From my days as a clinical psychologist, I have observed that irritability and depression are often paired. Indeed, if you experience one then chances are high that the other will be lurking around too!
Despite its prevalence in our society today, depression is still viewed as a rare ailment – with over 300 million people worldwide struggling with it at any given moment. Therefore, many individuals remain reluctant to seek medical assistance for their predicament.
Contrary to what may be expected, depression is not solely related to melancholic symptoms such as sadness or despair. Rather than being caused by high levels of stress or other external factors such as hectic lifestyles, health problems or even lack of sleep; depression is instead often rooted in internal conflicts such as anger issues or feelings of hopelessness.
In the loop: What irritability is and what it isn’t
Irritability can signify a range of emotions from mild annoyance (such as expletives) to extreme irritation; however, it does not necessarily require that you be experiencing feelings of sadness or despair.
All in all, irritability is an ordinary human experience; one that occurs intermittently throughout life. It’s typically fleeting – only becoming noticeable when experienced alongside other mood swings such as frustration or anger.
On the flipside, depression is a more severe condition that can have devastating effects on sufferers’ lives. Its symptoms include: low motivation levels, weight gain and sleep disturbances; these are quite distinct from those experienced alongside irritation!
Psychiatrists use different diagnostic criteria for determining whether a person suffers from depression, so they can’t predict who may be affected by this condition based solely on observable behavior.
Why irritability is bad news for your mental health
Though irritability may not normally be considered a cause for alarm, it can have serious implications for the well-being of those around you. This is because those experiencing this symptom may find it difficult to conceal their frustrations and anger – which could result in them inflicting potential harm on themselves or their loved ones.
Irritability can be problematic for many reasons. Firstly, it often presents itself as an indicator of excessive stress and anxiety – creating an uncomfortable feeling in its wake. Secondly, it can serve as a precursor to depressive symptoms such as sadness, disconnection and apathy; furthering your sorrowful state. And finally-most pertinently related-irritability may lead to uncontrollable sprees of rage!
A closer look at the connection between irritability and depression
Some individuals who suffer from depression report bouts of irritability, a phenomenon that can add another layer of complexity to the symptoms.
When you’re experiencing depression, it’s not uncommon for your mood to fluctuate – sometimes with an abrupt shift in one day or week. This can manifest in feelings of hostility and irritation as well as palpably diminished energy levels; conversely, excessive irritability may accompany these feelings too!
These are just two examples of how common it is to experience fluctuations between periods of happiness and contentment – but if you find yourself struggling with alternating bouts of melancholy and agitation, this could be indicative of depression.
What you can do if you’re experiencing more irritability than usual
If you find yourself in a pattern of feeling irritated more often than usual, don’t be alarmed – this isn’t necessarily an indication that you’re developing a depressive disorder. Rather, it may simply be indicative of an adjustment in your mood as a result of a life change or another event occurring within the environment.
If your irritability is interfering with your daily routine and diminishing your quality of life, consider speaking with a doctor about potential remedies to alleviate symptoms or even undergo treatment for depression.
The future of irritability research
Despite its prevalence among those suffering from depression, research on irritability is still in its infancy. However, scientists have begun to examine the link between this trait and other disorders such as anxiety and bipolar disorder.
Researchers at King’s College London recently published a study investigating the relationship between type-A personality traits and depressive symptoms in adults. They found that individuals with greater levels of these characteristics were more likely to experience depressive episodes later on – regardless of age.
Recently, a team of scientists from Japan has continued exploring the connection between irritability and neuroticism. Through their investigation, it was discovered that individuals with this trait are more prone to experiencing chronic stress compared with those who do not possess any signs of this disposition.
When considering how to treat depression, it is essential that we comprehend its underlying causes. This knowledge can provide a vital contribution in devising effective treatment strategies – from discovering what aggravates your moodiness to pinpointing where it originated so as to gain a more complete understanding of this condition and devise effective solutions for alleviating it.