This article is about the human shedding of tears. Touchpoints birth to three pdf includes anger, happiness, or sadness.
The act of crying has been defined as “a complex secretomotor phenomenon characterized by the shedding of tears from the lacrimal apparatus, without any irritation of the ocular structures”, instead, giving a relief which protects from conjunctivitis. A related medical term is lacrimation, which also refers to non-emotional shedding of tears. Various forms of crying are known as sobbing, weeping, wailing, whimpering, bawling, and blubbering. For crying to be described as sobbing, it usually has to be accompanied by a set of other symptoms, such as slow but erratic inhalation, occasional instances of breath holding and muscular tremor.
Scientists debate over whether humans are the only animals that produce tears in response to emotional states. Charles Darwin wrote in The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals that the keepers of Indian elephants in the London Zoo told him that their charges shed tears in sorrow. Tears produced during emotional crying have a chemical composition which differs from other types of tears. They contain significantly greater quantities of the hormones prolactin, adrenocorticotropic hormone, and Leu-enkephalin, and the elements potassium and manganese.
Two women weep at a funeral. The question of the function or origin of emotional tears remains open.
Theories range from the simple, such as response to inflicted pain, to the more complex, including nonverbal communication in order to elicit altruistic behavior from others. Some have also claimed that crying can serve several biochemical purposes, such as relieving stress.