Pernicious Anaemia Society

Anxiety Attacks

Hi my son was diagnosed B12 deficient last year, he suffered extreme neurological symptoms, he wasn't prescribed folic acid along with his injections, Last month started to suffer from severe dizziness and some tingling/numbness. Discovered his folate was at 3, has anyone suffered dizziness due to low folate?GP prescribed loading dose of injections again and also 5mg folic acid, symptoms have gone, but he has been left in a high state of anxiety, suffering from panic attacks and afraid to go out in case the symptoms come back...........Has this happened to anyone else and if so did you need medication to help with the anxiety?

6 Replies

Sorry to hear about the anxiety - in general anxiety is reported as a symptom of B12 deficiency and should improve as the deficiency is rectified.

My own experience is one in which my neuro-psychiatric problems - depression and anxiety - worsened after I started treatment and I even started to develop a degree of mild psychosis - couldn't stand being in crowded places of rooms where a lot of people were moving around or talking because I couldn't manage to untangle all the symptoms. For me this only really stopped when I started treating myself with the levels of B12 that I actually needed.

However, my diagnosis also co-incided with an operation where I think I was given nitrous oxide that effectively inactivated what little B12 I had at the time and that may have been a factor in the development of the other symptoms.

It sounds as if your son's panic attacks may be similar to the psychosis I was experiencing - being unable to cope with the sensory overload. Very, very scary. I had done a lot of mindfulness based meditation and was able to find techniques that helped me to cope, eg when on my bicycle I would focus on something green (as I find that a calming colour) and follow that to help me keep on track - but it was very strange having to change from years of paying attention to movement to having to spend my time focusing on the buildings and framework in which everything was moving and then pay enough attention to the movement to keep myself safe. Not an issue now though.

As B12 helps heal nerve connections - and that applies to the brain as much as the body - it may be that pathways in the brain that have not been active for a while are becoming more active and your son needs a bit of time to adjust - like having a hearing aid and having to learn to filter out the noise of lots of conversations around you which also get louder, as does the one that you are actually wanting to take part in.

Your son may find medication helps but if he is experiencing problems with folate then it might be best to avoid SSRIs as these can adversely affect folate levels so might make the situation worse.

It can take a while for B12 and folate to work eg 3-6 months but I really hope that things calm down for your son soon.


Thank you for your post, my son's problems also started after an operation. He has been given a small dose of an anti anxiety drug and is also still taking 5mg of folic acid twice a week, there has been a big improvement in his anxiety in the last few days, so fingers crossed we've turned the corner.


Hi Gambit, thanks for the info, do you think that my son would have been better staying on the injection every other day until the panic subsided? He received 5 jags over 10 days and the balance, numbness and tingling stopped, but he is still in an anxious state. the doctor agreed to 1 monthly jags and has put him onto a low dose diazepam and 10 mg citalopram? Im just wondering if they were too quick to stop the jags?


Its difficult to say - people vary a lot in their responses to different forms of B12 and even different delivery methods.

Good that he is getting monthly but you might want to consider some other supplementation - which I think can also help because it means that you are in control rather than at the mercy of a health care professional. I find that an hydroxo nasal spray works well for me. You can't overdose on B12 so that isn't an issue.

Citalopram is an SSRI.

Like most SSRIs it also takes a while to work if it works - another area where responses tend to vary a lot. If the drugs are helping then stick with them.


I was diagnosed with PA about 5 years ago and started having the odd panic attack in the middle of the night. at first very scary. I was pointed in the direction of the Linden method, at first I was very sceptical about it working, but it does work. it helps you to totally relax and to understand the mechanics behind what causes panic attacks. and Anxiety. I do still get the symptoms of Anxiety as they are brought on by the subconscious mind and it takes time to re program it to not be anxious. but I can now control the panic attacks. google The linden method.


I don't know if it helps but this film on treating B12 deficiency does not recommend treating with folic acid until B12 status is normal, as it can precipitate or worsen neurological/cognitive symptoms:


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