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Irritable Male Syndrome - The Male Version of P.M.S.

Updated on September 16, 2008

This is a...

The Modern Man

Photo by Simon Pais-Thomas
Photo by Simon Pais-Thomas
 

Well, ladies, it's finally happened...and we've only ourselves to blame. After decades of telling our men that we wanted them to be more sensitive to our needs, sharing our favorite hair stylists with them, convincing them that there was absolutely nothing wrong with being manicured, pedicured and waxed, they've taken the final step and gotten their own syndrome.

Unlike our own beloved and much maligned, PMS, however, IMS (Irritable Male Syndrome) is not confined to a single week of the month. Without treatment, it's more like having PMS 24/7 without the gratifying chocolate binge and overwhelming urge to cry during sentimental television commercials. Yes, I know...it sounds horrible, doesn't it? At least if we're caught piggying an entire pint of Häagen-Dazs, we have the luxury of blaming it on hormones even if we claimed the same excuse just the previous week. No sane man would dare question it.

What do men get?

  • Depression
  • Irritability
  • Erectile Dysfunction
  • Flushes & Sweats
  • Fatigue
  • Weight Gain
  • Decreased Bone Mass
  • Insomnia
  • Decreased Muscle Mass
  • Decreased Libido
  • Irrational Jealousy
  • Forgetfulness
  • Moodiness
  • Suicidal thoughts

Now I understand that some of these symptoms occur naturally for the male of the species without IMS, such as being a Mr. Cranky Pants and forgetting what a laundry hamper looks like. Perhaps Prince Charming has put on a bit of extra padding because of your good cooking and every once in a while he's just too darned tired to do anything more than operate a remote control from the couch in the living room. Understand that just like our Häagen-Dazs moment, this is not IMS.

Actually, IMS can be rather serious and while I make light of it in this hub, a man displaying a large number of these symptoms should seek the advice of his doctor.

...and this was a worry?

IMS is a hormonal imbalance of testosterone. Unlike, andropause (previously known by the quaint term "mid-life crisis") IMS can strike a man at any age. According to Jed Diamond, a proponent of IMS therapy, many men experiencing IMS know that something is wrong, but because they view a fluctuation or decline in testosterone level as being rather unmanly, they simply choose to deny its existence and refuse to seek the help that they need.

Mr. Diamond points out in his book, The Irritable Male Syndrome, that while it seems perfectly normal to assume that women are hormonal and men are moved more by logic, this is far from the truth. Men are in fact just as hormonally driven as women (and in some cases more so) by hormonal cycles:

  • Testosterone levels fluctuate four or five times an hour
  • Testosterone levels are higher in the morning and lower at night
  • Men have a monthly hormonal cycle that is unique to each man
  • Testosterone levels are higher in November and lower in April
  • Andropause, or male menopause, occurs in men between the ages of 40 and 55
  • Hormonal changes can be related to stress

The medical community is only beginning to acknowledge this syndrome as being possible...which is pretty much how they viewed the theory of PMS when it first began to gain popularity. Fortunately, men are finding a great deal of empathy on the matter in their female counterparts, who seek to understand why a simple request like "Please pass the salt" is met with a response like "take, take, take...that's all you ever do!" We've been there, done that and have the t-shirts to prove it.

Like PMS, certain factors such as being overweight, improper diet, smoking, drinking and use of medication (whether medically necessary or for strictly recreational purposes) can exacerbate the problem. Uncontrolled stress can also lead to the more serious symptoms of IMS. Daily stressors such as work, traffic, the government can provoke feelings of uncontrolled anger and helplessness which unfortunately can make a man overly aggressive with those closest to him. Even worse, the anger can turn inward and force them to harm themselves.

Do not read if easily offended by bad language...

...if you were offended it's your own fault.  I warned you.
...if you were offended it's your own fault. I warned you.

Personally thinking, why should anyone be miserable when there are other options? While milder symptoms of IMS can be controlled through relaxation exercises and diet modification, more serious symptoms can be treated with hormone replacement therapy. Why put your mental health, your relationships and job at risk? It all starts with recognizing the symptoms, consulting your physician and making a commitment to get help.

Still not sure if you are suffering from Irritable Male Syndrome and not Typical Male Syndrome? Feel free to discover this website and take the test.

The Irritable Male Syndrome

It's not just for men, by the way. I took it for my own husband. Of course, I'm sure that things are different from his perspective, so I'm curious what his results will be.

At least one good thing has come from this information. I no longer have to put up with PMS jokes...

Comments

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    • kenneth avery profile image

      Kenneth Avery 3 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Hello, sprite,

      This is an excellent piece of writing. Amazing, to be precise.

      I loved every word of it. Voted up and all the choices because you deserve it.

      You have such a gift for writing. Just keep writing and no telling at how far you will go and how many

      people you will touch.

      I have just left you some fan mail and become one of your followers.

      I cordially invite you to read one or two of my hubs, and be one of my followers.

      That would make my day.

      I am so honored to meet you and follow you.

      Sincerely,

      Kenneth/ from northwest Alabama

    • spryte profile image
      Author

      spryte 5 years ago from Arizona, USA

      Lol! I think one of the signs of IMS is agreeing to go to an Elton John concert...just sayin'...

    • profile image

      I do NOT have IMS 5 years ago

      Get off my back, leave me alone, don't even think of suggesting I need help. OK? OK? Haven't you heard a word I've been saying? Jeezus H Christ woman...

    • spryte profile image
      Author

      spryte 5 years ago from Arizona, USA

      LOL! :) Thank you, weestro!

    • weestro profile image

      Pete Fanning 5 years ago from Virginia

      Wow, your hubs are hilarious, I'm glad I found them!!

    • Inspiration88 profile image

      Inspiration88 6 years ago from this Galaxy

      LoL! I have always seen that men, on general, are far more basic and instinct driven than women. And also that men have much more trouble with emotion-management and overall self-control.

      It's just that their deeply embedded feeling of insecurity have made them (unconsciously, of course, for else they would have realized that their behavior was highly illogic) to treat women as second-class humans, all for the sake of not being overshadowed by the, in many respects, more superior women.

      Every man that treats women as somewhat lesser, feels deeply insecured about himself. And that's a fact.

    • spryte profile image
      Author

      spryte 6 years ago from Arizona, USA

      Flores: LOL! I guess I just assumed that everything got irritated...even the bowels. :) Thanks for commenting!

    • floresmoses profile image

      floresmoses 6 years ago from Fort Collins, Colorado

      This is super interesting! I had no idea that this was a real condition and it explains a lot about some "dudes" I know! Just a side note, I.M.S. can be brought on by I.B.S. (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) which is brought on by excessive eating which is brought on by I.M.S... It's the gift that keeps on giving.

    • profile image

      DONNIE 8 years ago

      YEA I FINALLY HAVE AN EXCUSE FOR MY BEHAVIOR AND I'LL TAJE ADVANTAGE OF IT

    • Paper Moon profile image

      Paper Moon 8 years ago from In the clouds

      I may have to change my name now! I may be in touch with my feminine side, but dont want to be emasculated! Though if all the ladies come by, I hope it is not during their "Lunar Cycle" ;)

    • spryte profile image
      Author

      spryte 8 years ago from Arizona, USA

      PM - *pauses to look at those two initials* - Odd,huh?

      Paper Moon Syndrome. I think I just discovered a new syndrome!! Wait until I bring this one to the rest of the ladies' attention. You might want to start stocking up on candy bars and kleenex cuz we'll be visiting soon, Moon.

    • Paper Moon profile image

      Paper Moon 8 years ago from In the clouds

      I missed all of the comment-versation, BUT AT LEAST I FINALLY READ THE DAMNED THING!  I always assumed that my IMS was caused by raised testosterone from her PMS!  (is this a bad time of the month to be making this kind of comment?)

    • spryte profile image
      Author

      spryte 8 years ago from Arizona, USA

      Hmmm....I dunno about that Gillsie. It could be a mitigating factor...as in "His IMS annoyed the hell out of my PMS and he was just asking for it." Perhaps it could be chalked up to a hormonal rage....err....hormonicide?

      :)

    • Gillsie profile image

      Gillsie 8 years ago from Oregon

      Darn, now that I know it is an actual CONDITION homicide is no longer an option.

      Harhar.

    • spryte profile image
      Author

      spryte 8 years ago from Arizona, USA

      MasonsMom: Thank you! I hear ya about the cycle...the sad thing is they seem to ride it for a lot longer than we ride ours :)

    • MasonsMom profile image

      MasonsMom 8 years ago from U.S.A.

      I hate when my husband is on his MANstral cycle. Good hub!

    • spryte profile image
      Author

      spryte 8 years ago from Arizona, USA

      Carolyn - LOL! You have my deepest sympathy :) From one fellow sufferer to another! Thanks for dropping in and commenting!

    • profile image

      Carolyn  8 years ago

      Finally.... proof of what I have been saying for years - My husband has PMS for months at a time. "IMS"

    • spryte profile image
      Author

      spryte 8 years ago from Arizona, USA

      CW: Yeah...I agree. It would be :)

    • Constant Walker profile image

      Constant Walker 8 years ago from Springfield, Oregon

      Hmmm... No brainer. The food fight would be more fun.

    • spryte profile image
      Author

      spryte 8 years ago from Arizona, USA

      Depends...

      Are we talking food fight or a practical solution to having to deal with dirty dishes?

    • Constant Walker profile image

      Constant Walker 8 years ago from Springfield, Oregon

      Well... I don't know. How well do you wear fruit and chocolate syrup?

    • spryte profile image
      Author

      spryte 8 years ago from Arizona, USA

      LoL grumpy! I had another name for him...err...it...and it definitely wasn't as nice as "unreasonable". :)

    • grumpyjacksa profile image

      grumpyjacksa 8 years ago from south africa

      thank heavens......

      they got a name for it.

      previously it was just called........

      unreasonable........

    • spryte profile image
      Author

      spryte 8 years ago from Arizona, USA

      You are a dangerous man CW... :)

      Any man that can cook AND take full advantage of how much of an aphrodisiac that is to any woman...can cook for me anytime.

      I guess I don't need to ask about dessert?

    • Constant Walker profile image

      Constant Walker 8 years ago from Springfield, Oregon

      Well... it depends on whom I am cooking for.

      For you, it would be an apron. Just that. And maybe I'd accessorize with some leather converses and a backwards ball cap.

    • spryte profile image
      Author

      spryte 8 years ago from Arizona, USA

      Agvulpes - Nahhh...if anyone could get a "1" on that test, I'd suspect strongly it would be you.

      BT: You have my unflagging sympathy...and I'll remember to stay out of reach of your antlers to be safe. It does make sense though and explains the whole killer rabbit scenario in Monty Python's "The Holy Grail." That bunny was beyond irritable. Perhaps a study should be conducted in the near future? Maybe a fundraiser?

    • B.T. Evilpants profile image

      B.T. Evilpants 8 years ago from Hell, MI

      You should point out that this disorder is progressive. I used to be known as B.T. Irritablepants. I quickly shot past Grumpypants and Angrypants, to my current Evilpants status, for which there is no known treatment!

    • agvulpes profile image

      Peter 8 years ago from Australia

      Hi Spryte, took your advise went and did the test. Made me feel great passed OK, scored 1.       Yeah I faked it.

      Hmm where have I heard that before.

    • spryte profile image
      Author

      spryte 8 years ago from Arizona, USA

      LOL! No...what you wear is completely up to you. Why? Do you have a special outfit that you cook in?

    • Constant Walker profile image

      Constant Walker 8 years ago from Springfield, Oregon

      Can't make promises on that lunch. You know how popular us dudes who can cook are...

      Would I have to wear long pants?

    • spryte profile image
      Author

      spryte 8 years ago from Arizona, USA

      What can I say CW...sometimes the real world just hands you something on a silver platter and you don't need to fabricate it! :)

      As for your perfection...you know how to make a good cup of coffee AND french toast. I'm not going to argue with you since you seem to be off to a good start. When's lunch?

    • Constant Walker profile image

      Constant Walker 8 years ago from Springfield, Oregon

      I thought this hub would be a funny rant about ass-hole guys... but, apparently IMS is real!?

      Thankfully, I am perfect in each and every possible way, so I had absolutely no idea this was going on.

      Whew! Dodged THAT bullet... ;-)

    • profile image

      Ananta65 8 years ago

      It's getting greasy in here *lol*

    • spryte profile image
      Author

      spryte 8 years ago from Arizona, USA

      Lazur & Ananta:

      I only have one thing to say to the two of you...

      You belong together. :)

    • profile image

      Ananta65 8 years ago

      Yeah, that'll be the day. The day I need a t-shirt to speak for me. Ha!

      When PMS meets IMS? I'd write about the day after, in which case you have a Post Irritable Malicious Premenstrual Syndrome. Nicely abbreviated to PIMPS

    • Lazur profile image

      Lazur 8 years ago from Netherlands

      *grin*

      which reminds me of a t- shirt I got from my cousin in the States many years ago. "Danger! This woman has hormones from hell!":P

    • spryte profile image
      Author

      spryte 8 years ago from Arizona, USA

      *spryte is suddenly inspired to write a new hub..."When PMS meets IMS - The Ugly Truth"

    • Lazur profile image

      Lazur 8 years ago from Netherlands

      *whistles and gets another beer*

      Tsss men and IMS

    • profile image

      Ananta65 8 years ago

      Hell, I'm used to THAT, woman!

    • Lazur profile image

      Lazur 8 years ago from Netherlands

      because you have to get your own beer now?:P

    • profile image

      Ananta65 8 years ago

      No wonder we get irratable

    • Lazur profile image

      Lazur 8 years ago from Netherlands

      I just ignore those moments Spryte. That seems to work best *whistles a bit and gets a beer *

    • spryte profile image
      Author

      spryte 8 years ago from Arizona, USA

      Lazur - That wouldn't surprise me at all...due to our objectivity, of course. Men obviously have no idea when they are and when they aren't grouchy.

      *gives a meaningful look to the post directly above yours*

    • Lazur profile image

      Lazur 8 years ago from Netherlands

      I'll bet that when we women fill in the test, it's more acurate than when the men do Spryte. (a)

    • profile image

      Ananta65 8 years ago

      I'm not grouchy! *pout*

    • spryte profile image
      Author

      spryte 8 years ago from Arizona, USA

      Lazur: Perhaps it's only IIMS with Ananta...Intermittent Irritable Male Syndrome? 31 isn't a bad score...my own beloved hit a 72 when I tested him. :) He hasn't taken the test HIMSELF, mind...but...I was very fair (I'm sure).

      Ananta: What do you have against getting a free grouchy pass? heheheh

    • profile image

      Ananta65 8 years ago

      It's not a syndrome; that's what you make of it!

    • Lazur profile image

      Lazur 8 years ago from Netherlands

      So here I am again. I have to say that there is normally a score of 31. But I have to say that this weekend there were no signs of IMS :P:P He just didn't get the chance to show those signs* innocent look*

    • spryte profile image
      Author

      spryte 8 years ago from Arizona, USA

      Amanda: LOL! You should let him use it as an excuse...and then just think of the fun you can have! We really need to work on your evil side :P

      Lazur: He scored a 28? Well hell...double check that would you? See if he's just in denial and get back to us, okay?

      Brainstormer: There, there punkin....(passes the pint of ice cream to Brainstormer)...wanna just hang out in our bathrobes together and watch some soap operas and game shows today? I hear that Ellen is going to have animals on her show...wouldn't that be fun? And maybe we can paint eachother's toenails afterward...

    • Brainstormer profile image

      Brainstormer 8 years ago from Australia

      I don't know what you are freakin on about. Man put on a few pounds, looses a bit of bone density, can't sleep and you think I have some lame IMS or something. The reason I have no interest in doing the deed and have that construction dysfunction thing is because ... its because. What was I talking about? Doesn't matter and you can hang your own washing out anyway.

    • Lazur profile image

      Lazur 8 years ago from Netherlands

      Did I hear someone call my name? * Innocent smile*

      Let me read...

      MMM 28 dear? I'll be back here on monday. I'll do some testing of my own:P:P

    • Amanda Severn profile image

      Amanda Severn 8 years ago from UK

      Hi Spryte, I'm not showing your hub to my husband. I'd hate him to think that he has an excuse for his crankier moments!

    • profile image

      Ananta65 8 years ago

      *grin*

    • spryte profile image
      Author

      spryte 8 years ago from Arizona, USA

      *sweet smile*

      No...but Lazur can.

    • profile image

      Ananta65 8 years ago

      Well Spryte, I think an internet-test can never really say anything about my testosterone-levels. :)

    • spryte profile image
      Author

      spryte 8 years ago from Arizona, USA

      Benson - Sorry, I'm just getting to the good parts. I'm a fast reader though, I'll be done in no time. While you are here though could you explain page 43 to me? I didn't think that was possible for a man...

      Ananta - Hmm, somehow I never figured you to be one low on testosterone. I wonder if taking the test at different times of the day would make a difference. Men can be rather moody you know...

      Hey agvulpes - Oh he did now, did he? He's probably trying to keep me busy so I won't annoy his hubs :) Thanks for the comment, try the lamp it's easier to get on and off and I hope you come back often :)

    • agvulpes profile image

      Peter 8 years ago from Australia

      G'day Spryte, Brainstormer said you were loads of fun, all you want to talk about is tes... tes... tes.... you know that man stuff?.

      Hey and I know what the laundry hamper looks like, especially the inside, the ends catch my ears when I take it off my head.

      I'm going back to Brainstormer for a cheer-up.

      Seriously now :-) love you hubs and have become a big fan.

      Avagood1.

    • profile image

      Ananta65 8 years ago

      My Score: 28

      According to Mr. Diamond there are some indications of IMS. May need help or watchful waiting to see if things improve or get worse. Personally I don't think there's anything to worry about :)

      Problem with this test is that a lot of it can simply be part of our human traits.

    • Benson Yeung profile image

      Benson Yeung 8 years ago from Hong Kong

      spryte

      were you the one who stole my diary? please kindly return. no question asked.

    • spryte profile image
      Author

      spryte 8 years ago from Arizona, USA

      Thanks Uninvited Writer! Y'know...I didn't even think about the repercussion on the animal world, but you are right!

    • Uninvited Writer profile image

      Susan Keeping 8 years ago from Kitchener, Ontario

      Great hub! My cat is like that if I get him wet :)

    • spryte profile image
      Author

      spryte 8 years ago from Arizona, USA

      Misha:  LOL!  Just beware...along with equality comes the jokes, the t-shirts and a handy dandy excuse for why men really shouldn't be allowed anywhere near that little red button in the white house.  Can we afford to have such an irritable, angry, hormonal person's hand hovering over it?  :)

      Shirley:  Me too!  And thank you!

      Ryan:  Don't fret...I hear it comes in a cherry flavored liquid that can be swallowed.  :) Just teasing about the cherry flavored part...but I have read that it is available in liquid form.

    • Ryan Hupfer profile image

      Ryan Hupfer 8 years ago from San Francisco, CA

      Thanks for being an awesome HubMobster, Spryte! Also, 'hormone replacement therapy' sounds painful...ouch.

    • Shirley Anderson profile image

      Shirley Anderson 8 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Great hub, Spryte. I too love that pic at the top of the guy in the towel and face mask.

    • Misha profile image

      Misha 8 years ago from DC Area

      LOL As you rightly noticed, it's all a product of emancipation! If women claim to be equal to men in all aspects, this is just a logical result of it! Now we have a revenge! :P

    • spryte profile image
      Author

      spryte 8 years ago from Arizona, USA

      Sixty - It's right under the green-framed words on the first page of the link...where it says...umm..."take the quiz". GOM sounds more like typical male behavior after a certain age...so if you don't get all cranky, then yep...it sounds like you are rather atypical. But I think most of us suspected you weren't an average kinda guy :)

      Misty - You lucky woman! See...hairy men do have an advantage in some things! Men with hairy backs should point this fact out when dating.

      Lady G - The whole Dr Jekyl/Mr Hyde is a dead give away isn't it? Hmmm...I wonder... Perhaps we now know what was actually in that secret formula he drank, or one of the key ingredients. Mr. Hyde was dosing himself with testosterone.

    • Lady Guinevere profile image

      Debra Allen 8 years ago from West By God

      Pretty funny!! I know my husband has this. I can tell when he has these symptoms. Sometimes he is like Dr. Jekyl/Mr. Hyde.

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image

      Cindy Lawson 8 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Hilarious Hub Spryte, I am pretty sure my man has more than enough testosterone due to his hairiness and his high sex drive. Luckily in most ways he is pretty laid back, so I don't think he has IMS just yet. :)

    • sixtyorso profile image

      Clive Fagan 8 years ago from South Africa

      Sorry I cant find the quiz? I

      I thought that GOM (grumpy old men) syndrome was normal and that because I am not grumpy I am abnormal?

      Great interesting hub.

    • spryte profile image
      Author

      spryte 8 years ago from Arizona, USA

      Hi Anna: Thanks! :) I'm going to be very curious about the responses on this one. Especially would like to know how many MEN are brave enough to take the test themselves and if they do, how it differs from the perspective of the women in their lives. Thanks for dropping by and commenting!

    • Anna Marie Bowman profile image

      Anna Marie Bowman 8 years ago from Florida

      WOW!!!  First of all, that picture at the top of the hub is priceless!!!  Second, the hub is great!  Very interesting!!!  Last, I took the quiz for my boyfriend, and now I seriously think he needs help!

    • gwendymom profile image

      gwendymom 8 years ago from Oklahoma

      very tricky indeed.

    • spryte profile image
      Author

      spryte 8 years ago from Arizona, USA

      LOL gwendymom! Thank you! Yeah...trying to separate the typical males from the irritable ones can be VERY tricky :)

    • gwendymom profile image

      gwendymom 8 years ago from Oklahoma

      hy husband has these symptons, now we finally have a name for his condition. Thank you thank you spryte for writing this hub, you have probably changed our lives! Oh, never mind, he just has typical male syndrome. Great hub!