Vitamin B12 Deficiency Overview - B12 effects - psychiatric/ psychological
B12 deficiency affects many body systems, which is why doctors often find it difficult to diagnose. As part of these descriptions of the different areas of symptoms, we're looking at the psychiatric/ psychological changes
Emotions and Moods
Everyone is unique, which is why B12 deficiency affects us all a little differently. However there are some characteristic effects on the brain which people report regularly:
you may feel that you have difficulty thinking, you don't feel quite present. At the extreme (but a lot of people have reported this), you feel like you are down a long hole - you can hear people talking to you but you just wish they would stop and leave you alone.
Others describe it as being in a white cloud - so people taking seem to come out of a fog and everything they say is a bit muffled
|Being anti-social||One of the first changes that people (or their friends) report when they start the B12 treatment is that you become more sociable. It's difficult to be sociable when your brain is only operating on 1% of its usual capacity, so you can be irritable, short-tempered and angry. No, people aren't being irritating, it's just you!|
|Weepy / can't stop crying||for some reason you feel overwhelmed by emotion, and any little thing just feels like it's too much. Many people feel like this, and it isn't always because of B12 deficiency, but it is one of the things that clears up with B12 injections|
|Tired all the time||This gets a mention in the energy page too, but it's essentially mental and emotional. Everything seems too much effort, you can't stay awake during the day and you can't get to sleep at night, your limbs feel heavy and so do your eyes|
Why does this happen? What are the chemicals involved?
We don't know for sure, but the most likely is homocysteine, the depression chemical.
Depression is actually quite useful - it keeps you in a corner and out of harm's way. For example, in the arctic winters, there's no food outside but there are roving predators. If you didn't feel depressed, you would go stir-crazy and want to go out and kill something. And let's face it, in a battle between a person and a polar bear, chances are the polar bear will be half way through eating your arm before you've landed your first punch.
So the body produces this depression chemical homocysteine. It's also important for other things - it accumulates when there isn't enough B12 because it needs B12 in the reaction to convert it to the next chemical in the line - SAMe which is the happiness chemical. So plenty of B12, and all that nasty homocysteine gets converted to SAMe (which couldn't exist without B12), which makes you all spring-like - just in time for all the lovely little furry springtime animals that our ancestors used to like hunting.
People's partners and parents often say that the first change they notice is an improvement in sociability as the B12 takes effect and converts the homocysteine into SAMe