Why do I want to lay down and cry?

In this blog we will discuss some possible reasons why you might want to lay down and cry. 

We will also discuss whether it is healthy to cry or not as well as what are some things you can do to cope. 

Why do I want to lay down and cry?

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If you have been feeling like all you want to do is lay down and cry, it could be because of the stress in your life which is causing you emotional distress. Other reasons can include:

  • Depression
  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Chemical and hormonal imbalances


If you have been feeling like you want to lay down and cry for some time now, you might have depression or anxiety or other psychological issues, which can be diagnosed by visiting your doctor. 

Major depressive disorder is a mental illness that causes severe symptoms that interfere with your daily living. Here are some symptoms that could indicate that you are depressed:

  • Sleep issues, such as sleeping more than normal or difficulty getting to sleep or staying asleep
  • Eating more or less than you normally do
  • Losing interest and/or pleasure in activities you once enjoyed
  • Lack of energy
  • Difficulty engaging in normal tasks of daily living including hygiene. 
  • Irritability
  • Feeling sad and/or anxious
  • Feeling hopeless
  • Crying
  • Restlessness
  • Feeling isolated or lonely
  • Feeling worthless, guilty, or helpless
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Suicidal thoughts or attempts, or thinking about death

If you have noticed that these are some symptoms that you have noticed in yourself on most days than not for more than two weeks and it is causing severe disability in your life- meaning that you cannot work, maintain relationships, and meet the demands of your life- it could be possible that you are struggling with depression. 

This could indicate that you are experiencing a depressive episode and the crying is a symptom of depression.

High levels of stress

Stress is a normal psychological and physical reaction to situations in your life. It is neither a bad thing or a good thing. However what is dangerous is continuous or chronic stress in your life that you are unable to handle. 

Depression can be caused when you are unable to cope with the stress in your life because stress has a variety of mental and behavioural symptoms. 

Being in a state of continuous stress with these symptoms can lead to deteriorating health, continued low moods, decrease in productivity which can impact your occupational life and also cause strain in your relationships. 

These negative impacts can lead to feelings of hopelessness, dread, doom, and also feelings of worthlessness and the sense that one is a failure in their ability to cope with life all of which can be internalised and this can lead to you being emotionally sensitive causing you to cry.


If you are struggling with anxious thoughts, which are mostly based on irrational beliefs, you might be feeling extremely distressed and emotionally vulnerable. 

You might also be dealing with a lot of anxiety related to your own stress- anxiety about your anxiety. 

Oftentimes people find it extremely hard to cope with their emotions honestly, and this is usually because they are afraid of being vulnerable or view it as a weakness. 

The stress of living with anxiety can lead one to remain in a state of hypervigilance and emotional sensitivity which is why you might be in a state when you want to cry all the time. 

Chemical and hormonal changes

Another reason why you are experiencing low moods could be because of hormonal or chemical changes in your body such as in the case of Postpartum depression. 

Postpartum depression known as Postnatal depression in various parts of the world is a type of mood disorder that involves a depressive episode that affects women after childbirth, usually around 4 to 6 weeks after delivery.

Hormones levels of oestrogen and progesterone are higher than usual during pregnancy and within hours of giving birth, hormone levels experience a sharp drop back to their previous state. This could be a leading cause of emotional sensitivity when it is combined with stress. 

Is crying good or bad?

Crying is neither a good thing or a bad thing- it is a natural human process of expressing emotions, however excessive crying isn’t always a good sign. 

If you find yourself tearing up often, it could indicate that you’re experiencing a lot of emotional distress which could also indicate mental health issues.

There is no shame in the amount of tears you are shedding over a particular issue or no issue at all, everyone is different and some people find it easier to tear up than others.

While some people may cry at anything, other people may experience fewer emotional upheavals, or have different ways to express their emotions.

That being said, if your inability to cry worries you or you’re struggling to connect with your feelings, it is important you understand what could be the reason.

Crying often gets a bad reputation because of various unhealthy constructs related to emotional vulnerability. Sometimes it’s mistakenly seen as a sign of weakness or immaturity.

However, crying can do a lot of good for us. It can signal to other people when we’re feeling weepy, that we need help. Crying is also a way to acknowledge painful or challenging emotions that are buried deep down. 

How to cope?

Here are some things you can do to cope:

Self soothe

If you are uncontrollably crying, consider soothing yourself like you would a child who is distressed. When a child cries we do not beat them up or berate them for expressing themselves. 

Crying could be your way of expressing something you think is unmentionable so take the time to sooth your crying self with the love and compassion one gives a baby. 

Some ways you can do that is by meditating, you can consider yoga or running. You can also consider deep breathing exercises. Another thing you can do is engage in things that soothed you when you were younger. 

Acknowledge the way you feel

When a person is crying it signifies distress of being overwhelmed with something; it could be work, academics, social situations, and even their own sense of self. 

Take a moment to acknowledge that you’re distressed and you might not know why. When you acknowledge your state of being, you do it without judgement- it is okay to cry, it is okay to feel stressed, afraid, and it is okay to feel like you are “losing it”.

When you acknowledge it, it becomes manageable. When you acknowledge it it also becomes identifiable. Identifying your emotions can also help you understand where it is coming from and hence make the necessary changes that can help cope.

Create Positive Thoughts

Participating in an activity  that you enjoy, such as writing, playing an instrument, drawing, or painting, and meditation or prayer, can help create positive thoughts. 

Try to fill your mind with positive things so that there’s no room for the negative thoughts to creep in and occupy space- this could include doing things that give you a sense of purpose or meaning, or simplifying spending time with people that love you unconditionally. 

Problem-Solve Negative Events

Take a moment when you’re thinking clearly and identify at least one step you can take to overcome your problems.

It can even be something as simple as calling a friend to try and brainstorm a solution. Focus on the choices you have and the pros in your life as opposed to the cons. 

This kind of optimistic mindset can help you come up with solutions to things that you are struggling with. 

Practice Good Sleep Hygiene

Set a schedule and a limit to your on-screen activities and keep your room dark. Turn off screens at least two hours before bed to help maximise your sleep time.

Make it a point to do things that relax you and soothe you an hour before sleeping, this could be taking a relaxing bath or listening to soothing songs.

Talk to a therapist

If you think you have depression or anxiety, you should consider talking to a therapist or a mental health professional. 

Understanding your condition, diagnosis and Engaging with a therapist, being diligent with your medication, and making the changes you need to make to get better will help you during this difficult time. 

Consider group therapy

Another thing you can do for yourself is to join a support group of people struggling with depression so that you can experience emotional support first hand within these communities and over time learn how to manage your challenges by learning from each other. 

By joining a group that is open, empathetic, and growing towards healing, you and your experiences can be an excellent sense of support to someone else who is also in their early part of their journey. 


In this blog we discussed some possible reasons why you might want to lay down and cry. 

We also discussed whether it is healthy to cry or not as well as what are some things you can do to cope. 

FAQ related to Lay down and Cry

What does it mean when you want to cry but can’t?

There are a lot of reasons why people can’t cry even if they want to. It could be because of biological issues such as ophthalmological causes or it could also be because of medications and a psychological problem.

Can depression make you unable to cry?

Yes, depression can make you unable to cry due to the symptom of emotional apathy or anhedonia where the individual impacted with depression is unable to access their emotions that are too overwhelming for them.

What is emotional blunting?

Emotional blunting refers to a symptom where your feelings and emotions are dulled that you neither feel up nor down- they can neither cry or laugh- and it is caused by medications as well as mental disorders like depression and schizophrenia. 

I want to cry but I can’t, what should I do?

If you have been feeling emotionally numb and have  been thinking to yourself “I want to cry, but I can’t”,here are a few things you can try:

  • Identify your emotions 
  • Start Labelling your emotions
  • Notice your thoughts
  • Allow yourself to feel
  • Express your emotions
  • Acknowledge your feelings
  • Seek out support
  • Seek out professional help


Nancy Schimelpfening. Why Am I Depressed Only at Night? Very Well Mindful. Retrieved on 12th April 2022. https://www.verywellmind.com/why-am-i-depressed-only-at-night-1066892

Ana Gotter. Depression at Night: How to Cope with Nighttime Depression. Healthline. Retrieved on 12th April 2022. https://www.healthline.com/health/depression-at-night

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