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Are You (or are you married to) A Depressed Husband? Maybe It’s IMS – Take the Quiz

Are You (or are you married to) A Depressed Husband? Maybe It’s IMS – Take the Quiz

By Jed Diamond, Ph.D., LCSW

NABBW’s Male Menopause Expert

After writing, The Irritable Male Syndrome: Understanding and Managing the 4 Key Causes of Depression and Aggression, I received hundreds of letters from women and men concerned about the impact that irritability and anger were having in their lives. Many of which are about either being or married to a depressed husband. This one is typical of the many I received:

“Last month a man came home from work with my husband’s face but he did not act at all like the man I married. I’ve known this man for 30 years, married 22 of them and have never met this guy before. Angry, nasty, and cruel are just a few words to describe him. He used to be the most upbeat, happy person I knew. Now he’s gone from Dr. Jekyll to Mr. Hyde. In spite of how he treats me I still love my husband and want to save our marriage. Please, can you help me?”

We all get irritable and angry at times, but Irritable Male Syndrome (IMS) has deeper roots. In the book I describe a number of key symptoms of IMS, including hypersensitivity.

The women who live with these men say things like the following:

I feel like I have to walk on eggshells when I’m around him.

I never know when I’m going to say something that will set him off.

He’s like a time bomb ready to explode but I never know when.

Nothing I do pleases him.

The men don’t often recognize their own hypersensitivity. Rather, their perception is that they are fine but everyone else is going out of their way to irritate them. The guys say things like:

Quit bothering me.
Leave me alone.
No, nothing’s wrong. I’m fine.
Or they don’t say anything. They increasingly withdraw into a numbing silence.

Does this sound familiar? If you think someone you love may be suffering from IMS, take this simple quiz to find out.

Think back over the last month. How often have you (or your man) appeared :

Rarely (1) Sometimes (2) Often (3)

Stressed out

Please add the numbers and compute your score which can range from 10 to 30.


10-15. This guy is on a pretty even keel.

16-22. He can be a bear to live with at times.

23-30. You’ve got a man who suffers from Irritable Male Syndrome which could lead to depression or aggression if not treated.

If you need immediate help please contact me with your specific concerns. You may also find my books and blog posts valuable.

What has been your experience with IMS? What have you done that has helped? What questions do you have that we can explore together?

Please share your comments and questions below.

Together we heal.

Jed Diamond, Ph.D. has been a marriage and family counselor for the last 44 years. He is the author of 10 books, including Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places, Male Menopause, The Irritable Male Syndrome, and the forthcoming MenAlive: Stop Killer Stress With Simple Energy Healing Tools He offers counseling to men, women, and couples in his office in California or by phone with people throughout the U.S. and around the world. To receive a free subscription to Jed’s e-newsletter go to www.MenAlive.com. If you are looking for an expert counselor to help with relationship issues, write Jed@MenAlive.com.

Jed Diamond, PhD, LCSW Boomer Male Expert

Jed is Founder and Director of the MenAlive, a health program that helps men live long and well. Though focused on men's health, MenAlive is also for women who care about the health of the men in their lives.

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