Archive for Crying – Page 2

Tears, Part 1

weeping_angelThis is what I’ve heard after a loved one’s death . . .

“I can’t stop crying since __________ died.”

“I haven’t shed a tear since __________ died.”

We cry. We refuse to cry. We can’t seem to cry. We fight not to cry. We apologize for crying. Research suggests there are three kinds of tears: basal, reflex and emotional. The basal tears keep the eye lubricated. Indeed, most of us are “crying” most of the time. In an article posted on the website How Stuff Works, Alia Hoyt wrote:

(O)ne study collected both reflex tears and emotional tears (after peeling an onion and watching a sad movie, respectively). When scientists analyzed the content of the tears, they found each type was very different. Reflex tears are generally found to be about 98 percent water, whereas several chemicals are commonly present in emotional tears. First is a protein called prolactin, which is also known to control breast milk production. Adrenocorticotropic hormones are also common and indicate high stress levels. The other chemical found in emotional tears is leucine-enkephalin, an endorphin that reduces pain and works to improve mood.

When a man weeps in modern American society, reactions from others can represent extremes. Some might applaud him for revealing emotions and others directly or indirectly would belittle him for “not acting like a man.” Real men don’t cry after all. However, women are expected to cry . . . at sad movies, their child’s first steps, when a friend shares a difficult story and so forth. Read More →

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