When we feel irritable, even trifles that should not bother us can make us feel agitated or annoyed, which can make use more sensitive to stressful situations.
Well, irritability is one of the most common emotions that we often go through in your daily lives. There are a few common factors response for making us irritable, including life stress, sleep deprivation, hormonal changes, and low blood sugar levels.
Irritability for an extended period may indicate some underlying condition, such as diabetes or an infection. It may also be an indication of an underlying mental health condition, such as depression or anxiety.
Following are some of the potential causes of irritability:
- Life stress
Undeniably, life stress is one of the biggest causes of irritability. When you go through a stressful period, you feel more irritable than usual. Prolonged stress can lead to mental exhaustion, resulting in irritability. Noticing the early signs of stress and managing it can help you to overcome irritability.
In the United States, more than 16 million adults are known to suffer from depression. Common symptoms of depression include irritability, sadness, and fatigue. So, if you have stronger feelings of irritability, you might be having depression.
Anxiety is yet another common cause of irritability. We often feel anxious while facing a stressful situation, preparing for an exam, or going through certain life changes. This type of acute stress often subside. However, frequent anxiety attacks could be a cause of concern. If a person experiences anxiety for more than six months, they are diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), which can cause irritability.
Phobia is a term used to describe an intense fear. Most people have phobias to a variety of situations, such as heights, water, needles, blood, social situations, and more. So, if you have a phobia to any situation, you are most likely to be irritable.
- Sleep deprivation
A sleepless night can make you feel a bit irritable the next day. Children are more vulnerable to unusually irritable if they do not have enough sleep. People with sleep disorders often feel irritable and anxious.
- Low blood sugar level
Also called hypoglycemia, low blood sugar can affect your physical as well as psychological health. Hypoglycemia is a common complication in people with diabetes who are oral hypoglycemic agents or insulin. The signs and symptoms of hypoglycemia include irritability, difficulty concentrating, an increased heartbeat, trembling, drowsiness, and dizziness.
- Hormonal imbalance
Hormonal imbalances can cause a variety of physical as well as psychological symptoms, and irritability is one of them. Constant stress, poor nutrition, sleep deprivation, and a sedentary lifestyle can affect the secretion of hormones. For instance, low testosterone levels or high estrogen levels can cause irritability in men. In women, premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is a common cause of irritability and mood swings.
Important tips to manage irritability:
- Eat a well-balanced diet; include fruits, vegetables, and whole-grain foods; avoid processed foods
- Exercise regularly
- Get enough sleep
- Manage stress
- Practice breathing exercises
- Practice meditation
- Speak with friends and family members
- Check with a counselor or mental health specialist