybe it is beneficial. A month ago, he was terrified of everything and barely able to communicate. There was no laugher for weeks. He is definitely less anxious and even went to lunch today with a friend, although he returned in about a half hour.


I have suggested to my son to start wearing headphones when/if he is going to laugh at these things while out so that others will just think that he is laughing at what he is listening to. So far he hasn’t :wink:


HI gwynh

It is more fun than outright paranoia and conspiracy, although that kind of thing can happen in the same few weeks. My friend who is a year out of hospital also shared that it can be fun.
On a sort of level where we can think 3 thoughts at once or operate with more alertness and insight, it seems at the time.
At the time when i was having the laughing i was in quite a spiritual place in a way, crazy, yes but not in hell.