Chiari Online Support Group

Getting angry

I get angry a lot for no reason. Does any one else get that way. If so how do you control it?

My understanding is that CHiari is kind of like a slow motion and repetitive brain injury (repetitive cerebellar and spinal canal contents compression). With any type of brain injury, irritability and unreasonable anger can be a corresponding symptom. Yes, I experienced it before surgery and I can still experience it post-surgery when I get over-tired or flustered with stress/decision-making/busy environment though it has improved with surgery and understanding.

Cognitive concerns seem to be rarely addressed by neurologists and neurosurgeons. I did not even know that brain problems could be part of Chiari until I still had problems after surgery and saw a neuropsychologist. I have brain damage from Chiari that is measurable and contributes to my fatigue and irritability - specifically divided attention and another area where I find it hard to come up with alternatives (I forget the specific name). My understanding of these deficits have helped me in my relationship with my husband, my kids, and my job efforts.

Controlling it

1. Brain injury resources can give a host of approaches to help with anger. Overstimulation/calming environment/noise control - there are lots of things that you can change to help. Anger is not a part of your personality and can be managed.

2. I found that understanding that I have cognitive limitations has helped my awareness of my anger and its triggers. My husband is knowledgeable about my restrictions and does not get angry with me when I get angry. I just settle down in a quiet room, say a quick sorry, and we move on. He and my kids know that I am not angry with them, it is just my crazy brain. I can usually preface an anger flare-up with comments that alert my family to my brain status.

Good luck in navigating this tricky area. I hope that you can find the resources that you need.

Thank you for the information I’m new to this and think it was in me.

Thanks for sharing I since this flare up nearly 4 years post decompression I’m very emotional and feel very moody! I do not like the way I am feeling! Prior to surgery I would get real angry sometimes and just snap!

Gabby jazzypants, I realize that this is an old thread but was wondering if you could help me? When l looking for a neuropsychologist, did u specifically look for one who had Chiari listed as a speciality or did it just turn out that way? I'm finding that I'm my area, not only are they scarce but I have yet to find one that even lists Chiari in their bio :( Thanks in advance!

gabby jazzypants said:

My understanding is that CHiari is kind of like a slow motion and repetitive brain injury (repetitive cerebellar and spinal canal contents compression). With any type of brain injury, irritability and unreasonable anger can be a corresponding symptom. Yes, I experienced it before surgery and I can still experience it post-surgery when I get over-tired or flustered with stress/decision-making/busy environment though it has improved with surgery and understanding.

Cognitive concerns seem to be rarely addressed by neurologists and neurosurgeons. I did not even know that brain problems could be part of Chiari until I still had problems after surgery and saw a neuropsychologist. I have brain damage from Chiari that is measurable and contributes to my fatigue and irritability - specifically divided attention and another area where I find it hard to come up with alternatives (I forget the specific name). My understanding of these deficits have helped me in my relationship with my husband, my kids, and my job efforts.

Controlling it

1. Brain injury resources can give a host of approaches to help with anger. Overstimulation/calming environment/noise control - there are lots of things that you can change to help. Anger is not a part of your personality and can be managed.

2. I found that understanding that I have cognitive limitations has helped my awareness of my anger and its triggers. My husband is knowledgeable about my restrictions and does not get angry with me when I get angry. I just settle down in a quiet room, say a quick sorry, and we move on. He and my kids know that I am not angry with them, it is just my crazy brain. I can usually preface an anger flare-up with comments that alert my family to my brain status.

Good luck in navigating this tricky area. I hope that you can find the resources that you need.

Hi cinner74

I did not seek out a neuropsychologist who specializes in Chiari. I had the choice of two neuropsychologists and was randomly assigned one. (Public healthcare - not in the United States). This man had seen one other Chiari patient years ago. His knowledge on Chiari was slim to made-up. His assistant was adept in assessing my cognitive ability and he did a reasonable job of discussing the results with me at a later date. Cognitive dysfunction is cognitive dysfunction - it does not matter what the cause is. If a neuropsychologist indicates that they are a specialist in Chiari assessment and rehabilitation, I would be skeptical unless they had published some journals or written a book.

For rehab, he suggested a book that I could work through at my leisure that I could buy at a local bookstore - one of the many "Improve your Brain" books that abound right now. He did not indicate that my prognosis for improvement was positive. Fortunately, I am contact with a physical therapist who sees concussion/brain injury patients and have a plan in place. I have no plans on returning to that neuropsychologist.

From my research, some neuropsychologists are not grounded in research-based knowledge. Hard to suss out who is though, as this man had been recommended as good - just depends on your criteria. A nice man, just not super up-to date on the possibilities of cognitive rehabilitation.

Good luck.

Im so glad im not alone in this. Im a 31 year old man and these symptoms im dealing with are close to making me cry im so frustrated with this entire ordeal. I get angry so easily and that causes my headaches to start and my heart starts pounding and my eyeballs start to feel swollen.