Mood Swings in Men Causes, Risks and Prevention

Mood swings in men causes and remedies

Table Of Contents

While it is assumed only women suffer from mood swings, men can also be victims of this common problem. Do you experience high irritability and anger? Do you get overwhelmed with anger in some instances? Then, you might be having an irritable male syndrome (IMS), a common term used to mood swings in men.

As the case in women, male bodies also experience hormonal changes. However, these changes occur as life progresses. Therefore, IMS in men is not common among teenagers, but in men in their advanced ages.

Mood swings in men causes and remedies

What causes IMS?

While mood swings in males are associated with hormonal changes, other factors such as depression and stress have a role to play in it. Men who are handling difficult situations are likely to have them.

Many men, however, do not understand why they experience irritable male syndrome. This topic has also become a real bother for many women whose husbands experience this condition.

Scientifically, IMS is attributed to rising levels of cortisol. With rising levels of cortisol, men may become depressed, thus this condition sets in.

What causes mood swings in men?

While most people are silent about it, over the years, this problem has become common, especially among men between 40-60 years of age. In this age bracket, it is believed that stress cortisol levels are high. It is also believed that testosterone levels go down.

Increase in cortisol levels and a drop-in testosterone leads to this irritability. During this irritability, some men withdraw from the rest of the world and become depressed. Others project their anger and frustration to other people by being violent., IMS is noted through certain behavioral characteristics.

Some of the behaviors that are noted include:

  • Easily getting angry
  • Becoming impatient with almost everything
  • Anxiety noted through how one behaves
  • One appears tensed
  • One withdraws from the rest and lives in solitude
  • One seems frustrated with life
  • One becomes hostile over nothing, especially to family members
  • They become consistently sad
  • One likes picking arguments with everyone over petty issues
  • One is defensive
  • For partners, one becomes suddenly unloving
  • No matter how you try to satisfy them, they become unsatisfied

If you note some of the following behavioral traits in the man, then they are likely to be having the irritable male syndrome.

In most cases, IMS is attributed to the following factors:

Low testosterone

It is a proven fact that low testosterone in men is the leading cause of this condition. Most of those above 45 years of age can attest to this fact. As men advance in years, the testosterone levels go down while estrogen levels go up.

Why do these changes occur? Basically, decrease in testosterone levels and rise in estrogen levels is attributed to aging and andropause.

Commonly, testosterone is associated with influencing sexual desires in males. Low testosterone, in this case, does not imply erectile dysfunction or lack of sexual urge. Its reduction comes along with emotional issues such as stress, mood swings and depression.

Did you know that mental health issues are closely related to low testosterone? Yes, these mental health issues are the ones that make you highly irritable. Males in their 50s are in denial. That is the reason why they argue and complain about everything.

High levels of cortisol

Medically, a rise in stress cortisol hormone suppresses the production of testosterone. Cortisol has numerous functions in the body such as helping one cope with stress. As one grows old, production of cortisol is on the rise. This, in turn, inhibits production of testosterone.

If cortisol is produced in excess, it can lead to numerous health implications. The most common condition resulting from excess cortisol is Cushing’s syndrome. This mental condition is characterized by IMS.

Alongside having mood swings, the rise in cortisol production is also characterized with:

  • Rapid weight gain
  • Muscle weakness
  • High blood pressure
  • Frequency of urination
  • Increased thirst
  • One having a round face

Health complications

IMS is a common problem among men in their advanced years. Mostly, men between 40 and 50 years fall victims of the condition. What could be a problem when one gets this irritability in their thirties and twenties? This might be an underlying health condition.

According to, certain conditions such as bipolar disorder and depression can also contribute to IMS.

Bipolar disorder, commonly known as manic depression, is common among men. In fact, the primary symptom of this condition is extreme mood swings. One is easily irritated, even by minor things. One also experiences emotional lows and highs.

If your case is because of bipolar disorder, then you are likely to see some of the following symptoms:

  • Increased agitation
  • Racing thoughts
  • One becomes over talkative
  • An exaggerated sense of confidence
  • One is easily distracted by minor occurrences
  • Lack of sleep

Depression and bipolar disorder are closely related. Bipolar disorder is common among the youth and teens. In this case, men in their youth years are likely to have mood swings if they are suffering from this condition

What are the risk factors to mood swings in men?

The most common risk factor for this condition is age. As one progresses beyond 40 years, testosterone levels drop. At the same time, cortisol production is on the rise. As a result, this condition becomes common, especially when one hits 50 years.

There are some medics who deeply believe that mood swings in men are a hereditary condition. This sounds mysterious, doesn’t it? Research has shown that having this can flow in the family line. If your father used to have them, then you are also likely to get some.

Men who are emotionally disturbed and depressed are also prone to IMS. A depressed man is highly irritable. Furthermore, people suffering from bipolar disorder are also susceptible to this irritability.

Can you prevent mood swings in men?

Yes, you can manage them. The first step is to keep in control of anything that is likely to cause the irritable male syndrome. For example, regular checkups are important. You should have your doctor examine your testosterone levels. In case it is low, there are certain medications that can help raise it.

You can also visit a mental health professional to prescribe therapies and drugs that can stabilize your emotions. Counseling would also be helpful, especially when one is depressed or is having bipolar disorder. If your case is not attributed to aging, then consult a doctor for proper medications.

If you are having a bipolar disorder, the doctor might prescribe some antidepressants. However, some therapies might help calm your brain. In other instances, mental health specialists may prescribe mood stabilizers.


  1. Mood Swings in Men: Causes, Myths, and Prevention
  2. Low Testosterone? How to Boost Your Emotional Health
  3. Irritability in Men and Mood Swings in Men
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