PBA is not depression though it is frequently mistaken for it. Many patients, however, may have both conditions. If you have PBA and depression, it’s important that each condition be diagnosed and treated separately.
Generally speaking, depression is an ongoing and continuous state of sadness or hopelessness that can last over weeks or months, whereas PBA episodes are brief, spontaneous eruptions that may not truly reflect what a person is feeling inside.
PBA is different from depression
Underlying neurologic condition
Episode length of time
Ability to control episodes
Crying, laughing, or both
Neurologic disease or brain injury always present
Seconds to minutes; brief
Exaggerated or does not match feelings inside
Outbursts have no specific link to underlying thoughts
May or may not have underlying neurologic disorder
Weeks to months; on-going mood
May be moderated or controlled
Emotions match mood of sadness inside
Worthlessness, hopelessness, thoughts of death