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AVM Survivors Network

AVM causing stress

Can an AVM growing in the brain cause feelings of irritability and stress? How many here experienced depression or any mental illness before their AVM ruptured? I am curious to see if anyone experienced the same problem

Hey Sam,
“Can an AVM growing in the brain cause feelings of irritability and stress?”

In short, yes. The brain is a very delicate organ, that’s why it has a hard casing, our skull, around it. To protect it. Even subtle changes can have profound effects. One of the issues with irritability and stress is that they feed of each other ie we become irritable, which stresses us and we become even more irritable because of it.
When the stresses are not dealt with or managed appropriately then the results can be depression and often, as a progression, mental illness.

I have a growth within my brain and although not an AVM, the changes that occurred due to it certainly had an impact on my mental health. For me personally there were other factors which all contributed to the mental instability at the time. Although, again ‘at the time’, the growth was not known of, so everything was labelled as mental health but in hindsight, the growth must have been having an impact.

Merl from the Moderator Support Team

A brain lesion absolutely can cause psychiatric illness, there is no question. The physical changes in the brain can be responsible, and moreover just the psychological costs of having an AVM can have adverse consequences as well. This is a common experience.

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I had my AVM removed a few years. My depreciation stared at when I found about my large AVM 14 year ago. I have been told lately I am labeled as Sever Neurocogniteive Disorder new name for Dementia.

Do people who survive an AVM have a higher risk of developing dementia or depression later in life or is that not always the case? Sometimes when 'm stressed or not physically active, I would experience frequent earworms ( song stuck in head) but they are usually only a couple of seconds or a minute before stopping but sometimes they sound like they play constantly or maybe they play and replay so often that it sounds like they are always playing even though they stop in between. Is this from the surgery or am I just not active and lack serotonin, and becoming mildly depressed?

Hi Sam, yes this is normal, even after rupture/ surgery, I am 56, long time survivor and I still ride this roller coaster on a regular basis, everyone is different but you just need to figure out what works best for you, just know you are not alone and there are a lot of people here that know and understand what you are going through,the way I see it, AVM survivors are secret super hero’s, corona’s got nothing on us, this is normal, welcome to are world !!

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Hi Sam:

Welcome to the group. We are here to support and encourage you whenever you need it. Having an AVM can send you on a whirl-wind of emotions, i.e. sadness, depression, fear, irritability, loneliness, pain, tears and much more, all in one day!! This beast can eat you up because it changes who you thought you were. You have to kick this sob in the ass and tell it that you have the power! You have to stick to whatever regiment your doctor’s and specialist outline for you. What you can’t do is give up. Keep fighting and keep winning. We’re here for you and may God bless you.

Sharon D…

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