Hi everyone!! It has been a while since I posted. I hope that everyone is having nothing but success with life and the enjoyment of life. I do have a question: I had AVM removed at the end of December through craniotomy. Has anyone who has had this procedure experienced anxiety, overwhelming at times, since the surgery? Is this a part of the recovery process? I feel like I'm about to jump out of my skin at times...YIKES!!

Yes - this is perfectly normal. (It's also tough to handle.) But please don't think you're the only one who's feeling like that. If it gets bad, ask your doctor if there's a neuropsych he or she recommends. You won't always feel this anxious, but it can help to see a counselor or neuropsych to help you get past the initial anxiety period.

Thanks Shirasaya!! I have my Masters in counseling and I have been trying to recognize the symptoms when they occur so that I am aware. I did not want to assume it was the surgery but it did not happen prior. Thanks for your insight!

Recognizing it is half the battle, but dealing with it is still tough on your own. Always good to have another pair of eyes. I've had wild ups and downs and have had help coming up with some good strategies from a counselor.

Hi Unbeilevable1,
I had my craniotomy to remove the avm in my cerebellum back in 2001. To answer your question, I have and do experience moments of intense anxiety. I still cope with the idea there are certain things I am unable to do well anymore, yet at the same time I have been able to overcome some deficits and try to remember not to take that for granted. Finding patience in the moments of frustration help to alleviate my anxiety and, realizing the ebb and flows of recovery keeps me calm...and drinking chamomile tea.
I wish you well and continued success in your recovery.

Thanks for the feedback everyone. I just wanted to see if this was part of recovery as well. So many new things…enjoy your day!!


My bleed and surgery was 7 years ago and anxiety is a norm for me now as well. Usually I do pretty well and can remove myself from a situation or place that is contributing. I know my triggers (large groups of people, busy restaurants or stores, and riding in cars) so I avoid as much as I can. There are times when the anxiety gets overwhelming and I have a prescription for Xanax for those times. I don't take it often, as it's addictive but it does really help in those cases of acute anxiety. I find yoga to help with keeping me relatively relaxed. Counseling would probably be beneficial as well.

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Thank you so much for your response! Crying for no reason-YEP!!! I thought I was peri-pausal! Intense anger to (when I get mad about any small thing). Thanks again!

Thanks Trish! Busy restaurants and stores are definitely a trigger. I have walked away from grocery carts in the store!! Thinking about the counseling route...

Anxiety is a big part of my life now loud noises lots of people are overwhelming right now. Getting better do not want to be on medication so many side effects with everything. Found being on the lake kayaking is relaxing and helps to relieve my fears anxiety. This maybe could be like mediation for me.

When I discussed surgery with my doctor, he told me that depression after surgery in the back of the head (my avm is in the cerebellum) is a well known phenomenon. He said that they don’t know why and it does not have a particular term to describe it either. It just seems to happen quite frequently after surgery in the back part of the head. It does not answer your anxiety question, but I would not be surprised if these kind of new reaction patterns are just as much a physical thing (new nerve paths establishing themselves?) as a psychological reaction.

Hi Nunnu!

Thank you so much much for sharing. I will say that I have learned more about the psychological recovery from this site than anywhere. Again, thanks for sharing and I wish you well in you recovery!!

Sounds so relaxing!!!!

Hi, yes i too feel the same, but i am only a few day after surgery, and suffer overwhelming anxiety at the moment which i hope will pass.

Have you had any follow ups yet ? which may help to elevate some of your anxiety. Am sure as time goes by you will become stronger and your anxiety will dissipate.

Personally i have had a greater appreciation for life since, which i am sure all will have, life is a daily gift whether with an AVM or any other condition that may cause us to sit up and realise our lives are to be lived for the now and not to worry about the future, as you never know just what may be round the corner, of course this applies to all not just those with conditions.

Take each day as it comes and enjoy it if possible as i am sure you already do. I remember watching a corny film recently called About Time, and in one particular scene one of the main characters whom is a time traveler is advised to live the same day twice, first time as it comes with all the stresses and pressures bad bits and good bits, and on the second live it knowing whats coming but instead enjoy it. This stuck with me in a way, of course we cant relive the day but did make me think that each day is a gift and should be lived seeing the important things not the worry and stresses.

Of course life in reality is different and i do feel enjoying our lives without worrying too much can be extremely difficult at times especially with a condition, but try not to let it get to you too much as we have no control at the end of the day, am sure your worry will wane as time goes by, thinking of you.

Hi Dave!!

My surgery was the week of Christmas and I went back to neuro for suture removal and 1 additional visit in January where I was released from him. I have not been to dr since then for AVM as they stated they expect 100% recovery. The anxiety started around Feb but really peaked this month. I am actively thankful for everyday when I start to feel down and it has been interesting as I hear people complain about the simplest things. I too have a greater need and active desire to live each day with gratitude and inexcusable happiness :), which is why the anxiety is really surprising to me. Nonetheless, I will persevere and deal with this in the most productive way possible.

Thank you for your response and I wish you a fantastic recovery!
(I have to check out that movie...sounds interesting!)