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Your mood can be hard to manage after you’ve had a stroke, especially if you had damage to the part of your brain that helps regulate your emotions. It’s typical to feel frustrated, anxious, sad, and angry.

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Alzheimer’s Disease

Mood and personality changes can be an early sign of this. Often these changes show up as irritability or getting easily upset, especially when you’re out of your comfort zone. It’s worth taking note if, in addition to being angry,  you become forgetful, confused, or you start struggling for words.

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When you have autism, an unplanned change can be harder to handle. A simple disruption in your schedule may be enough to set you off. Aggression, overreaction to loud sounds or noises, and even hurting yourself can all be symptoms of autism.

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Feeling irritated at everyone and everything? Agitated and restless and you don’t know why? Depression often comes with a side of anger, which can make you frustrated for what seems like no reason. You can also be prone to angry outbursts.

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A big dip in your blood sugar can bring a big change your behavior. You may find yourself angry, crying, or confused. If you’ve had diabetes for a while, you may not have the milder symptoms of low blood sugar and skip right to these more serious symptoms.

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It’s rare, but a certain type of epileptic seizure called a simple partial seizure (one you have while you’re awake that affects only one side of the brain) can mess with your emotions and cause feelings of anger and rage.

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Liver Failure

When your liver isn’t able to filter toxins out of your body like it should, they can build up and affect your brain. That can cause serious side effects, which can include mood and personality changes and irritability.

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Irritability and anger are normal when you have premenstrual syndrome (PMS). But if you find yourself in out-of-control rages and serious mood swings 1-2 weeks before your period, you could be dealing with a more severe condition called premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD).

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Anger is more likely to happen during the months and years leading up to menopause than after you’ve reached menopause itself. The shifts in your hormones as your body moves toward having fewer -- and then no more -- periods can cause many symptoms, including mood changes.

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Overactive thyroid

If your thyroid works overtime, that can make you nervous, restless, anxious, and irritable. But you’ll likely have other symptoms, too, like weight changes or bowel issues.

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Wilson’s Disease

This is a genetic disorder that keeps your body from getting rid of extra copper. It has serious effects, including mental changes. It’s common for your mood, personality, and behavior to all change as a result.

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If you’re taking medicine called statins to lower your cholesterol, it’s important to know that they can make a psychiatric problem or behavior change more likely for you. For some people, these drugs can cause aggressive, angry, and violent behavior.

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How to Spot an Anger Problem

Anger is a normal emotion, but if you find you’re flying off the handle frequently or sense your feelings simmering below the surface enough that it’s affecting your everyday life, it’s time to take stock.

You might have a problem if your anger is often intense, you hold on to it for a long time, and have gotten verbally or physically abusive because of it.

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Ways to Ease Your Anger

Even if you have a medical reason for your anger, you can still work to control it. Exercise, deep breathing, visualization, and muscle relaxation can help with your body’s response. You can also work to avoid triggers for your anger, and learn ways to adjust your thinking to create different reactions. Your doctor can get you started.

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Sources | Medically Reviewed on 01/14/2019 Reviewed by Smitha Bhandari, MD on January 14, 2019


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American Stroke Association: “Emotional Changes After Stroke.”
Alzheimer’s Association: “10 Early Signs and Symptoms of Alzheimer’s.”
CDC: “Autism Spectrum Disorder.”
Mayo Clinic: “Depression (Major Depressive Disorder),” “Menopause,” “Thyroid Disease: Can it affect a person’s mood?”
University of Michigan: “Symptoms of Low Blood Sugar.”
Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Chicago: “Partial Seizures.”
American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases: “Hepatic Encephalopathy in Chronic Liver Disease: 2014 Practice Guideline.”
Massachusetts General Hospital Center for Women’s Mental Health: “PMDD/PMS.”
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases: “Wilson Disease.”
Drug Safety Case Reports: “Mood, Personality, and Behavior Changes During Treatment with Statins: A Case Series.”
American Psychological Association: “How to recognize and deal with anger,” “Strategies for controlling your anger.”

Reviewed by Smitha Bhandari, MD on January 14, 2019

This tool does not provide medical advice. See additional information.

THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.