When we see someone we love crying, our first reaction is to comfort them. We assume that something bad must have happened, which is usually the case. However, with those who are clinically depressed, it doesn’t necessarily take something “happening” to make us cry.
People who have never suffered from depression might think it’s all about getting attention, but nothing could be farther from the truth. It’s not something we want to do—-it’s a response to an overwhelming feeling of sadness, frustration, or maybe anger.
A song, a movie, or even a commercial can evoke a river of tears. A particular date can bring back a flood of painful memories. For someone suffering from depression, this can mean an entire day, night (or longer) of reliving those memories and feeling that intense pain and sadness all over again.
Sometimes there isn’t a particular trigger. Things tend to build up and then, like a dam breaking, everything just explodes forth. When someone asks what’s wrong, our answer is, “Everything!”
Other times, everything seems to be great. We think we’re “happy,” then suddenly we burst into tears for no apparent reason. During those times of crying when we are not conscious of the reason, we have to surmise that it’s something much deeper—-possibly something from many years ago, as far back as childhood. Those are times when we know we should be involved in “talk” therapy. Those issues need to be brought to the surface and worked through.
Crying for a little while can be a good thing. Have you ever felt so tense, angry, and sad, and then suddenly find yourself crying like a baby? Then you feel silly and immature for crying, but don’t. We have that release for a reason. Crying literally relieves tension and releases endorphins, which are natural painkillers. They make us feel good. Endorphins are our friends!
And I have to say that it is my personal opinion that men not allowing themselves to cry is at least partially to blame for the fact that men don’t live as long as women do. They try to hold everything in, and instead of taking a few minutes out to cry, they put a fist through a wall. (Always helpful!) I think we’d all be better off if men weren’t taught from the time they were toddlers that “Boys don’t cry.”
Of course, crying for a prolonged period of time can produce a lot of mucus and give you a very ugly headache, but if you feel the need to cry, let it out. Chances are, you’ll feel a lot more relaxed and better able to deal with what comes your way once you blow your nose and wipe away the tears. And guys, that goes for you, too!