Article

Is there a relationship between depression and crying? A review

Tilburg University, Tilburg, North Brabant, Netherlands
Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica (Impact Factor: 5.55). 06/2007; 115(5):340-51. DOI: 10.1111/j.1600-0447.2006.00948.x
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT To conduct a systematic examination of the relationship between depression and crying by reviewing all relevant theory and empirical data including the performance of crying items in measures of depression.
Review of the extant literature on depression and crying using PubMed, PsychInfo and Google Scholar databases.
Scores on crying items of depression inventories correlate moderately with overall depression severity. Otherwise, there is surprisingly little evidence for the widespread claim that depression leads to more frequent and/or easier crying. There is also little empirical support for the competing claim that severely depressed individuals lose their capacity to cry.
Current claims about the relationship between depression and crying lack a robust empirical foundation. Assessment instruments and diagnostic systems for mood disorders are inconsistent in how they handle crying as a symptom. Further work to investigate the causes and the context of crying in depressed patients is needed.

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Available from: Jonathan Rottenberg, Jul 01, 2015
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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: We summarize popular and pre-scientific conceptions of the relationship between crying, well-being and health, and we review the scientific literature on this topic. First, the focus is on whether crying brings relief and facilitates emotional recovery. Next, we discuss the evidence addressing whether crying or its chronic inhibition is associated with an increased risk of developing health problems. Finally, we address crying as a signal or symptom of disease. It is concluded that the question regarding whether crying brings relief has yielded seemingly contrasting findings, dependent on the design of the study. Concerning the second and third issues, there is a lack of sound studies. Little is known about the nature of the association between depression and crying. The evidence for a relationship between neurological disorders (in particular, stroke and multiple sclerosis) appears more convincing. There is also mainly anecdotal evidence of increased crying in a wide variety of health problems, which may reflect symptoms of disease, co-morbid depression, adjustment problems, or side effects of treatment. Some recent studies further suggest a positive effect of crying on health status in certain patient groups. More systematic and well-designed studies are needed to clarify the relationship between crying and health.