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Always Angry, Irritable

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I am so desperate to figure out why I’m always irritable, angry, annoyed, and short tempered. I have 2 small children, ages 3 and 5. I work outside the home in marketing and really like what I do — I love my job. But I get angry at my live in partner (children’s dad), and I get angry at my kids for almost everything they do.

Him and I fight a lot and I sometimes blame the fights for my mood swings but I have been like this for as long as I remember. I don’t feel depressed since I don’t feel sadness, it’s just a constant bad attitude all the time. I yell, slam doors, curse, and constantly sabotage myself.

HELP! what do you think it is?

Always Angry, Irritable

Answered by on -


I can’t make a diagnosis on the basis of a letter but I can tell you that the behavior you report is consistent with depression. Contrary to popular belief, clinical depression doesn’t always show up as sadness.

In some people with depression, the primary symptoms are not sadness or a low mood, but rather irritability and anger. This anger and irritability will be constant in a person with depression — it’s with them nearly all the time. Even the smallest things that weren’t a problem in the past become hugely annoying and upsetting. Worse yet, there never seems to be an end to the things that make the person angry. Nothing others can do seem to help reduce the irritability or anger.

The anger can be directed at oneself or it can be directed at others or the situation that is contributing to the depression. In your case, you may be finding it hard to balance your home life with your work life. It may also be that your relationship is in more trouble than you have wanted to admit. Or there may be other life issues or circumstances you didn’t share in this letter that may be causing the hidden depression.

Untreated, angry depression may traumatize your kids and jeopardize your relationship. It can also result in doing poorly at work and losing your motivation. It’s not unusual for a person to have difficulty sleeping, to lose appetite for food and sex, and to generally stop caring about things that at one time were pleasurable in life. The kind of behavior you describe is consistent with a person who may have undiagnosed depression — it’s something you should get checked out immediately by a specialist.

Please make an appointment with a mental health provider to get a real diagnosis and suggestions for how to reclaim your happiness and your life. You and your family deserve better than your angry self.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

Always Angry, Irritable

Therapists live, online right now, from BetterHelp:

Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Dr. Marie is licensed as both a psychologist and marriage and family counselor. She specializes in couples and family therapy and parent education. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2018). Always Angry, Irritable. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 29, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018 (Originally: 10 Jan 2013)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
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