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Crying Is Causing Me to Avoid All Social Interactions

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From the U.S.: For about 7 years now I can barely get through a conversation without crying. It’s humiliating and is uncomfortable for everyone involved. Anything can trigger it but I seem to have narrowed it down to three general triggers. All of these triggers are things that I normally would never give a second thought let alone burst into tears about. 1) Any large group activity – baseball games, choir performances, kids school performances. If a group is together and I’m part of it, at some point I cry. 2) When anyone shares anything the least bit sentimental. For example – a friend of mine was talking about her son’s kindergarten graduation. His teacher taught the kids the sign language sign for “I love you” so that the next year that would be their secret signal around the school. Cute right? Cute. She was telling me this and I burst into tears! To the point I couldn’t speak. This happens all the time. 3) Anytime I have to speak about anything spiritual. I’ve almost stopped going to church. I can’t talk about any of it – not even planning a simple kids activity without crying at some point.

I have searched for an answer. I’ve never been one to be sentimental or publicly emotional. In fact, I used to be a pretty decent public speaker and enjoyed training large groups, teaching in my church and social situations. I avoid all of these situations at almost any cost. I am however, a mother, a wife, a friend, an employee – I have a life. I feel like I’m losing it though. I have to figure out what is going on before I turn to total isolation.

I don’t cry a lot otherwise. If I’m truly sad about something I do cry and feel that I cope pretty well with stress. I can’t think of anything that’s happened that I haven’t dealt with. I love my family and my friends. I used to be really secure with myself until this started. I feel like my anxiety and depression are a result of this – not the other way around. I’m at a complete loss and just don’t know where to start to find answers.

Crying Is Causing Me to Avoid All Social Interactions

Answered by on -

A.

It must feel terrible to feel so out of control of your feelings. It appears that you feel the most vulnerable around the things you care most about.

When a glass of water is already full, it takes only a drop to make it overflow. It’s as if your nervous system is already just about overloaded and then these important issues push you over the top.

I do suggest that the first thing to do is to see your medical doctor to determine if there is an undiagnosed medical issue going on. There is sometimes a link between emotional symptoms and medical problems. Take a look at this article here at PsychCentral: https://psychcentral.com/lib/involuntary-emotional-expression-disorder/

Another possibility is a medication side effect or medication interactions. If you are taking any medications, you should also talk to your doctor about whether they are contributing to your emotional sensitivity.

If you are medically fine, then an evaluation by a mental health care professional is in order. Emotional symptoms are often the result of untreated anxiety and/or depression.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

Crying Is Causing Me to Avoid All Social Interactions

Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Dr. Marie is licensed as both a psychologist and marriage and family counselor. She specializes in couples and family therapy and parent education. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2018). Crying Is Causing Me to Avoid All Social Interactions. Psych Central. Retrieved on May 26, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2015/09/04/crying-is-causing-me-to-avoid-all-social-interactions/
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.