Is it normal to cry often?

Is it normal to cry often?

Let’s see if it is normal to shed tears frequently without being very clear about the causes of this.

Crying is a reaction associated with an emotional state that could occur in a wide variety of contexts, which can include joy or fulfillment, as well as loss, failure, sadness, or any other feeling of negative nature. For all these reasons, it is worth asking if it is normal to cry often.

To answer this, we start from the assumption that some people tend to cry more often than others and that crying is not a sign of weakness, since it is a completely natural human reaction. However, some people feel that they cry more than usual and may wonder if they should worry about it and seek help.

In this article we will explain in more detail if it is normal to cry often and what could be the main reasons.

Why do we cry?

Before explaining whether it is normal to cry often, it is convenient that we see what is the reason why we usually do it and what could be the functions of this type of reaction, and that is that there are a variety of explanatory theories, among which it is worth highlighting some as simple ones such as those that talk about crying being a reaction to pain caused by an external agent, and there are also other more complex theories that associate crying with different psychological and emotional phenomena, among others.

In addition, there are wide social and cultural differences that serve to explain why some people tend to cry more often than others, and may even include differentiating factors such as gender.

It should be noted that crying is a complex process that develops through an innate physiological mechanism that is quite often fundamentally associated with the human being; although there are theories that claim that crying is also a characteristic process of other animal species. This process is indeed quite complex since we have learned over the years that this mechanism can serve to release tension on an emotional level (eg, when we cry from anger, grief, or happiness).

This release allows us to express ourselves emotionally and also helps us reduce the levels of energy invested due to some emotions that generate great tension or sadness.

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On the other hand, there have also been theorists throughout history who have studied the functions of crying, notably the American biochemist William H. Frey II, who observed that people were normally better off psychologically and emotionally after crying due to because they have been able to eliminate a series of hormones that are associated with stress (eg, adrenocorticotropic hormone).

In the field of psychology, some studies on the functions of crying have revealed a possible relationship with a person’s experience of feeling helpless in a certain situation. These theories could explain why some people tend to cry after receiving good news since that person could feel powerless to influence those events that are happening about that good news that makes them cry.

At a social level, crying can be related to socialization, since the act of crying can provoke empathy from other people, and thanks to this they could provide the necessary support at that moment. In addition, infant crying is a mechanism and a means that favors survival. For all these reasons, one might wonder if it is normal to cry often given the wide number of functions that crying fulfills.

Is it normal to cry often?

As we have seen before, crying can fulfill several functions and in all of them, we can find some common characteristic, which is some type of frustration, whether real, anticipated, or previous, the perception of impotence, an attempt to reside or surrender. against frustration for something, among others. Therefore, people tend to cry in a wide variety of situations and contexts.

As there is a wide variety of situations that people have to face throughout their lives that could affect them psychologically and make them want to cry, this in turn could trigger other symptoms such as abulia, anhedonia, apathy, fatigue, the tendency to isolate, etc.

In this way, it is possible that the alarm signals take time to arrive and the person even begins to realize that something is wrong at the moment in which they begin to ask if it is normal to cry often. This is when you should do some introspection and try to find out what the triggers could be, since behind all that there could be a wide variety of problems like the ones we will see later, since the most common is that there is always a cause behind that desire to cry and, therefore, that a person cries often could be a warning sign.

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If you suspect that something is not right, perhaps the most advisable thing to do would be to seek professional help, bearing in mind that a mental health professional can help us cope with various life circumstances or stressful situations in a more adaptive way. You can also start by seeking the support of a close and trusted person to try to start looking for solutions to address those problems that could be behind the reasons why a person feels like crying quite frequently.

On the other hand, there are studies in which it has been observed that those people who have scored high in the rest of neuroticism in the personality tests tend to have a greater predisposition to cry, but also to laugh; An explanation could be the fact that these people have a greater sensitivity to the most intense emotions and the process of crying often in certain situations would not have to be problematic. However, if a person cries often, it should not be overlooked and it would be advisable to look for reasons since a serious problem could be behind it.

Probable causes of a person crying often

Although crying is a natural process, some people cry quite frequently to the point that they wonder if it is normal to cry often. Therefore, in this type of situation, it would be advisable to try to find the root, since these people could be suffering from a problem that requires the help of a mental health professional, such as a psychologist or psychiatrist.

1. Physical pain

One of the possible causes of a person crying quite frequently is physical pain, but in this case, we are not referring to punctual physical pain due to a small blow, but to prolonged or chronic pain due to illness, breakage, injury, or sprain that can cause great suffering in those who suffer from it. Above all, when the disease that causes this prolonged pain is even disabling, it could cause the development of depression or any other problem associated with the mood.

2. Mood disorders

Another possible reason why a person might cry often is that they are suffering from a depressive episode, whether it is associated with major depression, bipolar disorder, or any other circumstance. In this type of case, the person usually loses the motivation to do things that he used to do frequently before, has difficulty feeling pleasure, and could even eat poorly and suffer from sleep problems.

For all these reasons, and more, it is quite common in these cases for people to feel despair and hopelessness, which is why they can cry frequently.

3. Stress and anxiety

Problems related to anti-aging and stress are other reasons why a person can cry frequently, being cases in which a person usually finds himself in a situation in which he perceives that the demands of certain situations you are living on a day-to-day basis are beyond your capabilities. For this reason, he may feel that he does not have sufficient means to deal with these situations and may feel like crying continuously to find a way to let off steam and thus relieve himself.

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About what we have just commented on, we could associate anger or the feeling of impotence and injustice with flatness, as they are other reasons why a person might want to cry. We can also associate empathy with crying, since many people may feel like crying when observing the pain and suffering of others.

4. A grieving process

When a person is grieving the loss of a family member or loved one, they may feel very affected for a long period (eg, for more than a year and even throughout several years), so the desire to cry frequently could be some of the mechanisms present throughout this period.

If someone is feeling like crying constantly lately, there may be some causes like the ones we have just explained, so it is important that you try to identify in your case what it could be and, if you consider that this is affecting you enough, it is best to seek support from someone close to you and psychological help from a mental health professional who can help you.

Bibliographic references
  • Alonso, J. R. (2010). Depression. The first symptoms. Neuroscience: Dr. José Ramón Alonso.
  • Fernández-Berrocal, P., Extremera, N., & Ramos, N. (2003). Emotional intelligence and depression. Encounters in social psychology, 1(5), pp. 251-254.
  • Miceli, M., & Castelfranchi, C. (2003). Crying: discussing its basic reasons and uses. New Ideas in Psychology, 21(3), pp. 247-273.
  • Provine, R. R., Krosnowski, K. A. & Brocato, N. W. (2009). Tearing: Breakthrough in Human Emotional Signaling. Evolutionary Psychology, 7(1).
  • Roes, F. L. (1989). On the Origin of Crying and Tears. Human Ethology Newsletter, 5(10), pp. 5-6.
  • Silva, C. (2005). Emotional regulation and psychopathology: the vulnerability/resilience model. Chilean Journal of Neuropsychiatry, 43(3), pp. 201-209.
  • Vallejo, J. & Urretavizcaya, M. (2015). depressive disorders In J. Vallejo (Coord.). Introduction to psychopathology and psychiatry (pp. 249-276). Barcelona: Elsevier Masson.
  • Vazquez, C. & Sanz, J. (2020). depressive disorders In A. Belloch, B. Sandín & F. Ramos (coords.). Depressive disorders (pp. 199-232). Madrid: McGraw-Hill.

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