Is Crying Therapeutic for Mental Illness Recovery?

February 27, 2018 Nancy Zacharakis

Crying is therapeutic for mental illness recovery under certain circumstances. Discover how much crying is therapeutic, or if your over-crying is making you sicker at HealthyPlace. Don't wait -- consider your crying habits today.

Is crying therapeutic for mental illness recovery? Crying can be used as an expressive mechanism to release inner turmoil. It can also be a sign of trauma and holding on to negative emotions. There are a variety of feelings and experiences associated with mental illness, and crying can be therapeutic. But, just like with anything, balance and awareness are two essential features that can help you decide how much crying is therapeutic for you.

Awareness of your emotions and thoughts is important so you know what you are feeling and thinking, and balance with your emotions and thoughts is helpful so you aren’t feeling a certain emotion or thought for too long.

Crying Is Therapeutic Under Certain Conditions

Crying is certainly a powerful tool that can be used to express yourself while experiencing a variety of emotions. You can cry when you’re happy, sad, frustrated, nervous, fearful, etc. Crying can be the root of many different feelings.

Crying can allow you to move through an emotion: To feel it, process it, express it, and move on from it. It can also signal to others that you are experiencing something at that moment that is powerful and moving through you in that particular way. When a person cries, it can be a release, a physical expression of what they are feeling. It can signal importance of a certain situation and that it really means a lot to them.

When Is Crying Not Therapeutic?

Anything in excess is not a helpful tool and crying is the same. Too much crying can lead to a feeling of helplessness and cause someone to resign to one’s circumstances. It doesn’t allow for feelings of confidence, gratitude, or powerfulness.

Being brought to tears by every situation or thought does not help take action or enter the situation with a clear mind to find a solution. It can also indicate you take things too personally and allow them to affect your emotions and mindset rather than approaching things with an observer’s eye from an unattached place. I know that, in the past, a majority of the time when I was crying it was because I was being too hard on myself and I was not putting my current situation into perspective.

The Final Verdict: Crying Is Therapeutic in Moderation

Crying can be helpful and it can be hurtful through mental illness recovery. Everyone is different and unique in their own ways. We have different emotions, lives, coping mechanisms, perspectives, and mindsets. The way you choose to express yourself and the amount that you cry or do not cry is unique to you.

I challenge you to observe your emotions and actions from an outsider’s perspective and practice awareness. This way you can see if you are crying in excess or maybe you aren’t crying or expressing yourself enough. Either observation will allow you to learn, grow and recover from mental illness.

APA Reference
Zacharakis, N. (2018, February 27). Is Crying Therapeutic for Mental Illness Recovery?, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, June 19 from

Author: Nancy Zacharakis

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Helen Blyshak
May, 28 2019 at 7:30 pm

1 agree with you.k

November, 20 2018 at 2:38 am

I agree with Julia. Sometimes your inner self is holding onto things that have hurt you, and you are unknowingly fighting a battle within yourself. When it begins to build up greatly inside you, all it takes is a trigger mechanism and before you know it, you are balling your eyes off. For me personally, crying helps to be at peace and heals me from everything I’ve been pretending does not affect me.

April, 4 2018 at 7:57 am

I cry when I feel bad. It really helps me to get rid of negative thoughts. Sometimes a good cry is just what you need to release all the hurt you have built up inside.

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