Personality change issues after surgery

Since my March 2013 AVM removal surgery, I have not been myself. I now have aggressive tendencies and am overly emotional. I have been told that I "twist" the truth, while in my mind I am being totally honest. I get confused and have trouble explaining things. My doctor said that this may be due to petit mal seizures. Because of my problematic new personality, I am now having issues with my grandmother, parents, best friend, other friends, and other people. Basically a lot of my relationships are in jeopardy. I am seeing a neurologist for testing in few weeks. Hopefully it wont be too late. Until then, how do I deal with these symptoms and maintain healthy relationships?

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Eliza, Please talk to your neuro doctor and explain your symptoms exactly this way. Also, please meet with your family and friends and explain that what is happening is because of your surgery and that you are working very hard to heal your brain. In the meantime, Stay Strong and Positive. We've all been through this....things will get better.

Just take everything slow, I had a similar problem like I didn’t think I was diff but my closest relationships noticed some changes, try to take a couple of minutes and take deep breaths and think about the obstacle that’s in front of you and if it’s worth getting angry about. There’s books that help my recommendation would be to try to meditate a little every day it relieves stress and makes you a more positive person, let me know if this helped and how everything goes

When things are getting tense, step back, take a deep breath and let the people you are around know that you need a minute. Leave the room if you have to. Write your feelings down. I find when I write,I have more time to organize thoughts. Make more sense of them and prioritize the ones you want to express. You are going through something that is very intense. For everyone, but especially you. Your loved ones should understand and not pressure you. And if you think things are that bad, NEVER be afraid to seek help. And by that I mean professionals.See a shrink.Or, if you have the strength and energy, join a gym, jog or some other thing that would help release that tension and aggressiveness. And, continue to seek out people here that can relate. I hope things get better for you.Good luck.

Thank you Geovanny...Meditation really helped me. I also listened to positive music and books, trying not to take my healing frustration on my family or friends. Please keep us posted on your progress.

My surgery was January 2012. I have been told I am more out spoken than I was prior to the surgery. I have found when I get upset or stressed I have trouble with my words. Most of my family have learned that my personality has changed. I hope your family will understand. But, in the mean time, be good to yourself. Make sure you get plenty of rest. Talk with the neurologist and maybe some couseling can help. Best of luck to you and your future. God Bless.

It is the brain thing I call it my family and friends said the same thing I get mad over nothing. Like mine they will understand you can’t help it. Sorry but I in the same thing. Good luck. Almost lost my family over it until we found out that it is a part I can not help.tell them they will understand. Sorry we have a lot to deal with.

I did lose some friends but true friends will work with you. Have faith and talk to theQuom

Since my AVM resection I too, am different. It is hard, and I understand. I really like who I was and who I had become, and now I have this new version of me. I'm still the same, but have more limitations, and personality wise there are changes. I have become a little more "out there" I am told! I have what the psychologist and psychiatrist call "Disinhibition." I sing alot, when I can't carry a tune and just plain don't care who hates it! I have anxiety, fequesnt panic attacks, and have lost my filter when it comes to my words. In other words, I just say what I'm thinking without holding it in. This has ledto hurt feelings. I am aware of it now as time passes, and try to think before I speak, but I still sing! Doctors say it is common to sing as it is easier than talking. Therapy or group therapy for brain injuries helps. It's a rough road back and adjusting to the new normal. I can't accept this version and I want "me" back. I'm so grateful to be here, but learning this might be the norm is a difficult adjustment. I'll try, if you will and we'll hope it all improves! Meanwhile, just sing!

Hi Eliza, we are in an exclusive club, and we have exclusive needsand we only need the exclusive friends that under stand our needs. i had surgery in january 2015 and only now my wife told me i’m not the same and so i just appreciate I am still alive and anything else we just need time to sort out, so be strong and think positive.

Regards Jack

Eliza, it is quite normal to be emotional after surgery, especially when you are having seizures! Many members "change" after our AVM's have been removed and it is very difficult to explain to our loved ones. I have changed quite a lot and I did just what Louisa said to do. It also take a long time for the brain to heal, so try your best to let your family and friends know this. There is a lot of information on this site and your family can read this to help they understand what is happening to you! Through time, this WILL get better.

Get to your Neurologist right away. Don't wait another minute. I suffered through the same problems for too long before I was willing to tell my doctor. He wasn't surprised at all knowing my AVM surgery had damaged my right temporal/parietal lobe. He immediately put me on Prozac. I was embarrased at first thinking I was on "crazy" pills, but I'll tell you, it saved my marraige and my sanity. He said with the damage in that area, the chemical imbalance can cause severe issues, often anger and emotional issues and confusion. I am MUCH happier now. I was never big on taking medications before, but when you need it, you need it. Good luck to you.

I was taken aback with this one. I have recently joined the group. My five year old's AVM burst (don't know if that is how you put)and it was removed etc. Before he was a quite, reserved, always hiding behind mommy's skirt. Now he is bold, go getter, not afraid to go on the rides in the fun fair. Not scared to try something new......Had no idea that this was triggered from the

I can relate to this today is 15 yrs that I’ve had my AVM and I still get angry till this day and I have my days to where I feel so down and feel I’m not worth it! But then it goes away? I can’t explain things and when they explain to me I need all detail of what ever is happening or what they are describing. I was on depression meds but I stop taking them cause I was gaining so much weight and was feeling even worse !

I did not experience negative personality changes but can only suggest that you stay strong and try to stop and think before you respond to things. It is truly a lifechanging event and I wish you (and all of us survivors) good luck.


I too had an AVM in March 2013. I am right there with you on the extra emotional side. I used to cry in the privacy of my bathroom, now I just cry with gratitude all over the place.
On the point of twisting the truth, apart from short-term memory issues, I found that people will describe you or things you say, based on their own personal issues or whatever is going on in their life, and not necessarily on your own issue. It took a while, but I realized that a lot of issues being highlighted and discussed where not necessarily my issue. Remembering who I was, and how I thought, help me see it. Also people who I worked with, spoke to on a regular basis before the accident, really helped me remember who I was and how I thought.
I found speaking on the phone or emailing, helped a lot because people could not “see” things that were not there and could really “hear” me and what I was saying, because they did not have a visual to go on.
I think in an effort to help us, people think we are in a worse shape mentally, than we may be physically.
Keep the faith, who you are is stronger than who they think you are.

I am very sorry to hear how things are going. I am sure that with the right help they will get better. You should ask your neurologist, after initial assessments , to be refered to a neuro-psychologist - they are the specialists that can really help in these situations.
Tell your loved ones that your underlying personality, the underlying you, is 99% as it always was. The behavioural issues being experienced can be fixed with help, ask them to be patient. Maybe you should take someone close with you when you go to see the neurologist?
Above all one year is a very short time in the recovery process - don’t give up hope - there is much improvement ahead.
All the best.

OMG! This is SO me. Thankfully my boyfriend supports me and understands what I am going through. But I am so different. More emotional, aggressiveness, fear of being around other people, feeling "safe" when I am at home, I tend to lose sight of conversations, lots of disinterest, mistrust...I am scared of having seizures in front of people....I was never like this. I was always outgoing and friendly and patient. Those were my finest qualities. I feel like Jekyl and Hyde at times. So your doctor said this may be a result of a petit mal?

The problem isn't with you. The problem is with people who have to interact with the "new" you. Obviously what happened to you (or any of us) isn't your choice. Nothing is going to change you back to the way you were before and they will have to accept and understand it. You're going to find who your real friends are.

I UNDERSTAND! Over 2 decades ago, I also got my AVM pretty much removed. I suffered 2 strokes during 7 brain surgeries! Trust me, this recovery is a quite a longer process than we might like, and after 1 years of recovery, that is just the beginning. I think I simply CRIED for my 1st year. Then, I realized that was not helping me at all to recover, so I started to THINK AND FOCUS on any/all POSITIVES that were happening in my recovery! THAT is what really changed my recovery and myself in the best ways. My 'normal' self, still did not just 'appear'. Maybe, it never will 100%, but I am finally GRATEFUL of who I have become from my trauma. Approximately it took, I think several years, for me to love who I am now.
One of the best thing that helped me the most was when I started to volunteer in a hospital and a rehabilitation center, about 5 years after my strokes/brain surgeries. I am helping OTHER TBI and stroke patients in those facilities.

Great Luck to your FUTURE!
Lisa A. Stuckel/Kane