Most people will cry now and again, it’s a natural human way of expressing emotion with studies showing that it releases endorphins and oxytocin which help you to relieve emotional distress along with physical pain. So it’s no wonder those with BPD often report crying at just about anything, mostly thanks to their thin emotional skin. Today we will be looking at why this happens and the sort of things that might trigger such a powerful reaction…
I always remember one of my clients, a man in his forties who called me in distress and crying one evening because I was not going to make it to our therapy appointment the next day. To outsiders, all he had to do was call my office and rearrange an appointment for another time. But when you have BPD you are often VERY hard on yourself and this for him personally was a massive letdown and he was disappointed with himself. I am telling you this because that night he was in distress he told me he had cried for several hours over pretty much nothing! He knew there was no need to do so, but he just couldn’t stop crying! But the very next day he felt on top of the world and described the next day as an emotional high.
Tears are not just for bad times in life as most of you reading this would have cried because you laughed too much or were moved by a song or act of kindness. Many actors can fake cry at a moments notice which I have been told does take years of practice, but you could easily see why some people think those with BPD are just attention-seeking as they are often prone to crying fits! But of course, that is not attention-seeking at all, it is your own emotions overwhelming them. Crying is not just a reaction it is a good way to release some of those emotions you might have built up inside yourself.
When it comes to those of you with BPD you should see crying as a good sign! It’s your bodies coping mechanism and it releases endorphins which will make you feel a little better. However, if you feel that you are unable to cry you should be a little more concerned. Many people with severe depression often report not being able to cry because they become numb to their own emotions and gain an inability to feel anything. If you are experiencing much the same thing seeking professional advice from a doctor or psychologist is highly advised. So just the fact that you are crying is a good thing, even if it is not very often.
There is a big difference between not wanting to cry and can’t cry. Being too angry to cry is often a good sign because you are remaining in control of your emotions even if your mind is expressing anger. Once again I find myself thinking about trigger points and how you should be learning to spot them by now. To be honest, anything that makes you cry tears of sadness is a pretty major trigger point and one you need to fix as soon as possible, but don’t be upset that it made you cry in the first place. Go ahead, let those tears flow, but be wary of that emotional response triggering other things like personal judgment. Never stop yourself from crying because it might be a sign that you are bottling things up inside yourself.
This Week’s Homework: The good news is I don’t want you to cry at anything this week (but if you do that is fine). But what I would like you to do is to get your eyes checked with a local optician. Why? Because feelings of tiredness or drowsiness can often be related back to poor vision. Maybe you do this already and don’t need to have them checked, but for those who do this might be something well worth doing.