Is Crying All the Time a Sign of Depression?

Ask a Doctor

Over the last six months, since my youngest went off to college, I’ve been pretty lonely. I’ve noticed that I’m crying almost every day, whether it’s sparked by some sentimental TV commercial or for seemingly no reason. It’s starting to worry me that I can’t keep it together. Is crying all the time a sign of depression?

Doctor’s Response

Clinical depression can causes intense, chronic symptoms that can affect a person’s daily life. People with depression often feel sad and hopeless, irritable, frustrated, or angry. These emotions can be very powerful and may result in crying. But depression is not the only reason a person may cry frequently.

Crying all the time can also be a symptom of anxiety. Anxiety can be overwhelming and can cause a person to feel unable to cope, which may result in crying.

In some cases, a neurological condition called the Pseudobulbar affect (PBA) can cause uncontrollable crying (or laughing). This can often occur in people with traumatic brain injury or neurological conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, multiple sclerosis, or Parkinson’s disease.

There are no medical criteria that define crying “too much,” but if you feel you are crying more than usual or you can’t stop crying, see a doctor.


Depression is a(n) __________ . See Answer

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors


Alexandra Richards, DClinPsy. Here is Why You Cry for No Reason. 22 October 2018. 14 November 2018 .
Jeffrey M Lyness, MD. Patient education: Depression in adults (Beyond the Basics).
13 June 2017. 14 November 2018 .

PBA Info. What is PseudoBulbar Affect (PBA)? 2018. 14 November 2018 .