why can't i cry

Why Can’t I Cry? Is There Something Wrong With Me?

Mental Wellness

Almost everyone has that moment when you have sad emotions and you want to cry, but the tears won’t flow. We begin to wonder if something is wrong with us because we cannot let out our own emotions. There are actually many answers to the question, “Why can’t I cry?”

All Criers Are Not Equal

There is nothing wrong with you if you don’t cry, yet your friend cries at the drop of a hat. Many people respond to emotional stimuli in different ways. People that don’t cry much may experience less intense emotional events throughout their lives. They view emotional events differently than others because of this. Some people control their tears better than others. If you don’t cry much, you’re not a monster. It means your emotional register of things that you cry over might not be the same as other people.

Why We Need To Cry

Crying is beneficial both to our physical and mental health. It releases tension throughout the body, improves mood, boosts your communication levels, and relieves stress. Crying helps bring you closer to others creating a comfort zone. Crying might not solve your problems, but it will help you get out that tension growing inside. If not, that tension just keeps building. Tears actually remove many of the chemicals that build up in your body from stress. They help remove the endorphin leucine-enkephalin and prolactin. When you don’t cry, you can actually elevate blood pressure, cause ulcers, and increase heart problems.

The Physical Effect

You may wonder if you’ve just run out of tears. Well, that can’t happen. We produce around 15 to 30 gallons of tears per year. Most of these tears lubricate our eyes. We’re always producing tears. There are physical issues that can inhibit tear production. We also produce fewer tears as we age. Medications like antidepressants and birth control may also be a factor. Diabetes and eyelid disorders can also impede tear production.

Too Depressed To Cry

Sometimes people cannot cry because they’re simply too depressed to actually cry. Clinical depression may come along with a flattened effect that doesn’t allow you to feel your actual feelings. You know you should be sad, but you cannot let it out. Many people think depression means there is constant sadness all of the time. Many depressed people actually don’t connect with their emotions on any level. This form of depression is often called melancholic depression. Melancholic patients are usually severely sad, going through a difficult situation internally, but don’t show it. They’ve gone beyond the deep end of the pool. They’re often at risk for suicide.

Learned Repression

When you say, “I can’t cry,” oftentimes you’re saying you really don’t want to cry. There may be something in your past that taught you you weren’t “supposed” to cry. Every child was born crying. Babies tell you when they’re sad, angry, or hurt by crying. At some point, this cry begins to fade. Many times people in a child’s family, circle of friends, or society will teach a child crying isn’t the right thing to do. They teach the child they’re weak and annoying if they cry. Many young boys are taught they aren’t masculine or man enough if they cry. You learn slowly to repress those crying fits. Even when you’re beaten to the core with sadness or a strong emotion, you often feel it’s wrong to show them because you learned at some point it wasn’t the right thing to do.


Many people don’t cry because they’re vulnerable. Crying often makes us feel out of control. Vulnerability means we’re not in total control and we’re risking emotional exposure. Some people feel like others judge them for shedding a tear. They care too much about what society thinks of them. Vulnerability can be a good thing in some instances, but it’s bad for crying. When we care too much about how the world views us, we may shut down in emotional times. We care so much about holding our image together that we suppress our own emotions. This can include happiness or anger.

Take Baby Steps

You probably can’t just make yourself cry. Begin with baby steps. Give yourself permission to cry. You don’t have to cry in front of anyone if you feel more comfortable, or you can talk to a loved one if you think it can help you. Sometimes watching a sad movie will invoke these emotions. Some days you may need to look at old home videos, read a sad story, remember a moment of grief, maybe the last time you cried how you felt, or think about a difficult situation in your life. It’s going to be painful at times, but going through the pain will help you feel emotions. The good news to those that hate to cry is that you can blame the tears on the movie or book so you don’t feel like you aren’t strong.

Embrace Your Vulnerability

If you’re a vulnerable person, take charge of it. Sometimes the toughest people are tough because they grew up in a difficult environment. They experienced many situations where they felt powerless. Taking control of their emotional state was the only thing they could do growing up. This makes many people feel like they are shut down from the world. It’s time to tear down those walls. You have to embrace the pain. You work to find a place where you allow yourself to feel again. Those times are the past for a reason. You don’t have to be tough all of the time. It’s human to feel emotion. It might be hard for your heart and mind to understand this emotion, but you’re actually a lot tougher for crying than suppressing the emotion.

Open An Emotion Box

Many psychologists have their patients do an exercise with a box. When experiencing an emotional state they don’t want to feel, they imagine the feeling and/or thought in a big box with a huge lid. This thought cannot escape unless the person lets it. Sometimes these boxes stay sealed for years. The best thing for you to do is open that scary box. It’ll be tough, but it’ll help you feel again. If you want to start feeling your emotions, it’s a good process to try to open it and feel these things. No one gets excited to feel negative emotions, but an emotional expression is a good thing and you’ll actually feel better after you get these things out in the open.

If you’re still wondering, Why can’t I cry, there’s an answer. The tears are somewhere just waiting to jump out. You’ll feel much better after a good cry. Let your guard down, and try to release the tears. There’s nothing wrong with you. You’re a normal human with normal emotions, it’s just tough to find these emotions at times.


What is Sjogren’s Syndrome?

Sjogren’s Syndrome it’s an autoimmune disease that causes dry eyes and mouth as it’s main symptoms.

Can Tear Ducts get blocked?

Yes, tear ducts can get blocked, so your tears won’t be able to drain properly, which could cause your eye to become irritated and watery.

Is Excessive Crying a problem?

Excessive crying could be a symptom of depression or a symptom of an anxiety disorder, so it could be very useful to seek professional help in this case.

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