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There are some struggling times when you can’t cry, no matter how much you try and want to. You might be wondering why can’t I cry even though I’m grieving and need a good cry. If you feel like this, you’re not alone in this and have nothing to worry about.

Crying is a natural response to pain and emotions and a cathartic experience for everyone. Yet, many of us can’t shed tears even when facing distressing circumstances. You must be finding the answers to – Why does this happen? Why can’t I cry? There are several reasons, from physical ailment to emotional state, for your inability to cry.

Keep reading to learn the emotional and medical reasons behind your inability to cry and what you can do to deal with it.

Table of Contents

Is crying bad for me?

Crying is absolutely not bad, it is a healthy way to release your emotions that are stuck inside. However, excessive crying is not a good sign. If you tear up often on a little matter or just by assuming some things, it means you’re experiencing difficult emotions or struggling with anxiety or depression.

Remember that everyone is different: some people easily tear up more than others. Some people feel deeper emotions, or some have reasonable control over their tears and express their feelings differently. 

Crying is a way to express negative emotions such as pain, sadness, loneliness, disappointment, and grief. So, it’s not bad for you, and you need to allow yourself to feel emotions and release them.

But, if you feel you have difficulty crying and your well runs dry, it’s essential to explore the reasons associated with it and find a way to deal with it.

What are the benefits of crying?

Crying is often seen as a sign of weakness, but this thought has no truth. Instead, crying is a natural way to remove toxins and negative emotions from the body, so it has various physical, social, and psychological benefits. Here are some of the benefits of letting your tears flow:

  • Tears cleanse your eyes by removing smoke and onion fumes, lubricate your eyes, and protect your eyes from allergens.
  • In addition, tears provide vital nutrients to your eyes.
  • Crying gives you pain relief. When you cry, your body releases endorphin and oxytocin hormones which relieve pain and emotional distress.
  • Tears are mood boosters and sound like self-soothing. After crying, you feel relaxed and in a good mood.
  • Crying help you communicate emotions by connecting with your friends and family and letting them understand your feelings

I feel sad, but why can’t I cry?

Now, after knowing the benefits of crying, you might be more worried about knowing the answer to this question arising in your mind: why can’t I cry? Here we have come to this part. There are multiple reasons why you may struggle to cry. Let’s take a look at these reasons.

1. Medical causes

Medical causes are one of the biggest reasons for your inability to produce tears. Certain medical conditions make it difficult or impossible to cry, such as dry eye syndrome or keratoconjunctivitis sicca, which is known to inhibit the production of tears. 

This disorder is prevalent in people who use contact lenses and older people. Also, laser eye surgery and taking certain medications such as birth control pills, antidepressants, or SSRIs can reduce tear production.

2. Mental health causes

The second and most significant reason for your dry eyes can be mental health conditions. If you are struggling with mental health conditions like depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, schizophrenia, or major depressive disorder, it can be the biggest reason why you can’t cry.

Conditions like these can make you feel flat, mute your emotions, and make you disinterested in the world, which prevents you from crying. In addition, repressing your feelings for the long-term results in emotional numbing, which affects your ability to cry. If you’re surviving abuse, emotional or physical, it can be a reason for your muted emotions. Because abuse negatively impacts your mental health, and you learn not to cry.

3. Stigma about crying

Another possible reason for this struggle is personal beliefs and cultural stigma about crying. Most people consider crying a sign of weakness in adulthood, and they keep holding their tears intentionally, no matter how much worse it happens. Certain cultural and societal standards shame them for crying, which becomes a learned behavior, and they never learn to see crying as a naturally healthy way of expressing emotions.

Furthermore, if you’re a man and you’ve heard statements like “boys don’t cry,” it can be a big reason that makes you think it’s wrong to cry and you avoid crying. However, this is far from the truth because every human being feels emotions, and they should cry to express those emotions and feel relaxed.

What to do when I can’t cry?

Now you’ve got to know the answer to your question- why can’t I cry? It’s crucial to learn how to deal with it, and it’s possible to do so; you need to try some things. Here are a few things to help you release your feelings and let your fears flow.

1. Redefine the negative stigma about crying

Most importantly, reframe your thinking, let go of your untrue personal beliefs, and allow yourself to feel your emotions. Crying is a very healthy and self-soothing experience. 

After a good cry, you’ll feel comfortable as you have released difficult emotions like pain, stress, or sadness. Remember, it’s not a sign of weakness or something you’ve to be embarrassed about.

2. Identify your emotions and be more comfortable to express them

How can you express your emotions if you cannot identify them? Therefore, the first thing to do is to notice and identify your feelings and face them. Identify when you’re anxious or frustrated and think about what triggered the feeling. Once you identify them, you’ll be able to express and cope with them. 

Besides that, be more comfortable in expressing your emotions rather than denying them. Acknowledge your feelings by writing them down, remembering it’s normal to feel, and being honest with yourself.

Also Read: 10 Ways To Control Your Emotions When Stressed

3. Have a heart-to-heart conversation with your loved one

Once you identify your emotions and get comfortable with them, share these feelings with your loved ones- your spouse, friends, and family. Sometimes, you can’t cry because you bottled up all your emotions and did not share them with anyone.

Thus, have an open conversation with them and express how you feel. When you express your feelings to your support system, you’d be able to express them through other ways-crying.

Also Read: Life Coach Vs Therapist: 5 Amazing Well-Regarded Differences You Must Know

4. Find a Therapist

In addition to the above ways, one of the easiest yet most effective ways is to get therapy. If you’re not sure why you can’t cry, it is recommended to try therapy. Professional support from an experienced therapist will help you learn about your feelings or conditions that may have inhibited your ability to cry. Therefore, therapy is worth trying to get compassionate guidance and support to deal with it.

Final thoughts

There you have the answer to your question, why can’t I cry? – and ways to deal with it. Remember, it’s good and healthy to cry and let it all out, as crying is so therapeutic. Some people shed tears more quickly than others because each person’s emotional expression differs.But, if you feel something is wrong, you can’t cry at all and don’t share your expressions with anyone, it’s time to reach a mental health professional. If you’re struggling with difficulty in crying and don’t know the reason, feel free to reach out by scheduling a free discovery session with me. You won’t have to go alone in this. As a mental health professional, I’d help you identify and handle your feelings appropriately. In the end, crying is a normal and cathartic experience.

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Picture of Vivien Roggero - Elite Transformation and Executive Coach
Vivien Roggero - Elite Transformation and Executive Coach
Vivien Roggero, an Elite Transformation and Executive Coach, specializes in high-performance coaching and personal transformation, guiding professionals to peak success and fulfillment. With decades of experience, Vivien empowers high achievers, executives, and entrepreneurs through mindset shifts and strategic development.
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