People have different ways of reacting to their emotions. With feelings of anguish, fear or sadness, crying can be a way to get those feelings out.
Medical advisor Katherine Montañez Robledo
Psychologist, practitioner at Coomeva Private Healthcare
Crying is not as negative as it sounds. It is the opportunity for people to free themselves from sad, painful events that they cannot otherwise release. This matter is very personal, some can cry in public, while others prefer to do it alone.
As Katherine Montañez Robledo explains psychologist and specialist in clinical psychology, currently completing her studies to specialize in neuropsychology the act of crying varies greatly depending on each individual: how people express their state of emotions is unique to each of us.
“Crying, or being sad, in anguish or scared, cannot be perceived as something that we do not frequently experience as humans, as perhaps they are what most characterize us. These are some of the reactions that can manifest in response to a given stimulus, which can directly influence our physiological response, as it is natural for the body to respond to a stimulus,” Montañez Robledo explains.
And crying is one way to do this. It is a way we release our emotions.
Whether it is crying or another form of expression, our expert emphasizes how important it is to express our feelings and let them out, “We must learn to handle, manage and self-regulate our emotions as well as our way of releasing them. Similarly, it is important to consider that in certain situations such as with the mourning process after the death of a loved one, after a separation or after any type of significant loss, it is completely normal to express this feeling through tears regardless of gender, age or other factors.
Our expert adds that this process is important, “It’s about being able to have that moment of relief where you can get psychological release and unload the thoughts you may be having at the time.”
In company or alone
As the proverb says, “A burden shared is a burden halved.” This greatly depends on the person, however. While crying with someone is a completely valid option, others prefer to cry alone without anyone by their side. “It is very relative. Psychologically speaking, each individual is a different universe. While psychology studies theory, in clinical work psychologists must adapt this theory to each patient because each has lived and experienced things differently.
Crying alone or in the company of another depends on the need and personality of each person. This should therefore be decided by your comfort level. There are people that prefer to be alone because it is easier for them to unload, let their feelings flow and they prefer to avoid being interrupted by someone telling them to calm down,” shares Montañez Robledo.
What we express through our tears does not differ depending upon gender. Whether we are a man or a woman, tears can be the way we release feelings of sadness, pain or other similar feelings. Stigmas around crying or singling people out because they are crying does not help.
Our expert psychologist adds, “We live in a society that has taught us that men cannot cry. It is a frustrating situation because emotions are part of being human and are not specific to one gender or another. Placing men in a social and cultural role that does not allow them to cry because it shows weakness, is to generate a situation in which they will not feel comfortable doing so when they need to.”
Our expert emphasizes how important it is to let our emotions flow, and if it is not through tears, we should seek other ways of doing so. “Some people feel inhibited from crying, leading them to not feeling comfortable with it. They therefore learn how to do so in an alternative way which is why they replace it with anger, discomfort, anxiety anguish, etc. When this happens, the important thing is to always find a way to express their feelings in another way,” she concludes•
When does it become a condition?
Psychologist Katherine Montañez Robledo explains that it is important to know when an emotion is normal and when it may be on its way to a pathological condition. “Whenever there is a situation that causes an emotional state of sadness or anguish such as with the loss of a loved one it is normal to be sad, lose interest in everyday activities, avoid responsibilities such as going to work or other tasks, lose your appetite, or have difficulties falling asleep; this is part of the mourning process. But when your emotions take over and you are constantly sad, melancholic and have become incapable to perform as an individual in some central areas such as with your family, social or work life; it is important to be seen by a clinical psychologist as you may be experiencing a pathological condition that needs to be assessed, diagnosed and given an intervention plan,” states Robledo.