Is Anger/Rage common after AVM resection surgery?

I am wondering if anyone can tell me if they felt personality changes after AVM surgery (not imediately after but at least a year after)/ My husband had his AVM removed by surgery 1.5 years ago (small AVM in left temporal lobe). Before the surgery he had only one seizure (hence, that is how the AVM was discovered after the MRI). The surgery went perfectly and he appeared to have little side effects. However, in the past 6 months I have noticed he is no longer the easy going guy he once was. He does not laugh all the time like he use to, he is very quick to anger and somtimes goes into rages that dont last very long, but this is sooo not like the way he use to be. I am not sure if these changes are a result of the surgery or perhaps he is just becoming a different person. Please help! I feel very frustrated and sad.

I haven’t had my treatment yet, but have noticed my personality has changed since I had my bleed. I get extremely angry with people around me, and don’t seem to have the patience I used to. I am very frightened of what the future holds for me, and can’t get any peace from the thoughts in my head. I was the most laid back easy going person you could have met. I’m currently awaiting some counselling. I think with me it’s more of a problem with coming to terms with the situation, what’s happened and my limitations. This thing does hit you like a bolt out fo the blue and suddenly your life is changed. My partner has told me that I sometimes seem very selfish, and it is so easy when you have so much going on in your mind to forget the people who care most about you. I’ve found this site really useful. There is loads of support on here. There are others on here who are a lot further down the line than I am. I think time out is important for both of you. If there are any support organisations in your local area, these could also be useful. My partner tells me when I’m being unreasonable and aggressive, and sometimes that’s difficult to hear, but I eventually see where she’s coming from. Give yourselves some time and space when you need it, keep talking to each other, and let each other know that you’re there.

I don’t know when it started but i feel i can go into a rage over just about nothing these days, so short tempered. I get annoyed when my son maybe starts talking and i find mydelf saying ‘hold on honey mum has to go to the loo’ just to get out of the room for 5 mins as i would never ever have a temper tantrum with him - he’s only 8
I don’t know if it just finally realising whats happend, thaTS maybe making him so angry, or has the surgery left him with limitation which maybe makes him angry cause he can’t do what he use to. Have you thought about counceling maybe?

Hi, Kat-
I don’t know if its common but its certainly possible. Especially if the AVM is in a part of the brain that triggers emotions. We’ve heard from people on this site who can’t smile, laugh, cry, etc. So, anger seems possible. Its also possible that its psychological. Its been two years since my bleed and I can definitely tell you I am a lot less patient, which can lead to anger. I think it has more to do with my adjustment to the avm reality than any harm done by the avm. Or, as Stacey said, it can be chemical induced by pharmaceuticals.

One suggestion would be to get him into a brain injury support group. He’ll at least learn about what others face, feel some cameraderie and maybe learn how his anger manifests itself.

I have a cousin who had a devastating brain injury and his mom, my aunt, sent me a link to the stages of brain injury recovery. One of the stages was definitely anger/rage but maybe with him, it is something different. I think he should go back to the doctor and have an MRI or something to check the brain tissue surrounding the surgical site. Or maybe there is something unrelated bothering him. Either way, it sounds like he needs to see a doctor.

My mother thinks that my personality changed after I had my surgery, but since I went through adalecance at the same time I’m not so sure. But now looking back I do see where my personality has changed from when I was a child. Before surgery I was more active and more socialble. After surgery and through adalecance I became alot more withdrawled, holding my emotions in untill they bursts, and deffanitaly less active. As I did socialize with others it wasn’t very much, and I felt better off being a loaner, or hanging out with the wrong croud. And as I am going through another changing of hormones with my pregnancy, different things are intensified, and I am begining to nottice some bi-polor behaviors, thankfully I am almost wise enough to control them and begining to know how to release them properly. Last thing I want is for my son to see mommy going off the handle.
In another since as I work with the elderly who are derasticaly loosing there independance, and going through alot of things, it could also be his way of dealing with not only limitations, but a large reality of how fragile life can be.
For me it helps to beable to talk with people who understand, as I do here, and through a close relationship with God, and fellowship in my church, I feel alot better now.
I hope this helps a little.

i haven’t had surgery either but i get angry so easy theses days and once I am I find it hard to calm down.

Hi Kat, I have definitely been feeling like that since my AVM bled out. I have no patience, am irritable and can’t stand the people I work with. I feel very selfish sometimes too when people ask me about my AVM and I tell them all about it but then forget to ask how they’ve been going. I also feel like I’m pushing my husband away as well but I don’t want to talk to a counsellor about it because I’m too stubborn. It’s really hard because I was an easy going person once upon a time too but now until I can get this anger problem under control I’m pretty much impossible to deal with

My husband also had his surgery a year and a half ago. He has had many personality changes. Anger is definately one of them. He is less patient and gets frustrated very easily. He is taking anti-seizure medication so I wonder if that has something to do with it. I also have to take into consideration how much his life has changed. 18 months ago he was working and was very active and now he can’t even drive. His life and mine are totally different. That adjustment makes it hard for both of us. When I get upset about him being grumpy, I just have to take a breath and think about all he has been through and focus on the positive. At least he is still here! Good Luck!

Kat,
This is defiantly something I have been going through and no matter how hard I try not to it doesnt work. My AVM was in the left frontal lobe and it has also been about the same amount of time for me also. I struggle with this daily and sometimes the more I think about it the worse I get. I guess its because I know that I will never be the same person again, and also its hard to concentrate and learn etc. It is just really hard on you emotionally to go through something like this. It is so understandable to be frustrated and sad about the person your husband is becoming. I know my husband feel the same way that you do!!! We are thinking about going to some counseling but not sure where to go or even if the canceler will actually understand what is going on. But its just a thought we had to hopefully understand how each other feels about our lives and what they are becoming. I hope I helped some! And good Luck!!!

hi kat,we are 15 weeks into our experiance now and we have noticed a great change in kray.he was always a very happy child,never argued or answered back.since his surgery and trauma he is very different i feel i have lost my boy sometimes.he seems very heartless and cold,rages and has no patience any more.he remembers evrything that happened and gets alot of bad dreams,confusion and tears.we have no support here and no councillor to talk too.i feel he has built up a brick wall around him and i cant get in.im so scared and we dont know how to deal with it.you are not alone xxxx

My son is has the same problem! Today he had a complete melt down over not being able to find his Pokemon DVD. He starts to cry, turn red and he struggles with finding the words which makes it worse. Right after he returned from his long stay at the hosiptal he would fly into rages and trash his room. Slowly as time has gone on it seems to be getting better. But when he has a melt down he just cries sometimes for an hour. I notice that the rages are happening more when we have an increase in Dr. appt’s. or when he is tired. I started having him draw when he is angy and sometimes him expressing himself threw art has helped because he can’t express himself verbally when he is angry.

Thanks everyone for your kindess and guidance. My husband knew what to expect phyically after surgery but the doctors did not discuss the emotional aftermath. I am grateful to have found this board… thanks again!

i’m withLoz,i’m stillhavimg a hard time coming toterms with what’s happened and my limitations and how my life has changed. Ifeel angry and extremely frustrated,very vulnerable

This is the link to the Rancho Los Amigos Scale for brain injury recovery. I found it very interesting and helpful in understanding my cousin’s brain injury. Maybe it will help some of you.
http://rancho.org/patient_education/bi_cognition.pdf

This is about dysarthria- difficulty in talking after brain injury.
http://rancho.org/patient_education/bi_dysarthria_why_is.pdf

Romina… I honestly know exactly how you’re feeling…I’ve tried lots of meds to find a way back to feeling like my old self. Hang in there…I know it’s hard on the family too;( Good luck with the procedure! Let me know how you’re doing afterwards!

Hello Kat,
I survived my brain explosion, embolization and removal by craniotomy. I woke up from surgery telling everyone that I was blessed, and I am. I always was. I told everyone I was fine, and I was and am. I tell everyone I am the exact same person I was before and I was and I am. I told everyone that I was not as nice as I used to be and I wasn’t and I’m not. Contrary? yes and no. I believe it best to be seen by the physicians to investigate with an mri or cat scan, recheck levels with all meds that may be involved even the simple blood test to see how all those regular old cellsare feeling. Diet and exercise and lots and lots of hugs. Seems most of us are exactly the same people we were before and not. Remember it is a lot of work being a whole person and more so when you aren’t exactly always able to find or access all the parts that made you whole. You must be loving and strong and insightful to seek answers to questions you formulate from your observations. That is positive for both of you. I just finished reading Jill Bolte Taylors book "My STROKE of INSIGHT. It works at both levels, injured person and caregiver(s). I recommend this reading to everyone.

Hi Kat,

My wife’s AVM ruptured about 2 years ago (AVM location: right lower portion close to the midbrain, just mm from the thalamus). She had gamma knife surgery about 4 months after the rupture. We’ve both noticed changes in personality, I feel like I notice it more than she does. My wife used to be very detail oriented and she had all the patience in the world. But after the AVM rupture/ gamma knife treatment we’ve noticed differences in how she reacts to certain situations. She is definitely not as patient and gets frustrated easier. I think in the past, her patience went along with her ability to keep track of minute details and ability to be very detail oriented. It’s changed a bit now, it’s not drastic or anything… but she’s changed. Interestingly enough, she’s actually more laid back. Though she get’s frustrated easily with trying to do tasks she’s actually more jolly and less things seem to upset her. I don’t know how to explain it, but, it’s as if she doesn’t “hold-on” to stuff… like grudges or react to things that would have normally annoyed her… she’s just more laid back (I don’t know how else to explain it).

At our last doctor’s appointment we tried explaining this change that we’d noticed to her doctor. I think her doctor was not as concerned with the personally changes as long as it didn’t interfere with her normal standard of living. And I understand that. ~sigh~ Honestly… I just feel very fortunate that she is alive. I don’t know what I would’ve done if I’d somehow lost her from the AVM rupture. Life can be so fragile. Hang in there Kat!

I just found this sight because my husbands personality has changed. It has been twelve years since all this began and almost five years since last surgery. Just need to know why changes now?

Hi,unrelenting stress alone, day in and out, takes a toll, and that alone could be causing the issues. I too became VERY impatient for a while because of the toll of stress and anxiety of AVM bleed/surgery, etc. Facing serious challenes and your mortality is not easy, as is not having someone to relate to your probs. I had to start to make it a daily task to do relaxation techniques, deep breathing, etc. I find, post-surgery, that i have to be super-calm with a few close people in my life because they just don’t accept the ‘new me’ because I look the same. I’m not, but after trying to explain it many times, I just had to realize that that when I got mad,I could instead ‘bless the experience’ and consider it a teaching moment. Exercise is a great mood and energy booster too. The AVM may cause the extra stress/anxiety, but he can do tons to manage it. Don’t be frustrated, there’s so much with good food, exercise, music to get better. Good luck to you both!