You know that feeling when you’re all choked up, and it hurts, but just can’t seem to get the tears out? Instead, you just sit there; holding in all of the frustration that’s building up which ultimately ends up making you feel worse. And you ask yourself, how hard can it be to shed a few tears?
Reasons that made you insensitive to Crying
Whether it’s at a funeral, after losing a job, or a tough breakup, you just can’t seem to grieve like a ‘normal’ person! Well, rest assured, you’re not alone! In this article, we explore the different reasons why people find it harder to cry and how to get back in touch with those emotions.
Frequent use of medicines such as antidepressants or birth control pills does set your hormones right, but it also bears the unfortunate side effect of leaving your eyes dry!
This is because these medications follow SSRI treatment. This basically lets the happy hormone Dopamine take over the majority of your brain, which makes it harder to cry. Of course, you’ll still feel sad or frustrated, but the physical ability to shed tears disappears with increased usage.
Other medications that suppress crying include blood pressure meds and decongestants.
#2 Sjögren’s syndrome
Your tears are produced by organs called tear glands in your eyes. If the tear glands are damaged, the tear production comes to a halt, and you’re literally left with no tears to shed. This is exactly what happens in Sjögren’s syndrome.
It’s an autoimmune disease in which your body cells attack the salivary glands in the mouth and tear glands in the eyes leading to dry mouth and eyes. This disease can also be the root cause of other problems such as cavities, vision issues, and in more severe cases, kidney or liver damage.
#3 Dry Eyes (Keratoconjunctivitis sicca)
Dry eyes are caused by decreased tear production or increased tear evaporation. Some of the contributing factors of decreased tear production include damage to tear glands by radiation and inflammation, aging, diabetes, vitamin A deficiency and thyroid problems, etc. On the other hand, increased evaporation of tears is caused by wind, smoke, and dry air, etc.
However, under most circumstances, you can easily reduce the chances of you getting dry eyes by taking certain precautionary measures.
Avoid blowing air directly into your eyes. Don’t stare at a computer screen for long periods from a high level. Instead, keep it at a lower level than your eyes. If you have to work in front of a screen all day, make sure you’re taking breaks to rest and exercise your eyes! Oh and, don’t forget to use eye drops regularly.
#4 Melancholic Depression
The first word that comes to mind when we hear the word depression is extreme sadness. However, that’s not always the case.
In cases like melancholic depression, people tend to be out of touch with their emotions rather than drowning in them. This distance from emotions makes it harder for them to feel pain, loss, trauma, etc. which prevents them from crying. They feel disinterested, numb, slowed down and a deep pit of hopelessness sinks in. This is coupled with other signs including a decreased appetite, weight loss, having trouble feeling concentrating or sleeping.
If you’re experiencing these symptoms, before self-diagnosing, it’s a good idea to seek professional help.
#4 Internalized shame
Internalized shame is instilled in a person from a very young age. For example, a kid has a bad presentation at school, goes home, and cries about it. Then, instead of being comforted, they’re told to stop crying because it’s inappropriate. Instead of being understood, their pain and sadness are being invalidated. If this happens multiple times in a variety of situations, they soon associate crying with internalized shame.
As a result, they also learn to ignore feelings of sadness. Even as adults, when problems arise that make them want to cry, they unintentionally stop themselves, or can’t do it because they’ve deemed it shameful.
Instead of being a form of release, crying becomes a sign of weakness and unacceptable in their eyes. This is inevitably detrimental to their mental health because even on the rare occasions that they do end up crying, it’s done in secret while beating themselves up about it.
#5 Repressed feelings
When emotions get too overwhelming, a very common coping mechanism for some people is to repress them. Instead of working their way through the grievances, people enter a constant state of denial where all negative feelings are shoved down and locked up; along with the tendency to cry. Over time this becomes the body’s natural response to trauma; avoid, ignore, lock up, and move on.
To keep negative emotions from rising, they also tend to avoid very emotional gatherings such as funerals. However, there are times when all of the repressed emotions come crashing down on you, triggered by something completely out of the blue, leading to major breakdowns.
#6 Afraid of vulnerability
The fear of vulnerability plays a huge role in why some people can’t cry and stems from a lot of different factors such as:
- Being afraid of showing weakness
People feel an unexplainable need to maintain a strong image in front of others in their lives. This is especially true for authoritative figures such as older siblings, parents, or bosses. They shy away from vulnerability in front of their employees or kids because they feel ashamed and don’t want to seem weak. Additionally, they don’t people who rely on them to lose faith in their abilities.
- Rocky relationships
If a person has had a rocky relationship with someone, more often than not, they won’t feel comfortable opening up to them, even if they’re at a good place now. When you’re constantly surrounded by such people, you tend to block out your emotions because you don’t want to express them.
- You’re afraid of judgment/ their response
If your crying in the past has been met with responses such as ‘omg this is childish,’ or ‘stop, you’re overreacting’; there’s no way you’re going to cry in front of that person intentionally any time soon! So once again, over time, your emotions are suppressed because you’re afraid of judgment when being vulnerable by those around you.
Why Crying is Important and How to connect with your Emotions that compels you to Cry and helps you to Burst into Tears?
As hard and shameful and impossible as it may seem, at the end of the day, crying is a natural outlet for your emotions. When you cry, all of the toxins in your body like stress hormones and the dust in your eyes are washed out. Crying even releases endorphins which are the hormones that make you feel happier.
Although it might not always put you in a better mood, more often than not, you still feel like a weight has been lifted off of your chest.
If your inability to cry stems from a health issue or medications, then consult your doctor for a solution. On the other hand, if it’s any of the other reasons mentioned above, then try the following to get back in touch with your emotions.
- Allow yourself to feel all sorts of emotions
“Just stop repressing those emotions!” Much easier said than done, however, not impossible! One of the best ways to get back in touch with your emotions is to consciously ask yourself how things make you feel. There’s always going to be a gut feeling that’s going to let you know when something’s not right, so give into it. Ponder over why it’s bothering you and write it out in a journal.
- Remind yourself that crying is natural and okay
Feeling of anger, frustration, sadness, and pain can very easily consume you if you don’t find a healthy release for them. You need to remind yourself that no one is okay at all times. Everyone has ups and downs in their lives that lead to breakdowns, so it’s completely okay for you to do the same.
- Be more vocal about your feelings
Our natural response to someone asking how we’re doing is confirming that we’re okay. But especially when it comes to closer family and friends, how about taking a second to resonate with your emotions and answering honestly? If you’re not feeling up to the mark, simply say I’m not doing too well right now.
Chances are they’ll ask what’s been going on and why you’re not okay which gives you the perfect opportunity to open up.
- See a therapist
There’s a lot of stigma around mental health and seeking professional therapeutic help. However, you should know that seeking the help of a therapist is always a great option- and no, under no circumstances does it deem you crazy!
Therapists are trained to help you with mental and emotional problems, in ways that even your friends and family can’t. It might take a while to find a therapist you vibe with, but chances are, you’ll be able to work through and get back in touch with your emotions a lot quicker!
- Try watching a sad movie!
At the end of the day, if all else fails and your tears are being stubborn, you could always turn to a tear-jerking sad movie (or book). Grab your favorite snacks, cuddle up in bed, toss away your phone, and hope that your favorite performances can make you cry!
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