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Crying Myself to Sleep

I once had the idea for writing a book with this title. I thought of it when I learned how many teenagers actually do cry themselves to sleep. There are more than anyone knows. And most of them will probably never tell anyone that they do. Just like most people will probably never tell anyone that they were sexually abused.

On Yahoo Answers a teen asked if it was normal to cry herself to sleep. First, I would like to say that it definitely is not normal. Even if it were normal, it would not be healthy. Hitting your wife or children is normal in some cultures, but it is not healthy. (Yahoo Answers discussion is below.)

If you cry yourself to sleep it usually means you have no one to talk to who listens, cares, understands, helps. In other words, you do not have enough emotional support in your life.

What is normal is for a person to come to someone else's aid when they hear someone crying. But if you are young and you live at home and you cry alone at night, it means that you have tried, many times, to talk to your parents, and you only end up feeling worse. So you have learned to keep your pain to yourself. Your best solution, though an extremely sad one, is to cry yourself to sleep at night.

One day though, perhaps you will meet someone who will silently hold you while you cry. Someone who won't invalidate you or tell you to stop crying or to stop feeling sorry for yourself or have nothing to cry about. I sincerely hope that you will take care of yourself until you find someone like this. If you do, I encourage you to have them read this website and learn things about listening and understanding and validation that they almost certainly were never taught in any school.

Good luck.

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From Yahoo Answers


I am a teenager. Is it normal to cry myself to sleep everynight?
Am i depressed? Is it Depression? It's school, friends, a lot of things. I'm unhappy and don't like the way things are going right now.

The "Best Answer" from the readers was not very good. For one thing it did not tell this teen that crying yourself to sleep definitely is not nornal. And it did not suggest there were valid reasons for the teen's sadness and loneliness, for example that they don't feel understood their parents and they don't feel safe to talk to them.

Instead it suggested things like medication, (of course) and getting involved in a church group. First, what if the teen is an atheist? This is the kind of unhelpful advice that this teen has probably received for years, and thus one reason he or she cries them self to sleep.

Here is the "Best Answer"

Crying will release some of your tension, tire you, give you some sleep. Therapy is good, but maybe a small amount of medication is all you need to get you through a difficult time. Teen years were not easy on many of us for the reasons you list. Take heart, it will not last forever. Some positive factors in your life could change all of this. Try a church group, get involved with things you care about


I am not sure how Yahoo Answers works, ie who picks the best answer, but regardless of who picked it, it leave a lot to be desired. One thing I would definitely suggest to someone who told me they cry themselves asleep like this is that they are almost surely being invalidated, emotionally neglected, and emotional abused. Thus, I would suggest they begin doing research on these topics to educate themselves before they get even more confused and their self-esteem suffers further.

I also wonder how many people cry themselves to sleep every night? How many cry themselves to sleep frequently or how many teenagers have ever cried themselves to sleep?