Home » Blogs » Tales of Manic Depression » What Sets You Off?

What Sets You Off?

One symptom of mania can be irritability. I faced it throughout my life and even with medication to calm the storm, I find moments when I feel the irritability hit me like a lightening bolt.

When I worked at an inpatient psych ward, every morning the treatment team would meet to discuss the status of the patients and the word “agitated” would surface a lot, and would mean that the client was not stable so couldn’t be discharged. ¬†It was such a negative buzz word that it would result in keeping someone locked up till they were “stabilized.”

Everyone experiences irritability and agitation.  Knowing I can have moments, or tendencies, to become the Incredible Hulk I do my best to catch myself when I feel irritability boiling into agitation.

Here are 10 simple signs of brewing agitation set forth through irritable circumstances:

  1. When I can’t find the clasp to put a necklace on without turing it around and facing a mirror to find it
  2. When my bra strap continues to fall off my shoulder
  3. When I place my running shoes on the floor, and somehow the right shoe falls on the left and vice versa
  4. When I can’t blindly use my key to find the ignition to start my Vespa
  5. When a store gives me cash back and the money is ripped or has tape on it
  6. When I can’t figure out how to spell a word without Google helping me
  7. When I am on hold for a long time and get disconnected
  8. When I walk down the street and try to pass people that walk arm in arm making it difficult to pass
  9. When I get a super long receipt at CVS so they can advertise their coupons
  10. When I brush my eyelash one more time with mascara and it causes it to clump

These seem silly and minor but when you suffer from irritability you have no idea how rough it can become. I am just thankful that I know that I have a pre-deposition to irritability, and am aware of it when it hits so can do my best to manage it.

Now, what sets YOU off?!


Photo by Laura Thykeson

What Sets You Off?

Erica Loberg

Erica Loberg was born and raised in Los Angeles, CA. She attended Columbia University in New York and graduated with a BA in English. She is a published poet and author of Inside the Insane, Screaming at the Void, What Men Should Know About Women, What Women Should Know About Men, Diamonds From The Rough and Undressed.

10 comments: View Comments / Leave a Comment



APA Reference
Loberg, E. (2017). What Sets You Off?. Psych Central. Retrieved on February 21, 2020, from


Last updated: 31 Dec 2017
Statement of review: Psych Central does not review the content that appears in our blog network ( prior to publication. All opinions expressed herein are exclusively those of the author alone, and do not reflect the views of the editorial staff or management of Psych Central. Published on All rights reserved.