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“That time of the month” – Men and mood swings

For years now, we have been asking women, “Is it that time of the month?” Mood swings during menstruation in women have been an excessive source of humour for all of us. But did you know that even men go through this emotional rollercoaster too?

Usually, women face mood swings during menstruation . There can be various reasons due to which men faces mood swings. Though neither men bleed nor do they have similar symptoms as women, these changes can be noticeable in the form of mood swings and irritability. Some call it “man period,” and some term it Irritable Male Syndrome (IMS). It can be quite similar to what we call “PMS” in women.

Though no doubt, women deal with high intensity of mood swings and a comparison can’t be established. But that doesn’t change the fact that being a human, men can have mood swings too, just the reasons may vary.

Let us know more about men and their “that time of the month.”

What is IMS?

The term “Irritable Male Syndrome” or “Irritable Men Syndrome” is used to describe mood swings in men. Men may experience irritability due to a low testosterone level or an increased level of stress. Some men may react to normal things aggressively or act out. While the majority of the guys try to hide their emotions, this causes them to go through a depressive phase.

Men with Irritable Male Syndrome may display behavioural characteristics like:

  1. Angry

  2. Impatient

  3. Sarcastic

  4. Anxious

  5. Tense

  6. Hostile

  7. Argumentative

  8. Unloving

  9. Frustrated

  10. Withdrawn

  11. Demanding

  12. Defensive

  13. Sad

  14. Dissatisfied

Understanding mood swings in men

Feeling low is just a subset of mood swings. Mood swings mean rapid changes in your emotions. One minute, you may feel like hitting somebody, and the next minute, it’s all depressing and sad. There can be many reasons for men to go through these rapid emotion swings. Stress and illness can be huge reasons. If the mood swings are chronic, a psychological or physiological condition can be the root cause.

Chronic mood swings in men can be due to

Substance abuse and consuming alcohol

A man who is going through alcoholism or any other substance abuse may go through chronic mood swings. It causes irritability whenever someone tries to help them out of it. Even the person becomes so reliant on the substance that when they don’t have it, they become restless and experience mood swings.Chronic mood swings are easily noticeable in such situations. Especially if the person is trying to quit smoking.

Bipolar disorder

Though bipolar disorder is not one of the root causes when we talk about mood swings, rapid changes in mood are a primary symptom of bipolar disorder.

Low testosterone and hormonal changes

You can find endless research, discussions, and articles about how the female body reacts to hormonal changes. From puberty until the time of menopause. But if we start digging into how a male body reacts to these hormonal changes, our society has failed miserably to even acknowledge that men go through something like that. Expecting them to express this is a far-off milestone, then.

Some researchers believe that the male body reacts to hormonal changes in the same way that the female body does. Men’s mood swings are mostly caused by changes in testosterone, which is a sex hormone.

The level of testosterone decreases naturally in the body as men age. Approximately one-third of men over the age of 45 begin to exhibit symptoms of low testosterone in the body. In men, testosterone regulates sexual drive. Hence, reducing testosterone can result in a reduction in sexual drive. Though it has more effects on men, such as mood swings,


Several studies have found that men experience symptoms similar to women during the menopause phase. But do men have their own kind of menopause? Aging brings a phase in men’s lives where the level of testosterone decreases as the body slows down its production. though it doesn’t completely stop. This phase is known as andropause. Symptoms include fatigue, depression, sexual changes, and mood swings.

A hormonal shift in men can cause symptoms like

  1. Sleep disturbances

  2. Irritability

  3. Lack of focus and concentration

  4. Anger

  5. Tension

  6. Social withdrawal

  7. Depression

  8. Anxiety

  9. Sadness

  10. Dissatisfaction

  11. Loss of energy

Addressing mood swings

Every man goes through this process when his hormonal changes bring a wave of sadness. Only the level of intensity varies from person to person. Some men may experience negligible or low mood swings, while others can completely act out.

People frequently judge and dismiss the aggression that follows mood swings as dramatic and out of the ordinary.However, the situation can be improved if the reasons are clear.

For example, if your man is acting out for no reason, you can understand and support him only when you know what’s going on. Otherwise, it is just going to be a reason for conflicts. But once you get to know about hormonal mood swings, you’ll try to understand, similarly, how you expect him to behave when it’s “that time of the month.”

For guys, it is very important to first accept that you can go through this too. You can never find a solution or bring about change if you don’t acknowledge the existence of the problem first. As natural as it is for women to have mood swings during menstruation, it is also natural for men to feel low.

Communication can solve a lot. Just communicate with your loved ones and let them know how you feel.

How can you deal with these mood swings?

Get a routine. A proper schedule can help you cheat on overthinking and keep you busy. This gives you a sense of satisfaction by the end of the day. That means less self-doubt and more productivity.

Exercise: As cliche as this advice may seem, it is crucial. Exercise causes our bodies to produce stress-relieving hormones. Now you get why a lot of men love exercising.

Sleep like a baby: No matter how healthy you feel after your five-hour sleep routine, it is messing up with your mind. Try to sleep for 7–8 hours consistently. A good night’s sleep equals a good mood.

Eat healthy. No doubt, good food and mood are very interdependent, but you need to eat healthy for your hormones. At least try to add a healthy meal once a day.

Try to take a chill pill and practise relaxation. Meditate, do yoga, listen to the music you like, be close to nature, spend meaningful time with yourself, and take a deep breath. It’s going to be okay!

Avoid stress—Of course, I’m not a genie who can tell you not to worry and then you won’t.By “avoid stress,” I mean avoid situations that can cause you stress and cause you to pass it on or put it off.

Finally, and most importantly, express yourself. It can be any form of expression. You can talk to a loved one, do something you love, or write it out. Just let it out of your system. It is not required that you always know how you feel. But just talking it out without being interrupted and answering back without any judgement can help a lot.


It’s past time to acknowledge that men, like women, are human beings with mood swings. As long as nobody is crossing their lines, it’s very normal and justified to have mood swings, irrespective of gender. Men should talk it out, and the females in their lives should be mature enough to understand what they expect others to do. After all, it’s “that time of the month.”

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