Mood swings after SAH

My brother (23y/o) experienced two aneurysms (SAH), one that had ruptured and one that hadn't, back in October 2012. The coiling was a success and he came out of it completely okay, no lasting damages outside of the emotional pain now and he's moved back to my parent's house to continue healing. He has been struggling with depression and anxiety more since the incident and is now on Zoloft to treat that. We stayed up pretty late last night talking about things and he's been having a lot of trouble with mood swings. He explained it as being unable to control his anger. At any sign of stress, he has an outburst and yells and says the meanest things he can think of and also has trouble with repeating certain phrases over and over again. He described it as his "brain locks up" and he tells himself to stop, but he can't. It's something we're all concerned about-whether it's going to be long-term or just part of recovery-and he is going to talk to his doctor about it soon. I'm just wondering if any of you had any other experiences with this and any advice. I really appreciate it! Thank you so much!


yea thats from the aneurysm, but watch all the meds they can have awful side affects so check that out..maybe a neurologist . depression and anxiety is a common symptom for all of us.

Thank you. The outbursts are a kind of after-effect? Do they eventually go away? Or do we just learn how to cope with them? My brother has suffered from depression his whole life, so he’s taken zoloft before and understands the side effects.


My aneurysm SAH was in September 2012 and I to have had mood swings and have had outbursts towards my family without even knowing that I am raising my voice. As my doctor described it "we are going through PTSD", when you lay there in the ICU and then your bed at night and think about all the "what ifs" it takes a huge emotional toll on you. I also have and am going through days of depression, anxiety and mood swings, some days are better than others but this site has helped me tremendously being able to talk to people that are going through the same thing. The zoloft should help but it typically takes 6 weeks to take full effect. until then keep talking to people on this site for emotional support and remind everyone around him that this is not the real person acting out but an injured brain that is acting out, it will take time to heal. People tend to forget that he has had an injury because they can't see it, it's "a silent injury", it doesnt bleed, you can't cast it, there is no bandaid. This is long term and every day is one day at a time. wishing you and your family much luck and patience.

Michelle K

You absolutely NAILED IT. Our parents have seemed to think that since Tommy is completely back to normal minus the outbursts, that he is just being a jerk and can control it when he can't. Thank you so much for your help. As you and your family know, it's a hard thing to adjust to and I just want to reassure Tommy that it's all apart of the healing process because he's scared. Do you think seeing a therapist would help him??

Hi Kelly...first, your brother is early in the healing takes 1 year to really start to feel like these are returning to normal..2nd, you said he came out with no one goes through this without some effects...namely all those things your mentioned...depression, anxiety, and anger...are all part of the healing because the brain has been touched...tell your brother alot of these things are normal...and part of the journey healing is learning to cope with his "new normal"...Lastly, give him time and his brain needs lots of rest to heal...~ Cyber~thoughts out to all of you Colleen

Thank you so much, Colleen! And you're right, I should have worded that different. I called him last night and told him about this site and he might join up just to be able to get insight and support! I think the big thing we need is patience. Thanks again for your help.

Oh Kelly I understood...because I know this journey is not only hard on us Survivors, but on our caretakers...often we look good, but inside it takes a while to heal...Happy would be super if your brother joined and/or read some posts...~ Colleen

I think he is going to make an account if he hasn’t already. I think it’d help him to be able to talk to other survivors