Depression and anxiety

Hey guys,

I just wanted to know if anyone who has been deficent in b12 also suffered with anxiety and depression?

I feel like something bad is going to happen to myself (health wise) or that my partner is going to leave me. I get depressed about how quick life is and general down thoughts.

Has anyone else ever suffered with this or is this a completley seperate problem that i need to fix?


43 Replies

  • I was diganosed with PND (post-natal depression) around 2 weeks before my pernicious anemia was diganosed. My daughter is now 7 and even now I still suffer with depression and panic attacks. Along with my folic acid tablet and b12 injections I also take anti-depressents every day, but because of the PA it is very difficult to find a suitable one as one of the most effective ones will thin your blood if taken on a long-term basis.

  • I also take anti-depressents every day, but because of the PA it is very difficult to find a suitable one as one of the most effective ones will thin your blood if taken on a long-term basis.

    If by 'thin the blood' you mean that it lengthens clotting time then having PA shouldn't have any bearing on that, especially if it's being treated correctly. Normally the effect of SSRIs on clotting is pretty minimal anyhow.

    Escitalopram doesn't have this effect and is, so I'm told, very good.

  • That's what I'm on now. It helps with the depression a lot and has reduced the panic attacks but was on Sertaline which I was taken off because of the problems that it can cause because of who easily I bruise and of the risk of reduced clotting. My PA hadn't long been diganosed and as I'd had 3 units of blood transfussed my GP thought it would be better.

    After almost 2 years after I was diganosed all my meds (including my b12) was stopped and I crashed!! For 3 years I didn't get dressed, leave the house and hardly saw or spoke too anyone. Until I was admitted to my loal hospital for 5 weeks.

    2 years on and I'm now doing much better, fully medicated, getting out on a regular basis and have even started seeing my daughter for the first time in 5 years.

  • Ah, yes. The easy bruising, poor clotting, almost certainly won't be affected by B12.

    Glad the Escitalopram is working and you're getting your life back.

  • I also bruise quite easily, but have never thought anything of it?! Is that dangerous?

  • I can't tell you how shocked I was to hear what you have been through , having your mess stopped . How was that justified ? So pleased that you are recovering . Best wishes to you .

  • It was the first time i have been tested for b12. Ive only had symtoms since September of this year. They want to see if i am capable of keeping my levels up. If my bloods come back in May and show i have gone low again then that obviously shows i have an absorption problem or something else and in that case i will go back on to the injections which will be every 3 months

  • Yes, one of the common misdiagnoses for people with a B12 deficiency is depression.

    Personally, I only suffered from a fairly mild depression. My worst mental symptom was that I became quite short-tempered (more so than normal). Luckily, that was one of the first symptoms to abate.

  • Hi fbirder, thanks for your reply. I only have it mildly too. I can be okay for days then have a bad turn.

    Did yours go away at all?

  • It's difficult to say. I still get extremely fatigued quite often - and that can get me down. As can my neuropathy (not B12 related) and ataxia caused by it. Then there's the restricted diet (need to maintain weight loss due to diabetes). So my mood isn't as good as it was 5 years ago.

    Still at least my neurologist told me that my ataxia isn't because of gluten (he pooh-poohed the idea). Going without decent bread for 4 weeks was really getting me down.

  • Hi. Really sorry to hear you're suffering. I had extreme panics attacks nearly a year after my second child. Hideous, horrible, wouldn't wish them on my worst enemy. I'm 100% sure it was lack of b12 (I'm not a dr so can't prove this). I joined the pernicious anaemia society, I started self injecting, but was also put on anti depressants. I tried a few and none helped with the panic except Duloxetine. I'm still on them even though I know I don't need them anymore. They're v hard to come off. But they did lessen the attacks which gave me chance to put CBT and meditation into practice. All in all, the self infecting, anti depressants and some hard work (CBT/mindfulness, etc) it all paid off. I have only fainted once in the last 4 years (always fainted with panic) and that may have been a genuine bad tummy. So for me I think I'm over it. As long as I keep up the b12. When I don't, I can feel the symptoms that brought on the panic, only now I know better. I haven't run out of air, the world doesn't hate me, things will be okay. I just need more b12.

    I was very cynical of talking therapy but now think it's very important. I would definitely recommend using all the natural ways you can find to help yourself with anxiety and depression. And be nice to yourself, you have to deal with a horrible condition as well as everyday life that is not well understood. So sometimes you just have to put yourself first, get rest (and b12) and then get back out there. Xx

  • Thanks - that's so great to read.

    Im sorry to hear about your experience. It sounds terrible. I've gone two weeks without having an anxious or depressive thought but tonight it's back with a vengance!!

    I don't want to go on anti depressants but i am willing to try anything else.

    I feel much better than i did before having my loading doses

  • I remember in the depths of it that I could only find people that continued to have anxiety/depression, so I wanted to give you some hope. For lots of people I'd say stay away from the anti depressants but I think it depends on the severity, cause and how much support you have around you.

    For me I think self injecting gave me my life back. I honestly believe that if I didn't inject I wouldn't be able to work. You do have to to accept a lower "level" of quality of life though I think. I don't socialise much, I'm really flaky and my house is embarrassing. I prioritise time with the kids and work (only cos I have to!). You can't do it all. You find out who your friends are, but I've found some great friends who are happy to do afternoon socialising so I can go to bed early 😊

    I learnt a great saying that always got me through. "Those that care don't mind; those that mind don't care"

    Good luck x

  • Thank you for this it really has shown me that there is light at the end of the tunnel.

    I don't have panic attacks, just cry a lot and worry! I still absolutley love sociallising and am with people every weekend. So i wouldnt say i have severe anxiety or depression. But i do need help if it carries on i think.

    Work is stressful too which doesn't help xx

  • Simplistic view but here's my advice... join pernicious anaemia society and learn everything about PA. Self inject/ take extra b12 whatever you feel is right after doing some research. Post blood test results on here, you'll get loads of advice. And also do a CBT or mindfulness course. You'll be fine x

  • Thanks very very much. I have posted my blood results already. Folate was normal but b12 was 121.

    I have my follow up blood test in May following my 5 loading dose injections so i am unable to take any supplements until after this time.

    You've really made me feel much happier and optimistic though x

  • Good 😊 Technically there's no point testing b12 levels once you've started injections, but as long as they don't stop them there's no harm x

  • They want to see if my levels have stayed up. If they have gone low again then they will continue injections. If it has stayed high they have said they will stop the injections x

  • Have you not been tested for Pernicious Anaemia ? If you have PA , injections are for life . There are better tests than blood serum B12 which is very unreliable as it shows inactive B12 which can be up to 80% of the total .Better is an active B12 test .or MMA .The guide lines state that symptoms should be treated . If you are a member the society will help you to try to get injections reinstated . I've gone down the SI route , because although I have PA my GP only lets me have one injection every 3 months , and symptoms return long before . Come back here if you need help . There are some very well informed people who will help where necessary . Best wishes .

  • Yeah i had the blood test for PA and it came back as negative which i know can mean that i still have it

  • Agree with Wedgewood - the b12 tests are known to be inaccurate. They should take your symptoms into consideration not just test results. You said you've felt a bit better after loading doses which implies you're b12 deficient. Don't let them stop your injections.

    Follow wedgewoods advice x

  • But i would like to see if these injections have made a difference, if my bloods come back in May and my levels have stayed up and symptoms have not returned then surely things are fine? I have altered my diet since having the low b12 reading. X

  • if my bloods come back in May and my levels have stayed up and symptoms have not returned then surely things are fine?

    The problem is that most doctors will look at the numbers only. Symptoms tend to get ignored. You really need to prepare yourself to fight for correct treatment if that is the case.

  • Yes i agree and have learnt that from reading peoples experiences on here. However if my symptoms have completley gone and my levels are up surely i will be okay?

  • Yes. That would be great. Highly unusual, but not impossible. I wish you luck.

  • Thanks that's what i am hoping so we shall see. I shall keep you updated on symptoms and new bloods in May. Thanks 😊

  • I have PA, but my GP told me that my high B12 levels were "dangerous", which went against what I knew but I got a second opinion who said the same thing. After a year or so I felt so miserable I really thought I'd just be better off dead. Cue several years of CBT, group therapy, meditation, diet overhaul, exercise attempts & antidepressants (which I still take). I tried absolutely everything I could to make myself better with no improvement. Got to the point where my body felt like such a dead weight etc, etc. I was so tired I could barely keep going & I asked for another blood test, which diagnosed hypothyroid & Vit D deficiency. However, when I found the hypothyroid support on here I also found the PAS info. I put my foot down & insisted they gave me the loading doses again as well as starting thyroxine & Vit D...I wasn't sure that it would be the answer after all this time but honestly Natty91, I do feel like a weight has been lifted a few months on. It has definitely made a significant difference & the awful cloud of grey that seemed to surround me is lifting. I wish I could describe it better to you as I just want you to know that it is possible, it may really make a difference to you. Hang in there lovely, stay strong & stay hopeful. Good luck x

  • Oh, & just to be clear there is absolutely no evidence that high B12 levels are "dangerous". Listen to these guys, they know what they are talking about (see the PAS website for more info)

  • Thanks, im sorry to hear your struggles. From reading peoples experiences on here i feel very lucky to have been diagnosed so quickly! A lot of people seem to have suffered for years and struggled to get the help which was needed, which is such a shame! As i said i have only started getting symptoms since end of September and after the loading doses and a tweak of my diet i really am feeling much better. I went to whole weeks with no symptoms at all (apart from still being tired when i wake up) then just had a bad night last night. I really can see an improvement and i hope it continues! Im just gunna see what happens in May with my bloods but in the meantime, if symptoms come back or get worse i will be going in sooner!

  • Great, good luck & hope you have an awesome Christmas :-)

  • It looks like a lot of you are from the UK per the self injections as we can't do that in the U.S. PLEASE buy Garden of Life B12 methyl type mouth spray! Buy it on the internet if they do not have it in a health food store. It is not a prescription and not expensive at all. About $15.00 a bottle and that has 140 sprays in it. My B12 was 105 and I was a wreck. All the horrible heart, nerve, brain issues. My body also does not absorb nutrients. Missing that cell in the stomach and can't take meds because my body metabolizes pills instantly which causes havic. The GREAT news! After only 4 or 5 weeks of the B12 spray, four weeks of one spray in cheek, 500mcg and one week of two sprays I asked to have my B12 retested. Went from 105 to 433 and brain fog disappeared after about a week!! Nerves have calmed down about 75%. I also have done these natural things because I can't take pills. Three figs a day, 6 prunes a day, one to three bananas a day, under ripe never over ripe, hypnosis, massage therapy. It's working! I have looked all these natural things up and they help with the vitamin D and the vitamin B12. I forgot to tell you my vitamin D was at 13 and in that four to five weeks that went up to 19. So I'm just going to keep going and I pray that I help a lot of you out there. I just have to keep looking and looking until something works and keep investigating all possibilities. I just started a brand new primary doctor yesterday because my last one believed everything was anxiety he didn't believe in the Pernicious Anema, which his own PA diagnosed, he just thought everything was in my head if you have a primary doctor like that leave him or her! I pray for all of you I know what a horrible time this is and I hope that everybody gets on the mend.

  • Thanks for your reply, sorry to hear how bad you had it! My levels are at 121 but normal folate levels. I can go days without being anxious or sad but it gets me some times. And its always worst on a Monday when i have had a few drinks over the weekend.

    I have just changed my Dr as don't think my old one had much knowledge on b12 and how it makes you feel so i have an appointment booked in with my new Dr. on the 29th to ask some questions. Im also going to ask about changing my contraception as i have heard oral contraceptive can affect it.

    Fingers crossed it will just get better

  • Please try The Garden of Life mouth spray in the meantime. It will help you so much! My levels on the folate and that were normal also, that mouth spray will help you with your anxiety and depression. I know I used to suffer from panic attacks anxiety depression but I think it was related to the low B12. I still get a little depressed at times but that's because I'm also fighting high blood pressure which I think the low B12 brought on also. But I will beat it and I'm bound and determined to help others. Good luck with your appointment and I hope you feel well soon!

  • I would love to try it. It sounds like it has done wonders for you. However I don't want to do anything to skew my results.

    I will definitely be taking b12 supplements after May, even if my levels have gone up and stayed up. You can never have too much

  • It won't skew your results. I just didn't take it day of blood draw. I don't even have to have injections it work's so well. I can't see you suffering until May when you could feel better now and may never need injections again! But that's your decision.

  • It does skew results.

  • Anxiety and depression are both psychological symptoms that arise from neurological damage due to a B12 deficiency.

    Antidepressants don't work and in fact can make matters worse. I got tinnitus when prescribed an antidepressant for what the GP thought was anxiety when I was asking for more frequent injections in the U.K..

  • For my husband anxiety and depression was the reason I made him go to the doctors in the first place as he had never suffered this before. It was a horrible time. His blood test showed he was B12 deficient and after getting the jabs the difference in his mental state was very dramatic. He still starts to go downhill about a month before next jab due.

    He takes a 5000 Jarrows B12 sublingual, plus a broad spectrum vitamin and mineral pill and he also has a glass of Berocca every morning. He has also taken to eating Marmite out of the jar! These things seem to keep him going until next jab. He was prescribed antidepressants but has not need to take them. I really think any one who has anxiety and depression etc. should be tested for B12 just in case.

    So yes, if you are deficient, this could well be the cause of your anxiety and depression.

    Hope you feel better soonx

  • Thanks that's so great to hear that there is some hope!! Great that he didnt have to go on anti-depressants as i really don't want to go on those.

    I am thinking of seeing a hypno-therapist but not sure how well this works

  • Natty you need to get your jabs...............

  • I can't get anymore till after my follow up blood test in May

  • And you say yours was 121! If it was, you need it NOW not in 6 months time...........

    Unless you are a vegetarian and don't eat meat, fish or dairy you should never get deficient.

    You say you felt much better after your loading dose and you will, but if you can't store it you will go back to square one without the injections. Your doctor should not be making you wait 6 months to re-do your tests. You need to go back and ask this question "why have I become deficient in B12? Unless one of the reasons above you should not have to wait until May to get any more injections. Please don't leave it this long if you are getting symptoms like the anxiety/depression and make sure your doctor knows how much better you felt when you had the jab. You are very lucky that you were diagnosed early and I just can't see the point of your doctor leaving it so long.

  • Hi everyone, I am now self inj 3 times a week (the surgery did not have enough appointments to give me their time with the nurses that many times a week). I still have had no success with my dementia type symptoms, I know it should be every other day but I have pushed my poor GP so much he won't do that till I see the Neuro on 9th Jan. I get so much energy, trouble is I go beserk as am so used to cramming everything in between injections before that last 3 weeks when I just am a hopeless, sleepy heap. As I have bad arthritis in my hands & am waiting for an op on both I suddenly have the cleanest place on the Island, ironing done which is like once a year normally but now cannot bear to pick up a mug, kettle or anything so have to learn to slow down. I think this site is the best thing that can ever happen to anyone suffering like we all do, at least other people have the same problems that you can understand it is not just you after all. It won't take away the depression and low days, so far I still hardly ever go out of an evening and have not for some years so lonely is part of life. But being able to "talk" via the Forum is a lifeline, always others there for you to advise, compare and help. Martin Hooper should have a hooooge medal, massive, knighthood or whatever we could recommend him for. I would like to take this quick note to the Forum to wish absolutely everyone in the PA Society & Forums a great Christmas and Happy New Year 2017. Every year we get a tiny bit more known by GP's, eventually someone has got to recognise this illness for how it truly is - I don't hold out much hope for the current Minister, if he is stupid enough to believe 7 days a week is sensible in our hospitals he truly should a) not have his job b) has not a clue in the world of reality - one day we must get someone with half a brain at least to champion us. Have a good one everyone, love and hugs to you all & thanks for being there xx Marcelle

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