I think men don’t cry because of hormones. Since going on the birth control pill a year ago, I have found that crying comes much, much easier to me. I cry reading a moving newspaper story at work, I cry at movies, I cry when I’m frustrated, I cry whenever I’m having emotional discussions with my boyfriend. When I told my gynecologist about it, she seemed worried, but I explained I don’t feel sadder than I used to, I just express my sadness with crying.
In fact, this morning I cried while having an IM conversation with my boyfriend—to be fair, we were discussing something really, really sad. Although it was awkward to blink back tears and hope no one comes over to my desk in the interim, I still like being able to cry more easily—except for the fact that crying in public has become a little too common. I didn’t appreciate the time I was sobbing in the subway uncontrollably before the Wilco concert, or the other time I ended up sobbing on public transportation after a conversation with my dentist (the truth can be harsh).
But I associate not being able to cry with being depressed. I remember feeling so sad when I was alone in LA the summer after my junior year of college, and being utterly unable to cry. Even after I got over that, my before and after still involved a lot less crying than my childhood and early teens.
But now I am a crier, and proud of it. I am 99.9% positive this is because of birth control pills, because objective things like television shows, newspaper articles, and movies don’t change. Their emotional content is pretty standard, and the only thing that’s changed is that I cry in response to them. The other possibility is that I am much happier with my boyfriend, and I can experience the full range of emotions, good and bad, because I am in such a good place. That could be true, I suppose, but I am less inclined to believe it because the crying and emotion in response to random things seems so utterly disconnected from what’s going on in our relationship. I would be more inclined to believe that if I were mostly crying when we’re having emotional conversations or fights or whatever.
So anyway, birth control pills have an unexpected side effect: making you cry more often! And some random crazy chick (that would be me) thinks this is a benefit, not a drawback.