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Uncontrollable Crying Episodes?

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This is a problem I’ve had my whole life, but I’ve always felt it was too trivial to talk to anyone about. Whenever plans show signs of failing or it looks like I might have made a mistake my mind blows it out of proportion I have this overwhelming sense of shame and worry which manifests itself in uncontrollable crying, and it’s difficult for me to stop until someone reassures me- this can be for something as small as missing a bus or forgetting a task in a long to-do list. My parents find this difficult to deal with and usually respond by rolling their eyes or calling me immature, which only results in more crying. Whenever I’m criticized by someone close to me I feel pathologically attacked and defensive, so it seems like I’m experiencing a fight-or-flight response to this: the closest thing I can liken it to is being repeatedly teased, taunted or chastised, even though most of time that’s far from the truth. I don’t feel able to talk to anyone about this because I know it makes me seem immature, but I want to stop these behaviours to give my parents a bit of a break. I feel immature and it’s stopping me from having any independence. I was bullied and isolated during primary school and I remember the feelings that trigger the crying episodes as those I often experienced back then. I’d like to know whether I’m being immature and if I deserve to receive any help in stopping these behaviours- and, if so, what I can do to ensure this happens.

Uncontrollable Crying Episodes?

Answered by on -


I appreciate your courage in writing about this and reaching out to get help. I would talk to you counselor at school about this first because the bullying may be at the core of your reactions. The counselor can help you with this — or recommend someone to talk to about it. He or she can also help inform your parents that this isn’t a sign of you being immature and needs to be taken more seriously.

Thank you again for reaching out.
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral

Uncontrollable Crying Episodes?

Therapists live, online right now, from BetterHelp:

Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP

Dan Tomasulo Ph.D., TEP, MFA, MAPP teaches Positive Psychology in the graduate program of Counseling and Clinical Psychology at Columbia University, Teachers College and works with Martin Seligman, the Father of Positive Psychology in the Masters of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program at the University of Pennsylvania. He is Director of the New York Certification in Positive Psychology for the Open Center in New York City and on faculty at New Jersey City University. Sharecare has honored him as one of the top 10 online influencers on the topic of depression. For more information go to: He also writes for Psych Central's Ask the Therapist column and the Proof Positive blog.

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2018). Uncontrollable Crying Episodes?. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 6, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018 (Originally: 22 Dec 2016)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
Published on Psych All rights reserved.