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Feeling Irritated? 12 Reasons Why That Might Be the Case



Feeling Irritated

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

Being a human being, you’ve certainly experienced feelings of irritation. And you know how this feeling can pollute your entire environment. Irritability releases negative energy in your home, workplace, and relationships. This emotion usually includes others such as grumpiness and frustration, creating the ideal circumstances for you to snap.

This case of having a short fuse is usually followed by symptoms such as racing heart, sweating, confusion, anger, and shortness of breath. While it can seem like irritability comes out of the blue, in most cases, we can point to the exact root of the problem. And by knowing the cause of the problem, we are one step closer to its solution.

1. Lack of Sleep and Sleep Issues

Missing a night of sleep (or even a few of the recommended hours) can leave you grumpy, groggy, and cranky. Additionally, if the lack of sleep persists, you can have troubles with memory, focus, immunity, balance, sex drive, and metabolism.

Sleep is of the utmost importance for mental health, but sometimes the roots of sleep deprivation lie exactly in your mind. If you are stressed out or suffer from anxiety that is preventing you from getting your daily dose of shut-eye, perhaps you should see an expert.

Also, problems such as dysfunctional breathing can ruin your sleep by causing annoying nighttime trips to the loo and insomnia.

The reasons why you are not getting enough sleep could also be in your bedroom or your bedtime routine. Make sure your mattress is supportive and your room dark and quiet enough. On top of that, try to go to bed every night at the same time.

2. Anxiety

Worrying, in general, can make you edgy, but having anxiety keeps you on edge all the time. The heightened state of arousal that is associated with anxiety makes us jumpy, nervous, and irritable. In such a state, we react differently to things that would be normal or slightly annoying to others.

If you suspect that you might be anxious, pay attention to symptoms such as:

  • restlessness
  • muscle tension
  • sleep problems
  • fatigue
  • irritability

3. Too Much Coffee

Coffee keeps you on your toes, and that is usually a good thing. However, too much caffeine can be addictive. When you can’t get your fix for some time, you can be tired and irritable. Keep in mind that coffee can’t compensate for much-needed rest, and try to limit your daily intake.

4. Substance Abuse

Similar to coffee intake but much more serious, substance abuse will make people irritable during withdrawal. Various drugs and alcohol boost dopamine levels in the brain (for some time), but when they go back to normal, the user becomes edgy and cranky.

5. Dieting

If you ever went on a diet, then you probably know what it means to have mood swings while you are keeping yourself from the food you like. Also, some over-the-counter diet pills can make you stressed out and short-tempered. If you want to lose weight, you’ll need to consult an expert and find a well-balanced diet that keeps your belly full and your mind calm.

6. New Medications

Some prescription drugs (such as prednisone, which is used for asthma and allergies) can be psychological stressors. Also, the very fact that you’ve changed something in your regular medication regimen can make you irritable. If you notice significant changes, consult your doctor.

7. Chronic Pain

Dealing with some sort of discomfort is bound to make you irritable. This goes for all types of pain, including headaches, migraines, toothache, sore back, etc. Anger is sometimes our way of coping with the pain. Try not to give in to it because then you will have two problems – ache and irritability. You will solve both by treating the root.

8. Hyperthyroidism

Hormonal problems can often lead to discomfort and anxiety. This is often the case with hyperthyroidism, which is a condition where the thyroid overproduces hormones. The result usually comes in the form of excess sweating, racing heart, and an ill temper. Hyperthyroidism is easily diagnosed through medical history questionnaires and blood tests.

There are several treatments that can be applied depending on the case, including anti-thyroid medications, radioactive iodine, beta-blockers, and surgery.


We usually associate ADHD (attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder) with school-aged kids. However, there are also adults with ADHD, but in many cases, the disorder is not diagnosed. The symptoms associated with this disorder in adults include:

  • low frustration tolerance
  • trouble with multitasking
  • hot temper
  • frequent mood swings
  • impulsiveness
  • disorganization
  • restlessness
  • difficulty coping with stress

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms frequently, discuss them with your doctor. Work together to find the best treatment for you.

10. Heart Failure

Individuals with heart failure are frequently tired and worried about their breathing. It’s no wonder that they can be cranky. This chronic condition can also cause shortness of breath, mood swings, and swelling of the feet.

11. Dementia

Older people who are experiencing forgetfulness might be experiencing dementia. This is a particularly delicate condition that is followed by a lot of frustration. The frustration can manifest through numerous outbursts. The condition should be supervised by experts and treated with medication and counseling.

12. Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder or Perimenopause

The premenstrual dysphoric disorder is a more serious form of PMS that is manifested through severe mood swings and irritability. Another problem targeting only women is perimenopause that occurs before menopause. The most common symptom is crankiness.

In Closing

There are various other factors that can lead to irritability. For example, a sudden change in life or a stressful period are something that each of us has coped with at one point or another. Whatever your case, the point is to discover the triggers and causes to cope more effectively.

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