Joaquin Phoenix has had much praise for his unsettling performance in the Joker film as Arthur Fleck, now his performance has shined a light on a broadly misunderstood laughing disorder.

Phoenix's character, also referred to as the Joker, bursts out in uncontrollable laughter due to a neurological disorder - one view has especially praised the actor's efforts to directly replicate the extremity of the laughing fits.

Scott Lotan suffers from the pseudobulbar affect, also called PBA, as a symptom of multiple sclerosis which causes him to burst out in pathological laughing that can last up to 10 minutes. '

Scott Lotan told LADbible that the condition can be exhausting and painful. Photo / Facebook
Scott Lotan told LADbible that the condition can be exhausting and painful. Photo / Facebook

The Virginia Beach man told LADbible that the disorder can be exhausting and painful as well as extremely awkward in some situations.

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"I have had issues with not being served at restaurants and been asked to leave because waitstaff were uncomfortable," Lotan said.

"Many times if I am out for a drink with friends, there is someone with low self-esteem that believes I am laughing at them and they will try and start a fight."

The 47-year-old man was extremely impressed with Phoenix's take on this disorder.

"I think he did a great job of capturing the inability to stop laughing no matter what the circumstances are," Lotan said.

"It weighs heavy on the mind, people just look at you. You try and explain but they have preconceived notions that you are a drug addict or just a deranged lunatic. I think he captured the feeling of isolation and frustration with the lack of understanding from others."

"At times during the film I felt as though I was looking at a reflection of myself."