Do you feel like men in your surroundings tend to be, seemingly without a relevant reason, oversensitive, anxious, frustrated, or angry? Or are you a man who observes similar reactions in yourself? It may be a manifestation of the so-called Irritable Male Syndrome (IMS).

Understanding and preventing it will help us with its 5 main causes:

1.Hormonal changes

In the context of IMS, hormonal fluctuations refer primarily to the typically male hormone – testosterone. Author Theresa Crenshaw compares testosterone to a young Marlon Brando. It is sexual, sensual, seductive, but also dark and dangerous. As it happens, it would be best if its level was average. It fluctuates mainly under the influence of stress, conflict, and higher age. High levels of testosterone lead to male competitiveness, aggression, and even violence. Men become grumpy and irritable when the level of this hormone is low.

2.Biochemical changes in the brain

We have chemical substances in the brain that transmit certain types of signals from the nervous system. In connection with IMS, we will talk about such a transmitter, professionally known as neurotransmitter, called serotonin. The more serotonin our body produces, the happier and more positive we are, and we are in a good mood. Conversely, a lack of this substance contributes to sullenness, irritability, and aggression.

Increased consumption of meat protein, which many men prefer, sometimes at the expense of necessary carbohydrates contained in vegetables (such as potatoes, corn, pumpkin), lowers serotonin levels. Frequent alcohol consumption is also an enemy of serotonin.

3.Increased stress levels

Stress is the body’s defense reaction. It is something we cannot avoid in life. It is necessary to realize that stress is caused not only by negative situations that we worry about but also by positive situations. It is simply caused by changes that we must adapt to. Divorce, for example, is stressful, but so is a wedding. Although we cannot eliminate stress, what we can do is learn to identify it and react to it in a targeted way that will help us cope with it as best as possible.

4.Changes in male role and identity

Throughout human history, the male role was clearly defined: the main task of men was to bring home the food. Men hunted game and shared what they caught with their family and tribe. Everyone had their role to play – some were good at tracking animals, while others were skilled at making bows and arrows or spears. Some men were strong and could shoot a bull with an arrow, while others knew how to sing songs and dance to make the hunt more effective. When they weren’t hunting, they spent time with family and friends, playing with their children and teaching them their skills. In modern times, male roles have become confused and unclear. Many men are unemployed or work in jobs they don’t enjoy. Divorce separates them from their children, and they often lose contact with supportive friends and relatives.

5.”Crack” in love

Men’s irritability and anger can also be related to the quality of their relationship with their loved ones. They may be triggered, for example, when they feel “disconnected” from their partners. The article’s author compares himself and his wife to two porcupines in the snow, both longing for warmth and contact but hurting each other whenever they get closer. Their relationship had fallen into a vicious cycle, with him feeling criticized and reacting angrily. His wife withdrew and couldn’t show him the love he needed, because he was constantly bombarding her with tasks, hostile looks, and irritated comments. Over time, he realized how destructive his anger was for their relationship, and they managed to rebuild their bond based on trust.