Does Irritable Male Syndrome Exist?

Are you feeling anxious, angry and depressed? Are you a man? You could be suffering from IMS

If you’re making this face more often than you’d like, you could be suffering from IMS

Due to fluctuating levels of testosterone, men now have their own version of PMS – irritable male syndrome

Changes in hormone levels at different times of the month can cause frustrating symptoms such as anxiety, social withdrawal, or depression.

We’re not talking premenstrual syndrome, however, but rather irritable male syndrome (IMS). California clinical psychotherapist Jed Diamond coined the term IMS, which describes a condition where men experience a range of effects, from anger to trouble sleeping, as a result of fluctuating levels of testosterone.

Testosterone, Aggression, Depression and Irritable Male Syndrome

According to Diamond, author of the book The Irritable Male Syndrome: Managing the Four Key Causes of Depression and Aggression, men experience hormonal cycles not just monthly but also hourly, daily and seasonally.

Stress can also contribute to IMS, as can biochemical changes in brain chemistry that result in a drop in serotonin levels.

Then there is what Diamond calls a loss of male identity or purpose. Men’s roles have changed drastically and as a result many men feel that their life lacks meaning.

It’s important for men to have their testosterone levels checked regularly by a physician, Diamond advises. He also suggests getting regular exercise in a regimen that includes cardiovascular, strength and flexibility training. Plus, eating a balanced diet abundant in fruit and vegetables, with little or no alcohol, can help keep hormones in check.

To really get to the heart of the issue, Diamond advises men work on overcoming troubling emotions. Support groups, self-help resources and communicating openly with loved ones can all help turn the irritable male into the stable and satisfied one.

Originally published in Wellness Matters, Canada Wide Media’s quarterly newsletter on health and wellness.