Severe Irritability: Causes and Solutions

By Noelina R. | Updated: Jun 18, 2020


Agitation at any little event that happens on a consistent basis without an obvious trigger can signify severe irritability. If left unmanaged, the symptom can rear its ugly head and ruin relationships with family, friends, and coworkers. It could also leave you puzzled, trying to understand what exactly is happening.

Continue reading to find out what makes irritability serious as well as causes and solutions for severe irritability so that you can finally have mood stability and peace of mind.

severe irritability

What is the Difference between Irritability and Severe Irritability?

In general, normal irritability comes and goes with external factors that cause the agitation and crankiness, such as traffic jams and delayed appointment times.

While it could be caused by hormonal imbalance, as is the case with premenstrual syndrome (PMS), it is not as severe or ongoing as the irritability caused by the hormonal deficit in menopausal women.

On the other hand, severe irritability and anger is unrelenting. It is a type of irritability that is present at consistently high levels. Accordingly, it is most likely caused by an underlying health condition.

Causes of Severe Irritability

The various ongoing health conditions that are associated with severe irritability include, but are not limited to, chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS); mental health disorders, like bipolar disorder; chronic headaches; sleeping problems, such as insomnia; nutritional deficiencies, like vitamin B12; thyroid disorders; and brain tumors.

However, for women who are of menopausal age, constant and severe irritability may be symptom of declining hormone production, especially of estrogen. Throughout women's reproductive lives, estrogen has been responsible for regulating moods and cognitive function. As such, fluctuating levels can leave them at a higher risk of developing mood disorders during this time. 

Solutions for Severe Irritability

Less risky, less invasive irritability treatments for minor cases of crankiness include an improved diet rich in whole, unprocessed foods and mental health-promoting antioxidants. Also, practice good habits by reducing excessive caffeine and alcohol intake in addition to stopping tobacco usage, and participate in consistent exercise, which can include stress-reduction techniques of yoga and Pilates.

Whereas, those suffering from severe irritability - such as women passing through the menopausal transition whose crankiness is due to consistent hormonal fluctuations - may need to pursue more advanced treatments.

Natural options include alternative medicines. Phytoestrogenic supplements can introduce potent plant-based estrogens into the body to resolve the imbalance. Or, consider taking hormone-regulating supplements, which work with the body to support its natural hormone production.

Furthermore, pharmaceutical options include drugs - like mood stabilizers - or hormone replacement therapy (HRT), involving potential serious side effects and increased risk of breast and ovarian cancer, among other diseases.

Key Takeaways

While severe agitation and irritability may get the best of you at times, you don't have to let it ruin your life. Severe irritability differs from normal irritability in the fact that it is unrelenting and ongoing, suggesting that it is caused by an underlying health condition, like mental health disorders, sleeping problems, and nutritional deficiencies, among others. Constant irritability is also a widely experienced symptom of menopausal women due to declining hormone levels. Luckily, non-invasive measures including well executed lifestyle adjustments can offset irritable moments, and alternative medicine or pharmaceutical options are widely available for treatment of severe agitation and irritability.

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