General Question

Facade's avatar

Why does your throat hurt when you have the urge to cry but don't?

Asked by Facade (22881points) July 25th, 2009
Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

6 Answers

marinelife's avatar

Because you are tightening all of the muscles in your facial and throat area while attempting to avoid the tears.

Facade's avatar

is that involuntary?

marinelife's avatar

Yes. Here’s a good scientific explanation:

” when we feel a strong emotion, such as the urge to cry, it is translated as stress to the ‘automatic nervous sytem’. Other emotions such as fear or anger are also translated in this way, as it’s thought that the causes of these emotions in our ancestors were only caused by stressful or dangerous situations. This is our typical ‘fight or flight’ biological reaction to things.

The stress triggers the automatic nervous sytem which acts to increase the flow of oxygen and sugar to the muscles give us that much needed boost in dire situations. Consequently, in order to get more oxygen to the body, one biological response is to expand the glottis in your throat.

So, when one feels the urge to cry, it is translated into stress and dealt with accordingly by your automatic nervous system. But, being the social creatures we are, there are times when we try to suppress the urge to cry and often constrict or stop breathing altogether. Hence we have a battle between the body’s natural response to stress by widening the muscle in the throat to get more oxygen, and one’s wish to avoid shedding tears where we often stop breathing and thus constrict the muscle in our throat.”

Facade's avatar

That explains it :)

augustlan's avatar

I have always wondered about this. Thanks for both the question and the answer!

Facade's avatar

you’re welcome

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