Tears – nature’s emotional processing?

Click below to link to:

bullet  Tears and the processing of emotional hurt
bullet  Purposeless or adaptive?
bullet  Is crying good for you?
bullet  What the psychologist said to the journalist
bullet  When tears fail
bullet  Perspectives from philosophy
bullet  References

In emotional processing we want to understand what processes occur to help the individual person absorb or minimise the impact of a negative emotional event, such as the experience of a car crash, in their life.

Tears are a classic example of how emotional hurts can be released or worked through.  A period of mourning, involving tears, preoccupation with memories of the deceased, loss of appetite and loss tearsof interest in normal pleasures is universal and accurately recorded as far back as King David when his son was dying (second book of Samuel, Ch12, v15).  Equally, psychotherapists and counsellors are familiar with treating patients who have blocked off tears, failed to mourn and for whom memories of the decreased are still vividly alive and painful years later.  Tears would appear, in miniature, to be an example of how emotional processing works.  In analysing and understanding tears, we might gain broader insights into how emotional processing might operate.

A new type of tear-jerker
By Finlo Rohrer BBC News, Washington

“Middle-aged men are not “supposed” to cry during movies”
Go to article

“by weeping we disperse our wrath .. it is a relief to weep;
grief is satisfied and carried off by tears”