Q&A: What can I do to help with uncontrolled crying?

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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 -

Good afternoon,
It sounds as if you have had some major life changes in the past few months and that the additional stress may be affecting you more strongly emotionally than you might have expected. However, without knowing you or knowing any real history about you or your family, I would never want to make any assumptions. Have you had a physical exam recently to rule out any of the physical ailments you mentioned? My best suggestion would be for you to make an appointment for a physical if you have not had one, and to follow up with a face to face therapy intake assessment to discuss the emotional concerns you are having. My best to you, Jane Bisco, LCSW-C

--Jane Bisco, Licensed Mental Health Therapist
Columbia, MD


Christopher L. Smith, LCAC, LMHC, LMFT -

There are a lot of things going on in what you are describing. When someone is describing so much, it is good when the person seems to have good insight into parts of what is going on as it makes it easier to gain insight about other parts. It is also possible that some of the things described or things related to them (such as another mental disorder or an exacerbation of an existing disorder) could be involved even if you think they are not possible. The best course of action is to find someone you can see and talk to who can help along your path at this time. With help, it is possible to find peace and wholeness in your situation. If you are in the New York area, we would be able to walk with you through that journey at Seeking Shalom. 

--Christopher L. Smith, LCAC, LMHC, LMFT
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