Crying For No Reason

Do you find yourself crying for no reason?

Is there anything wrong with crying? Is crying for no reason a sign of clinical depression? Is it a sign of anxiety disorder? Or are you crying about a deeply sad, perhaps traumatic experience that is part of ordinary human sadness?

For various reasons that will be particular to each of us, it can be hard to speak about our emotions.  Emotions can have a way of surprising us. 

That may be fine when it comes to laughing or excitement, but less comfortable when it is to do with sadness.  Poets have always had a way of writing about sadness and tears.  About the way we find our emotions suddenly bubbling up, like a well, and the way tears spring from our eyes.  Tears seem to water us.

  • Often the cause of our tears is obvious, a birth, a death, saying goodbye to a loved one.
  • Sometimes crying for no reason is more obscure.
  • We can find ourselves crying and not being sure what it is about.

How do we understand it when we are crying for no reason?

We can start by trying to establish when it started.  It is always helpful to understand the context of our feelings, of things that agitate us.  Crying for no reason may not be a symptom of depression. It may be more ordinary than that.

It can be helpful to try to keep track of things.  Make a note in your diary, monitor it.

  • When did you start crying for no reason?
  • How long has it been happening?
  • How often?
  • How long do you cry for?

If you find that you are unable to stop crying for no reason and feel that you should speak with your GP about it, or if you speak with a psychotherapist about it, it will be helpful to have this information to hand.

Sometimes, though the reasons may be appear to be very obscure, our feelings and emotional reactions to things that happened long ago in the past start to bubble up and touch us in the present.  The past comes back to us when we least expect it to.

It was my aunt’s 50th wedding anniversary.  I went to the party and on the way went to the house that we grew up in.  I looked around the garden, I looked at various places that I could remember myself being in all those years ago.  It was rather strange.  I had the sense of looking back at myself.  It brought up all kinds of feelings.  Some happy memories, but also some rather sad and troubling ones.


We are drawn to predictable patterns and ways of living.

Routine suit us.  When our routines are changed then life can become unsettled.  It is tempting to try to ignore the change, to avoid thinking about it.  Often it is when we try to avoid the issues that are unsettling us that we notice a change in our emotional life.  We may also find our sleep disturbed, we may have bad dreams, nightmares.  We may suddenly remember things that we haven’t thought of in years.

Sometimes we can invest a lot of energy in avoiding something that upsets us

 We try to ignore how much something hurt us.  It may be a memory of what it was like growing up in a home where there were drink problems, domestic abuse or violence.  We may have grown up blocking the experience out.

Then out of nowhere, as it were, something sets a memory loose.  This is when we may start to find ourselves crying for no reason.  There is a reason, it is just not very obvious at the moment.  We are remembering something that was upsetting, perhaps traumatic, in the past.  We may have spent all of our lives keeping it shut off, but it is still there.

What to do when you start crying for no reason?

One option is to continue trying to ignore it.  You have done a good job of keeping the memories locked away.  Perhaps you can try to reinforce the locks.  Batten down the hatches and carry on.  Perhaps it will go away.

It might work.  One of the problems with this approach is the cost it has upon the rest of your life.  Keeping things locked away requires a constant supply of energy.  That is energy that you could be using for creative purposes now.  It is very hard to live well, to be spontaneous, to have meaningful relationships, to express yourself in your work and your career when you are having to use so much energy shutting parts of you away all the time.

  • You might decide, because trying to keep the experience buried just doesn’t seem to work very well, that it is time to let yourself experience the feelings that are bubbling up in you now. 
  • You might decide that it is time to speak with a mental health professional about why you find yourself crying for no reason.

Psychotherapy and counselling offer a confidential therapeutic relationship in which you may find you can start to speak more openly and directly about your life and feelings. 

Giving yourself the chance to express yourself without the sense of constraint may provide you with relief.  Sometimes to talk about these things takes a weight from your shoulders, you feel lighter, better, more able to face the day and feel more optimistic about the future.  You can let go of something you have been tied to for years.

If you find that you are crying for no reason, and it is making you wonder what it is about, my suggestion is that you take that question seriously and follow it.  Try to find out more about where these feelings are coming from.

A poet might say that the tears are like a part of you, part of your life that is knocking on your door.  Maybe it is time to open the doors up and let yourself out.

How can Counselling Buckinghamshire help?

I have a depth of experience of working with people who are trying to understand why they are crying for no reason and how that may be interfering with developing better adult mental health.

Working with Counselling Buckinghamshire may provide you with an opportunity to change the way old emotional issues and childhood traumas are hindering your adult mental health.

Contact me for a free telephone consultation to discuss how Counselling Buckinghamshire might be able to help you.