How To Know If You (Or The Guy You Love) Has Irritable Male Syndrome

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Signs of Irritable Male Syndrome
Love, Self

It's a real thing.

I’ll admit that I have questioned whether or not my partner was just a miserable human being or if it was his time of the month.

I say that because at my time of the month, I am a raging, irritable little brat and I have had ex-boyfriends who literally became so irritated and frustrated for a period of time. I would ask myself, "Is it that time of the month for him?"

Here’s the thing…there may be a reason your partner is acting in such irritable and anxious ways. Andropause, also known as male menopause, that actually causes both physical and emotional changes. It is also referred to as "Irritable Male Syndrome".

Andropause is related to a decrease in male hormone levels and as a result, causes emotional and physical changes in the male body.

I think I owe a few of my ex-boyfriend’s an apology now that I know there is current research on Irritable Male Syndrome. They were experiencing physical and emotional changes that were out of their control and I wasn’t serious enough about it.

Irritable Male Syndrome has significant impacts on all relationships in the lives of those who suffer from it. It can create a chaotic environment and increased arguments and fighting.

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Seeking out mental health support is highly recommended in order for your relationship to get stronger and not fall apart. And I will be the first to say that there is nothing to be ashamed about in going to seek therapy for a better and stronger relationship as well as for you and your partner to learn to cope in healthy ways. 

Has your male partner been acting different or more sensitive to things? Has he been more irritable than usual?

In order to better help your partner, it’s important to educate yourselves about Irritable Male Syndrome. If you notice sudden changes in your partner’s physical and emotional state, he may be suffering from Irritable Male Syndrome.

Here are the signs that you should look for when trying to figure out whether or not your partner may be suffering from this condition:

1. Irritability

This is considered the main symptom in Irritable Male Syndrome. Make sure you are taking note of how your partner’s behavior has changed from before.

It’s kind of like a before and after picture. Is he more easily irritated and frustrated than before and if so, how much more? Has he always seemed on edge or is this something new?

2. Depression

Research has suggested that there is a strong relationship between low hormone levels and depression. Often times, Irritable Male Syndrome is overlooked and diagnosed as depression as signs such as lack of energy and difficulty concentrating are very common in both.

Make sure to ask if your partner has been increasingly sad or emotional recently. Has he been crying more? Has he been sensitive about things that he wouldn't have been so affected by in the past?

3. Decreased sex drive

The lower the hormone levels are, the more likely your partner will experience some sort of decreased sex drive. Are you both having sex more, less, or about the same than in the past? Is he not as affectionate and intimate as he once was?

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4. Energy loss

Whenever there is a decrease in a substance needed to maintain your body’s equilibrium, loss of energy is to be expected. When your body is off, then you are off both physically and mentally.  

Is he complaining more about being tired or feeling weak? Is he not able to do things such as grocery shop or go get gas in the car because of tiredness or exhaustion? Has this been happening for a long time or is this a new thing?

5. Low self-confidence and self-esteem 

Are they more down on themselves? Are they talking about their physicality and if so, in what way? Is it because he can’t make it out to exercise because of fatigue and weakness?

The signs listed above are just for reference so that you can properly evaluate whether or not Irritable Male Syndrome may be contributing to these often sudden and drastic changes.

First, your partner should get blood work done to test his cholesterol and blood sugar level to rule out certain conditions. If the doctor doesn't mention testosterone levels, make sure you ask for that test to be completed as well.

I’m sure you don’t want your partner to suffer. But you also don’t want to have a doctor misdiagnose your partner due to lack of testing and possibly worsen whatever it is your partner is suffering from.

You will have to educate yourself on this topic so that you know what to ask for, what tests should be done, and possible other rule outs and conditions with similar signs and symptoms.

This is not a joke. It’s a very real condition that I’m sure there are so many more men suffering from this than we are aware of. Make sure to be an advocate for your partner. Support him during these times when he is most likely confused and concerned as to why these changes are happening.

Rather than growing apart because of his irritability, it can be used as a way to show your support and in the end, become much closer than before. Trust me when I say I feel very guilty and regretful for not taking my ex-boyfriend’s increased irritability and restlessness more seriously.  

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Brittney Lindstrom is a Licensed Professional Counselor and Certified Rehabilitation Counselor.