Communication Through Crying

tearsCan you cry? Do you know anyone that can’t cry?

It’s a strange thing to wonder if there are people out in the world who can’t cry, and  while this is all-too possible, the idea seems ludicrous. In fact, for some, not being able to cry makes less sense than not being able to speak.

The reason? There are people out there that don’t speak. Sure, there are those in the world who withhold crying even in the most complicated or morose situation, but to not be able to cry, or even understand how crying works is a whole other scenario, which will be discussed later in this article.

But before we get into that, let’s first figure out what crying is.

Tears, like other forms of communication, are a way to express pain or sorrow, or even happiness. Maybe you’re one of those that can cry from anything – weddings, birthdays, movies, concerts, etc.; whereas others take much more time to cry and usually cry for one particular event.

Despite the variance in frequencies, tears are meant to convey a meaning and the theory goes it was meant to express an emotion that couldn’t otherwise be expressed. Say, for instance, danger is afoot. If a person screams or yells, whatever is making them in danger could potentially worsen the situation. However, tears on their own are quiet and sometimes easy enough to spot that danger won’t be expressed.

In regards to weeping– loudly– another theory holds that it’s a way for others to understand their sorrow or pain, or possible happiness without needing to be part of the situation. It gives others a deeper understand into the crier’s psyche.

So, what about those that don’t know how to cry. Is there such a thing?

According to Dr. William Frey II, a neurologist at the University of Minnesota, crying, like other strong emotions create different emotional responses in our brains, which then releases different chemicals into the brain that can indirectly lead to teary eyes. It’s because of this that tears can be associated with both sadness and happiness- -as long as they’re both extreme states. Tears are good examples of toxin releases, says Frey II. Tears raises the level of endorphins, natural chemicals in the body, and thus creates more of a relaxed state, reliving the strong emotions of stress.

While tears may be both a release of strong emotions and a way for others in a group to see a truly, deep feeling before words were commonplace, tears also indicate if a person is in a severe state of depression known as melancholia depression; a severe form of depression that leads to an individual with the inability to feel, creating the inability to cry.

Another way that a person could be unable to cry could be from a rare affliction calledFamilial Dysautonomia (FD), or Riley-Day Syndrome. While those afflicted with this can feel sadness, the reflex necessary for crying is absent from birth, i.e. crying is dry.

Similarly, people with Congenital Insensitivity to Pain and Anhidrosis (CIPA) have such a high threshold to pain that tears hardly ever flow.

So what does this all come down to?

Crying is something innately human. It’s a form of communication and when someone can’t cry, there’s a specific reason or reasons on why a person can’t.




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