Q&A: What can I do to help with uncontrolled crying?
posted on 9/3/2015
Ask A Doctor Question:
Since relatively short into my new job (but for more than 6 months now), I have been crying a lot. I have been crying in front of my boss sometimes twice a week... Obviously, it is embarrassing, but I have been crying in excess of my feelings - I feel frustrated, sad, to a certain extent, but my crying does not feel, to me, in line with my feelings. I have always been sensitive, but there is a difference between crying twice in six months, in the toilets where nobody can see, and twice in a week, in front of your boss. I wonder: - is it the circumstances? Maybe this is more stressful because I travel a lot, and often feel I am late in my work, and often feel "made to compete" with colleagues - even though there have been times before where I worked longer hours. I also was in love with my boss for the first two months (he did not know it) but I have long decided that it was not going to happen and turned a new leaf - could I just be still affected by that. After all, my crying is virtually only with my boss (I have not cried because of colleagues and in front of colleagues even once, as far as I remember). - Is it me who have changed? Would it be mentally? Yet, I am not depressed, I am not feeling overall sad, I am glad to be doing the job I do, but there is this crying which is so frustrating as all my efforts to control this (thinking I do not care, etc etc) have failed. I could be developing another mental illness, yet I am around 40 and even though I am a female, the likelihood of it is relatively limited (and I do not know what mental illness that would be). Would it be that I changed physically? I know some issues (including thyroid related or obviously anything affecting the brain) can cause apparent changes in mood / emotions. But, despite the fact that I fit some symptoms of hypothyroidism online, I am still a far cry from a "poster child" for any major physical disturbance likely to also affect emotions. So what? The issue is, I need to solve this. For my sanity. Incidentally for that of my boss. And also because yesterday he told me that I needed help with my self-confidence (he talked about my personal life, but I am sure he was thinking of how this would be important for my professional life too). If I do not control my crying, I am afraid of all the repercussions in my life. Note: I only cried regularly once in front of a boss. That was when I was working everyday, including weekends, until 2 in the morning and waking up at 8 for a new day of work. I was also in love with that boss (and at the time I had not turned a new leaf), but there were also many more "normal" justifications: the hours of work, the lack of "thank you" and the criticisms every time something was a little bit wrong (even though in the end I was praised for my overall stellar work)...
--Jane Bisco, Licensed Mental Health Therapist
--Christopher L. Smith, LCAC, LMHC, LMFT
New York, NY
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