An Irritable Symptom


I have always tried to be a kind and thoughtful person to my friends and relatives. My family, especially my parents and brothers, could tell you that growing up there were times when I was not nice at all. There were times I tantrumed as a small child and a teenager, times my brothers became blamed for things they hadn’t done, and times I was just grumpy.

When I worked at a University Bookstore for 5 years during and little bit after University, my boss and good friend, use to tell me that mostly I was nice and cheerful but she always knew when to stay away from me and leave me to myself. If I, being thought of as mostly a nice girl was like this, I’m scared to think how other women, particularly young women, I met became when they were in a bad mood. One thing I did find though at least for myself, being in the wrong mood as a teenager and young woman mostly got better, or at least I was generally able to tell when I would act this way and attempt to be nicer on those days.

Unfortunately for me some 8 years later I deal with two impediments to my being a kind person. I have found with constant illness and being stuck at home generally during my best time of day (during the middle of the day) one medication that I take called Dexedrine begins to wear off around 4 pm when everyone comes home during the week. The second impediment is simply that when I am worn out (fatigued as in chronically) and not able to have sum up enough energy to walk past my bed, I’m not a nice person. In both cases I would say I have the symptom of irritability.

It is such that I am very aware of it and much like a child who needs a nap, I’m stand offish, not able to handle drawn out conversation or activity, blunt, and unsociable. But sometimes you have to accept certain medical symptoms because they give better benefits at other times in the day. I don’t take Dexedrine because I enjoy the ‘crash’ I receive from it each day. This is not fun but Dexedrine allows me to have enough concentration during the day that I can do light chores, write, read, and go out for a few hours. Irritability when I come down off the Dexedrine is a price to be paid, a medical symptom. Not to mention the irritability I feel after losing all my energy and becoming fatigued. It is a symptom of my mood illness and the price I must pay to have energy at all on random days. It doesn’t happen every day but on days I haven’t slept well or have overdone it, I’m symptomatically irritable.

I’m not entirely sure why I wanted to share that. Maybe just to tell you that their are many symptoms of any illness and some of them are just as prevalent as any physical symptom such as the symptom of always feeling fatigued even after rest. Maybe, to also make you aware that irritability can be a symptom of any physical or mental illness and both from the flu to mood syndromes.

Also, to tell you that people who act a certain way when they are sick maybe extremely aware of how they are acting, they just don’t in all situations have much control over how they are acting. For instance, I hate when I’m talking to my Mom and I’m just saying ” yep, mmmhmmppp,” just to get the conversation to end because it is such a relief when it does because then I don’t have think and respond because I’m so fatigued. I want to say, ” Oh, that sounds good,” and “tell me more,” at least most of the time. But it doesn’t seem that I’m always able to get past my irritability to listen and be interested in the conversation, despite wanting to be involved.

I think sometimes we want to act a certain way, and be a certain way, but we don’t always have much control over the emotions and illnesses that can take control of our bodies. Then again, many times we do and I didn’t write this to be an excuse merely an example of situation or a symptom I experience.

IMG_0573.JPG