Many of us tend to feel cranky from time to time and sometimes, for no reason at all. Have you ever wondered why? According to Steven Lamm, MD, clinical professor of medicine and Director of the Tisch Center for Men’s Health at NYU Langone Medical Center says, “Sleep is critical for proper mental health, so when you’re fatigued you get irritated. It’s like a baby crying—you put them to sleep and they feel better.” You should always make sleep your priority if you want to make sure that your mind is at its right place. Adults are advised to get at least seven and at the most nine hours of sleep every night, rather than five to six hours. Read on to find out the medical reasons why people feel irritable.
Dementia is a condition when you start forgetting small things in life, such as where you put your keys, what you talked about the other day, what are the things you had to purchase at the supermarket, etc. Forgetting small things often make people feel frustrated and snap at people for small reasons or no reason at all. This frustration often looks like irritability and outbursts to the people around you.
2. Chronic Pain
Chronic pain may seem totally unrelated to mood swings, but it is true that pain can make you crankier than usual. Often, people do not want to acknowledge the fact that they are in pain, and in these times, they are not themselves and suffer from a short temper due to their pain.
3. Mild Depression
Depression can be of many degrees, from transient to clinical. Transient depression is a part of normal human living, while clinical depression can severely impair the sufferer’s life. Low-level or mild depression doesn’t get in the way of daily function, while clinical depression impacts daily life. However, mild depression can make a person quite grumpy and pessimistic, which means a therapist’s help is recommended in both cases of depression.
4. Heart Failure
People who have suffered from heart failure often feel fatigued and might be so preoccupied with their health, medication, and even breathing, that they might put anyone off. Heart issues often mess up with the flow of blood in the brain, which can make the person cranky.
5. Caffeine Withdrawal Or Overdose
Caffeine is a chemical present in coffee, tea, and many other beverages, and it can have quite a powerful impact on the brain. While caffeine can act as an alerting agent, withdrawal from its stimulation can make you feel fatigued and irritable. You might suffer from mood swings if you are addicted to caffeine but haven’t got it for some time or even if you have had too much of it.
Hyperthyroidism is the condition when the thyroid hormone starts secreting excess thyroxine in the body. Overproduction of thyroid hormones leaves you with a racing heart and makes the person sweat excessively, leading to irritability. Whenever patients of hyperthyroidism do not feel well, they become cranky.
7. Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder
Some people are fixated on keeping things neat and orderly, and are very prone to snap at people if something is out of line. These are people who suffer from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and are fine when you let them do things their way, but when you interfere with their routine, they become cranky.
8. Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder
Many women experience mood swings a couple of days before their periods, a condition called premenstrual syndrome. However, if your premenstrual symptoms last more than a week, you could be having PMDD (Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder), which often shows up as severe and long-lasting crankiness.
In some women, before their start of menopause, hormones begin to fluctuate quite rapidly, and this leads to symptoms such as hot flashes, sleeplessness, and irritability. There is a rapid fluctuation of female hormones in them, especially progesterone. This leads to a lot of irritability in them.
10. Substance Abuse
People who are addicted to and abuse substances such as drugs and alcohol, can get irritable during withdrawal. While alcohol pumps up dopamine levels in the “reward center” of the brain and makes people feel better about themselves, it only calms abusers temporarily. So, when the levels fluctuate, they need alcohol again and if they don’t get it, they become cranky.
Now that you know what could be the reason behind your constant irritability, check with a therapist or a physician and take necessary precautions.