Irritability and Mental Illness: Just Stop Already!

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There’s a strong relationship between irritability and mental illness. Discover which mental illnesses irritability is associated with on HealthyPlace.

Irritability and Mental Illness: Just Stop Already!

If you find yourself frequently irritable, you’re not alone. Everyone gets irritable. Irritability is more extreme, though, in certain types of mental illness. In some cases, irritability is a constant emotion, affecting behavior every day. In other cases, you might be sailing along smoothly when a storm blows in without warning and you find yourself irritable, edgy, and snappy for no apparent reason.

Mental illness impacts our thoughts feelings, and behaviors. Irritability is a triple whammy here because it involves all three. When emotions run high, irritability can flare because we’re overwhelmed. When our thoughts race or we overthink, we often make assumptions that are upsetting, making us irritable. When we act on our irritability, we might lash out at others, isolate ourselves, or do other things we might regret.

Some mental illnesses actually have irritability as a symptom or sign, making it quite problematic for those with these disorders. Among them:

  • Depression
  • Bipolar disorder (bipolar and irritability)
  • Anxiety/anxiety disorders (anxiety and irritability)
  • PTSD
  • Acute Stress Disorder
  • Sleep Disorders
  • Substance Use Disorders/Addiction (and withdrawal from substances)
  • Schizoaffective disorder
  • Personality disorders, including (but not limited to) borderline personality disorder, and paranoid personality disorder

The strong connection between mental illness and irritability means that you aren’t an irritable person. Irritability is just another symptom of an illness.

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Your Thoughts

Today's Question: : If you live with mental illness, how does irritability impact your life and/or relationships? We invite you to participate by sharing your thoughts, knowledge, and experiences on theHealthyPlace Facebook page and on the HealthyPlace Google+ page.

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From HealthyPlace YouTube Channel

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APA Reference
Peterson, T. (2018, January 22). Irritability and Mental Illness: Just Stop Already! , HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 19 from

Last Updated: January 23, 2018

Medically reviewed by Harry Croft, MD

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