Easily Irritated? Well, You Must Be Mentally Ill
I'm easily irritated right now. I'm easily irritated by the noise, the dog drool, and the pissy cat. Yes, I have a mental illness or two, but I'm not irritated because I'm mentally ill. But I am irritated, okay? And again, not because I live with a mental illness!
I am Easily Irritated, and It's Not A Mental Illness Symptom
Leave Me Alone!
I sat down in my chair today and took a sip of my coffee. I did not add enough cream. Irritating. It's raining. What a piss off. I have to spend an hour blow-drying my hair. Come on!
My cat is walking around whining like it has been hit with a pellet gun and does not eat organic food, is not on an expensive pet insurance plan, and must have its irritating fluffy hair brushed every single irritating day (side-note: Actual picture of the annoying fluffy cat. Yeah, he's cute. But still!).
The dog won't stop growing! 130 lbs of chasing the cat. The nice lady at the SPCA told me, smiling, "Oh, he's going to be a big boy, maybe 70lbs!" He is fourteen months old and he is not done growing (actual pictures of "The Beast"). He is going through "dog puberty" Yes, I will state this again, it is irritating. He chases me everywhere. I wake up with "The Beast"-- his head beside my pillow and his large mouth spewing drool on my 400 thread count new sheets--on my nice clean bed. Sometimes, sorry for the details, the cat and the dog decide the bed is the best place to throw up when they eat each other's food. I bought him his own bed. But he ate it. And some of my clothing. And books. And leather shoes. I know, I am complaining. I am irritated. That aside . . .
It is only 8:06 a.m.
And here is the worst bit: A CONSTRUCTION SITE beside my house. All day: Hammers and drills and people yelling and playing bad 90s rock while I try to type. The noise (Noise Sensitivity: When The World Is Too Loud)!
Now, you are probably thinking this should be a personal blog, wasting away on my irritating website, but I have a point. And sometimes these blogs need to reflect life. The little-big things like the impact of irritation in our lives and the stress it can cause. The things we, I, can do to minimize the impact. Now, moving away from my bollocks (I have to type quickly the skill-saw will be starting any minute now . . . If I were an animal I would be growling).
Easily Irritated--But Not Because of Mental Illness
Having A Mental Illness Can Make Us More Reactive to Stress
The topic of this blog focuses on the reality that we are not more reactive because we have a mental illness, but if we are not feeling so great or if our stress level is higher than usual, things like noise, in my case excess noise, can shake things up. Piss me right off.
What does "reactive" mean in the context of stress and mental illness?
Take a situation, excess noise for example (let's stick with the theme here), and apply it to mental illness. If you feel off kilter the sound of a car honking can irritate you. It can spur feelings of hatred toward whoever made horns so loud, and to the people who honk at other people they know, thus creating two irritating noises. This also increases the chance for a car accident. You cannot use your cell phone when driving but you can honk at all of your friends? I remain confused.
Maybe we react. Maybe the noise is too much. Yes, something little like that can make us angry, irritated, if we aren't feeling up to par. But that's the same for everyone. If you're not feeling up to par, you will likely be easily irritated.
You Can Minimize Your Reactions When You're Easily Irritated
Clearly, we cannot control everything in life. We cannot usually control the things that surround us. So, what can we do? Well, we can take a few minutes to think about what we can control.
Control is a very important piece of the puzzle that is mental illness and our recovery from it. Often, we feel out of control. As if our moods dictate our lives. This is why it is beneficial to focus on what we can control.
Things like what we do in our spare time, who we choose to spend time with, how we define self-care and, above all else, whether or not we want a dog that is 130lbs. Even if we love him and he is irritating (side-note: I do love "The Beast" just less when I'm irritated).
So, I need to take my own advice here. I have work to do and it's loud outside but I bought some ear plugs and plan to take "The Beast" running---although his size rivals mine and he has decided it's fun to run through the tall grass and get lost. I have been searching through a lot of tall grass as of late.
If we can channel our irritation positively, we can control more in our life. We can try to weed out the irritating bits that cause stress.
Now, before I stop typing and throw on my running shoes, let me apologize for utilizing the word irritating so many times. It must have been highly irritating to read. I did a count: I used the word nineteen times. Sorry. Sort of.
Champagne, N. (2012, July 19). Easily Irritated? Well, You Must Be Mentally Ill, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2019, June 25 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/recoveringfrommentalillness/2012/07/consistantly-irritated-well-you-must-be-mentally-ill
Author: Natalie Jeanne Champagne
In my opinion, we all need mental health, physical health, and food/water. To me, mental health is second most important to food/ water, above physical health.
Anyway, if we can reduce our own irritability, it seems to follow we can reduce irritability throughout the community, and ultimately improve mental health across the board.
Here are some ways to manage irritability, from Psychology Today:
Exercise to rid excess energy/ adrenaline
Take a break; listen to music, yoga, bath
Finally, reducing resentment to limit irritability. For me, here's what helped. 1 - knowing, in the situation, what you aren't responsible for, and not taking responsibility for those things, because doing so will only irritate you. And 2 - switching, if you can, the ultimate perspective on the situation that causes resentment for you, to a reason to feel good about yourself, about the situation, and to be hopeful for the future.