February 8, 2021

How to Manage Severe Irritability

By: Design
No Comments

Table of Contents

Medicially Reviewed By:
Dr. Priya Chaudhri
credentials here

You know you are being irrational, but you just can’t seem to control your frustration. So, intense frustration leads to explosive irritability. One thing sets you off and you become so irritated it is like rocket fuel to the moon.

What gives? Why is it that some people manage life’s ups and downs so calmly while others explode? In many cases, stress is the root of the problem. We live in a very stressful world, and patience runs thin at times. A lack of patience combined with frayed nerves and, boom! there it goes.

When we feel irritable it can be for various reasons. Maybe you didn’t get enough sleep. Maybe there are problems at home or money issues. Maybe you are not feeling well that day. Maybe you are having problems in the romance realm. There are many causes for waking up feeling irritated by just about everything.

Hormones and Irritability

It is thought that female hormone issues may play a part in irritability. Women seem to struggle with irritability more than men. There is some data that supports the role of hormones in mood, including feeling irritated all the time. It may not take much at all to cause something or someone to irritate us. That’s because there is a hormone imbalance. The way we react to a trigger or to frustration can be a problem when hormones are out of sync.

This applies to women of all ages and all stages in their lives. Of course, it has been long known that PMS triggers irritability. As a women enters peri-menopause in their forties they may notice they have intense mood swings and feel irritated much of the time. But what is not so widely known is that even menopausal women struggle with this problem. Somehow, as part of the aging process, older women may become irritable doing the things that never sparked those feelings before.

Health and Irritability

There are times when a health issue or a mental health condition is causing the irritable feelings. Some examples of health conditions being the root cause include:

  • Chronic pain
  • Huntington’s disease
  • Dementia
  • Brain tumors
  • Stroke
  • Lung disease
  • Heart disease
  • Medication side effects

When we don’t feel well we tend to snap at others. We lack the patience we would usually have when frustrated or annoyed with someone.

Mood Disorders and Irritability

Several mental health disorders attribute severe irritability as a key symptom. Mood disorders like depression, anxiety, and bipolar are prime examples of this. A mood disorder is a mental state that interferes with normal daily function. Mood swings are common, and so is the symptom of severe irritability. Even the most minor things can cause the person to go off. With bipolar disorder, it is not just feeling very irritated, but also having the effects of extreme mood shifts. Bipolar symptoms include:

  • Mania: Irritability, increased energy, rapid talking, being impulsive, lack of sleep, feeling like you are losing your mind.
  • Depression: Sadness, slow speech, sleep problems, low energy, fatigue, loss of interest.

Anxiety disorders can also cause feelings of irritation. It is a common trait among all anxiety disorders.

How to Treat Severe Irritability

When your daily life begins to suffer due to your constant sense of irritation it is time to seek help. Depending on the root cause of this behavior you will be offered an array of options. Like teamwork, these treatments work in tandem to calm the mind and spirit. You don’t have to go through each day feeling so irritated about life. These can truly help you regain a sense of peace about you.


One-to-one therapy sessions give the person a chance to explore the sources of severe irritability. Maybe they have gone through a recent breakup or divorce and are feeling quite scared about the future. Maybe they have suffered a job loss and fret what will happen if they can’t pay the bills. Therapy offers a safe space to talk about the things that are plaguing you. The therapist offers new coping skills using CBT and other related types of therapy.

Lifestyle changes

A lack of sleep is one of the biggest culprits for causing us to feel irritated throughout our day. No one can function well with a lack of sleep. It affects our mood, how we feel physically, and disrupts our workday. Getting good sleep will be a large part of the treatment plan. Also, it will help to add a fitness program to your routine. Being active helps improve sleep and your mood.


There are drugs that can be used, some off-label, to help rein in the agitation. These drugs are often prescribed for treating bipolar. Some are anti-psychotics, and some are antidepressants. A doctor will assess the type of mood disorder and other symptoms to decide which drug is best. Very often, a patient will need to trial two or more drugs to find the most effective one for them.

As hard as it is to live with feeling so irritated all day long, there are some options that will help. Ask your doctor for some helpful solutions so you can achieve a sense of peace again.

Elevation Behavioral Health Treats Mood Disorders and Irritability

Elevation Behavioral Health is a residential mental health program in L.A. When plagued by extreme feelings of anger, frustration, or irritability it can cause many problems in your life. People you know and care about may begin to avoid you, just so they don’t have to witness these outbursts. To get the help you need, consider the expert team at Elevation Behavioral Health. Our intimate program is based in a private estate. It features a gorgeous hillside setting, perfect for unwinding. Our clinicians will guide you through the process of finding inner peace again. Give the team a call today at (888) 561-0868.

Our team of experts is here to help you.