Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, see our mental health web guide which can point you to expert advice.
Vit B Complex has cured my bipolar symptoms(45 Posts)
I want to shout this from the rooftops but anyone who knows bipolar will also know that this is not a good idea.
Two weeks ago I read on here that to help bring encourage my fertility I should try Vitamin B Complex (I am still breastfeeding my 16mo DD and no sign of a period).
My head is now clear of negativity, my paranoia is gone, my self esteem is back, I am confident, articulate, can concentrate, my memory has returned, I have a libido! It's a goddamn frickin miracle. My dry skin has gone and I'm no longer constipated. Oh and a nice little bonus, my DD has been in great form too.
But I can't sing and shout about this. People will think I'm hypomanic. I know the difference, with hypomania I have racing thoughts and can't stop talking about god and all things spiritual. Not so now. I just feel CAPABLE and calm and happy and it is wonderful.
I put my depression/anxiety/paranoia/irritability/lack of memory and concentration down to motherhood, bipolar and hypothyroidism. Not vitamin B deficiency.
Of course I've been googling this stuff. It turns out vit B (particularly B12) can bring on symptoms remarkably similar to bipolar INCLUDING MANIA. I have found studies suggesting that the 'normal' range of vitamin B12, usually considered to be 190pg/mL to 900pg/mL may be correct for haematologic symptoms but not for neurologic or psychiatric symptoms. That would explain why it was never picked up on blood test. Chronic long term vit b deficiency can lead to adrenal fatigue or exhaustion which totally explains (amongst many things) why I felt good during my pregnancy as I had higher progesterone levels. Vitamin B12 depletes massively in stressful situations. My diet is balanced and good - what if I'm just genetically bad at absorbing all the B vits?
Last night I couldn't sleep and I was starving hungry. I also had heart palpitations and diarrhea. I had a funny feeling that my little miracle vitamin tablet was sorting out my thyroid function for me and if that was the case, my 150mcg of Levothyroxine would be too much. I was in a bit of a bad way actually and was seriously considering A&E but sure enough, I googled, these were the symptoms of too much thyroxine. I didn't take it this morning (the last thing I need at this time is lack of sleep) I called the GP today, she was fairly dismissive and told me there was no way the vit b complex could rectify my thyroid and I should keep taking the thyroxine. I've a blood test tomorrow. I hope it proves my theory is right. It feels like it's little old me against the system and I'm desperate to prove my sanity. I guess when I don't go manic people will realise there's some truth in this. In the meantime I've to try to remain calm. I'm seeing my shrink today (I sent her an email) and DH is coming too as he can verify what I say... I'm a mental patient after all.
I am in a crazy situation here. I have never felt better in my entire fucking life (sorry for swearing) and nobody but my darling wonderful supportive DH will let me talk about it without having an extremely concerned look on their face. He has seen me high and depressed and he knows the difference. The tragedy is he has never seen me truly happy before.
All I can say to all you bipolars reading this. Try them, they are ONLY VITAMINS. At worst they'll make no difference, at best you can feel as wonderful as I do in less than two weeks. Life is wonderful, only someone who has stuggled all their life (I wish I was exaggerating) can appreciate it to this extent.
For your info - the tablets that worked for me were B-100 Vitamin B Complex timed release from Holland and Barrett. They are even half price at the minute. I have been taking them alongside 400ug folic acid and 150mcg thyroxine. I was weaned off psychiatric meds in Dec 08 to get pregnant and loved breastfeeding so much I stayed off them.
I am not suggesting I have stumbled upon a cure for bipolar but I have certainly stumbled upon a cure for my bipolar symptoms and much much more. I am 38 years old and was dignosed (sectioned in fact) in 1999 but have been symptomatic for as long as I can remember. It feels like I have made a complete recovery in 10 days. It's absolutely incredible.
I urge you to try the Vit B Complex and do some google research on vit B deficiency and adrenal fatigue/exhaustion. Do yourself a favour. Fingers crossed for you.
Wow that's wonderful I'm so glad to hear the B vitamins have really worked for you.
I am slowly coming off my lithium, now down to 400mg.
I get so irritated by the psychiatrist trying to see everything you do in the light of your "diagnosis".
Once when I got frustrated in one of my appointments she wrote that I was "labile" .. Actually I was just annoyed.
Once when I expressed concern about my medication she wrote that I was "highly anxious". Actually I was just concerned.
Once when I cried because she told me I would be on medication for the rest of my life she wrote "depressed" on my notes. Actually I was just upset at what she said. The rest of the time I was happy.
By the way even "happy" has a clinical term, it's not hypomania, it's one step lower than that. It has a term. I forget what it is. Anyway that's what I am now. The clinical term for "happy".
I know what you mean. You just have to keep on an even keel now and prove to them this is not mania.
Hi GDYWF. I'm so pleased you are the 'clinical term for happy'. Is it hyperthymic by any chance? I just saw it on wikipedia and it sounds just like I'm experiencing. A kind of glad to be alive feeling but sustainable, unlike hypomania.
Lithium is effective (although isn't it bizarre that nobody knows exactly why), it kept me stable in the past but did you find it dulling? I was so thirsty the whole time I was on it. Congrats on coming off it, I hope it goes well, I'm sure it will.
I so know what you mean about being seen through your diagnosis. I was so glad my DH was there at my consult today. The psychiatrist has asked to see me twice a week for three weeks and warned me to stop being evangelical about my magic pills. She even said 'you haven't found a cure for bipolar you know, they've studied this extensively for years' and I said 'of course not but I do feel I've eliminated my own symptoms and I want to prove it to you'.
It would be the best thing in the world to be free of this disorder, it's cruel and horrible. Time will tell.
Vit B complex is a miracle!
I suffer from anxiety and depression, as well as other stuff and find it really helps with energy levels too! And the bonus is that if like me you get bitten to pieces by insects every summer, it helps with that too! Apparenlty it makes your blood smell bad to them...
So pleased for you and hope you continue to feel great! x
Hi greenblanket - yes hyperthymic, that sounds right! Crazy isn't it? Do they recognise that we can just be "normal"?
Yes it's weird they don't know how lithium works. Also odd how they found out about it by accident.
To be honest I've not really felt any kind of "dulling" on lithium, nor have I been particularly thirsty. I don't feel any different having reduced my dose. In fact, I'm wondering if it did anything for me at all!
I will be glad to be off it, as we hope to try for another baby towards the end of the year.
Ideally I want to be off my AD too, but that might be a bit harder!
I'm lucky too in that my DH comes to my appointments. I had so many appointments in the past where I've gone on my own and totally felt overwhelmed and powerless and come out in tears. He agreed that it would be a good idea to be there for my appointments. I am much less intimidated when he is there with me.
I couldn't help smile about the "don't be evangelical about your magic pills" They think they know it all don't they?!! Well, actually they don't know it all. The body is a highly complex thing, with many many chemicals operating. They can't possibly say that it's not the vitamin B that are helping you. They can't even explain why lithium works after all!
Just keep plodding on with your appointments hopefully they will get the picture that you are feeling fine. Out of interest what made you come off your lithium?
Oh AuntieMaggie, another added bonus to the magic of vit b complex... wow! So glad it helps you too.
GDYWF - a clinical name for being happy is hilarious I know. I like the idea of being normal with insight if that makes sense. If you're happy all your life you might not appreciate it fully? Oh I don't know.
I had to smile when the doc said about bipolar having been studied extensively - you're so right about the complexities of the human body. The thought that a vitamin pill could be more effective than scary side-effect-ridden psychiatric drugs thrills me quite frankly.
My lithium was swopped for Lamotrigine (Lamictal) in 2006 after two manic episodes. It was also believed to have induced my hypothroidism. The Lamictal was ok but I had anxiety and paranoia lingering the whole time I was on it. I went through a hellish time being weaned off it to conceive DD but felt good the instant I was pregnant. This got me very interested in the whole hormones being good for me thing but the doc said they didn't treat bipolar with hormones, end of. I never understood that.
I also had to fight to remain off medication after the birth. I was told that puerperal psychosis was such a 'train wreck' and with no mother/baby unit close by I was mad not to take antipsychotics as soon as she was born. I insisted I had a good support network and I was very keen to breastfeed. Thankfully I was ok. I have a good relationship with my psychiatrist now which is good.
Congrats on your decision to TTC again. How did you feel during your pregnancy? Were your hormones good for you?
It's good you have a good relationship with your psychiatrist. I must say you sound a more long-suffering woman than I.
I find them quite irritating and judgemental a lot of the time. I find it very strange the way they see you for 10mins every 3 months and make a judgement based on that tiny sliver of information. But hey ho.
I am worried about the thyroid thing being on lithium, also about my kidney function. Although there's been no sign of any probs according to the blood tests. I've never heard of Lamictal. My friend was on sodium valproate for a while, but was taken off as she was child-bearing age and they are terrified of anyone getting pregnant on it as it can cause birth defects.
That's so wonderful that you were well during your pregnancy, and also managed to stay off the drugs afterwards and were able to breasfeed!
I too am scared that they will try and force drugs on me straight after I give birth or WORSE during pregnancy. There's no way I want to be taking things during pregnancy if at all possible, and ideally I would like to breast-feed which limits drugs afterwards too. It's great to hear that it can be done!
I was actually really good while I was pregnant with DD - felt well and happy all the way through, it was only about 6 weeks post natal that I started to go downhill. I ended up in a mother and baby unit (thankfully there is one near me in Welwyn Garden City) and I languished there for nearly 3 months! But am much better now.
I know what you mean about the 10mins every 3 months. I have had some shockingly bad psychiatrists over the years. One kept reporting 'in remission' when I was desperately depressed and didn't even recognise a high when I ran into his office with gifts taking photos with a polaroid camera! He was in North London actually.
My current psychiatrist (Belfast) supported my decision to stay off meds after the birth (once she realised how adamant I was and I made a massive fuss about how her colleague 'discussed' my options with me, he was horrible) and got together a team of midwives, health visitors, social workers, my GP and my family to meet and discuss me. I felt VERY supported and was most grateful. The hospital had a team of mental health midwives who saw me thoughout the pregnancy too. I also had a CPN come every week for a year when DD was born.
I am sooo sorry to hear of your hospitalisation after the birth, that is horrible. That was my worst nightmare as I would have been split from DD too.
Interestingly a friend of mine told me the other day that some places in England offer a progesterone injection after the birth, that might be something to consider. Progesterone is definintely the feel good hormone during pregnancy. Do you get one day just before your period when you feel desperately depressed? I do. My GP explained that is the day progesterone leaves your body dramatically. Fascinating stuff. I wish they looked into it more. Psychiatric meds are so hit and miss and you just end up feeling like a guinea pig don't you think?
I love breastfeeding DD, it's a wonderful bonding experience. I never expected to succeed at it, let alone still be at it 16 months later! I know I need to stop in order to get my period back but I'm very reluctant, I call them my secret weapons as they calm her down so quickly day or night! You absolutely deserve a chance to try this and should be supported throughout.
Feel free to CAT me at any time. I have collected so much info on hormones and vitamins and I can send you some if you're interested.
Greenblanket please post any links you have that may be useful. I have suffered depresson and insomnia for about 20 years and became sick of swapping meds etc etc. I now take high potency vitamins, amino acids and St Johns Wort. I now feel more stable and sleep better than I have in years without the side effects. Believe me - they don't know it all!!
Really interested in everything you are all saying about supplements. I take fish oils and a multivit/mineral. I tried B complex though and it felt as though it was making my anxiety even worse. Has anyone else found that or did i just dream it?
Kizzie - are you on thyroxine by any chance? If so, would you consider the possibility that vit b was helping your thyroid balance and the thyroxine was excess bringing on symptoms of hyperthyroidsim? These symptoms can be the same as anxiety.
Ok topsi, some links on vitamins and depression
from the bbc
from psychology today
and lastly here
Check out this video on adrenal fatigue. I find it incredulous that doctors don't recognise these symptoms...
and this website is fascinating: one woman's battle against the medical profession
The more I read up about the hyperthymic condition the more I'm thinking that's the way we should all be functioning. It sounds optimal. I'm loving it.
I know I sound crazy btw. I'm patiently waiting for my psychiatrist to give me the all clear. Then I won't shut up about it.
Forgot to say Topsi, that is amazing news about you helping your condition with natural stuff. Are amino acids from the health food shop? I am so interested in nutrition now.
Wouldn't it be great if psychiatrists took it seriously. Drug companies would be a bit out of business though!
B12 helps me a lot, too. I don't have depression/bi-polar but suffer from huge fatigue if I don't take it.
Magnesium calms me down, too.
Hi again greenblanket yes psychiatric meds can so often seem like a sledge hammer to crack a nut - the effects they have are so global on the body and sometimes the side effects are debilitating! Some of the anti psychotics are truly horrendous and can cause irreversible tremors etc. Whilst I was on olanzapine I shook so badly I also had to take procycldine - an anti-parkinsonian drug! Awful.
I too plan to be adamant about the breast feeding. I was heart-broken to have to give up breast feeding my DD after just 3 weeks because she wasn't gaining weight and they said basically formula or hospital to be tube fed. Obviously we went the formula option! I struggled for a long time with feelings of a lack of bonding between us. And it's taken a gargantuan effort to try and re-establish a normal health mother - daughter relationship. I'm not saying it would have all be different if the bf had worked out, but I do think it played a major part in my depression getting as bad as it did.
I really really want to give the bf my best shot second time round. And I really don't want some psychiatrist hounding me and shoving unwanted pills down my throat. What terrifies me most is being sectioned and being forced to take pills against my will. But I know this is quite rare. It's just a nightmare I have. Being out of control.
I had one day whilst I was in hospital where I totally lost it. I went into some kind of weird coma and woke up 36 hrs later with one almighty headache and covered in plasters and bruised veins where they injected me. It was truly horrendous. I still shiver just thinking about it.
Thanks re. the CAT thing - I still need to get myself organised and sign up for it. But it would be great to get some links / info on hormones and vits that may help me.
great to hear you are doing so well. And isn't this sunshine fantastic!!
Thanks green blanket I will have a good read at some point. The amino acids come from good health food shops. Am always mentioning a book called 'The way up from down' by Pricilla Slagle - sorry if I keep barking on about it. She talks so much sense. I am thinking of doing a nutrition course in the future and speciailising in mental health.
Hi no im not on thyroxin. im tempted to try BVits again in case it was just a one off.
(Ps. Im really glad you are feeling so much better)
Hello! I've been taking vit Bs, magnesium and omega oils for a month (diagnosed with mild PND in January) and I feel hugely better (counting my chickens too early perhaps) but there must be something in it (I don't take any ADs). My symptoms were: insomnia and anxiety (general anxiety and huge anxiety at times such as when DSs all had chicken pox) and these symptoms fluctuated during the month (so related to PMT?). I did find my moods could be very low or very high during the month too. Now I feel almost normal again and I'm sleeping really well. The anxiety is hardly there anymore. Coincidence? Hmmmm. I might be counting my chickens too soon though, time will tell!
becky - which vit b's are you taking?
And do you mind me asking - so you take your supplements in morning or evening?
I take magnesiun ok (from boots contains b vits#) in evening and omega in morning (typing one handed!) DS3 on knee.
greenblanket,i had terrible depression as a teen in northern ireland and saw a kinesiologist over in holywood co down called deadre bowman.She recommended me to take a supplement called adrenolife ?sp which had huge amounts of b vits to support adrenals and i cannot begin to describe how much better i felt within a few days!!
I absolutely can understand how it could help you- but can't believe how little drs /science know about stuff like this, prob coz it isn't funded by millions of pounds provided by prescription drug companies!!!
\have just googled adrenolife but its changed its name to adrenogen or adrenogen extra by a company called nutri.
ooo Adrenogen contains raw bovine adrenal concentrate!!! Sounds a bit scary. Not sure if it is available in the UK.
It is very frustrating that Dr's don't recognise the wider picture and look at the nutritional aspect first before drugging us all up to the gills.
adrenogen is definitely available in uk. I know sounds a bit gross the bovine bit but did the trick for me within weeks when i was postnatally depressed and exhausted! was prescibed through a practitioner i trust though!
some psychs do believe in the nutritional aspects of treatment - I was going to say look up Prof Basant Puri as he has a psych background and works with supplementing long chain fatty acids to improve mental illness symptoms; but when I looked him up the idiot goldacre seems to have managed to hog the top spots and disses him mightily.
Prof Puri is not your average "woo" witchdoctor, he is a respected scientific researcher at Imperial College London and he has done some good work on the use of fatty acids in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.
Join the discussion
Please login first.