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Can laughing excessively cause seizures?

Jan 01, 2008 - 4 comments

It was 5 minutes before the New Year, 2008.
We were watching and waiting for the ball to drop in New York with D Clark.
Tim was drinking for a few hours at 1/hour.
He was sitting at the food table eating drinking and laughing.  
His mouth was absolutely empty.  
He was talking to a small group about D Clark.
He made a crude comment about D Clark and burst into an uncontrollable laughter.
He never displayed any kind of respiratory distress.
He was right in the middle of his laugh when he passed out{head rolled backward, he stopped laughing-quietly, no choking and he turned red.)  Initially I thought that he went into respiratory arrest, maybe he did.  
Maybe it was a seizure.  
He did not stiffen-up or did not loose control of his bowel or bladder.

Tim was awake (awakened) about 1 minute after he passed out.  He did not remember a thing and began to talk and eat normally!  911 was called then cancelled.

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by delly247, Nov 08, 2008
Yhe same thing has happened to my partner twice,  laughing at a comedian on tv. He refuses to acccept it has happened and says he just passes out for a few seconds.  This is not true,  he did the same thing that Tim appears to have done.  He refuses to visit the doctor.  I hope someone replies!

by pecknmolly, Feb 01, 2012
My husband does this same thing.  Last night he was watching funniest videos and he was laughing very hard, he began to cough, I could tell he was not aware of what was going on.  His hands began to draw closed and his face was somewhat distorted.  I grabbed his hands and began to talk to him. He opened his eyes and asked what happened.  I told him he had had one of those episodes again.  I am sure it was some type of seizure.  I used to think he just lost his breath, but it was diffently a seizure.  This has only happened once or twice a year for the last 10 years or so.  We have told doctors and they just shrug it off. Last night was the most intense one he has had.  Probably won't happen again for a long time.  Just scarry when it is taking place.   If anyone knows anything about such episodes, I would like your feed back.

by BRIBECK, Dec 27, 2013
Very little is known about laugh induced seizures. The first official  medical case was reported this just this year (2013).
This type of seizure is not to be confused with a gelastic seizure where uncontrolled laughter occurs from a seizure.
This type of seizure is induced BY laughter. In my case it can also be induced by fear. My seizures are subtle and only last 2-3 seconds, but they make me feel insecure since I freeze and lose control. I worry that I may not be able to protect myself or others when in danger. .I am fifty years old now and luckily they have not progressed in duration or intensity. I am pretty certain my first one occurred during my college years in my twenties. I just started researching this today, but there is little known.

by HRSegovia, Dec 06, 2014
I have the same thing.  My doctor just says I have a sensitive vasovagal mechanism (which made sense), until recently I had an episode so powerful, I could not help but feel it was a seizure.  My wife said I looked like I was dead.

When others witness an episode:
- They see me laugh and then slowly go to sleep.
- There is no shaking reported.
- Within seconds, I am back up.

When I experience it:
- all goes white
- while I am lucid (aware of what is happening to me), I am not aware of my surroundings, not in control, and unable to focus on any particular thought or sensation.
- audio seems looped, distant, and overdriven (as though through a loud, skipping record-player on a blown speaker).
- my body feels as though it is rippling in a circle - perhaps a vortex centered on my chest - physical waves throughout my body that makes me feel I am shaking violently or rotating my upper body at the abdomen.
- the episode lasts for a few seconds and then I return with some confusion and a little docile for a few minutes.
- it seems to last over a minute.

When my wife witnessed it, she said I went down quick, I hit my head on two walls and then looked like I was dead - eyes open.  I was red all over and unresponsive.  I did not convulse.  I didn't even move.  This lasted a few seconds.

From my perspective, I laughed and coughed and an intense pressure filled my head.  I vaguely remember a thump on the back of my head, but it was muted and almost non-existant.  After that it was though I was asleep - dreaming - completely non-lucid and only recalled in retrospect - but the intense pressure always remained.  As I recovered and became aware, the fear and confusion was intense.  My body felt as though it were thrashing all over.  I could vaguely hear my wife shouting (though I was inches from her), "Babe!  Babe!" and I tried to respond, but it felt as though the word was slurred if intelligible at all, "Wha? What?  What?"  When I was finally sitting up and aware something was wrong, I could not focus on anything, could not compose a coherent thought, could not even develop a simple answer to what my wife was asking, "Are you OK?" - as if my "What" response was mere automatism and not through conscious effort.  Much like when one wakes from sleep, I had no inkling as to how long I was out (it was only a few seconds).  After recovering, it took at least ten minutes for the tingling sensation, internal vibrations, and fear to go away.

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