Crying is a natural human psychological and physiological response that occurs during times of intense emotional distress such as sadness, anxiety, fear or stress.
It serves as a mechanism to promote emotional health by reducing these stresses and bringing relief, which supports the process of accepting events, emotional healing and stress management.
Physiologically, crying is triggered by stimulation of the glands in the eyes and results in the discharge of tears. This transparent fluid not only keeps the eyes moist and protected. It also helps to remove foreign bodies such as bacteria and viruses.
In addition, tears contain chemical substances that are able to remove stress hormones from the body and thus help to cope with stress. Furthermore, crying is an expression of strong feelings such as pain, sadness or frustration and allows others to show compassion and support.
Is it normal not to cry?
The inability to cry can be considered a normal reaction. However, if the symptoms of inability to cry persist or affect quality of life, an underlying problem should be considered. It is recommended that you see a specialist.
7 Possible reasons why you can’t cry?
Wanting to cry your eyes out but not being able to cry is a rare phenomenon. However, there can be many different reasons why you can’t cry. Here are some possible causes:
- Physical causes: A problem or blockage in the tear glands that produce tears can prevent crying.
- Medication: Some medications can reduce or stop tear production. They can therefore also prevent crying.
- Trauma: Emotional trauma can prevent crying. Some people suppress crying to suppress their emotional reactions after a traumatic event.
- Psychological reasons: Some psychological disorders can inhibit the response to crying. For example, emotional numbness can prevent crying in melancholic depression, anxiety disorders and the like.
- Artificial emotional walls: Some people build emotional walls to cope with difficulties in their lives. These walls can prevent crying.
- Personality traits: Some people have difficulty showing emotional reactions such as crying. This may be due to personality traits.
- Nervous system disorders: In rare cases, disorders of the brain or nervous system can prevent crying.
Any of these can be the reason why you cannot cry. If you cannot cry, it is important to see a doctor or psychologist to find out what the cause is and how you can best be treated.
What problems can arise if you don’t cry?
Crying is a natural human response and is important for emotional health. Suppressing or inhibiting crying can have negative consequences. Here are some of the problems that can occur if you don’t cry:
Emotional health problems:
Suppressing crying can lead to feelings being repressed and bottled up. This can lead to severe depression, anxiety, emotional numbness and other emotional health problems.
Physical health problems:
Tears are important for eye health. Tears keep the eyes moist and flush out dust and dirt. Preventing tear production can lead to dry eyes from wearing contact lenses, Sjögren’s syndrome (an autoimmune disease caused by inflammation of various glands in the body), irritation and other eye health problems.
For many people, crying is a way of expressing their feelings. When crying stops, it can affect the ability to connect emotionally and communicate with others.
Stress and anxiety:
Crying can help reduce stress hormones and lower stress levels. Suppressing crying can increase stress and anxiety levels and weaken the ability to cope with stress.
Suppressing crying can weaken the ability to connect with others and lead to social isolation.
As a result, suppressing crying can lead to emotional, physical and social health problems. It is therefore important to allow crying as a natural response to maintain emotional health.
How can you learn to show feelings openly?
Showing feelings openly is a natural reaction for some people, but for others it can be difficult. Here are some ways you can show your feelings openly:
- Recognise your feelings
When you recognise your feelings, you can express them clearly. You can learn to recognise and express your feelings by doing exercises in feeling awareness.
- Allow yourself to express your feelings
Instead of avoiding negative feelings, allow them and give yourself permission to express them. Remember that negative feelings exist and that we need to experience them.
- Try different ways of expressing your feelings.
Besides talking, you can try other ways to express your feelings, such as writing, drawing, listening to music or dancing.
- Learn to empathise
Empathy is the ability to understand and empathise with the feelings of others. When you learn to empathise with others, you can express your own feelings more openly because you understand the feelings of others.
- Create a safe environment for expressing feelings
It is important to create a safe environment in which you can openly express your feelings. Create an environment where you can openly express your feelings and where others can openly express their feelings.
In summary, it is important for your emotional health to express your feelings openly. By giving yourself permission and trying different ways, you can learn to express your feelings more openly.
Can’t crying be cured?
The problem of not being able to cry can be caused by an underlying physical or psychological problem. For example, a blockage in the eye glands that produce tears or a psychological disorder may cause the inability to cry. Treating the inability to cry depends on finding the underlying cause.
People who can’t cry for physical reasons should see an ophthalmologist or specialist who can examine the tear-producing glands. If a blockage or other problem with the tear glands is found, appropriate treatments can be used.
People who can’t cry for psychological reasons should see a psychiatrist or psychologist. Psychological disorders such as depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder can cause an inability to cry. Appropriate treatments such as psychotherapy or medication may be used.
Treatment of crying difficulties depends on identifying the underlying cause and using appropriate treatments. Therefore, it is important that people who are unable to cry see a specialist to get an appropriate diagnosis and treatment plan.
- Celik, M., & Durmuş, E. (2018). Duygusal Ağlamanın Bilmecesi: Ne Zaman ve Neden Ağlarız, Ağlayamamak? Yaşam Becerileri Psikoloji Dergisi, 2(4), 415–428.
- Hesdorffer, D. C., Vingerhoets, A. J. J. M., & Trimble, M. R. (2017). Social and psychological consequences of not crying: possible associations with psychopathology and therapeutic relevance. CNS Spectrums, 23(6), 414–422.
- Holguín-Lew, J. C., & Bell, V. (2013). “When I Want to Cry I Can’t”: Inability to Cry Following SSRI Treatment. Revista Colombiana De Psiquiatría, 42(4), 304–310.