Anxiety can cause negative emotions like irritability. It alters your mind to generate worrisome thinking that makes coping with everyday life difficult. If your condition is severe or includes anxiety attacks, you probably get upset easily. Unfortunately, people you are close to physically and emotionally can provoke exasperated outbursts. Experts explain how these irritability types manifest and offer tips to soften your reactions.
Diagnosis and Treatment
Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) involves excessive, hard-to-control worry over multiple activities or events on the majority of days for six months or longer. According to Psych Central, GAD patients have at least three of these mental and physical symptoms that make life hard to manage:
Feeling on edge, frenetic, or restless
Blank mind or difficulty concentrating
Fatigue that comes on easily
Sleep disturbances like restless and unsatisfying sleep or trouble drifting off or remaining asleep
Paxil (Paroxetine), an antidepressant that rebalances brain chemicals, will help you manage your irritability and other anxiety symptoms. Understanding your condition and trying behavioral approaches can support your treatment.
If anxiety consumes your mind constantly, restraining your emotions is an ongoing struggle. Anything that compounds the symptoms you’re fighting makes future self-control even harder.Calm Clinicdivides impatience into these two types:
Physically close irritability occurs when someone shares your immediate vicinity. You react to not having enough personal space or the pressure of someone nearby who may be worsening your anxiety.
Emotionally close irritability crops up when you become outraged around the people you care for most. If you regret what you say to them, your stress can mount and strain your most important relationships.
These classifications have similar yet different causes:
Nearness by proximity: During anxiety attacks or other symptoms, anyone who adds to your life’s pressures and stress can arouse considerable irritation. So someone who’s near you physically can distress you unintentionally. At times, your agitation is just internal. You could be embarrassed about suffering such great agitation or fear that another person will notice and judge your torment. Any situation that appears social may increase your stress.
Or your irritability could be external. Something another person does could strike you as annoying. He might be chewing loudly. His body odor may be offensively strong. Or he could be encroaching on your prized personal space. In normal circumstances, you could shrug off or ignore such disruptions. But when you’re trying to cope with excess anxiety, you feel angry toward that individual, even if he’s a stranger.
Closeness by bonding: Anyone you share a strong emotional relationship with, like a spouse, can trigger your irritation easily. But its cause is more complicated. If your mate can’t grasp the toll your condition’s taking on you, you may feel stress. The emotions your partner’s face reveal while looking at you may increase your tension. Or you might worry about your spouse’s disappointment or lower opinion of you.
How you stress over minor criticisms could be unfair to both of you. Whenever anxiety is a daily burden, you may be fighting to carry on and need your emotional companion’s support to survive it. So even the slightest criticism can lead to much worse feelings than if your anxiety weren’t so intense. If you’ve gotten upset with your partner easily before, any physical nearness during severe anxiety episodes might make you uncomfortable. Unfortunately, your fear of acting irately also can boost your irritation.
Restraining Your Irritable Reactions
You have partial control over your irritability. When it stems from people who are close physically but not emotionally, you must accept your aggravation without acting on it. Breathe deeply and realize that anxiety is causing your vexation. Move away whenever possible. If you can’t, stifle your present irritation. Then work on reducing it later when you have privacy.
Reining in your annoyance against your spouse or another close confidante is sometimes more uncomfortable. Try these strategies:
Communicate openly: Your anxiety might make you feel ashamed or embarrassed, but family and friends need to be aware of it. That’s particularly true for panic attacks. Be honest about everything you’re experiencing. Don’t make them guess. Part of your irritation comes from concealing your feelings while loved ones are intruding on your personal space, so communicating well is essential.
Apologize quickly: At the first sign of irritation, express regret and explain why you’re exasperated. Ongoing disappointment in yourself will increase your fear of future edginess and make you more liable to being volatile.
Explain your needs: Since your favorite companions may not know how to behave when you’re anxious, be direct about whatever you need. Request a comforting hug. If you wish they’d avoid criticizing you while you’re suffering, suggest a better time for that discussion. Or invite a distracting conversation about anything but your anxiety.
While these efforts won’t stop your temper, they’ll help decrease its impact on everyone involved. But curing your anxiety’s quick emotional response is the only way to banish your irritability. Try this free online anxiety test that provides control tips based on your symptoms.