It might have to do with biology.
BY ALEXIS HOBBS AND NICOL NATALE Feb 1, 2019
Whether it's over a breakup, a disappointing review at work, or the loss of a loved one, shedding a tear or two is a normal aspect of life. "Crying is an excellent way of releasing emotions and processing difficult situations," says Dr. Gail Saltz, associate professor of psychiatry at the NY Presbyterian Hospital Weill-Cornell School of Medicine. But when people begin to feel they don't have control over their emotions, it can signify something more serious is going on.
Here, we asked experts to break down the common reasons behind constant crying:
Depression is a mood disorder marked by persistent feelings of sadness or numbness that can lead to unusual crying. "If you've had a change in how much you're crying and it's consistent with your mood, then you should think about depression," says Dr. Saltz says. She adds that signs of depression include feelings of sadness, hopelessness, or emptiness, a loss of interest, sleep disturbances, and fatigue.
With an anxiety disorder comes excessive worrying, irritability, difficulty concentrating, and … tears. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, anxiety disorders are the most common mental health illness in the U.S., affecting over 18% of the population. If you suspect that you're experiencing excess feelings of anxiety, consult with a professional, who may recommend therapy, medication, complementary medicine, or lifestyle changes.
3. Early Trauma
According to Dr. Kate Cummins, Psy.D., women who had a traumatic childhood or have experienced extreme traumatic events will often cry more than what is considered a normalized response: "This is because their sympathetic nervous system experiences trauma or anxiety in the same somatic responsive way, regardless of the scale of how traumatic the event actually is," Dr. Cummins says.
According to Dr. Sharon Saline, the effort it may take you to ward off sadness, anxiety, bad news, or something that disturbs you could be compromised when you're stressed. "When the body is dealing with these strong feelings, the feeling brain takes over the thinking brain and rules the day, allowing tears to flow more readily," Dr. Saline says. Stress also increases levels of cortisol, which Dr. Saltz says can increase hypersensitivity and reactivity to a challenging or stressful situation.
Everyone has his or her own unique personality, which is your collection of behaviors, traits, and cognitions. Biological differences in brain structure and physiology can impact your personality and emotional sensitivity, which could lead to more tears. According to Dr. Forrest Talley, Ph.D., neuroscientists aren't exactly sure the neuroanatomy behind crying, but they know it involves the limbic system: "Just as people who are more anxious have differences in sensitivity of their amygdala, so too differences in crying are linked to genetic differences in sensitivity of the limbic system."
And some people just have more sensitive personalities than others. According to Dr. Elaine Aron, Ph.D., about 15 to 20% of the population has this personality trait. "A highly sensitive person is more sensitive to their surroundings, to other people's feelings, the good, and the bad of that," Dr. Saltz says. "They're more affected by the attitudes and comments of others."
Hormones are the chemical messengers that control bodily functions like hunger, reproduction, emotions, and mood. "Anything that causes a shift in hormones, like premenstrual time, postpartum, or menopause, may cause women to cry more easily," Dr. Saltz says. According to Saltz, you'll be able to tell if your hormones are shifting, because it's a sudden onset.
According to Dr. Cummins, women generally experience their feelings in a greater capacity than men: "Women are socialized to explore, talk about, and show their feelings from a young age more than men. This means that crying, a typical expression of sadness, grief, or vulnerability is more familiar to them." Cultural norms make it tougher for the men to express their emotions. "I see many boys in middle and high school who fight back tears, while girls of the same age will openly cry," she adds.
8. PseudoBulbar affect
PseudoBulbar affect (PBA) is a neurological condition that affects your emotions after a traumatic brain injury or disturbance to the part of the brain that controls emotion. "If you didn't used to be a crier, but are having crying fits, uncontrollable laughter, or anger that are not consistent with your mood, then it could be PseudoBulbar affect," Dr. Saltz says. "It can be due to any number of brain injury situations, like a stroke, organic injury, dementia, and more." She says it's extremely rare, but it's important to watch out for signs of it, which includes fits of crying.
Originally published in Woman’s Day at https://www.womansday.com/health-fitness/wellness/a52665/why-some-people-cry-so-easily/?fbclid=IwAR0lZ3kyQGO6JswMmmMUzi0v3cXRgfTa0IfiZWOVBuP6uRm6GEFiBMcD3kM