I've noticed lately that I have less tolerance related to emotions. I'm not usually a person easily hurt by unprofessionalism at work, snide remarks or rude comments; but lately I have a very low tolerance for clients, coworkers or anyone that pushes my boundaries. I get more easily angered/sad with people that are rude/disrespectful and I'm a social worker, people are rude/disrespectful or angry a lot of the time. No, I don't lash out at them, but I get grumpy and notice my mood is affected. I have been very exhausted lately and I'm wondering if my exhaustion is directly linked to my tolerance of different behaviors. I can usually just brush it off and move on, but not lately.

For example, today the coffee stand guy who makes the coffee was slightly rude and it affected me. When I say slightly, I mean something that wouldn't normally bother me, did bother me. Why would I care if the coffee guy was rude? I don't know him. Maybe that's a bad example because I know we all expect common customer service.

Have any of you experienced this? It's kind of like being kicked when your already down.



Hi Sara,

Irritability can be a sign of depression. Not saying that's the case in your situation, but it's something to consider. I have Seasonal Affective Disorder and always get tired and grumpy this time of year,

Also, something as "simple" as sleep deprivation can make you more irritable.

Any new medications? Not something you usually think of, but a lot of drugs come with warnings about "mood changes."

Best of luck,


Hello Liz,

I feel like I am depressed because I'm so tired and exhausted all of the time. I'm working with my counselor on that though; just started seeing him this month. I know I don't get restorative sleep and I've been more tired than anything lately. The pain is also unbearable at times. I'm not on any new medications, but my pain med isn't working for me anymore within the last 2-3 days. I'm tired of trying to push through the days and "just get through them". I want to enjoy each day, but I can't with the pain and fatigue. Each day is a battle of the mind and body.
Thanks for the support,

Hi Sara,

I find that I too can get more easily irritated and found that it is a direct result to not feeling good, such as feeling more pain, or more exhausted. Living with a chronic illness is stressful all on its own, and to add constant pain and exhaustion, well....... it makes sense to me why we might feel irritable. When I start to feel irritable, like this morning, I take a few deep breaths and ask myself "what is going on for me to feel this way". and sometimes just acknowledging that I am feel more pain etc, is enough to put things in perspective and calm me down. Sometimes I don't think we recognize and acknowledge the toll chronic pain and chronically not feeling well takes on us. I am starting to see irritability as a symptom to the stress that all our other symptoms cause. I send you hugs and encourage you to speak to your doctor. Like Liz said irritability can be a sign of depression and it is better to deal with that sooner than later, and if it is a result of other symptoms, perhaps your doctor might be able to help there as well. Hugs and please let us know how you are doing. ST

Sara, I feel this way at work when I am having an especially painful flare along with extreme lack of sleep. Just last week, one of the women I work with had been having a difficult time with a customer. I told her that when the customer came back, that I would handle them for her. I said “Let me get them when they come back–I don’t feel good, I hurt all over, & they won’t run all over me because I’m not going to take any more crap-period”. Yes, I did say that. There is no excuse for people to act rude but I believe I take it more personal when I am feeling like, well, crap! I don’t let those things make me feel worse though. Sometimes I have to warn the women that I work with that I am hurting all over & I apologize in advance if I get short or snippy with them–I love them all & don’t mean to hurt them. They are ok with it, thank goodness!
Hope you feel better soon.
HUGS from Deb

Hello Sara,

I think it is quite understandable that this condition causes irritability and low tolerance. I find myself having less patience and often quite angry, even with my loved ones. For instance yesterday I was hoping for a long lie-in (I needed it), I was woken up early by my phone, managed to get to sleep again and was woken up by my daughter calling round. I was angry with both of them, and it was not fair - so unlike me. As you say, it's like being kicked when you're already down.

Take care,Anne

Hi Sara! Just as everyone else has said, it’s hard to be chipper when you’re not sleeping well and you’re in pain. All of us here are champs because we live a life a lot of other people couldn’t handle. Keep your head up and give yourself credit for how incredibly strong you are!

Hi Sara. I have to agree with all the other comments. Pain and fatigue are like Chinese water torture. Each drop hurts a little bit more than the last and pretty soon you are at your breaking point. I also have noticed that I am irritated by certain music or noises, too much light, or sometimes just too much going on around me. Pain takes a lot of emotional energy. We are built to respond to pain and yet we have to constantly ignore it and I think that adds up. My husband loves music and would have it in the background all the time but I can't tolerate some music and I can't carry on a conversation when music is playing, it is just too much. Thankfully I can control the music in my life. See if there are things that are pushing you over the edge that you can control. Take care.



Hi Traci, I am the same way, if there is too much going on around me I can't carry on a conversation and I have to keep music off or low. Too much light also irritates me. Hugs!!


Thank you for all the wonderful responses, words of encouragement and empathy : ) I agree with what each one of you shared. I find if I'm driving to work and it is dark outside, the other headlights on the cars really bother my eyes. I have a low tolerance for bright lights and loud music as well. My husband often tries to carry on a conversation while the TV is blaring and I have to ask him to please shut off the TV so I can focus on the conversation and not become irritated.

I was having a very rough day yesterday and your words and responses helped carry me through.

On a bright note, I am feeling a lot better today. I woke up in a decent mood, have a positive approach to the day and my pain level is very low. That all makes for a great combination! : ) I hope you all are having a good day as well and if not, I hope it gets better.



I am glad today started off better for you. Sometimes just knowing why I am irritated helps be not only avoid those things but it helps me deal with it better.