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Acta Psychiatr Scand. 2007 May;115(5):340-51.

Is there a relationship between depression and crying? A review.

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  • 1Department of Psychology and Health, Tilburg University, Tilburg, The Netherlands.



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.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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