If you've ruled out illness or teething, could be seperation anxiety which is common at this age. My LO started doing this but instead of picking him up, getting him all excited and then trying to lay him back down, I just rub his head, spend a little time with him then leave the room. I had to do it a few times and then he just stopped waking up. This lasted a few days then he went back to normal sleeping.
I found that picking him up just made things 100 times worse because he would immediately lay his head down on me and fall asleep then if I moved at all, he'd start crying. It was just a phase for us and has passed.