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excessive crying
May 9, 2022

Why Do I Cry So Much?

Crying is an excellent outlet for various complex emotions, like anger and grief. You may have even found yourself tearing up because you were happy or surprised. If excessive crying seems to be your default response, you might wonder why you are always reaching for tissues while others around you stay dry-eyed and stoic. Here are five reasons that might explain why you cry so much.

1. Chronic Stress

If you are always stressed, you will also be more vulnerable to emotional exhaustion, which can trigger a bout of tears. Sometimes, you might try to bottle up your feelings, thus letting them keep building up inside you until they suddenly spill over. When you cry, your body releases endorphins and oxytocin – natural chemical messengers that help relieve distress and calm you down.

2. Asking for Help

Some types of excessive crying can signal that you need help. Think of infants who haven’t learned to talk yet – they cry to let their parents know they’re hungry, tired or feeling unwell. These kinds of tears are an innate response most people can’t easily control.

Emotional tears have a different chemical composition than the tears your eyes produce to flush out irritants. As a result, they are thicker and stay on your face longer to signal your distress to others. In psychological studies, participants rated photos of people with tears on their faces as having a greater need for support than those without. If someone sees you crying, they may instinctively stop and ask you if everything’s OK.

3. Depression

Depression is a mood disorder marked by persistent feelings of sadness or numbness that can lead to unusual crying. If you find tears springing to your eyes with little to no provocation and you’re struggling to take joy in life, you could be depressed. Other depression symptoms include apathy, severe fatigue and trouble sleeping.

4. Borderline Personality Disorder

BPD is a complex mental health condition characterized by emotional dysregulation, relationship instability and erratic mood swings. People with BPD can be more likely to burst into tears at the drop of a hat or cry for trivial reasons, like being unable to find their favorite brand of chips at the store.

5. Anxiety

Anxiety disorders are the most prevalent form of mental illness in the U.S. Anxiety can express itself in different ways, including avoidance, irritability, difficulty concentrating and excessive crying.

When to Seek Help for Excessive Crying

You might try to avoid crying because you see tears as a sign of weakness or helplessness. But vulnerability is part of being human, and there’s nothing wrong with showing some cracks in your armor sometimes. In some cases, doing so could even strengthen your bonds with others if they respond with kindness.

If you find yourself spontaneously weeping more than you’d like or using harmful coping mechanisms to mute your emotions, reach out to a therapist for professional help. They will ask you questions about what you are feeling and suggest strategies for improving your mental health, such as making specific lifestyle changes or focusing more on your self-care.

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