Crying for no apparent reason

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

From a young age I always felt a little blue and alone, despite being from a large family. I had temper tantrums, wet the bed until nearly 10yrs old, sucked my thumb etc etc

I tend to enjoy jobs where I can work alone, have complete control and work obsessively.
I left my hometown to “get away” at 28yrs. I have not been back although a few family members have visited.

Two years ago my younger brother died from MS. I have missed two weddings and all my nieces and nephews births.

12 months ago I discovered a elderly close friend after he committed suicide by shooting himself in the head. I now feel overwhelmed and although sometimes days or a week goes by “normally”… out of the blue I feel panic/anxiety. I don’t sleep, listen to audiobooks all night instead. I have chronic sinus that bothers me daily. I used to be the “go to” person for fixing all kinds of problems now I just feel overwhelmed by them all. I feel like everyday there is a crisis like I am on the cliff edge and barely hanging on.

This morning I woke up feeling a little groggy, did not get to sleep until after 2am. But I got up at 7, walked the dogs but when I got back home I could feel an anger burning and then crying for “no apparent reason”. What is happening to me?

A: I am so very sorry for the loss of your brother and your friend. What is happening to you is a perfectly normal response to the fact that difficult events have piled up to the point that they overwhelm your ability to cope. From a very young age, feeling in control and counting on yourself are ways you have kept yourself feeling safe. I imagine that the deaths of your brother by MS and your close friend by suicide have challenged that sense of control and therefore safety. On top of that, you have an infection. This will also lower a person’s ability to manage stress.

A healthy way to get back in control is to take the steps necessary to help yourself. You need to deal with both your medical and mental health. See a doctor and get that sinus infection cleared up. If you can also give yourself a way to grieve and to honor the losses of the last couple of years, you may be able to pull yourself out of this on your own. Since you’ve isolated yourself from family, I hope you have a few friends to turn to. Friends shore us up from the outside when we haven’t got enough strength to do it from the inside. If you don’t have a support system, please consider seeing a counselor to help you with the grieving process.

Your go-to self hasn’t totally abandoned you. That part of you is still functioning enough to write and ask for help. Now please reach deep inside and work with that core of strength to get yourself the help you need to get your life back on track.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 20 Oct 2009

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2009). Crying for no apparent reason. Psych Central. Retrieved on July 29, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2009/10/20/crying-for-no-apparent-reason/