Let it out! Cry it out!

Mr XY resided in the ‘’lower’’ part of Nigeria until recently when he was said to have murdered his children, made a failed attempt on his wife and eventually committed suicide.


A phone call informed his immediate younger brother in another part of the country while he was on his way home from work, he jumped off the moving bus, and wailed uncontrollably; on the one hand due to the pain from the injury sustained, on the other hand from the sad news he just got. Inconsolable he was…as ‘’sympathizers’’ offered information on ‘’likely consequences’’ of excessive crying, like the eyes popping out…


According to Wikipedia, Crying is the shedding of tears (or welling of tears in the eyes) in response to an emotional state, pain or a physical irritation of the eye. Myths (Adult)


• Crying make the eyes pop out. Very untrue

• Crying is a sign of weakness and it’s not a macho attribute; very, very untrue, Myths (Babies)

• Crying isn’t normal

• Not only is crying perfectly normal in babies, it also serves an important developmental purpose. By crying, babies exercise their vocal cords and become aware of their mouth, tongue and lips, and the different sounds that are produced – all of which are related to the later development of communication skills.


• Babies who cry a lot could have personality problems later in life.


• There is no relationship between excessive crying in infants and later personality problems.


• If I repeatedly attend to my baby’s cries, I may spoil my child. This is untrue as it has been proven that you will not spoil your baby by attending to his needs.


When a baby cries, it always means something is wrong.

• While a baby’s cries will, most times, communicate some need (“I’m hungry”, “wet”, “tired”), there are times when some babies will cry for no apparent reason.


• My baby’s crying proclaims loudly to the world that I’m not a good parent.


• Many parents take their baby’s crying personally, as though it were somehow an indicator of poor parenting skills which may actually be the suggestion of some ‘’nosy’’ neighbours.

No parent, no matter how precise, is able to soothe and console a baby every time he/she cries. The very wrong impression about crying We all cried when we were babies.

But now that we’re adults, many of us often hold back our tears in the belief that crying — particularly at work or in public — is seen as a sign of weakness, or as something to be ashamed of.


But is it? Or is the act of shedding tears actually healthy? Yes, it is actually beneficial to health. Health Benefits


  1. Detoxifies the body There are three different types of tears:

• reflex tears

• continuous tears

• emotional tears Reflex tears clear debris, like smoke and dust, from the eyes. Continuous tears lubricate your eyes and help protect them from infection. Emotional tears may have many health benefits. Whereas continuous tears contain majorly water, emotional tears contain stress hormones and other toxins.

  1. Helps self-soothe Crying may be one of your best mechanisms to self-soothe. It may take several minutes of shedding tears before you feel the soothing effects of crying.


  1. Dulls pain Crying for long periods of time releases oxytocin and endogenous opioids, otherwise known as endorphins. These ‘’feel-good’’ chemicals can help ease both physical and emotional pain. Once the endorphins are released, the body may go into somewhat of a numb stage. Oxytocin can give you a sense of calm or well-being. It’s another example of how crying is a self-soothing action.


  1. Improves mood Along with helping you ease pain, crying, specifically sobbing, may even lift the spirits. When you sob, you take in many quick breaths of cool air. Breathing in cooler air can help regulate and even lower the temperature of the brain. A cool brain is more pleasurable to the body and mind than a warm brain. As a result, your mood may improve after a sobbing episode.


  1. Rallies support If one feels sad, crying is a way to let those around you know you are in need of support. In other words, it helps to build up your social support network when the going gets tough.

  2. Helps quick recovery from grief Grieving is a process. It involves periods of sorrow, numbness, guilt, and anger. Crying is particularly important during periods of grieving. It may even help in the process of accepting the loss of a loved one.

  3. Restores emotional balance Crying doesn’t only happen in response to something sad. Sometimes you may cry when you are extremely happy, scared, or stressed.. When you’re incredibly happy or scared about something and cry, it may be your body’s way to recover from experiencing such a strong emotion.


  1. Helps baby breathe A baby’s very first cry out of the womb is a very important cry. Babies receive their oxygen inside the womb through the umbilical cord.


Once a baby is delivered, they must start breathing on their own. The first cry is what helps a baby’s lungs adapt to life in the outside world. Crying also helps babies clear out any extra fluid in the lungs, nose, and mouth.

  1. Helps baby sleep Crying may also help babies sleep better at night. It was found to increase both the sleep length and reduced the number of times the infants woke during the night.

What if one cries excessively? Crying in response to something that makes one happy or sad is normal and healthy.

However, If it’s associated with hopelessness, lack of energy… they may be signs of depression and you should visit your doctor.


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