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Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Tuesday's Therapy Tips: Can You Tear Up Without Feeling Sad?

Thought for the Day: I have been looking at answers to questions people have asked on HealthTap each week to find my Tuesday's Therapy Tips. Since the app restricts the answers to questions to 400 characters, I give myself permission to elaborate a bit more here. Here's the original question and my response:
A 43 year-old female asked:
Yes it can happen...
Sometimes, when we repress our sadness at the time of a loss or a traumatic event, it can suddenly appear even years after the event which was never processed fully. Consider speaking with a therapist to find out where the tears are coming from, it is healthy to process our sorrow and better late than never.

Feelings are a safety mechanism for our mental health. Sadness and tears help us express the sorrow that we feel when we lose a love one or are hurt in our lives. Many people are self conscious about crying and try to appear strong and stoic during challenging life events. This may work in the short run, but backfire in the long run. When someone comes to me wondering why they have been crying lately even though they do not feel sad, I know that it may be a delayed grief reaction. When I take their history there is some loss that is begging to be processed. One client lost her mother when she was in the midst of a high risk pregnancy. She had no time to grieve. It was seven years later when the tears began to fall. Another client was 17 when her father died and 18 when her mother passed away. She was the eldest of three children. She took over the role of parent to her siblings and stayed strong for their sake. She was now in her late twenties, happily married and contemplating getting pregnant, but found herself feeling sad for no apparent reason. When she began to talk about the deaths of her parents, she began to sob. In therapy, clients like these can be helped to process the loss and move on in their lives. If you know is feeling this way, let them know they can be helped.

If you would like to get answers like these and connect with me on my Virtual Practice on @HealthTap, click on the link & join me and experts from around the nation 24/7.  
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