Cry Out

“Sometimes it’s your fragrance that comes to me, out of the blue, on a crowded road in a Sunday afternoon. But more often, it’s memories of us that cross my mind almost every lone evening. All I want is to lessen the pain I feel every night. But every morning I wake up is another day, hopeless and miserable, with nothing but a deafening silence, a wave of tears, memories and your absence.”

Sanhita Baruah

Fountain (detail), Vienna, Austria. Photo by Sigfrid Lopez

Fountain (detail), Vienna, Austria. Photo by Sigfrid Lopez


According to Louann Brizendine, a neuropsychiatrist at the University of California, San Francisco, women are biologically wired to shed tears more than men. Under a microscope, cells of female tear glands look different than men’s. Also, the male tear duct is larger than the female’s, so if a man and a woman both tear up, the woman’s tears will spill onto her cheeks quicker.

Dr. Lauren Bylsma explains that one theory of crying is that it helps the body to return to a state of homeostasis after being overly aroused — whether positively or negatively. We know that women are more likely to cry than men, as are people who have experienced a trauma, anxious people, and people who are extroverted and empathetic. And some of the issue is simply related to individual personality differences. Other factors that can lower the threshold for crying, according to Bylsma, include mood or stress level, hormone fluctuations, mental health and fatigue conditions.

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