Mood swings

I was wondering if any other husbands had problems dealing with the intense mood swings from their wife’s because of the condition.

I am not a husband but my husband goes through those too. in the beginning of our marriage I didn’t understand. I thought he was mad at me. so his mom told me that when he gets tired he act like this. and the meds. will also do this. look up the side effects for her meds. d melton don’t take it personal. one way to look at it is we know the reason why they are going through those emotions. I will let him have his own time that day. I will ask him if he is tired. or know this is what is going on and try going with the flow of things if that makes sense. it can be very frustrating. we have been married for 20 years and it is still hard and I get mad at myself. But at the end of the day the most important thing is coming together and forgiving one another and know we are working it out.

Love and God Bless
Mark and Tina

Hi d melton I would just like to say my hubby would have to have the worst mood swings ever!!! He is totally unreasonable and snaps at anyone, any time. Everyone cant get over how he still has someone to talk to. But everyone says its just him and they accept him for it. It seems that the only time he is happy is when he gets him own way, not sure if its the avm or just him being spoilt and everyone giving in to him.
I think it goes in cycles where everything is calm and you think this is good we can cope then all of a sudden things seem out of control over the smallest things. Is that what you find?? I would love to know. Hang in there.

Hi, yes my husband has had intense moods since his AVM surgery. Very, very hyper then angry and judgmental. Sadly has alienated many in the extended family. No longer trusts people he used to love and trust and was close friends with. The mood swings have decreased as time has gone by - the surgery was in 2005. Much better now as far as self control of anger is concerned, but sadly the damage has already been done to many relationships. i found that not “engaging” , ie. not trying to argue with him when he is angry de-escalates the situation. Also there are certain topics we are no longer able to talk about. Our relationship has had to change but we have more good times then bad now, thank God.

My wife Paula has experienced all of these swings. The AVM is rough on her, and myself. Being a spouse to someone going through this isn’t easy, as you all know. My wife and I had a talk the other day about the “old Paula” and this new woman. She is still in there, just different now. Honestly though, our marriage is better than it was before she got “sick”.

You sound like you know my husband. My husband was jovial, outgoing, & on top of the world until June 2008 when he had his AVM. Now, we go no where, no intimacy, & he’s been on 1,500mg’s of depakote for his mood swings.
We’ve been married for 42 years & I thank God the first 39 years were great. For the last 3 years I tell my family this is where my marital vowels come to mind “for better or worse, sickness & in health”.

Hi “John” - I am sad for you and understand how it feels. How does your family respond to him now that he is “different”? Have they been able to accept him the way he is now? I have found this a problem for me/us - the extended family has basically shunned my hub. As a wife we do have the wedding vows to consider and our past marriage experiences so remember and take into consideration , but others do not have this “obligation” to fulfil. Have they supported you?

Hello everyone. Thanks for sharing your experiences and your patience, faithfulness, and love for your disabled spouses. My wife has had her share of mood swings much like you folks describe with alienating friends and family, not trusting anyone, snapping. One day I was so depressed about it and other things that were on my plate at the time that I asked my boss for the day off and did some reflecting and research.

My wife was taking 2000 mg of Keppra to prevent seizures. She was telling me that Keppra is known for "Keppra Rage." She also noticed along her reading that B vitamins somehow got depleted or were lacking because of Keppra and her doctor kept telling her each visit that her blood tests were showing she was quite deficient in vitamin D and some other vitamins and minerals.

So along that line of thinking I analyzed her diet for dietary deficiencies and started searching online and found that people taking Keppra reported improving their mood by supplementing B-6. So she started taking 100 mg of B-6 and her mood is far better now. I must say that she also started supplementing some other vitamins and minerals that her diet was deficient in and, under the supervision of her Neurologist, started reducing her dose of Keppra by 500 mg at the same time but thought I would still share this even though it's possible her mood has only improved because of the reduction of Keppra. However, she is still taking 1500 mg so I think the B-6 is indeed helping as well.

"A study published in 2005 suggests that the addition of pyridoxine (vitamin B6) may curtail some of the psychiatric symptoms" "Clinical Epilepsy: Pediatrics". Epilepsia 46 (s8): 142–67. 2005. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Levetiracetam

I hope this helps someone out there. Take care and God bless.

All I can say is....he is not the same....I am blaming myself and my self esteem has declined.....we are best friends but the love we used to have is gone since his surgery in Nov. I am tired of beating myself up and blaming my self. He does not see it. I love him but not sure I can continue on. My heart hurts....He looks normal from the outside looking in....i'm not even sure our friends would even understand if I confided in them.

Hi Kelly,

During a really difficult period in our experience I found it helpful to talk to and pray with a friend or two that I really trusted and for Heidi and I to talk to a couple that we trusted. A counselor may help as well.

Praying for you both,
Dan

Kelly--It is entirely possible that no one you know will understand. For years, friends and family AND doctors have written off my spouse's emotional and behavioral problems as just normal relationship issues (meaning, of course, that he's completely normal and I'm apparently just not able to handle a normal relationship...so I know what you're saying about blaming yourself). He's on his better behavior in public, so it's my word against everyone's assumptions.

That's not meant to be discouraging, but to say that you might only find understanding here or in a real-life brain injury support group. I read the other day, from a brain injury survivor, that things started being easier to deal with once they accepted that they were never going to be able to make anyone understand what it's really like. In my experience, talking with people who aren't going to understand has just made me feel more isolated, so I have to pick very carefully the people I talk to about the situation, and they still don't know all the details.

November to June is still a very short time! The brain is still adapting to what happened for years after the surgery. There's still time to look around for doctors who will take the situation seriously and connect him to people who can help. He might need psychological services from someone who's an expert in the brain, or occupational therapy that focuses on helping him prioritize or organize or otherwise solve some of the problems that might be driving some of the mood swings. And like a few others have said, medication could be an influence on the problem--look for an epileptologist (a neurologist specializing in epilepsy) if he's on anti-seizure meds and has only seen regular neurologists.
-J

Thank you so much! I have put a call into his Doctor to ask him about the Keppra. My husband is taking 3000mg per day. and no vitamins!! I hope this can improve him mood and attitude because we used to be soo close and lovable! Thanks again!

My husband had embolization for an A V M 5 1/2 years ago. He has tried “many” medications for mood swings & nothing has helped. Now, a neurologist is going to try him on an anti psychotic medication.
Besides mood swings, he has ED, short term memory, & he is not affectionate. We have had no vacation in 5 1/2 years. We have been married 44 years & we had 39 very good years until his A V M. As long as he is breathing, there is hope.
You can never take anything personal, it is the nature of the illness or the aftermath of the embolization.
What keeps me going are the vowels I took 44 years ago “in sickness & in health”. I get mad at myself for losing my patience, it can be very frustrating. He did not ask for this to happen.
Just forgive & forget.
Love & God Bless
Joyce & John

It has been a while since I posted about Vitamin B-6 helping my wife. Unfortunately it was not a long-term solution for her because she felt the higher dose was causing other undesirable side-effects so she stopped taking it for a while. Later she began taking a B-complex vitamin (still is) but still experienced the mood swings. I think making sure you're not deficient in any vitamins is still important; blood tests can help with that. Her neurologist suggested the daily B-complex to help with brain healing etc.

She starting hearing about Cymbalta among her Angioma friends and she decided she wanted to try it. She is on the lowest dose (30 mg in the AM) and it has improved her mood, anxiety, leg weakness/pain, sensory overloads, and motivation to live life to the fullest considerably. It's been a couple months now so we'll see. Others have been on it for years with good results still. In all honesty it feels like our honeymoon again. Hopefully the honey stays in the moon ;)

Take care and keep praying.

PLEASE ANSWER THIS QUESTION BECAUSE I AM DEALING WITH A PERSON WHO STILL HAS THE AVM AND SINCE THE TWO SEIZURES AND THE DIAGNOSIS THAT IT IS INOPERABLE, THERE HAS BEEN SUCH A CHANGE OF BEHAVIOR. I QUESTION IF IT IS DUE TO THE KEPPRA HE TAKES FOR SEIZURES. HOW MANY OF YOU WHO WRITE HERE OF MOOD SWINGS,ANGER AND DEPRESSION ARE ON KEPPRA OR HAVE A LOVED ONE ON IT? I REALLY HOPE TO HEAR BACK.
THANK YOU.
LEA

My husband still has his AVM and it is inoperable because it is deep in his temporal lobe and very big. That is why we are doing the Gamma Knife Radiation to take his chances from 90% to 30% of having a hemmorhage again! He is taking 3000mg of Keppra and I have noticed a HUGE behavior difference in that he is snappy, mean, picks on EVERY little thing and talks incessantly! My 16 year old son comes home from school and goes straight to his room until I get home. I work 830am until 530pm every day but I am home by 545pm. I have just yesterday put a call into his doctor to ask about doses and what else I can get him to take to help with the moods!!! Keep in Touch! Hang in There!

MY PHARMACIST TOLD ME THERE ARE 21 DIFFERENT KINDS OF MEDICINE FOR SEIZURES. THE PROBLEM IS: I CAN 'T GET MY SON TO REALIZE HE HAS A PROBLEM. HE IS 35 AND I HAVE NO CONTROL OVER WHAT HE DOES. MY ONLY HOPE WOULD BE IF I COULD SHOW HIM THAT SOME OF YOU HAVE HAD PROBLEMS BECAUSE OF KEPPRA THAT ARE SIMILAR TO HIS. PLEASE KEEP ME POSTED AND IF I WERE YOU, I'D ASK THAT DOCTOR TO WEIN HIM OFF KEPPRA AND GET HIM ON SOMETHING ELSE. IF THERE IS EVEN A SMALL CHANCE THAT IT IS CAUSING HIS PROBLEM, IT WOULD BE WORTH THE TRY. YOU WILL HAVE TO REALLY BE EMPHATIC WITH THE DOCTOR TO GET HIM TO LISTEN. GOOD LUCK.

Mood swings are common and it's just something you have to take a step back and deal with one step at a time. I am currently going through major family issues that have separated my side from my husband. They blame it on anger issues, I excuse it as AVM and depression. Call it whatever you want, it has to be dealt with every day with those amongst us, including me and our 3 kids. Conditional love has become a problem and so you really just have to tolerate what you can and walk away to breathe again, and then return and deal again when you're ready. It's NOT AT ALL EASY but you have to be strong and stay healthy yourself. So far, I'm surviving and doubt but venting and socializing with others as an outlet has helped. It doesn't fix the problem but it at least helps you cope better.