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Why Do We Become More Emotional and Cry More As We Get Older?

Updated on August 8, 2012

I have noticed that as I have got older, (now 38), I cry so much more easily than I did when younger. I wonder why this is, as in my teenage years, not to mention my twenties, I could watch the most depressing programmes and although I cared, I was rarely inclined to break down in tears.

As a child I would watch the Lassie films, and yes, I did cry to those, (especially "Lassie Come Home"), but apart from that, and the normal things children cry over, such as falling over and cutting open their knees, or getting in trouble with my Mum, I seldom cried at all. It was only when I hit my thirties I suddenly seemed to undergo some kind of metamorphosis, and now I can easily end up in floods of tears over a sad movie, or a murder case on Forensic Detectives. Does this mean I am losing the plot, or is this normal?

Thesedays I can cry over the silliest things, such as watching an episode of "The Secret Millionaire", (where a millionaire goes under cover in an underprivileged area, finds good causes, volunteers to help free of charge, and at the end of a week or so, donates large sums of money to the causes he or she felt the most deserving of his or her help).

I break down in tears over people dying in Soaps for Christ's sake, yet this is not logical when I know it is only an actor, who undergoes a rapid recovery as soon as the cameras are switched off.

Even watching programmes such as "Extreme Makeover Home Edition", can leave me in a right state, as I feel so touched by the people who put in the money, time and effort to build these people a new home that is far nicer than any home most of us could hope for.

Does this mean something is wrong with me? If so, what? I mean, this never used to happen to me, but now I seem to have suddenly become a changed person, and I don't even mind the fact I cry so easily, as to me it shows I have compassion and care about others, (not to say I didn't before, but now it makes me break down in tears in a way I never felt the need to before).

Hell, I even cry over seeing a mistreated, starved dog being brought back to health and re-homed in programmes like "Animal Cops Houston" on Sky!

I have ended up in tears over the end of such series as "The West Wing", although this could be explained by the fact my late Husband loved watching it too, and never got to see the end of the series, so I felt as if something really important had come to an end when it did!

I can cry over "The X Factor", when I hear of a story of someone who has suffered such great hardship in their lives, and is also a fantastic singer, and now is their chance to make something of themselves. When they get through I feel their emotion as if it were my own, and so want them to do well in the following rounds.

If someone shows me a kindness, or empathises with a situation I am in, I end up tearful. If I see someone else lose a loved one I cry. If I even contemplate the ultimate death of my currently living relatives, I break down and cry.

So is it something about getting older, and if so, what, hormones? I really don't know the answer, but I think I like myself better for being this way as it proves to me I do have feelings that matter and I care for everyone and everything.

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    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image
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      Cindy Lawson 17 months ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      No you are far from alone in feeling this way Alvin, but it isn't so bad and it shows you have compassion, empathy and sincerity. That is a nice person to be rather than one who simply doesn't care.

    • profile image

      ALVIN M. MARTINEZ 17 months ago

      I thought i was the only one. Some say I'm too sensitive but truth is i just feel too much. Every word, every action and every energy goes straight to my heart...

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image
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      Cindy Lawson 2 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Thank you for commenting and sharing your thoughts Cubanitafoxx. We are meant to love and be compassionate but maybe we suppress it when young and it only truly shows itself as we mature.

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      Cubanitafoxx 2 years ago

      wow! i thought i was becoming an emotional wreck myself=) but now after reading this whole post i realize i am not alone in this, and that what i have researched on this subject and humanity and what is truly our purpose i come to see we are a very unique race. i am only 24 and i used to be hard and knew very well to keep my emotions well hidden and now basically any movie cartoon or not with a little sentiment bring me down in tears and it can't be held back i just can't. when i try my vision becomes blurry under tears its really annoying! lol anyways like a said before i have come to realize through searching this topic that we really are all ONE and we were made to love though corrupted by specific individuals with power in our world (Governments,media) that easily introduce us to hate one another, compete with one another, they showed us Greed, its plain horrible what negative individuals have made most of the people into. Im so glad there are other people out there who really our finding their true purpose and self. that we are meant to love. =)

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image
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      Cindy Lawson 2 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      I am so glad this article has helped you Bruce. Try to be strong, we are all going through this and we can survive it and embrace the fact this is a part of life we cannot avoid.

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      Bruce 2 years ago

      Thank you all for sharing and helping. There are so many insightful thoughts and directions to gain strength from here. Yes i am crying at the outpoor of caring, love and compassion.

      Last year both parents passed, my Fathers a long process and i was fortunate to have had time with him. I have always been sensitive but during the course of last year when Dads illness started so did the crying. I really don't want to control it but rather embrace and understand, which reading here has helped.

      Thank you

      Bruce-admitted sensitive man

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image
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      Cindy Lawson 2 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      I don't think they have Amy, you just learn to accept it as part of being human I guess.

    • Amy Heflin profile image

      Amy Heflin 2 years ago

      Wow, I am so glad I am not alone! I am so sick at getting teary eyed over stupid things. One simple word can send me in tears. Has anyone figured out how to overcome this?

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image
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      Cindy Lawson 2 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Thanks for your feedback Yeanomaybe,cit is good to hear another perspective

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      Yeanomaybe 2 years ago

      I have the opposite experience. I lost several friends and a couple of very important adults in my life in my early childhood so I became emotionally strong in that regard. I became a realist, a look at the facts and see if there is a positive solution kind of person.

      I have compassion for others (volunteer/work with children/helpful friend to elders/take care of my mom as she becomes more incapacitated with COPD ...) but I look at life and at each situation as it is - and deal with it in an objective manner.

      I feel emotions, but I know that it will not do anyone any good if I become emotional.

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image
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      Cindy Lawson 2 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      I absolutely understand Dulce, but I guess it isn't a bad thing overall

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      Dulce 2 years ago

      Im noticing that too, and im only 20. I watched mulan the other day and found myself crying pretty much throughout the whole first part. Even when mulan meets the matchmaker and screws it up. I never used to cry during movies unless someone or something died, but now I cry whenever something somewhat emotional happens

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image
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      Cindy Lawson 3 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      At least now you know this happens to a huge amount of people Dan's Dad so you are not alone. Thank you for sharing your experience of this here too.

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      Dan's Dad 3 years ago

      I puzzles me that I'm so easily choking up. Male 57 years, pretty successful, moderately athletic. Who knows why? But "misery loves company," as they say--how much it helps to read/share with you all.

      I cry remembering O' Henry stories, singing some songs. I can't get halfway though the Pledge of Allegiance without crying, which is truly weird, since I'm rather cynical and definitely not a right-wing flag waver. Who knows? Bless us all!

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image
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      Cindy Lawson 3 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Thank you for sharing your experiences too Mumbai_girl. They always say a problem shared is a problem halved.

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      Mumbai_girl 3 years ago

      Hi Cindy

      Thanks for this post. Glad to know I'm not the only one experiencing this. I'm 27 and have always been emotional. But over the last 2 years, I've become much more so. Be it tv shows,commercials, news, cards... I can tear up over the slightest things... But unlike many others who have posted here... I don't get emotional due to stress or stressful situations.

      I have always had a happy life so far and the only major incident I can remember after which I started noticing these changes is a really bad breakup wit my boyfriend of 5 yrs who cheated on me, when I was 25. At that time I thought the sadness and depression was the cause. But its been 2 yrs since and I'm still extremely emotional though I have gotten over the past.

      Also, I have PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) since I was 16 and I was worried that this could be a hormonal problem. I might still check with my gynaecologist about it.

      This post has helped me understand that by and large being emotional is normal and acceptable.

      Thanks everyone for sharing your experiences.

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image
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      Cindy Lawson 3 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Don't worry Adrian, this is perfectly normal it seems and I don't blame you for having these feelings after losing both parents so close together.

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      adrian 3 years ago

      I get weepy when hearing anything sad. I'm 50 yr old male and lost both parents 4 yrs ago. I have a beautiful 4 yr old son and nothing to worry about. Life is good but I seem to be hyper sensitive to anything remotely sad.

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image
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      Cindy Lawson 3 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      I think you are right Shorny1, it is good to finally be able to open up to your emotions. X

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      Shorny1 3 years ago

      This happened to me as a man in his late fifties. I initially worried, a bit, but the answer of finally being able to open up works for me. x

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image
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      Cindy Lawson 3 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      I think it is nice to be a sensitive person, and it is actually a very atractive trait in man as it shows he is good hearted. I would consider speaking to someone about this if it really concerns you, even if only so they can reassure you that it is perfectly normal for this to happen as you get older and that it isn't such a bad thing. It is when you feel nothing you want to really worry.

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      PAUL 3 years ago

      I am a 63 year old man and I have this problem too. I was taught to be tough and never show your emotions but I cant. Should I seek help or just continue on. It hard and embarrassing to be so sensitive.

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      R. J. Lefebvre 3 years ago

      Misty,

      isw is a brief for it 'is what' matters, indeed you are supreme.

      Ronnie

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      doleba 3 years ago

      Hi mistyhorizon2003. I'm a guy who's experienced this change. I'm 45, and first noticed a change at about the age 37. The first tip something was different was at an art museum in Chicago. As I stood before one of Van Gogh's self portraits I was overwhelmed with emotion and equally taken back by this reaction, as I'd never done this before in response to such a picture. When I thought about it later, I noted that both my grandfather and father grew more sensitive as they aged. My grandfather was well known to tear up and get sentimental, but stories of his youth painted a completely different person. I didn't see my father's softer side until he was about 50 or so. I just assumed this was either natural for all men, or something I'd inherited through my dad's family. My maternal uncles seem to get more confrontational and stubborn as they age. When you think about that, isn't that a heightened sense of emotion too? Like you, as I age I'm amazed to find myself handling things much differently then I did in my youth. For example, hearing of a child being abused and/or murdered, can greatly upset me with a mixture of watery eyes and frustration, sadness, and anger. Mind you such news was always upsetting, but I never blubbered over it in the past. All in all, I'm not too concerned about these changes. I think that it made my father, paternal grandfather and a couple of uncles on my dad's side better men, who were more grateful for their families and more sensitive to the needs of those around them. I noticed in men this seems to kick in about the time they should be getting grandchildren. So I'm wondering if it is part of how we adapt from the making families stage to the nurturing and teaching younger generations stage that most grandparents fall into. Quite possibly, just normal aging for our species.

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image
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      Cindy Lawson 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Good to hear Egan2013, keep it up :)

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      Egan2013 4 years ago

      Still smiling Misty. Thank you...

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image
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      Cindy Lawson 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      I am glad you are happier now Egan2013 :)

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      Egan2013 4 years ago

      Well here's something strange... I did something that was unbearable for me. I can't handle being around crowds, public speaking and a long list more. I agreed to become ordained and officiate a wedding. Shortly afterwards, I knew I had found inner peace. I am confident that I am no longer PTSD and my emotions are now controllable. I went so far outside of my comfort zone that I am now solid. A friend recommended that I look at Brenee Brown's book Daring Greatly. If it might help anyone else.

      Nothing wrong with tears but they can't control your life. They were controlling mine.

      Best wishes...

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image
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      Cindy Lawson 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      You sound like a wonderful, warm and compassionate person 'neverinfrontofthewife', I think these emotions are sign of our humanity, and that quite possibly we should be more worried if we don't experience these. So many of the examples you gave mirror my own thoughts and feelings, I guess like you said, we just have to 'chalk it up to life and keep on truckin' :)

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      neverinfrontofthewife 4 years ago

      I still live in a world where men don't cry. Especially not in front of people. I now allow myself a cry once in a while. Alone. Otherwise I leave the room if others are around. Sudden need to go to the restroom usually suffices. :) NEVER EVER in front of the wife.

      As a 49 male, I too tear up way more than I would like or ever did in decades past. There are certain known factors for some like illness, drugs or depression.

      These don't apply to me. At my age a normal drop in testosterone would be a big factor. Ok easy enough. BUT I think this combines with my life experiences to elicit strong emotional reactions to simple situations that never bothered us before. I'll try to elaborate keeping in mind I speak for myself only.

      My father whom I nearly worship is 73 and not doing well for many years. Now any time someone dies (RL or TV/movie) I think of him and his possible passing. Or I think of life without my wife and best friend of 30 years. Why? Because we're older. Lots older and more fragile. Not just them but me too. I no longer expect to live forever. There are no more do overs.

      I've always become emotional over animals dying on TV or movies. Now I truly cry over them as I compare it to the many wonderful animal friends I have loved and lost. These comparisons aren't always glaring and obvious. Later in the emotional episode I think of them and realize they are the main reason for the waterworks.

      These are just two simple examples. I think the combination of my aging chemical balance, life experiences, and the looming finality of life itself goes a long way to explain all of the various and sometimes odd emotional events.

      Just more human silliness to deal with. I just chalk it up to life and keep on truckin'.

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image
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      Cindy Lawson 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      You are very welcome surf tech, and I am glad you found this thread so you could realise you are far from unusual in finding yourself becoming more emotional at this time in your life. Personally I have recently been watching myself more closely to see exactly what things trigger me off, and one of the things I have become aware of is that I begin crying when I see other people crying. This seems to be an empathic response to their tears/situation. Although it isn't fun being tearful or overly emotional, it does make me feel like a nicer person as a result (I would rather be like this than not care about another person's plight). I think the best thing to do is embrace it as you are unlikely to be able to change it. The trouble with a lot of antidepressants are that they often suppress emotions we are 'meant' to feel (which can't be healthy). It sounds to me like you are simply reverting to normal emotions for your age group.

      Good Luck.

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      surf tech 4 years ago

      I found this thread from a google search and as I started reading the comments I was hoping it would still be active so long after it started. I'm a guy about to turn 43 and this pattern has really taken hold in me lately. Like some others mentioned, even reading the thread got me teared up. I have been more sensitive to emotional events or situations for years now but as I come off a two year dose of anti-depressants it's much more pronounced. It reminds me of coming out of anesthesia when I had wisdom teeth pulled decades ago. I balled for 15 minutes and had no control of it. In addition to virtually all the previous mentioned situations I was surprised to find myself in tears at a Fleetwood Mac concert the other day when everyone in the building jumped to their feet as one of their best known songs started. And the last mass our favorite priest performed a couple weeks ago before moving to a new parish probably dehydrated me from the loss of tears. I do appreciate being empathetic and able to recognize and experience emotional events but I would prefer to have the level turned down just a bit. I was wondering if my ADD meds or after effects of the SSRS drugs were a factor but it doesn't look like it from what others have posted. Guess I'll work on appreciating it more. Thanks Misty.

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image
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      Cindy Lawson 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts and feelings on the subject here Egan2013. I think empathy is an admirable trait and something we do tend to learn more as we grow older and wiser.

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      Egan2013 4 years ago

      Interesting stuff. I pulled up this site as I was crying a bit over a friends loss of a loved one. I find comfort in understanding feelings and that's why I look. Old PTSD guy. Genuinely, I know this is part of being human and don't feel bad about it. Wouldn't exchange my empathy for meds or anything. Empathy sometimes comes from experience. Some are born with it, some learn it.

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image
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      Cindy Lawson 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      I have no idea what it is about oldstayi, but what I can say is that at the tender age of 43 I am not 'post menopausal', and this problem has been affecting me for some years now. I am completely the same as you, someone who doesn't understand why this suddenly happened to me in my life, someone who loves animals unconditionally and someone who gets emotional over every TV program, including ones like 'Air Craft Investigation'. It is a complete myth to assume this is about post menopausal women (read the comments from men here), when in reality it affects men and women alike, and of many ages, but mainly over 30.

      Why on earth would you want to go to your doctor in order to get medication that will inhibit the emotions nature intends you to have? That is effectively giving yourself a chemical straight jacket!

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      oldstaysi 4 years ago

      Well, just wait til your 62! I cry about the least little bit of sappy happy stuff and the somewhat sad stuff, commercials even. I have never been this emotional ever in my life. I have always been softhearted when it came to animals and kids. But this lately has just gotten to be way too much. I'm even thinking of seeing my doctor about some medication to stave off some of this extra emotion! I can barely watch ANYthing on t.v. anymore! I thought that it may be due to my blood pressure medication but I can't find anything on the internet about this particular malady. It's always about post menapausal women which I am way beyond that status. So just what is this all about?!

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image
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      Cindy Lawson 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      An excellent well thought out comment all round Kory, what more can I say apart from, thank you for making it.

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      Kory Thompson 4 years ago

      Sorry if I am repeating, didn't have time to read all the posts. (I did read many of them, however.)

      Here is my take on it (and yes I am afflicted with the same thing):

      I believe it's a combination of:

      1) Experience

      2) Charity/Love (that we possess)

      3) Hormones (or lack there of)

      4) Empathy

      The more experience we have, the more likely we are going to empathize with someone. I just dedicated a song

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&v=LMOma_dy4t...

      to my children. Why? (And it's a tear jerker.) Because the story this man tells, is the story that I feel. It makes most cry, but me especially, because like the performer, I hope that what I have done for my kids, is enough. (Sometimes, I feel like it isn't, so it really hits home.)

      Some don't want to factor in the hormones, but clearly as we age, our hormones change (decrease), and in the case of men, the guy (above) that talked about his muscle mass has gone down, as his desire to lift weights, I do believe that is hormone related.

      Finally, when you love deeply, which I believe is a gift and increases with intention and also because of the type of person you are, that that, mixed with less hormones, in my case Testosterone, I find myself feeling much more deeply than before. Blend that with life experience, it heightens one's ability to really SEE (or understand) what the storyteller is talking about. Until you have such experience, and you have actually been in their shoes, it may not be as important to you, because you don't relate as closely.

      Just my thoughts. On the one hand, I hate it, and on the other, it is extremely fulfilling to FEEL SO DEEPLY. It is a bitter/sweet situation. I like it and hate it all the same time.

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image
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      Cindy Lawson 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      I am so glad you have come to terms with this sleepingqueen. It seems the only option any of us have available to us in any case. I for one don't see any harm in being able to show and feel emotions, and in many ways I warm towards those who are able to feel this level of compassion, empathy, sympathy etc in some of the situations that cause this flood of emotion.

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      sleepingqueen 4 years ago

      I am a 26 year old lady and within the last 6 months I have been a crying machine. I have always been fairly in tune with my emotions but it seems like I can't get past even a simple reality show without shedding some tears. I cry multiple times a day, if just for a moment, and it's generally the same content everyone here is discussing. Happy moments, incredible moments, amazing stories, hardships, sad stories and even just the right picture to the right music. The other day I cried when I thought about how complex and amazing our subconscious memory is! Maybe we're all just using crying like some people use screaming; just another use of an emotions? I don't know, I know showing emotion was once viewed as a weakness in the past, perhaps it's just another emotion. I think it's hilarious and my friends have a riot over it. I have embraced my crying tendencies because hey, at least I am proud of how I feel!

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image
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      Cindy Lawson 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Thanks so much for your comment anapaula76, I do think the death of a loved one can trigger this level of emotions on some level, especially if it is someone very close. I lost my first Husband in 2001 to bowel Cancer when he was just 48. He had only been diagnosed with it 2 weeks earlier. I am sure I became even more emotional from there onwards.

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      anapaula76 4 years ago from Florida

      Hi! Wow I can relate so much to your post, I'm 36 years old and I have noticed that for the past 5 years I too have become more compassionate and more in sync with the feelings of other's, I have always been very sentimental, watching a movie like Ghost would make me cry, but now when I go to Pet Smart and see the cats they have for adoption I cry because I feel they don't get the same treatment as some believe they aren't loving when they really are, is just on their terms, or if I watch Special Delivery, or America has Talent , and for some reason when I even speak to someone that I wan't to be friends with and they treat me nice I feel this joy and I shed a tear! someone suggested it could be because of someone's passing and I think in my case it could be, I lost my loving amazing Daddy in 2008 and ever since then I have been very sensitive, but thank you for posting because is good to know there are many like me with such an amazing compassionate an loving heart :)

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image
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      Cindy Lawson 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Looks like we are all very much 'in the same boat together' Jbh37103. Kind of glad I didn't watch the Oscars now ;) I also get incredibly emotional when they show the annual awards for bravery, usually featuring lots of children or adults that risked their own lives to save others (incredibly moving stories). Then you have the awards for bravery in the military which are equally as touching. In a strange way I feel good about being emotionally moved by these stories because they help restore my faith in human nature (including my own).

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      Jbh37103 4 years ago

      Hi, Im a 48 yr old male. I've been in the same boat as the other men and women posting on the hub. Some songs or an outstanding performance will bring out the tissues. Omg The Oscars last night?, What a mess, glad I was alone. HA

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image
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      Cindy Lawson 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Hi Doug, my heart goes out to you sincerely. I am so glad you are now in remission. I lost my first Husband to bowel Cancer two weeks after he was diagnosed, a close relative has also just had a 6 week course of radiotherapy (hopefully she won't need the chemo too). There is no such thing as an 'easy' Cancer and it is heart rending for those who care about you to have to watch you go through it. I think it is totally understandable that you would feel the way you do having survived this, and the second chance to appreciate so many things in life is bound to be an emotional experience because you know how close you came to not getting that chance. I am sure your boss would have been very touched if he knew just how choked up you were about him leaving, it is a nice thing, nothing you should feel embarrassed about (although I do understand why men feel this way about being seen to cry).

      I wish you a long and healthy life now, and hope you have many more years of being able to enjoy and appreciate the people and things around you, even if it does bring your emotions to the surface.

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      Doug 4 years ago

      I'm having the same issue. I was diagnosed with late-stage lung cancer five years ago and after some pretty grueling chemotherapy and radiation - and refusing to let the doctor take out my lung - I've been in remission. I cry very easily now, especially when I hear music or songs from my past. I feel very fortunate, and am not depressed, but feel extremely overwhelmed that I've been given a chance to "re-live" my life, and I've sort of re-invented it. But the crying is becoming embarrassing. Last week my boss of ten years was moved to another position and I had a very difficult time keeping my composure when it was publically announced. I'm 6'1", work out a lot, never cried much as a teenager or in my early adulthood... but I've become a totally different person now and I can't understand why I get emotional so easy.

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image
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      Cindy Lawson 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Interesting thoughts Mac, certainly worth considering as a viable possibility.

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      Mac 4 years ago

      There may be a biological reason: as we get older, the frontal lobe of our brain - which is the control center of expression, impulse control, etc., can change how much control it has over our emotions.

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image
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      Cindy Lawson 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Don't worry David, hopefully it will actually be educational in the long run for your pupils to see that even adult men cry when the situation warrants it. It is clearly a 'human' trait, therefore we all probably over-analyze it because we think there is something wrong with us. You are right, it is 'hell getting older' but as you also said 'we will manage' (as did our predecessors).

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      david1701 4 years ago

      I am a guy, 58 years old, soon to be 59. I am so glad to find this site. I can be moved emotionally extremely easily, even by programs/stories that I have heard many times before. I know the outcomes! As a school teacher, it is extremely difficult showing some programs because of this. At least the lights are off, and I can sit in the back - away from the view of students.

      My students are primarily juniors and seniors in high school. I was asked the other day if I am going to cry at the graduation this year; I guess this student expects everyone to cry. I said "no," but I know good and well that an event like that will bring on the tears.

      Even hearing our "national anthem" will bring on the tears. I think I was always susceptible to being moved emotionally over certain events, but in later years, it is more evident, and manifests itself at times that I don't think are convenient. (I think that just means that those times are "embarrassing.")

      Anyway, it has been good reading that others too struggle with this. As someone once said, it's hell getting older. It is; but we can manage.

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      Cindy Lawson 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Thanks for sharing your experience of this Markie, it sounds like possibly losing your Dad was a factor for you on some level and possibly triggered some kind of emotional release, maybe by putting you in touch with emotions you had never had to deal with previously. I agree at times it can be rather embarrassing as it happens in public places too (has happened to me more than once in our local hotel bar when something on the TV has set me off). I guess it is just a part of growing older though.

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      Markie 4 years ago

      Hi, Nice post I can relate to as well for me I noticed it started happening after my dad died. Initially the first time it happened was one day out of the blue while watching a film called armageddon and at the end of the film a boy gets reunited with his dad.

      I just put that down to missing my dad and it caught me by surprise as I'd never cried because of a tv program before. Then it started happening with other things, and over time turned into similar experiences to yours now.

      It makes me frustrated sometimes and embarrassing if I happen to be round some family's house and the tv is on and I'm watching a program and something catches me unexpected like that I have to get up and pretend I need to blow my nose or something! :(

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image
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      Cindy Lawson 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Thanks for your comment Hazie, I know exactly what you mean. I cry over stories of things that happened years ago (after watching documentaries etc), and even as I can see children that were involved are now happy and well adjusted adults, I find myself shedding tears for what they suffered years before e.g. loss of a parent through tragic circumstances etc.

      I also still cry over the most trivial things such as a disagreement or difference of opinion with someone I might simply be chatting to in a bar (although I can hold in the emotion until I return home strangely enough).

      My late Husband has died back in 2001, yet at least once a week I cry for him and tell him out loud how much I love and miss him (in spite of having been remarried for over 7 years now).

      I doubt it will ever change now (and I do get loads of sleep, although not necessarily at conventional times).

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      Hazie 4 years ago

      I am so pleased I have found this hub. I empathise with all of you. I have stopped watching the tearjerking films/reality shows and ads and this helps. Getting enough sleep helps to keep the tears at bay too.

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      Cindy Lawson 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Hi Moonlake,

      No there is nothing wrong with me, I have been blood tested and everything and all is normal (hormones etc). I still cry very easily, but now see it as just a natural part of growing older because so many people report the exact same thing (I am now 43). I guess it is just part of life, and I have grown to accept it now.

      Thanks for your concern though, I really do appreciate it :)

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      moonlake 4 years ago from America

      There is probably a very good reason why you cry so easily. As a woman you may figure out what that reason is. Sounds to me like that might be what’s happening to you. I started this right around 38. Your hub is 4 years old do you know now why your crying all the time? You can get a blood test done and check for it. I'm much older now and don't cry as easily. When I was younger I cried at the drop of a hat. Every little thing upset me. I just don’t do that anymore as you get older you will get calmer. Of course sad things will always make us cry. You really are not old but I have a daughter around your age going through the same thing. I wish you good lucky and less crying.

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      Cindy Lawson 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Hi Michaela, thanks so much for sharing your experience of this. Hopefully now you know you are far from alone and that you are not the only 'basket case' lol.

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      Michaela 4 years ago

      I'm only 23 and am already experiencing this change. I was raised by a strict marine who told me at a very young age not to cry, due to it's not a controlled emotion. Only within the past year, maybe two, have I become a fountain of flowing tears! I often find it embarrassing when in the company of others, but alone, I find it freeing. I remember when I was younger I yearned to cry when deeply sorrowed but found I could not, now I weep with the drop of a hat. It's quite refreshing. Glad to know I'm not alone in this recent onset of becoming a total, emotional basket case :)

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      Cindy Lawson 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Thanks for commenting elfmcgnome, I have no luck with antidepressants at all, and mostly they have either done nothing, or made me extremely sick and exhausted. To be honest I don't think they deal with the problem, only smother it, which makes them nothing short of a 'band aid' for a far more serious problem. I so hope you now have a happy and bright future off of these pills :)

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      elfmcgnome 4 years ago

      Hi

      Always thought I was pretty in tune with my emotions. Totally empathize with the posts on a new (in most cases) opening up to really feeling emotions, not just aknowledging the effect situations have on others. Came off Seroxat after 12 years on it and gave up alcohol 2 years ago. maybe these have left 'emotions' coming back with a vengeance! I think I can correlate the new emotionally enhanced me with the deep realisation about my mortality. Im 47. Mind you I did ask for it, so to speak, requesting new experiences for the 'higher good' to materialize. Phew! sucker punch Spirit Guides hahaha. Light and Blessings x

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      Cindy Lawson 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Welcome to my world nicole. I am now 43 and the emotions are still triggered by tiny things. I wonder if there is an official medical reason for this, e.g. is it scientifically known to be as a result of hormonal changes, or something else!

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      nicole 4 years ago

      Thanks for sharing, I was googling why I suddenly have become so emotional now in my late 30's over everything, commercials, tv shows, etc. Things I would never of teared up over before. I was wondering what the heck was going on.

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      Cindy Lawson 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Thanks so much for sharing your experiences here Kate. I have to say that the 'happy when something sad happened' experience is a new one on me, but when you were a hormonal teenager I guess all sorts of things could be going on. I hate to break it to you, but your other emotions are probably only the tip of the iceberg in terms of what you are going to experience, not least because at just 30 you are still rather young to be experiencing what I am describing in this hub. I predict you will find the emotions become far stronger and even closer to the surface within the next 10 years. Thankfully I am sure you will learn to deal with it, although it isn't always easy to accept when you suddenly find yourself in tears for something that happened to someone else (happy or sad events included).

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      Kate 4 years ago

      Yeah, I'm 30 and I always tear up after watching things or seeing something so cute like a little box with a face or a really sad bear... Gives me that feeling. Even gives me teary eyes seeing a cat or child dying. I used to laugh at everything as a child. Great stuff, aha. When I went into teen mode... or "hormonal teen mode" I was really sad when something very happy was going on or being announced. I was really happy when something sad happened. My mother that is now 49 (I was born when she was 19) used to tell me all these things as a child.

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      Cindy Lawson 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      I so know exactly what you are describing from personal experience, so you have my sincere sympathies :)

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      imbecomeingacrybaby@49 4 years ago

      hope we all straighten out!...but thank god im not the only cry baby here...lol...never was like that..i mean i cried at touching movies or heart felt storys but this is crazy.i cry when im watching the dame NEWS!!!,things that happened to me 40 yrs ago all of a sudden are now braking my heart! and NEVER affected me before? WHY???it sucks!!! anyway hope we all settle down and these affects pass ,peace & Love 2all

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      Cindy Lawson 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      You are welcome Jennifer, and thanks for sharing your feelings and experiences of this here too. It all helps other people the same to realise that they are far from alone, and that this is actually very normal.

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      Jennifer 5 years ago

      I'm just glad to hear I'm not the only one, baffled by this change. Like I had my moments of crying when I was younger, but it wasn't often and it wasn't out of my control. I cry now and just about anything, cute, sad, happy, adorable, any show commercial, movie. I cried over a gift from my mom which was basically her donating money in my name to a hospital. Sweet yes, but I have never just lost it like that, I think my family was just as shocked as i was. I too am 38 and it seems to have started when I was about 35 and getting progressively worse. Thank you for sharing and happy to know I'm not alone in this.

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      Cindy Lawson 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Hi Steve, not completely convinced by Lenonard Cohen's theory. Both Mum and my Step Dad are in their late 70's now, and both of them still get emotional over lost relatives, pets and tragedies on the news.

      Thanks for commenting with your experiences though. I guess I find I do recover quicker from bereavements (animal or human) as I have got older, but it is the 'things' that make me cry that never used to which I find strange.

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      Steve Andrews 5 years ago from Tenerife

      Hi Cindy! I voted up and interesting. I am the other way and cry less I am getting older. I remember reading once that Leonard Cohen once said that he had heard the brain cells that are responsible for feelings of depression die off as you get older and that was an advantage he could think of of ageing. In my experience he has been right though I still cry at times.

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      Cindy Lawson 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      PS Ronnie, what does 'isw' stand for in your comment?

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      Cindy Lawson 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Thanks so much Ronnie, and that was a lovely comment. Great to hear from you as it has been a while :)

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      R. J. Lefebvre 5 years ago

      Misty,

      As a youngster I was a quiet listener to understand my environment. When I was in middle age I felt it was wrong for an early teen to be commited for a long prison term after killing his companion, my primary concern was: 'the childs environment was the root of evil.' As I grew older I feel more passion for living homosapiens and any other cretures (with the exception of pesty insects) to live and let live. I think its a shame some people hunt for 'trophys.' My trophy is how I live and share my environment. Misty your measure isw tops!

      Ronnie

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      Cindy Lawson 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      That is fine too Kbug, and in your case you are clearly a decent and naturally sensitive person (which is okay). What I would say is that for a huge amount of people this emotional reaction only kicks in when people get older, and if you read the comments through here (which might take a while) you will see that many people have had the same experience (myself included), i.e. not being overly emotional until they got past a certain age. I think that this is not relevant in your case, but in many many people it is relevant, and they only notice this emotional reaction change at a certain point in their lives, i.e. as they get older.

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      Kbug 5 years ago

      I do not think it has anything to do with age--sorry! I have always been a crier and very sensitive. I embarrass my daughter sometimes when I try to repeat a story to her and I start crying. I try to control it but it is difficult. It seems to come from some type of chemical imbalance as I have always been this way since I was a little girl. Two of my sisters are the same. I am afraid people will think I am emotionally unbalanced but I do not feel I am. There has to be something that can help this. There is something either lacking in my chemical make-up or I am just wired this way and there is no hope for it. It is good in some ways because at least I can feel empathy for people and I will never hurt anyone on purpose because I know how that feels.

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      Cindy Lawson 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Hi Rochelle, no change, I still end up really weepy over stuff that is 'touching' or 'sad'. I had my hormone levels checked out a couple of weeks back for different reasons, and apparently they are 'normal'. Even tonight felt I was getting emotional over the way the adult elephants in a herd look out for the youngest members and team up in order to look after them (I was watching a documentary on a group of elephants). I am now willing to accept this without understanding why I react this way when I never used to in my early years.

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      Rochelle Frank 5 years ago from California Gold Country

      I think it is an individual thing--- and, especially for women it can be caused by hormone level changes. I noticed that this was originally posted three years ago-- so, how's it going now?

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      Cindy Lawson 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Thanks so much for your comment Susan, and rest assured, it really isn't 'just you'. Actually you have a slight advantage over many people with this 'problem' and that is (in your own words) 'But at none of these silly crying times do I actually feel sad. There's no pain there. In fact, sometimes while I'm crying, I'm laughing at how silly it is.' So many people actually do feel the pain, regardless of how 'daft' and 'illogical' it might seem, e.g. when it is based on a fictional programme or book.

      I guess however and whenever we experience this apparently irrational emotion, it happens for a reason, even if we don't understand it ourselves. I have resigned myself to it now :)

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      Susan 5 years ago

      Hi Misty,

      I've been surfing for an hour or so because I too get emotional at silly times. But everything on the net has been about depression and why do I cry when I fight with my boyfriend, blah blah blah. I'm OK crying when something goes wrong. It's normal to cry at a funeral, or even at a sad movie. But I cry over everything. Quite a few posts on quite a few sites talk about the Buffy / Angel TV shows which I'm a big fan of. And I know everyone cries during The Body and The Gift, but I cry during the funny eps too. And I've seen them about a hundred times already! I cry during How I Met Your Mother. I cry during The Big Bang Theory. I cry when I'm reading. I can't read any of the Twilight books in public because I'm just a gonner. And again, it's not the sad bits. And I think it gets worse if I know what's going to happen. As soon as Edward walks into Bella's life, I start crying and don't stop for the couple of weeks it takes me to get through the books again. I cry just thinking about some of these things. I got teary reading the comments on this hub. Other websites had people listing the TV shows and movies that made them cry, and that got me going a bit too.

      I too cry during competition shows. Especially singing ones. I cry over their stories, I cry over their songs. Funnily enough, I don't seem to cry as much when they're booted off the show. And a week or two later, I've forgotten their names.

      If people around me are emotional, I can get very teary, but mostly I cry on my own. I just don't have those feelings in a group of people. Sure I'll cry at weddings and funerals, but it's not the same weeping that the death of a beloved fictional character will bring on.

      But at none of these silly crying times do I actually feel sad. There's no pain there. In fact, sometimes while I'm crying, I'm laughing at how silly it is.

      I'm so glad that I found this hub because at least now I know it's not just me. Thanks for still being around after three years to share this.

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      Cindy Lawson 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      I am so sorry to hear this Diane. Right now your recent retirement has probably not helped you to cope with all these memories of lost loved ones. My Mum lost both her brothers when they were in their 60's, and their Mum (who lived with us) died soon after the second Son was lost, (she was in her early 90's, but no doubt never expected to outlive two of her four children) Grandad had died years earlier before I was even born. I don't think my Mum (now in her late 70's herself) has ever really got over this, but fortunately in spite of her own health problems she does still have good times with our Step Dad and with us (her two daughters). Yes she gets very emotional on occasion, and reminisces often, but all in all I believe she copes fairly well with the emotions that go with the losses she has been forced to go through in life. I sincerely hope the same will apply to you as time passes. Perhaps a part of what you are feeling is a kind of combination of 'empty nest syndrome' and a feeling of 'no longer having a purpose'. If you feel that this may be the case perhaps volunteering for a charity or becoming a hospital visitor etc etc could make you feel more positive about life and what you are giving back.

      Good Luck

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      diane 5 years ago

      Reading all the posts helped me

      know I'm not the only female

      filled with so many tears.

      I am 67 and recently retired.

      Two brothers passed and then

      mom and dad. I feel so alone

      even though I am married.

      Is there any hope of a more

      "normal" life? Children grown

      and grandchildren almost all

      grown now. I am just sad

      most of the time!!

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      Cindy Lawson 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Yes, that does make sense Jay, perhaps all that we have gone through in life also increases our ability to empathise with others too, so our emotions rise to the surface on their behalf when we see them suffering.

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      Jay 5 years ago

      Maybe, as Trish kind of mentioned, now that you are older and mature you can see the frailty of life and realise how short it really is. Do the THINGS we accumulate in life really matter, or is there something more? More then just this life here?

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      Cindy Lawson 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Very true Dan, it most certainly doesn't mean we are necessarily suffering from depression. Your comment made some excellent points.

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      Dan Lee 5 years ago

      when we tear-up with the movies, music, variety shows, sporting events, kids saying the darndest things..it isn't necessarily a symptom of depression. I believe its because I have had a connection with the character or performer or the message in the act. I believe it's because I come across generally as a hard honest to a fault type of man. My upbringing influenced that..I was an underdog fighting for us underdogs. No room for bullshit. The performances access via my gentle side and egress via the lump in my throat that hurts from trying to keep it back. So I let go..and feel good or enlighting for it. Empathy and familiarity with peculiarity to your own experiences and values perhaps.

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      grant 5 years ago

      Terri - is there a church you are or used to be affiliated with? Think hard from an objective point of view who you could turn to. You should not have to feel hopeless, when I KNOW there are people who would want to help you if they only knew. And remember this (so you don't let self-sufficiency get in the way): when you let someone give to you or help you, you're giving something priceless to them.

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      Cindy Lawson 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Maybe this does indicate some counseling or antidepressants could be helpful and 'take the edge off' Grant. I sincerely wish you luck with this.

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      grant 5 years ago

      I can't even *speak* the last verse of "American Pie" without breaking down. Oh well.

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      Cindy Lawson 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Hi Grant, in some cases it may be indicative of something more serious and then counseling or antidepressants may be helpful. It could also mean you are just a very compassionate and emotional person, (artistic individuals are often more prone to being emotional in this way).

      Only you can judge if you feel outside help is necessary or if this is simply down to you being more sensitive than many other individuals, (which is not really a bad thing in many ways).

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      grant 5 years ago

      I've had this for years and I don't agree it's normal or just being sensitive. I think it's indicative of something wrong with me, that 4 seconds of dialog on MASH can make my breathing go rapid and shallow just so I don't start breaking into sobs. Songs, musical movements, any depiction of compassion or the "saving" of someone's plight. No, I have to believe this is a symptom of something psychologically missing, for me anyway.

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      Cindy Lawson 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Hi Brian, you are far from alone that is for sure, and it isn't a bad trait, just somewhat inconvenient on occasion. I guess it may well be hormonal, but it also shows we have compassion and empathy which is surely a good thing.

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      brian 5 years ago

      I am a guy and only 29 years old and have recently started feeling really sensitive and emotional when watching TV shows and movies that never would have affected me at all (similar to your examples in the article). It doesn't bother me much but I'm starting to try and find out what's going on. It is relieving to see it's not so abnormal after all!

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      Cindy Lawson 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      I am so sorry to hear this Terri, but I am sure you are not worthless. It does sound in your case like you are not getting the support you need at home from family or friends. Additionally I think some counseling or even a support group might be helpful. There must be other people who have had heart attacks who feel like you do and you would probably feel better if you could talk to people who fully understood how you are feeling. My Dad had 3 heart attacks and a clot on the brain in his later life and was very frail as a result. I know he used to get times when he got very tearful that he could not function as the man he used to be. He did go on living until he was 72 though, and although in poor health he had still managed to sit in the garden or go for an occasional lunchtime drink at the pub. I hope you find a way to get some positiveness out of your situation and some support. Good Luck

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      Terri 5 years ago

      I had a heart attack 6 years ago and now I can cre on the drop if a dime. Every thing borhers me and upsets me. I am 58, when I was in my 20's 30's and early 40's. Now since my heart attack I feel worthless. I used to have my house so clean you could eat off he floor.Now I get so tired from doing very little.I wish I had the money for a helper around the house.I wish I had a decent home too the house I'm living in needs to be knocked down and rebuilt.I feel like I'm not good for any thing or any one. Iget yelled at by every one and O can't do any thing right. Some one is always complaining.I can't even work,I have done that since I was 10. And now I can't do any thing. I'm WORTHLESS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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      Cindy Lawson 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      It sounds as if you do need a break 'sadwillow', perhaps even a change of job to one less stressful. Losing your Mum is also bound to have had a huge impact on your life. I hope things look up for you soon.

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      SadWillow 5 years ago

      I have been crying too often and worst lately. Stressed by bosses, saddened by not being able to attend my son's graduation due to work commitment, depressed by computer crashes.... I just can't stop tearing at the slightest thing. I begin to wonder about my purpose in life. I have been an emotional person but not until last year after my mother's sudden death that I keep breaking down. I must be overworked ...

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      Cindy Lawson 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Welcome to our club Laura, it just shows we are human I hope :)

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      Laura 5 years ago

      I can say that I have also experienced that emotional change as I have aged. I am terrified of having a complete meltdown at the wrong moment anymore. Unfortunately, it does not matter if it is on television or in real life, I tear up at the littlest things both happy and sad.... e'gads!

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      Cindy Lawson 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Your wife is right, real men can (and do) cry :)

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      Gary 5 years ago

      Its sad though that the stigma is "men dont cry". My wife says that may be true but REAL men do. Note to self: Tell wife you love her. :)