Crying jags or uncontrollable crying can occur at all ages, and last for hours. It is the body’s mechanism to release pent up stress, and a helpful physiological process for the body. Sometimes it is difficult to pinpoint the causes of crying jags. Medical reasons that cause crying jags include depression, substance abuse, hormonal changes, anxiety, or just difficult circumstances. Crying jags are common in babies.
Depression causes people to behave strangely. They might indulge in extreme behavior, being ecstatic one day, to crying jags the next day. This is a clinical condition with a genetic disposition and can be triggered by stressful conditions or trauma, and requires help. Using alcohol, or drugs on a daily basis, causes strange behavior as well, including crying jags. Substance abuse changes the person’s personality and the person tends to be unaware of what is around him.
Pregnancy or other hormonal changes, especially in women causes them to become very sensitive and nervous, and they might end up feeling insecure about everything. This maybe a temporary physiological condition where they feel that crying is their only way out.
Babies have crying jags for several reasons. Hunger, wet diaper, sleep could cause them to cry. Often babies are colicky and cry for several hours at a stretch. It is difficult for parents to handle a crying baby, in the first few months of birth. Parents have to understand that crying is the only way babies can communicate and get attention.
Usually, babies just need comforting, and a holding them for a little while is enough to pacify them. But in extreme cases crying jags in babies indicate a serious medical problem. A shrill cry that lasts for hours indicates pain and discomfort and needs a trip to the doctor.
Crying jags do not end at that age. Children, growing up, go through changes in school, and at home, and often get upset over little episodes. Teenagers go through sensitive patches where they need to vent out their emotions. Teenagers may not feel comfortable discussing everything with their parents, and oftentimes a good cry is enough to ease the pain.
So how do you handle crying jags? Be there when your friend or loved one is hurting. Hold them and reassure them that things will be well again. A little support might be all they need. It may help to just sit with them, without saying anything to let them know that you stand by them no matter what. Listen instead of talking. Do not ask questions – let them initiate the conversation. Let them cry their hearts out and that alone will make them feel better.