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What is irritability?

Irritability implies an unjustified reaction. It is characterised by decreased control over temper, which usually results in snappy verbal or behavioural outbursts, although the mood may be present without observed manifestation. It may be prolonged, generalised or may occur in brief episodes. Irritability may be an expression of normal annoyance or may occur as a result of some underlying disorder.

What are its main signs and symptoms?

Common symptoms of irritability include:

  • Short temper
  • Excessive frustration

Symptoms of chronic and excessive irritability include:

  • Extreme reactions which are expressed over unrelated individuals
  • Unjustified reactions triggered by depression, stress and anxiety
  • Stress occurs as a result of chronic irritability
  • Distress to patient, relatives and associates at the workplace

What are the main causes?

Irritability may not always be the result of an underlying condition. It can also be caused by regular annoyance, repeated provocation or chronic stress.

Common causes of irritability are:

  • Diseases such as polycystic ovarian syndrome, menopause, hyperthyroidism, toothaches, flu and ear infection.
  • Mental disorders such as stress, anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, attention deficit hyperactivity and autism. It is commonly observed in teenagers and adolescents.
  • Children may also show symptoms of irritability in association with defiant behaviour.
  • Irritability is prominently observed among women during premenstrual, perinatal and perimenopausal periods.
  • Workaholic life is also seen to be linked with irritability.
  • Chronic stress
  • Poor stress-management skills
  • Alcohol abuse

How is it diagnosed and treated?

Diagnosis is based on careful history and evaluation. Family members are also asked to give a history of symptoms, which is essential for diagnosis.

Your doctor may advise investigations for determining the underlying condition.

Treatment of irritability involves assessing and managing the underlying health condition and triggering factors.

Cognitive behavioural therapy and stress management techniques such as meditation and mindfulness are recommended for treating irritability.

Your doctor may prescribe medications such as antidepressants and mood-stabilising agents.

Relaxation techniques are useful in overcoming irritability, which include:

  • Indulging in physical activities such as walking and swimming
  • Reading books, listening to music
  • Breathing exercise


  1. Medicines for Irritability
  2. Doctors for Irritability
Dr. Sushila Kataria

Dr. Sushila Kataria

सामान्य चिकित्सा

Dr. Sanjay Mittal

Dr. Sanjay Mittal

सामान्य चिकित्सा

Dr. Prabhat Kumar Jha

Dr. Prabhat Kumar Jha

सामान्य चिकित्सा

Medicines for Irritability

Medicines listed below are available for Irritability. Please note that you should not take any medicines without doctor consultation. Taking any medicine without doctor's consultation can cause serious problems.

Medicine NamePack SizePrice (Rs.)
Schwabe Anacardium occidentale CHSchwabe Anacardium occidentale 12 CH96
ADEL 29 Akutur DropADEL 29 Akutur Drop200
ADEL Myrica Cer Mother Tincture QADEL Myrica Cer Mother Tincture Q 240
ADEL 2 Apo-Ham DropADEL 2 Apo-Ham Drop200
Bjain Aurum Metallicum DilutionBjain Aurum Metallicum Dilution 1000 CH175
Bjain Aurum Muriaticum DilutionBjain Aurum Muriaticum Dilution 1000 CH175
ADEL 32 Opsonat DropADEL 32 Opsonat Drop200
ADEL 34 Ailgeno DropADEL 34 Ailgeno Drop200
Schwabe Rauvolfia serpentina CHSchwabe Rauvolfia serpentina 1000 CH96
Schwabe Acidum nitricum LMSchwabe Acidum nitricum 0/1 LM80
ADEL Stellaria Media DilutionADEL Stellaria Media Dilution 1000 CH144
Schwabe Myrica cerifera MTSchwabe Myrica cerifera MT 240
ADEL 38 Apo-Spast DropADEL 38 Apo-Spast Drop200
Bjain Cina DilutionBjain Cina Dilution 1000 CH175
ADEL 40 And ADEL 86 KitAdel 40 And Adel 86 Kit 499
ADEL 40 Verintex DropADEL 40 Verintex Drop200
Bjain Coffea Cruda DilutionBjain Coffea Cruda Dilution 1000 CH175
Dr. Reckeweg Anacardium Occ. DilutionDr. Reckeweg Anacardium Occ. Dilution 1000 CH136
ADEL Anacardium Occ DilutionADEL Anacardium Occ Dilution 1000 CH144
ADEL 51 Psy-Stabil DropADEL 51 Psy-Stabil Drop200
Schwabe Crataegus PentarkanSchwabe Crataegus Pentarkan 128
SBL Aurum metallicum DilutionSBL Aurum metallicum Dilution 1000 CH86
IntalithIntalith 300 Mg Tablet11
ADEL 56 Habifac DropADEL 56 Habifac Drop200
ADEL Arsenicum Alb DilutionADEL Arsenicum Alb Dilution 1000 CH144

Do you or anyone in your family have this disease? Please do a survey and help others


  1. American Academy of Pediatrics. [Internet]. Washington, D.C., United States; Irritability and Problem Behavior in Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Practice Pathway for Pediatric Primary Care.
  2. Leslie Born. et al. A new, female-specific irritability rating scale. J Psychiatry Neurosci. 2008 Jul; 33(4): 344–354. PMID: 18592028.
  3. Snaith RP, Taylor CM. Irritability: definition, assessment and associated factors.. Br J Psychiatry. 1985 Aug;147:127-36. DOI: 10.1192/bjp.147.2.127
  4. Daniel J Safer. Irritable mood and the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Child Adolesc Psychiatry Ment Health. 2009; 3: 35. PMID: 19852843.
  5. MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia: US National Library of Medicine; Fussy or irritable child.
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