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Why Can't I cry


yupper
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I have been having the same problem. There have been many things in my life lately that would typically deserve some tears; the loss of someone to cancer for example. I thought for sure I'd get emotional about that one, but instead it's as if I shut down emotionally. I read somewhere recently that depression and anxiety are at some level, stuck feelings. In other words, feelings that can't find expression. I have never been very good at expressing feelings appropriately. I always stuff them, hide them, sublimate them, and so on. I started doing that when I was a child living with my suicidal father. I would have to make sure that everything in the house was "calm". I spent most of my time trying to anticipate what bad could happen, which really sucked. To this day, I keep my mind on the potential disasters that could arise in any given situation. How that ties into the crying thing is that, crying is a release of emotion. To me, that means a loss of control, which is a threat to my world view that everything must remain calm! Kind of a catch 22 there. The more I worry about losing control, the more I stress out, then, the more I feel like I'm losing control which gets me more stressed and on and on and on...

I remember a doctor once had me take a bat and start beating the hell out of a bed. He wanted me to picture things from my past that hurt or scared me, then just start whacking the bed as hard as I could. It was in a room at his office where nobody could hear me; I was perfectly safe; nobody would judge me, but I couldn't do it! I couldn't even take a swing because I didn't want to lose control! Finally, he said just hit the bed once, as hard as you can, and we'll call it done. I hit the bed as hard as I could and IMMEDIATELY started to sob! I hit the bed a few more times, but then 'got control' of myself. I felt at that moment that I needed to do alot more of that, but never did. I felt, and feel, like that moment nearly opened the flood gates, but I couldn't let myself fall into that 'pit'. As I am writing this now, I feel an overwhelming urge to find a bed, a bat and an empty room and just start venting like nobody's business.

What I'm getting at here, is that maybe you need to let some things out. There are many, many ways to do that. Alot of them sound silly, or like they won't work, but they are worth a try. Here are some examples:

Screaming into a pillow.

Screaming in a car where nobody can hear you.

Writing down painful memories or thoughts and then burning the paper.

Going to a batting cage, or driving range, and assigning painful thoughts or memories to the ball and then hitting it with all you've got.

One of the most successful things I ever did was to wander the beach along the coast of Washington state, where there are alot of rocks, and alot of sticks. I'd find a hefty stick, then start hitting rocks into the water, baseball style, the whole time assigning hurtful memories or hurtful people to the rock... the angrier I got, the farther I would hit the rocks. I would just hit, and hit, and hit until I felt some of the weight lift off my shoulders.

I firmly believe that we store emotions in our muscles. I tend to store my anger in my back and shoulders. Whenever I get stressed out or depressed, my back and neck start hurting. I think that is where my feelings are stuck...

Don't be afraid to try whatever comes to mind, as long as it won't hurt you or someone else. Don't worry about feeling silly at first either. For example, another one of my favorites is to drive out to the middle of nowhere. While on the drive, I start a conversation with myself as a young boy. I pretend I am sitting in the passenger seat as a 7 year old, and just start talking to myself, asking how things are, what may be bothering me and so on. It is amazing what I learn about myself by having these 'conversations' with myself. It's basically stream of consciousness rambling, but it gets to the stuff that is WAY down deep that I might have forgotten about.

Those are just a few suggestions. I hope they help, or at least give you something tangible to start doing...

Let me know what you think, or if you try them, how they work for you.

Jimmyfay2

Edited by jimmyfay2
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I have been having the same problem. There have been many things in my life lately that would typically deserve some tears; the loss of someone to cancer for example. I thought for sure I'd get emotional about that one, but instead it's as if I shut down emotionally. I read somewhere recently that depression and anxiety are at some level, stuck feelings. In other words, feelings that can't find expression. I have never been very good at expressing feelings appropriately. I always stuff them, hide them, sublimate them, and so on. I started doing that when I was a child living with my suicidal father. I would have to make sure that everything in the house was "calm". I spent most of my time trying to anticipate what bad could happen, which really sucked. To this day, I keep my mind on the potential disasters that could arise in any given situation. How that ties into the crying thing is that, crying is a release of emotion. To me, that means a loss of control, which is a threat to my world view that everything must remain calm! Kind of a catch 22 there. The more I worry about losing control, the more I stress out, then, the more I feel like I'm losing control which gets me more stressed and on and on and on...

I remember a doctor once had me take a bat and start beating the hell out of a bed. He wanted me to picture things from my past that hurt or scared me, then just start whacking the bed as hard as I could. It was in a room at his office where nobody could hear me; I was perfectly safe; nobody would judge me, but I couldn't do it! I couldn't even take a swing because I didn't want to lose control! Finally, he said just hit the bed once, as hard as you can, and we'll call it done. I hit the bed as hard as I could and IMMEDIATELY started to sob! I hit the bed a few more times, but then 'got control' of myself. I felt at that moment that I needed to do alot more of that, but never did. I felt, and feel, like that moment nearly opened the flood gates, but I couldn't let myself fall into that 'pit'. As I am writing this now, I feel an overwhelming urge to find a bed, a bat and an empty room and just start venting like nobody's business.

What I'm getting at here, is that maybe you need to let some things out. There are many, many ways to do that. Alot of them sound silly, or like they won't work, but they are worth a try. Here are some examples:

Screaming into a pillow.

Screaming in a car where nobody can hear you.

Writing down painful memories or thoughts and then burning the paper.

Going to a batting cage, or driving range, and assigning painful thoughts or memories to the ball and then hitting it with all you've got.

One of the most successful things I ever did was to wander the beach along the coast of Washington state, where there are alot of rocks, and alot of sticks. I'd find a hefty stick, then start hitting rocks into the water, baseball style, the whole time assigning hurtful memories or hurtful people to the rock... the angrier I got, the farther I would hit the rocks. I would just hit, and hit, and hit until I felt some of the weight lift off my shoulders.

I firmly believe that we store emotions in our muscles. I tend to store my anger in my back and shoulders. Whenever I get stressed out or depressed, my back and neck start hurting. I think that is where my feelings are stuck...

Don't be afraid to try whatever comes to mind, as long as it won't hurt you or someone else. Don't worry about feeling silly at first either. For example, another one of my favorites is to drive out to the middle of nowhere. While on the drive, I start a conversation with myself as a young boy. I pretend I am sitting in the passenger seat as a 7 year old, and just start talking to myself, asking how things are, what my be bothering me and so on. It is amazing what I learn about myself by having these 'conversations' with myself. It's basically stream of consciousness rambling, but it gets to the stuff that is WAY down deep that I might have forgotten about.

Those are just a few suggestions. I hope they help, or at least give you something tangible to start doing...

Let me know what you think, or if you try them, how they work for you.

Jimmyfay2

Thank you for your great suggestions, that sounds exactly like me.

Ive kept my emotions repressed and now i should just let them loose. After ive worked out i always seem to feel a bit better about myself, so i think i should start excersing more.

Thanks.

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I gotta tell you... working out is the BEST thing I do for myself. I feel soooo much better when I am done. Even if the last thing in the world I want to do at that moment is exercise, I know that once I am done with the workout I will feel great. I read somewhere that exercise is nature's paxil! I thought that was funny, but true.

Motivation may be difficult for people who are depressed or anxious, but, a little catch phrase I made for myself usually gets me going: Motivation follows action. People tend to wait until they feel like doing something before they do it, even if they know it's good for them. I short circuit that thinking with my phrase, and it works every time.

Something else you mentioned in your last post caught my attention as well... the fuzzy, heavy head thing. I don't know if you are aware of the physiological aspects of depression and anxiety, but the fuzzy head thing is a major part both depression and anxiety. I notice that when I am anxious and depressed, everything I think, do, see, hear, touch and so on, is tinged with urgency and pointlessness. I feel like I have to do all these things, but that they have no purpose. It's like some veil has been lifted and I am suddenly aware of how stupid everything is... I compare it to a camera lens. if you look through a camera without any filter on it, the world looks normal. Everything is just as it should be. But, if you put a filter, say a blue filter, on the lens, then suddenly everything looks strange and otherworldly. When we are depressed, we are seeing the same world that has always been there, but it is passing through a filter that doesn't let us see all the good stuff. We are unable to feel safe and sound because the world seems bizarre and frightening. What gets me through my bouts of depression and anxiety is the knowledge that I am looking at the same world in which I've had very good times and very happy memories, and that, in time, I will be able to access those good feelings again. I remind myself that it isn't the world that is 'broken' it's just my 'camera'...

Sort of got off track there...

With regard to the fuzzy head feeling, that is just part of the panoply of symptoms that come along with depression and anxiety. I don't want to bore you to tears with the physiology of anxiety, so I will give you a website to check out. If, once you've looked it over, you still have questions, feel free to ask me... I am certainly no expert, but I have been living with anxiety and depression since I was about 7, and have come up with alot of healthy ways to get through the hard times.

The name of the site is paniccure.com, it is mostly about panic and anxiety, but alot of the physical stuff that goes along with depression is similar to anxiety.

I am at work right now, so I must cut this short... I hope all is well, and that this site is giving you some hope. I know it really does me a world of good to check in here from time to time.

Keep us posted!

-Jimmyfay2

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  • 1 year later...

Hi there,

jimmyfay2 I went on google to ask the question why can't I cry and ended up at this forum. Because of your sharing and your reference to paniccure.com, I was able to then see myself as someone who is courageous and once I read this I was able to cry this morning. I am still very anxious. Feel the tingling and burning sensation on my skin most always and big time when I wake up, but I am pulling out a tool belt of things I did when this occured 4 years ago. I am starting to exercise, I am going out to buy Omega 3 fish oil today - I started drinking Chamomile tea, I am trying to practice breathing, trying to meditate. I will get on a very low dose of celexa as this has helped in the past.

I am phoning friends and loved ones to support me. Reading, soothing stuff to nuture the soul. Loving self talk - which is very tough to do in the state I am in presently.

I started my own recruiting firm and it is in it's first year of business and I work from home so I know a lack of routine and being on my own has contributed to this. I will work to see what I can change some things on this end but it won't able to be quick and the triggers to this are definitely feeling overwhelmed by work and the finances not coming in as fast as I wanted or having 3 key placements not go through as expected.

Can you suggest anything else in terms of other anxiety measures I could take that have helped you in the past?

Thanks so much. I sure hope I will get to know you more through this site.

Namaste

Laurie :o

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Often I find music is good for helping me cry if that is what I need. The trick is finding the right music. And I am not sure I can help there. It really is personal what music will help. Movies can also help. That being said, sometimes knowing when to stop trying to cry s important as well.

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