Panic attacks are often overwhelming and complex, causing multiple physical and psychological symptoms. While common symptoms include a rapid heartbeat, shortness of breath, and intense fear, there can also be other symptoms, such as constant worry and overwhelming emotions. Sometimes these overwhelming emotions can lead to uncontrollable crying as well.

In this article, we’ll explore why panic attacks can cause uncontrollable crying and examine how to manage crying episodes.

Understanding Panic Attacks

Panic attacks are intense episodes of fear and anxiety that can occur unexpectedly. They can lead to a variety of physical symptoms, including a rapid heart rate, trembling, sweating, and a sense of impending doom. Experiencing panic attacks can be incredibly distressing and emotionally exhausting. Thus, some people may cry during panic attacks to release pent-up emotions and stress or due to the sense of fear and uncertainty that they might be experiencing at that moment. However, symptoms of panic attacks differ for everyone, so uncontrollable crying may not always indicate panic attacks. We must then look at other symptoms to determine whether an individual is experiencing a panic attack.

Some symptoms of panic attacks are:

  • Intense fear or constant worry
  • Dry mouth
  • Shaking or trembling
  • Strong feelings of being in danger
  • Feeling dizzy
  • Nausea
  • Sweaty palms 
  • Feeling like you are losing control
  • Headaches

If uncontrollable crying occurs alongside the above-mentioned symptoms, it might indicate that someone is experiencing a panic attack. 

How to Cope With Uncontrollable Crying During Panic Attacks?

Coping with panic attacks can be stressful, and uncontrollable crying might make coping seem even more difficult. However, one can cope with crying through the use of various self-help techniques. They are:

  • Acceptance

Understand that panic attacks manifest for everyone in different ways, so crying during panic is normal. It might be an indication that you require emotional release.  Accepting crying as a way of coping and a normal reaction to panic will help you cultivate self-compassion and avoid self-blame which might make the situation worse.

  • Talk To Someone

Reaching out to a friend or a family member during times of panic can make you feel safe and emotionally supported. Openly talking about your emotions can provide a sense of relief and help you to stop crying as well.

  • Healthy Distractions

Look for healthy distractions that help you divert your thoughts from anxiety and panic to something that you find meaningful. You may want to consider distractions such as listening to happy tunes, taking a walk in nature, or watching funny videos. You can also try focusing on your hobbies.

  • Journaling

Journaling can be an effective way to cope with panic attacks and crying episodes. Journaling not only provides you with an outlet for your feelings but will also help you understand what might have triggered the panic and crying episodes.

  • Professional Help

If uncontrollable crying occurs repeatedly and is a particularly distressing aspect of panic attacks, you might want to consider consulting a trained mental health professional. Mental health professionals can provide guidance, tools, and coping strategies to help you manage your emotions during panic attacks.

Other Reasons for Uncontrollable Crying

It is important to understand that uncontrollable crying can have multiple underlying causes, apart from panic attacks. Sometimes people tend to cry when they are angry, overwhelmed, sad, or even burnt out. 


A panic attack manifests differently for everyone. Some people might cry as a result of intense fear or overwhelming emotions, while others might react in some other way like being irritable, etc. While uncontrollable crying may not always be an indication of a panic attack, it is certainly a sign of underlying, unresolved emotions.  Identifying the reasons for uncontrollable crying is key to finding the right treatment


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Dhruva Koranne

Dhruva Koranne has completed his Masters in Applied Psychology from Tata Institute of Social Sciences, BALM. He has been practicing as a counsellor since 2020 and works to create a safe space for clients where they can open up. In addition to this, Dhruva loves researching and studying about upcoming theories in the field of Psychology. Connect with him on Linkedin