Chiari and depression

If you have depression, do you feel it is because of the pain or a symptom of th pressure in the brain. Were you depressed before you were even diagnosed but didn’t know why? Where do you feel like your depression stems from, chiari itself or pain.

I do not know where it comes from! I have been on depression medications for 25 years! Of course, I've had Chiari all my life too so who knows?


hi tonya

i take it your abit down at the moment,

im my experience, i get depressed when im in pain, or my symptoms are playing up,

yes and i did before i got dianosed, but now i understand where it comes from and can deal with it,

the biggest thing was frastration, and the unknown, i never had family support, and never taken seriously, even with major back surgery and having decompression, im still not taken seriously, im known as the drama queen,

ive learnt that its there problem, and try not to let it bug me,

sorry gone off the track,

i think if we understand our illness then we can deal with the issues that arises,

i went to marriage counselling, awhile ago, and she tried to teach us, that chiari is doing it not me, maybe in its way it has helped,

i find we dont give ourseleves enough breathing space, and need to be kind to ourseleves, also acceptence


I've been sruggling with major depression now for about 4yrs...I think its related directly to the chronic pain and frustration I'm going through with very little support. I even went to Clevened Clinic and was told they were going to classify it as a type ofmigraine...even though its not a migraine...but because I was in pain and made it couldn't be that I wasn't ready for chiari was too them stabilized.....what does that mean? Then they wanted to do pain management for three wks at a just seems endless. How am I suppose to have a life when I feel so bad?

Hey Tonya, I've been struggling with depression for a few years now. I was just diagnosed with Chiari about a year ago, but I fully believe that they are related, and from what my NL has said it's not uncommon. If you think about it, it makes sense, the brain is such a precise instrument. Even the slightest disruption in the brain can wreak havoc. We have brain matter bulging out of our skulls (to be a little blunt) so no wonder we'd be a little depressed. I've been on happy pills for about 9 months now, and it makes a difference. It doesn't take it all away, but it's just enough to keep me from curling up in the fetal position bawling my eyes out every day. So, I'm not a Dr. but I did sleep at a Holiday Inn Express last weekend, and I think they are related. :-)

I don’t have Chiari myself but my daughter does. She is totally not the person she used to be. I think she’s over the initial shock of being diagnosed. It’s been 2 yrs and a brain surgery later. Now her depression comes from the limitations on her life and being chronically nauseas 24/7. She pretty much traded excruciating headaches for miler ones, non stop nausea and dizziness.

I have been less depressed since the decompression mine seemed to have been related to the compression on the stem.There is still some depression but not the same kind of desperation as before I feel mine was just that p,more desperation and physical reasons too.

I think it has something from the get go, since i was 7 i suffered unnatural thoughts of self harm, shortly after my mom tried to put me in gymnastics the headaches were so bad i was afraid to do even a summer sault , they did tests upon tests but that was almost 30 years ago and this condtion was unheard of, my teen years depression was understatement, i drowned the pain in drugs and alcohol, i was in home after home attempt after last one so scary with my 3 years old staring at me that i never tried again, i got help and i still get it when i feel that pull. i have a good life and just found out about my Chiari this last year the depression has never gone away no matter how good life just lingers. and this nonstop pain and all the pain meds surely do not help. sorry if that was a downer its just my story and i how i feel right now

Wow. Bless your heart. My daughter actually cut herself. I got her into counseling right away. She got the Chiari diagnosis soon after counseling and had brain surgery 2 months later. She also has social anxiety. Some of this has to be related to the Chiari, somehow.

I’ve actually just been diagnosed with Post Partum depression. My Chari symptoms have worsened in the last two weeks and I think.the thought of surgery and the outcome brought it on.

my dad died by suicide when i was 16 and tonya my daughter does that too she is 16 has been in counseling for almost a year i had the do an mri on her as soon as i found out i had it and she does not have Chiari. some things are genetic too and then add in my brain falling apart...ugh sorry to hear about your daughter its not something i would wish on anyone.


I’m afraid she’s going to go down the drug and alcohol road. I know teens will experiment but I see a lost soul when I look at her. We’re not rich but she’s always had what she needed and most of what she wanted growing up. There’s something missing in her life. I just can’t figure it out. She’s had 2 parents and rules to follow. She has support from her family. I just don’t get it.


Money doesnt matter and Rules are good they lay a foundation, How old is your daughter?

there is a program around here called DBT, it is a group setting then counseling once a week. i highly recommend it. We are going into round 2 and she is just now starting to get better. She came to me and gave me all of her razors we threw them in the fire pit had a good talk and she has really opened up in the group... it only took 20 weeks!! she is volunteering to go first, offering to do what is called mindfulness etc.. during our talk i found out she has been being bullied since the 7th grade she is a Junior!! These girls call her names and she really believes them thats what we are working on right now, to be honest my first reaction was to tell her to punch them in their mouths but instead i just told her that she is letting them rent space in her head and just because they say things dont make them true then i told her your bedroom wall is black, she said no its not confused, i said yes it is its black and then she was like okay mom goodnight and i said see just because i said it doesnt make it true....hopefully it sunk in. thankfully as far as i know my daughter wants nothing to do with drugs/alcohol her bio dad is an alcoholic. In our lengthy conversation last week with the same fear you have is I asked her out right not to turn to drugs and alcohol with her depression, i cannot control what you do but i do know from experience and used her bio dads example it doesnt make it better it only makes it worse and it makes it last longer, you dont want to feel like this forever do you? she said no and i said then lets make it thru this depression together and without adding in drugs/alcohol. Her Boyfriend is also very anti drugs and alcohol at a young age they think its stupid and take in what it has done to old friends or kids at school for that i am SOOO blessed. She also wants to stay a virgin, i worried maybe she did something along those lines she couldnt take back and thats what was breaking her down but from our discussions and her comments on the issue i do believe that is not it. I think the biggest thing i learned this year with the DBT is that i cannot Control her, no matter how badly i want to i cannot. At this age i can only guide her and She has to make her own choices good or bad. I can only tell her how i feel and what i would like her to do but ultimately the decision is hers. I did not accept this at first but a few weeks ago i gave it a try the last few weeks we have been closer than ever and she has made the biggest effort to get better. Another thing i learned was not to invalidate her feelings, we do it way more often than we think....are you seriously crying about that? makes her feel like she is stupid for crying...or telling her she has an attitude her response i dont have an response i wouldnt tell you were having an attitude if you didnt have an attitude Now i try things like...i am sorry you feel that way from where i am standing it seems like you are having a bad attitude perhaps i am having one too and we need a time out, just different ways of approaching things and saying things. it has been a ROUGH year for me and my husband. She has a 2 parent home (step dad has been here since she was 3) she gets damn near anything she wants even if it breaks the bank, i go without to make sure she has things like getting her eyebrows waxed cannot afford both of us so i just pluck mine, cheerleading, drivers training, she wanted a guitar i bought her one (used of course) these things dont make a difference they do not make her happy. Depression is hard, even when you want to get better that chemical inbalance doesnt allow you to and it becomes frustrating, you look around and you know your life is good but you still feel horrible about yourself, you look in the mirror and even though everyone else says your beautiful you see a fat has to start to change within. hold on she will get there i have been told a million times to strap in for the teen years i never knew it was going to be like this. Then again its a double edged sword because i feel like i am looking at myself at her age and hell some days i want to call it quits....only our circumstances are completely different to shorten it up she has a good life i had a very bad upbringing and we ended up feeling the same at 16, Its not whats around us but within us at least thats the conclusion i have had to come to. I busted my ass so my kids would could do sports, they could have the things i couldnt growing up, they would live in a better area and i would be the best mom....none of those things equaled a kid without depression, Hugs to you darling i do hope your daughter gets better. sorry for the long rant LOL

Tonya J. said:.

I'm afraid she's going to go down the drug and alcohol road. I know teens will experiment but I see a lost soul when I look at her. We're not rich but she's always had what she needed and most of what she wanted growing up. There's something missing in her life. I just can't figure it out. She's had 2 parents and rules to follow. She has support from her family. I just don't get it.

I was diagnosed with Chiari 6 days ago and I’ve been battling depression for YEARS. It’s come to me after 6 sleepless nights that chiari and depression are a vicious cycle between the 2. For years I’ve been told that I was making my symptoms up to get attention. I’m a drama queen with a very low tolerance to pain. No one would listen to me because my parents took me to doctor to doctor trying to find an answer. I learned to hide my pain through anger, the more pain I’m in, the more I push people away, thus, the lonelier I am. With this diagnoses, it brings relief…but also brings sadness that I’ve not been able to live a normal life. All I’ve ever known is physical and emotional pain associated with physical pain. I’m bitter and resentful towards those whom have not believed me, called me names and have made fun of me for things that were out of my control. I’m resentful that I’ve had to hide my physical pain in emotional pain and that I was told I was just a big baby and had a low tolerance to pain. With this diagnoses, it proves not only was everyone wrong and my physical pain is not only real and debilitating and my tolerance for pain is quite higher than the average person’s…but it shows how awful this pain can affect your personality and relationships with others. It’s a vicious cycle of pain, heartache and misunderstanding. My family now understands a little more about my condition and how I feel but it doesn’t make any of the resentment towards others any less. Not a lot of people understand this illness and STILL believe I am making this up for attention. I’ve said time and time again, if I had cancer…people may understand, but since it’s something people don’t understand…I get shafted of people’s understanding and empathy. It’s heartbreaking.

Broken1977 ,don’t know your name:), I could have written that post myself and Januarary, my daughter could have written your post! It’s kind of refreshing to know we’re not the only one’s who feel this way. My fairer also was teased really bad during middle school. Besides Chiari, she also has EDS which is a connective tissue disorder. For people with EDS, it is the cause of Chiari. Connective tissues are glue that holds everything in place. EDS affected my daughters jaw position. You’d never really know it by looking at her but her chin and bottom jaw was pushed back causing obstructive sleep apnea, a high arched palate and severe tooth crowding. She was picked on really bad in middle school because of her teeth. She got braces and a palate expander and now her teeth are beautiful but the damage is done. 6 months after decompression she had chin advancement. Chiari has also done permanent damage to her long term memory retrieval. She can’t recall what she learned long ago in order to do the steps required to do college math. We did a Neuro psyche test and she was able to get a class substitution in math. She’s in college part time at night because days are rough for her. She has 24/7
Nause and still has headaches. After her chin surgery she developed POTS. She started falling down and the dizziness and nausea never let up. She’s doing okay right now but she never seems quite happy. Her attitude is always “I don’t care”. I hate that! I just want to smack her sometimes. I do everything for her including handling all of her medical stuff at 19. All she has to do is get ready and go to the appointment. I still give her a curfew. She lives with me and I feel like she should be in the house by 2 am at the latest. I hate her boyfriend. He’s a loser. Didn’t graduate and all her cares about is racing cars. I want my daughter to be something and so I push her. She even tells me that if I didn’t push her, she wouldn’t have graduated and she wouldn’t be in college. Honestly I just want her to be happy. She still happily brags about being a virgin but I know her boyfriend is not always going to be okay with that. If I find out he’s pressuring her Ill kill the little bastard myself! Lol She doesn’t go out often but I know they have a little drink. I just don’t want her to be in a dangerous situation when they do drink. She maybe goes out 2 times per month. Other than that she’s at home closed up in her room. She no longer cuts thank god! That stopped right after she got the Chiari diagnosis. Now she regrets the scars she has on her thigh. She moved from the wrists to her thigh when I found out, to hide it from me. Ugh what do I do? She also gets damn near everything she wants even if it breaks the bank as well. She has rules and support and I have to say, out of all of her friend’s patents… My hubby and I are by far the coolest! I just need some direction on how to help her get happy. Enjoy life and not sweat the small stuff. But that’s like beating a dead horse… Useless. lol She’s so pretty and talented. I just wish she could see it :frowning: the videos below give you an idea of what she’s like and what she’s been through.

me either...i remember what it was like to be that age but i was on my own so this is all new to me. i have 2 more girls behind her and i just pray to god they dont get the same gene of depression.

hugs and happy holidays