Irritable Male Syndrome: Everything You Need To Know

Irritable Male Syndrome: Everything You Need To Know

What is an irritable male syndrome? Is irritable male syndrome real? What causes irritable male syndrome? Can irritable male syndrome be treated? What causes mood swings in men? If you are looking for answers to one or all of these questions, this article is for you.

Hi. My name is Sean Galla. I am a facilitator of support groups and support forums for men. With over 10 years of experience in this field, my work involves providing safe spaces for men to discuss men’s issues, including discussions around the irritable male syndrome. In my line of work, I have seen firsthand how important it is for men to come together and address issues affecting them and get the support and advice they need to overcome these issues.

A support group is a fantastic place for anyone to get the support, information, and help they need to understand irritable male syndrome (IMS) and why they are the way they are. In this article, you will find all the information you need about IMS and how it affects men.

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Written by

Sean Galla

An experienced facilitator, community builder and Peer Support Specialist, Sean has been running men's groups for 10+ years. Read Sean's Full Author Bio.

What Is an Irritable Male Syndrome?

What Is an Irritable Male Syndrome

Irritable male syndrome, or IMS (male menopause), is a common term used to describe mood swings in men, believed to be common in male mammals. It is also a state of anxiety characterized by hypersensitivity, anger, frustration, depression, and aggression, associated with hormonal fluctuations, stress, biochemical changes, and loss of male identity. 

Common causes of Irritability in men include heightened levels of cortisol and testosterone levels drop in men during andropause. When this happens, most men respond by withholding their feelings, which makes them grumpy old men, therefore affecting men’s health.

Common behaviors common with symptoms of IMS include:

  • Anger
  • Impatience
  • Sarcasm
  • Anxiety
  • Tension
  • Hostility
  • Argumentativeness
  • Unlovingness
  • Frustration
  • Withdrawal
  • Demandingness
  • Defensiveness
  • Sadness
  • Dissatisfaction

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What Causes Irritable Male Syndrome?

While the Irritable Male Syndrome is most of the time caused by hormonal changes causing low testosterone levels and high-stress levels. It can also occur as a result of heightened high estrogen levels in men. This imbalance occurs when there is a declining level of testosterone, associated with aging, and can be confused for a mid-life crisis.

Weight gain can also be a contributing factor related to irritability in men. Newly forming fat cells lead to increased production of estrogen from testosterone. The higher the levels of estrogen, the lower the levels of testosterone, which causes irritability in men.

Also, high levels of cortisol (the stress hormone) cause lower testosterone levels, which in turn increases the likelihood of mood swings in men. IMS is also linked to some medications that cause an imbalance in male hormones.

The signs to look out for when it comes to IMS include reduced sex drive, decreased spontaneous erections, erectile dysfunction, insomnia, and daytime sleepiness. Physical changes that can indicate IMS include decreased muscle mass, decreased body hair, and low bone density. 

Emotional issues such as decreased motivation, depression, lack of concentration, low self-confidence, memory lapses, and lack of mental acuity can also be determining factors for IMS.  

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How Irritable Male Syndrome Is Diagnosed

How Irritable Male Syndrome Is Diagnosed

If you or your loved one is showing signs of IMS, getting the testosterone levels checked is an ideal first step when it comes to diagnosing sudden mood shifts in men that may be caused by age-related hormone changes.

Testosterone level checks can be done as part of a routine blood test. This test will check cholesterol, blood sugar levels, and other health markers. You can ask your doctor to also check for testosterone level to determine the root cause of your sudden mood swings.

How high or low the testosterone is in your blood is the greatest indicator of your hormonal situation, providing possible clues to the sudden changes in your moods. A physician is able to tell you more after a few physical tests and assessment your symptoms.

Some underlying health conditions can also be the cause of IMS. For example, having diabetes can be a cause of erectile dysfunction. Obstructive sleep apnea, a nighttime breathing disorder, is known to cause decreased energy levels, affecting one’s ability to focus.

If you are in a relationship, it is advisable to have an open conversation wot your partner concerning your recent symptoms, especially if it affects your relationship and sex life. Letting your partner in can go a long way in helping you cope better and get support as you navigate IMS.

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Treatment Options for the Irritable Male Syndrome

The treatment options for IMS depend on the root cause of the hormonal imbalance.

An irritable male syndrome that occurs as a result of decreased testosterone levels can be treated with testosterone replacement therapy. For this treatment option, the patient received regular injections of a synthetic testosterone hormone to help restore vitality and other factors affected by a decline in hormone levels.

Hormone replacement therapy has potential side effects., like any other treatment. Its effect on heart health is a primary concern for most doctors, while some people experience heightened levels of aggression and moods after treatment. Most of these side effects can be managed when reported to the doctor in good time.

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle can also go a long way in helping to regulate hormonal production and levels. It can also protect you from conditions associated with IMS, such as:

  • diabetes
  • heart disease
  • insomnia
  • low energy levels

Maintaining a healthy diet and avoiding foods that are high in fat and processed sugars is also recommended when dealing with IMS and wellness. Affected individuals should also limit their alcohol intake and ensure they exercise most if not all days of the week for no less than 30 minutes.

If irritable male syndrome has negatively affected your relationship, you should consider seeking mental health treatment or seeing a psychotherapist. Therapy can also help with managing the changes in your personality. Through Couples counseling, you learn how to work through emotions positively and communicate better with your partner.

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Managing Irritable Male Syndrome

To effectively manage irritable male syndrome, you should first start with recognizing the symptoms, get diagnosed by a professional, and follow through with your treatment. Some tips to help maintain a healthy lifestyle even with IMS include:

  • Acknowledging changes in how you respond to situations.
  • Learning to recognize mood changes and taking time out to relax before responding to the situation.
  • Learning to listen calmly when people address your mood or personality changes.
  • Take a testosterone level test and therapy if appropriate.
  • Learning helpful stress-busting and relaxation techniques. You can consider meditation, yoga, or breathing exercises to calm down when you develop aggravated negative emotions.
  • Exercising regularly to increase the levels of endorphins, the “feel-good” hormone. This can help overcome depression and anxiety symptoms.
  • Taking up a healthy eating diet plan that encompassed healthy food like lean proteins, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat or fat-free dairy products, and nuts.
  • Cutting back on foods and beverages with processed sugars.
  • Join a support group

Joining Support Groups for IMS

A men’s IMS support group is a type of meeting where men meet to address issues related to irritable male syndrome specifically. These groups strictly comprise men affected by IMS and are looking for a supportive community and advice to help them overcome the condition.

The best irritable male syndrome support group offers emotional support while giving practical help to people dealing with IMS and mental health issues caused by their struggle with the condition.

IMS support groups comprise peers who share the same emotional or physical issues from IMS. Since most IMS groups are informal, they are excellent additions to professional help. The goal in these groups is to assist each other and offer coping skills.

For an IMS group to be successful, there must be a level of trust and openness amongst the members. Sharing is part of the process when you are part of such a group. Each member is free to share with the group and explain their challenge or progress in their IMS journey. Through self-disclosure, members are free to share their stories, issues, feelings, and stresses.

The members also determine the best activities and advice likely to work for their needs. The group facilitates honest and open communications in a non-judgmental environment for the benefit of each member. These are the features that make IMS groups beneficial to the participants.

Men’s Group IMS Support Forum 

Men's Group IMS Support Forum 

Lack of a support system is one of the major causes of mental health issues amongst men with IMS. Men’s Group offers an online men’s forum that provides group support, help, and guidance to men interested in beating IMS and becoming better versions of themselves.

It is a supportive network of men ready and willing to help others like them through shared life experiences. MensGroup uses different group activities for service delivery. The mensgroup.com self-help session is rich in relevant information to help you lead a better life. It is more than just a self-help group. It will equip you with the resources you need to live a better life even as you battle to overcome irritable male syndrome.

As an online support group for men, the group meets virtually over video or chat, making it perfect for busy men who prefer not to attend physical meetings.

Conclusion

There are numerous IMS support groups in different parts of America. If you are looking for a support group available at all times, MensGroup is one of the best options today. As an online-based group, you can be sure that there is an active meeting or forum at all times.

The possibilities of success once you join an IMS support group are tremendous. 

*Sources:
1. Irritable male syndrome
2. Irritable Male Syndrome: Fact or Fiction?
3. The irritable male syndrome 
4. Jed Diamond, PhD – The 4 Key Causes of the Irritable Male Syndrome
5. Irritable Male Syndrome? - Blokes, Hormones and Happiness

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