Yes, tears can be a great emotional release, helping us process sadness or even overwhelming joy. But crying for no reason? And can’t stop crying all the time?
Then it’s more likely a sign of something else that needs your attention.
9 Factors That See You Crying For No Reason
Here are 9 reasons why you might find yourself constantly crying for no reason.
1. It’s actually your physical health.
Before blaming your psychological health, if you are suddenly crying all the time and crying for no reason start with the basics – a health check.
A main culprit can be hormonal changes or imbalances, which can be connected to things like thyroid issues, pregnancy, and menopause (in fact ‘menopause anxiety‘ is a real issue). And there are other things, such as neurological problems, that can cause crying. This can include emotional lability, which happens after a stroke.
2. You are exhausted.
Not everyone can manage without a good sleep. For some people the first thing to go when exhausted is emotional control. If you are suddenly under a lot of stress and it’s been affecting your sleep, rectifying this situation should be your first port of call.
Learn about good sleep hygiene and start saying no to social events that will see you out late. There will be other things to attend once you are rested up and back on track, and better miss a few parties then, say, sabotage your new job over exhausted emotional outbursts.
3. You are not being honest about what is upsetting you.
It might be that there is a good reason to be crying, and you are simply in denial or telling yourself ‘you are handling it’. This could be work stress, like subtle bullying in the workplace. Or it could be parenting issues or relationship conflict.
Have you suffered a bereavement in the last few years? Grief takes time. Or have you lost something important to you but are trying to tell yourself you are ‘being silly’ for feeling anything over it? A job, a friend, a sentimental item, a social group you relied on?
[Feel at wit’s end and really need someone to talk to? Our new sister site, harleytherapy.com, offers online counselling for every budget, and you can book from anywhere.]
4. You are suffering emotional shock.
If you’ve experienced or witnessed something traumatic in the last two months, then your crying can be a response to that.
Emotional shock is a term used to describe the body’s way of processing difficult experiences, and crying a lot can be one symptom. If this goes on for more than a few months, it’s worth talking to a mental health professional to see if your shock has now become post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
5. Old trauma wants attention.
Sometimes what is upsetting us is an old monster coming out to play. In other words, childhood trauma.
But why now? Repressed memories and repressed emotions can be buried within our unconscious. But think of something buried in dirt. Over the years, each time it rains, or someone walks by, a layer of dirt gets knocked off. Eventually, the buried object is exposed.
Old trauma be the same. While it can be a recent ‘bigger’ trauma that triggers it, like an accident or a breakup, it can also be just a long series of tiny stressors.
6. You are depressed.
If you are feeling low all the time, and crying over tiny things, or just over everything? If your emotional response seems out of line for what you are actually experiencing, if you can’t put your finger on why you are so sad? And if you don’t want to see your friends, are having dark thoughts, and are maybe having changes in sleep and appetite? You are probably suffering depression.
Read more about the symptoms in our free Guide to Depression. Or take our free quiz, “Stressed, Depressed, or Both?”
Still thinking it might be just run-of-the-mill sadness? Read our article on Sadness vs Depression for the difference.
7. You have anxiety.
Don’t feel tired or low but still crying for no reason? But more because you feel so tense, stressed, and like you are somehow in danger? It could be anxiety. Read our articles on ‘Worry vs Anxiety’ and on ‘Anxiety – When it’s Time to Seek Help’.
8. You are suffering emotional dysregulation.
Have you always been the emotional sort? One to burst into tears easily? But lately it’s been really out of control?
You might have emotional dysregulation, which means that you are less able to control emotions than others. It might be that you had several ACEs (adverse childhood experiences), didn’t experience good parenting, or were born with a tendency to be sensitive.
If you have dysregulation, you might find you can’t stop crying once you start, and that it feels as if you are processing the sadness of the entire world, not just your own experiences.
9. You have borderline personality disorder.
Emotional dysregulation can also be a sign of borderline personality disorder (BPD). BPD is described by sufferers as ‘living without the emotional skin others seem to have’. The impulsivity borderline personality disorder leads to can lead to outbursts of rage, but also to sadness.
Is It Time to Seek Support?
Again, crying itself is not a bad thing. But if you feel that you are dealing with something bigger than your capacity to cope, and it your crying is negatively affecting your day-to-day life, then it’s definitely a good idea to seek professional support.
A counsellor or psychotherapist can help you understand the real root of your emotional outbursts. They will also help you find useful strategies to help you get through your days and navigate your relationships so that your moods do not damage what is important to you.
Harley Therapy connects you with top therapists in central London who can help you with your out-of-control emotions.
Not in London, or even the UK? Check out our new sister site harleytherapy.com where you’ll find therapists working across the UK and Skype and phone counselling for every budget and every location.
Still have a question about crying all the time? Ask below in our public comments box.