The Irritable Male Syndrome manifests itself through a number of feelings that can help us recognize where it is present in us or in someone we care about. The following questionnaire will help you assess IMS and the degree of seriousness. Everyone is irritable from time to time. Life is inherently stressful and there are inevitably things that bother us. What we want to know, though, is how irritable are we? Is our irritability excessive? Has it become entrenched? Does it seem to be getting worse? Is it causing problems for me or in my relationship with my family, friends, or community?
We don't have a precise instrument to measure IMS. We can't read your level of irritability like we can your blood pressure (though excessive irritability can lead to high blood pressure and other stress-related illnesses). Like so much in the psychological sciences we can only understand IMS by asking you questions and helping you reflect on what the answers mean in your own life. Let the score be a guide, not an absolute indicator that there is a problem or not a problem.
Reflect on how often you felt the following in the last month:
Not at all (0)
Most of the time (3)
11. Easily Upset
34. Denies Problems
37. Desire to overeat
38. Desire to use drugs or alcohol
39. Need to withdraw behind TV, newspaper, computer, etc.
40. Desire for increased time at work
41. Need to sleep more or have trouble with sleep
44. Less imtimacy
45. A pull to argue and fight
Number - add up the checks
Please don't use the questionnaire to prove to someone that you don't have a problem. Even if you don't score in the range, if your behavior is a causing stress in your family, take it seriously. On the other hand, don't use the questionnaire to prove someone else has a problem because they scored "high" on the test. For each feeling noted, check whether it is true of you (or the person you are rating) not at all or rarely (score 0), sometime (score 1), frequently (score 2), or most of the time (score 3). Thus the score can range from 0 to 150.
With that in mind, I have found the following scores to be worth considering. They are based on my own clinical experience with people I rated and who then took the questionnaire. The scores are also based on the 9,453 people who took the Irritable Male Syndrome and Male Depression Questionnaires on the Men's Health Website:
0-25: None or few signs of IMS.
26-49: Some indications of IMS. May need help or watchful waiting to see if things
improve or get worse.
50-75 : IMS is likely and it is advisable to seek help.
76 and higher: IMS is definitely present and getting help is most important.
Does this sound familiar? Drop me a line and let me know what you have experienced.
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