I cry all the time

Why We Cry and When to Seek Help

There are no guidelines for how much crying is too much. Conditions like depression or pseudobulbar affect may cause you to cry more frequently. Crying is natural and may help you feel better.


Some people cry while reading a sad book or watching videos of baby animals. Others cry only at funerals. And for certain people, the mere hint of anything that arouses emotions can cause tears to flow.

If you’ve ever had tears well up in a meeting or wept out loud in a movie theatre, you may have wondered if it’s normal. Is there such a thing as crying too often or too much?

There are no guidelines for how much crying is too much. A study in the 1980s found that women cry an average of 5.3 times per month and men cry an average of 1.3 times per month. A newer study found that the average duration for a crying session was eight minutes.

If you’re concerned that you’re crying too much, if you can’t seem to stop crying, or have started crying more than usual, talk to your doctor. It may be a sign of depression or another mood disorder.

There are a lot of reasons, besides having an immediate emotional response, why you may cry more than normal. Tearfulness is frequently associated with depression and anxiety. People often experience the two conditions at the same time. Certain neurological conditions can also make you cry or laugh uncontrollably.


Depression is a mood disorder in which you have persistent feelings of sadness that last more than a few weeks. Activities you once found pleasurable may no longer interest you. Symptoms of depression may include:

  • sadness and gloominess
  • feelings of hopelessness or worthlessness
  • low energy
  • difficulty concentrating

Your crying may be related to depression if you:

  • cry over small things or have trouble identifying why you’re crying
  • cry much more than normal
  • have trouble stopping your tears

Excessive crying is more likely to happen if your depression is milder. People with severe depression often have trouble crying or expressing other emotions.


We all have times when we’re nervous and anxious. With anxiety disorder, though, you experience worry and nervousness more often, maybe even on a daily basis. Symptoms often include:

  • edginess or irritability
  • excessive worry
  • muscle tension
  • fatigue
  • difficulty focusing or concentrating
  • trouble sleeping

Pseudobulbar affect

Sudden uncontrollable crying, laughing, or feeling anger can be a symptom of a condition called pseudobulbar affect (PBA). PBA is an involuntary neurological state related to an injury or disturbance in parts of your brain that control your emotions.

Sometimes called emotional incontinence, the uncontrolled emotions associated with PBA often don’t match how you feel or what you’re experiencing. Because the symptoms are similar, PBA may be misdiagnosed as depression. PBA often occurs in people who have:

  • history of stroke
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • dementia
  • amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease
  • multiple sclerosis (MS)

Gender and personality

Studies indicate that, on average, women cry more often than men. One possible reason for this is that testosterone may inhibit crying. Cultural norms may also account for some of the differences in crying among men and women.

Besides a difference between sexes, people who are empathetic and concerned about the well-being of others may cry more than people who are less empathetic. People who are anxious, insecure, or obsessive, cry more and for longer periods of time than other people.

Glands located above your eyes produce most of your tears. They’re called lachrymal glands. The word lachrymal means tear. Every time you blink, tears flow to your eyes from ducts attached to your lachrymal glands. This keeps the surface of your eyes lubricated and protects them from substances like dust, smoke, or onion gasses. Tears also drain into your nose.

Tears are made up of:

  • water
  • salt
  • protective antibodies
  • enzymes

The chemistry of tears caused by emotion, sometimes called psychic tears, is different than that of tears that moisten and protect your eyes. Psychic tears contain more of the protein-based hormones your body produces under stress.

There’s limited research on the science and psychology of crying. Some researchers believe crying is a way your body gets rid of stress-related hormones. Other studies show tears may trigger the release of endorphins. Endorphins are hormones that make you feel good and reduce pain.

A recent focus of research is the response people have to the chemical content of tears. Studies have shown, for example, that men are less aggressive and less sexually aroused when smelling women’s psychic tears.

Crying doesn’t necessarily make you feel better. In one study, only about 30 percent of participants said crying made their mood improve. Crying is more likely to make you feel better if:

  • you have the emotional support of a friend
  • you’re crying because of a positive experience
  • it enables you to understand your emotions better
  • it helps you resolve an issue or problem

If you have symptoms of depression or anxiety, or emotional responses that don’t feel right, don’t try to tough it out alone. Mood disorders can have a negative impact on every part of your life. This includes your relationships, work, or school. They also make you more vulnerable to physical illnesses.

Talk with your doctor about what you’re experiencing. Your doctor may refer you to a psychiatrist or therapist who specializes in working with people who have mood disorders.

Approximately 80 percent of people with depression improve significantly with treatment. Treatment for depression and anxiety can include psychotherapy (talk therapy) and medications. Self-care is important, too. Many people find relaxation techniques, meditation, mindfulness, and exercise helpful.

Therapy and medications can also alleviate the effects of PBA. Some people with PBA see an improvement after taking a drug called dextromethorphan hydrobromide and quinidine sulfate (Nuedexta). Nuedexta was developed just for PBA, and it’s the only drug that’s approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat the condition.

Antidepressants may also be prescribed for PBA. However, the FDA hasn’t approved the use of antidepressants as a PBA treatment. When a drug is used to treat a condition other than the ones it’s FDA-approved for, then that’s considered off-label drug use.

Some people cry more than others. Women tend to cry more than men, even in cultures where it’s acceptable for males to cry. Crying more than is normal for you may be a symptom of depression or a neurological disorder.

If you’re concerned about the amount you’re crying, talk to your doctor.

There’s nothing wrong with crying, but if you want to try to manage your tears, there are some things you can try:

  • Focus on taking slow, deep breaths. Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. This may help you relax, which could also stop the flow of tears.
  • Relax your facial muscles so your expression is neutral.
  • Think about something repetitious, like a poem, a song, or nursery rhyme you’ve memorized.
  • Take a walk or find another way to temporarily remove yourself from a stressful or upsetting situation.

Suicide prevention

  1. If you think someone is at immediate risk of self-harm or hurting another person:
  2. • Call 911 or your local emergency number.
  3. • Stay with the person until help arrives.
  4. • Remove any guns, knives, medications, or other things that may cause harm.
  5. • Listen, but don’t judge, argue, threaten, or yell.
  6. If you or someone you know is considering suicide, get help from a crisis or suicide prevention hotline. Try the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255.

How to Stop Crying so Much, so Easily, and at Work


People often cry at funerals, during sad movies, and when listening to sad songs. But other people may find themselves crying while having heated conversations with others, confronting someone they’re angry with, or talking about something important.

This kind of crying can cause embarrassment and confusion. The good news is that with time, you can learn how to control it.

You should also ask yourself if your crying really is a problem. Sometimes, through our tears we release emotions that are penned up and need to be expressed. There are times when crying can help you to actually feel better.

If you cry a lot, you may feel self-conscious. It may feel like people are taking you less seriously when they see you cry, or you may feel weak (which isn’t really true).

But if you cry a lot, it may mean you’re having difficulty dealing with your stress. Or you might feel helpless when stuck in certain situations or talking to certain people. Or, according to research, you might be stressed out by, or have trouble reading, people’s facial expressions.

Learning how to control your stress can sometimes help you better control your tears. Here are some tips to help you stop crying quickly:

  1. Tilt your head up slightly to prevent tears from falling. The tears will collect at the bottom of your eyelids so they don’t run down your face. This can stop the flow of tears and redirect your focus.
  2. Pinch yourself on the skin between your thumb and pointer finger — the pain might distract you from crying.
  3. Tense up your muscles, which can make your body and brain feel more confident and in-control, according to scientists.
  4. Make a neutral face, which can calm the person you’re talking to and make it less likely they’ll put on an expression that triggers your tears. Scientists have found that neutral faces trigger less brain activity than facial expressions exhibiting specific emotions.
  5. Physically step back from a stressful situation, such as a heated conversation.
  6. Focus on controlling your breathing. Consciously attempt to take in deep breaths and slowly exhale. This may help you to feel more calm, reduce your overall feelings of stress, and decrease your chances of starting (or continuing) crying.
  7. Blink rapidly if you’ve already started crying to help clear away tears so they don’t roll down your face.
  8. Do not blink if you feel like you might cry, this can prevent tears from falling.
  9. Change your thoughts and frame of mind. If you feel stressed out and like you will start crying, divert your attention from your worries and tears, and instead think of something else — a happy moment, a funny scene from a movie, or something you’re proud of — that will distract you.

Crying is something that everyone does. But if you feel like you’re crying too much, you might be too easily overwhelmed by stress, or you may have another issue going on, such as a depressive disorder. You can begin by focusing on reducing the stress in your life to reduce your crying. You can get a handle on your stress by taking these steps to identify, confront, and deal with the stress in your life:

  • Identify what is causing your stress (and your crying): Is it a personal issue, your environment, the people around you, or something else?
  • Reduce the number of things you commit to. Overscheduling is a major cause of stress in many people’s lives. Look at your calendar and think about what activities, obligations, or events you could cut out to help reduce your overall stress.
  • Stay on top of your obligations. Tight deadlines and procrastination can increase stress. Prevent stress by staying on top of your work and setting more realistic goals for yourself if you feel pressed for time when trying to complete projects.
  • Ask for help when you need it. Determine which people in your life — friends, family, and coworkers —you can call on for help coping with your stress.
  • Find a hobby. Enjoyable activities such as art, music, or volunteering can help reduce your overall stress level. Noncompetitive activities such as reading, fishing, or gardening are often the best at relieving stress.
  • Use relaxation techniques. Deep breathing, stretching, visualizing a peaceful scene, and repeating a mantra can help calm your brain and body when you feel stressed.
  • Make sure you get enough sleep. A lack of sleep can make it more likely that your emotions will get the better of you when you’re stressed. Most adults require seven to nine hours of sleep per night.

If you’re having trouble dealing with your stress, or you find yourself crying all the time, you might be dealing with a mental health condition such as major depression or bipolar disorder. These are serious mental health conditions that require medical treatment. If you’re concerned, see your mental healthcare provider right away for help.

Crying is a natural response to emotional situations. But some people cry more than others, and crying excessively can be uncomfortable. However, there are many things you can do to decrease the likelihood that you will start or continue crying. And there are things you can do at home to reduce the likelihood that you’ll start crying the next time you encounter a stressful situation. You should also know when to reach out to your doctor for help.

Next time you feel like you’re going to cry, or if you’ve started to tear up, remember that there are things you can do to stop your crying. Use these tips and confront the stressful situations in your life knowing you don’t have to cry, and if you start, you can control it. You don’t have to let your tears hold you back from being taken seriously or expressing your needs during difficult conversations.

Why you constantly want to cry for no reason

December 3, 2020 Likbez Health

Tears appear not only from strong emotions. Sometimes this is a sign of illness.

What is crying

In the corners of the eyes are small glands that produce a clear liquid with dissolved proteins and salts, necessary for nourishing, moisturizing and cleansing the cornea. These are tears, they are reflexively released under the influence of signals from the autonomic nervous system. But sometimes emotions get in the way.

Humans are the only creatures on earth that are capable of crying under the influence of feelings. Tears can come from a touching movie, music, important life events, or out of sympathy. Crying causes both positive and negative emotions.

Scientists are still investigating the mental and nervous processes that underlie the appearance of emotional tears. It is believed that crying is associated with temperament and upbringing, personality traits and gender, as well as the release of the neurotransmitter serotonin and brain hormones: oxytocin, vasopressin and prolactin. These substances are involved in the formation of attachment and social behavior. Therefore, separation, the loss of a loved one leads to sadness and tears.

Also, scientists have found that women cry more often than men. This is associated with the action of testosterone, which inhibits emotional reactions.

Why you always want to cry

Children cry often and are not shy, this is their way to attract attention, demand a coveted toy or influence their parents' decision. Adults rarely allow themselves to cry in the presence of other people, but sometimes pain, resentment, empathy, fatigue, stress, or, conversely, joy are expressed in this way.

If crying does not appear daily and for nothing, you can ignore it. But imagine a situation where tears are shed due to a broken nail, a small remark from an outsider, or for no apparent reason at all. Perhaps the problem is a lack of vitamin B12, fatigue. But sometimes a constant desire to cry is the influence of various pathological factors that are difficult to eliminate without a doctor.

Psychological factors

Instability of the nervous system appears in people who are in a state of nervous tension for a long time. At the same time, the hormones adrenaline, norepinephrine and cortisol are released, which deplete the body. Crying helps to reduce the release of these substances and reduce the impact of stress on the psyche.

Sometimes the desire to constantly cry arises due to a violation of adaptation to the action of various factors. For example, psychological pressure at work, lack of money or a large number of duties to loved ones exhaust the nervous system, irritation and fatigue accumulate. Therefore, for any little reason, tears appear. Such a disorder can last up to 2-3 months and does not always go away without the help of a psychologist.

Psychiatric disorders

A constant desire to cry is associated with mental disorders. Often they have erased symptoms, so it is impossible to make a diagnosis without consulting a psychiatrist. After the examination, the doctor may find one of the following diseases:

  • Depression. Patients are in an emotionally depressed state, but sadness and tearfulness can be replaced by aggression, irritability. A person loses all interest in life, favorite hobbies, his mental activity slows down, memory decreases. In severe cases, thoughts of suicide or attempts to carry it out appear.
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder. The condition occurs after a traumatic event, but usually not immediately, but after a few weeks. A person is tormented by nightmares, unpleasant memories, sometimes there are thoughts about his own worthlessness, a feeling of doom. Positive emotions fade. Sometimes this disorder can also lead to suicide.
  • Panic disorder. This is a mental illness in which a sudden attack of fear appears, a person loses control over his behavior, feels a loud beating of the heart, feels shortness of breath, trembling, and abdominal cramps. Many of them start crying.
  • Dementia. The disease often occurs in old age and leads to a decrease in memory, attention, thinking. A person's emotions are erased, but there is a desire to constantly cry.

Changes in internal organs

Frequent urge to shed tears may be due to hormonal changes or disease and may be accompanied by additional symptoms. For example, in women, tearfulness is associated with premenstrual syndrome, menopause, or pregnancy. These conditions are accompanied by fluctuations in the level of sex hormones, so they can lead to emotional instability.

Doctors believe that constant crying also causes endocrine diseases. For example, with hyperthyroidism, Addison's disease, diabetes, there is a tendency to depression and mood swings.

But more often tears for no reason provoke brain pathologies. Sometimes a person has uncontrollable crying, which can be replaced by laughter. This is one of the signs of pseudobulbar affect. Some consider it a mental disorder, but in fact it is caused by diseases of the brain:

  • stroke;
  • multiple sclerosis;
  • consequences of head trauma;
  • Alzheimer's disease;
  • Parkinson's disease.

How to stop crying for no reason

Some try to cope with bad emotions on their own, try to suppress crying or distract themselves from triggers. You can practice breathing exercises or try a relaxation technique.

If tears continue to appear in the eyes for no reason, a therapist should be consulted. He will prescribe an examination, if necessary, send him to a psychotherapist or psychiatrist.

Treatment will depend on the cause of the crying. With psychological problems, cognitive-behavioral therapy helps, which teaches you to change your thinking and correctly perceive negative situations.

If your crying is due to hormonal, mental or neurological problems, your doctor may prescribe appropriate medications.

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I cry over nothing | PSYCHOLOGIES


Know Yourself

“Since childhood, I have been embarrassed to cry,” says Elena, 39, decorator. - Once I had to get up and leave in the middle of a classical music concert - I forgot paper napkins. I was embarrassed in front of my son - I could not finish reading a bedtime story to him: the prince marries the princess, and my throat catches. I wanted to be cured of my tearfulness, I turned to psychotherapists. Together we solved many of my problems. But the tears never went away. In the end, I was able to accept them as my feature, the same as height or eye color. I no longer suffer from tears. I just take out my handkerchief and blot my eyes.” Why is this happening?

I held back too long

“Such “unexpected” tears are not at all unreasonable,” family psychologist Inna Shifanova answers and explains this with an example. “Let's say the management criticized me - and I'm all in tears. But if you think about what else is happening at this moment in my life, it will surely turn out that relationships with loved ones do not add up or I am going through a quarrel with a friend - something greatly upsets me. And the remark of the chief becomes the last straw. We often endure too long, hold back, so as not to show weakness. From this, tension accumulates, which is removed by sudden tears. They seem to set us free. By accepting our weakness and our sadness, we will be able to gather strength again and continue to live.

I remember the losses

“Our unconscious stores everything that we experienced, everything that happened to us in the past,” explains Inna Shifanova. “A random object or combination of sounds, a smell, any detail from the present that consciousness does not even notice can take us back to the past.” If this is a pleasant memory, we feel warmth, joy, if it is painful, we can burst into tears, not understanding what is happening to us.

Tears are a manifestation of our openness, even defenselessness

When we cry without holding back tears, we have a chance to realize what our feelings really refer to. However, this is not always possible without the help of a psychotherapist. Some connections the unconscious hides from us too deeply.

Personal experience

40-year-old Zoya had a dream about a cat. It seemed to be a harmless dream, but she cried all the next day. And then, remembering him, I felt an inexplicable sadness. “Only at a meeting with a psychologist, when we began to analyze associations, I remembered that my mother once had a cat. Mom died a year ago. I was sure that I had already dealt with my grief.” Zoya did not immediately restore this connection - that in fact she was crying about her mother.

I need sympathy

“Tears are also a plea for help,” Inna Shifanova continues. - When the need for support, in sympathy becomes especially acute, we can suddenly cry and thereby attract attention to ourselves. And at the same time, we feel embarrassed because we “were crying like a small child.” This unconscious mechanism really arises in childhood. Loud crying is the only opportunity for the baby to attract the attention of the mother. As adults, we may involuntarily return to this method if we find it difficult to express our needs in words.

“Men are more used to restraining themselves, but they cry too,” says Inna Shifanova. Tears are a manifestation of our openness, even defenselessness. And so they allow you to establish closer relationships with other people.”

What to do?

Allow yourself to cry

Choose a quiet place for this, where no one will prevent you from being alone with yourself. To admit your weakness and imperfection, to allow yourself to express your feelings, including sadness and grief, this is what it means to live and be yourself.

Increase self-esteem

The first step is to stop criticizing yourself, including for being too sensitive. This is especially important if any remark makes you cry.

Ask for help

Think about it: do I know how to do this or do I try to cope with any adversity on my own? We all sometimes need support, help or just sympathy.

Photo source: Getty Images

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