depression and veganism (lack of v-b12?) - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 09-13-2006, 05:51 PM
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hello, i was wondering if anyone has ever experienced depression from lack of vitamin b-12, since i have read that is a symptom. (would it be the same for lack of iron as well?)



the reason i am asking is because i have dealt with depressive episodes many times since i was twelve, but only recently i have come clean about it to my parents. and i am pretty sure my mom thinks it is because of my recent (three months ago) switch from vegetarianism to veganism. i don't see how tha tis possible since i was depressed long before that, and i haven't even been severely depressed since before i went vegan (expect for in the past couple weeks). plus i don't know if by "depression" as a symptom of lack of v-b12 it implies severe depression....i kind of doubt that, i think it would just be mild.





meh...i don't know...this is more of a rant than anything...although i'd like to prove to my parents (mother specifically) that i am doing everything right with going vegan (although when i am depressed i don't moniter my nutrition as much, and my eating habits get so ****ed up).
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#2 Old 09-13-2006, 05:58 PM
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Are you being medically treated for your depression at all?
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#3 Old 09-13-2006, 06:17 PM
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fat consumption--saturated fat particularly--is also linked. low fat diets may be linked to an increase of depression, particularly among developing young women. i don't have the links offhand, but i'll look for them.



also, if it were b12 or cholesterol or a single nutrient deficiency, you'd have more than depression as a symptom by now--you know? particularly since depression has been off-on for years.



so, look into increasing your fat consumption--flax seed oil is a great vegan choice.
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#4 Old 09-13-2006, 07:32 PM
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Getting too low on B12 can affect you mentally, but it sounds like it's different from that.



If you want to rule out B12, go get some vegan B12 supplements and start taking them. That's probably the best thing to do.
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#5 Old 09-13-2006, 07:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ludi View Post

Are you being medically treated for your depression at all?

nope.





Quote:
Originally Posted by zoebird View Post

fat consumption--saturated fat particularly--is also linked. low fat diets may be linked to an increase of depression, particularly among developing young women. i don't have the links offhand, but i'll look for them.



also, if it were b12 or cholesterol or a single nutrient deficiency, you'd have more than depression as a symptom by now--you know? particularly since depression has been off-on for years.



so, look into increasing your fat consumption--flax seed oil is a great vegan choice.

-interesting and that may sound like it makes sense but i don't think my diet has ever been too low in fat

-that is very true, and i don't have any other symptoms (i haven't noticed any)

-i will make sure to pick some up next time i can, i've been meaning to add some into my diet anyway.
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#6 Old 09-13-2006, 08:07 PM
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I've suffered from depression since I was seven. My diet was neither vegetarian or low in fat. For some people, it just happens. I have found that at times I was very depressed when I was vegan, but a lot of it was due to the feeling of being alone in my beliefs and the immense amount of pain I felt realizing the amount of needless suffering there is in the world. Eating healthy, exercising, focusing on the positive, and medication have all helped at times.



Has anything else changed in your life that might have made you more depressed? Has your veganism been related to other negative feelings like feeling bad about your body/dieting, experiencing a lot of sadness about the treatment of animals, feeling like no one understands, etc.? The reality of the things that lead people to veganism can be overwhelming, especially when your experience the first shock of it all.



I hope you get this all figured out. Please ask your family and/or doctor for help if things get bad.
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#7 Old 09-13-2006, 11:32 PM
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hopefully you are taking a suppliment for B-12. Lack of B-12 can do a lot worse than cause depression. If you are a Vegan, you need to be very strict and careful about your eating habits.



Besides that, teenagers often have a type of depression that comes from "too many big changes." Generally you get over it.
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#8 Old 09-15-2006, 09:13 AM
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There is a relationship between vitamin B12 deficiency and depression in elderly people. More important is the fact the vitamin B12 defiency might lead to demyelisation (the sheath of the nerve will disppear), which will end up in nerve cell death.

As Gita said: get a supplement - or look for another reliable source. (I take a supplement)


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#9 Old 09-22-2006, 05:44 PM
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I think more & more that circumstances past & present cause depression, although dieticians & doctors alike have often told me that vegetarianism/veganism causes my anxiety/depressive symptoms.

Does the OP have stressful or depressing situational considerations affecting her mood?

In my case, I can say that years of severe physical abuse by my mother followed by years of living with an alcoholic while working in a strip club, combined with grinding poverty at other times from minimum-wage sh*t jobs & social "assistance" *may possibly* have more to do with my mood symptoms than, say, not getting enough Omega # or B complex etc.

If you are a well-nourished veg*n, chances are that it's not your diet making you depressed.
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#10 Old 09-22-2006, 06:31 PM
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I thought it took longer than 3 months for B12 stores to "dry up" in your body anyway... but I could be mistaken.



... dammit jim, i'm a social worker! not a doctor!

http://megatarian.blogspot.com
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#11 Old 09-23-2006, 08:30 AM
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I've also been reading up on essential fatty acids, and apparently depression can be associated with a lack of the omega-3 fatty acid DHA. DHA in its final form is found in fatty fish, eggs, and microalgae. Your body creates DHA from the precursor fatty acid ALA, which is found in flax seeds, walnuts, and canola oil, but according to the sources I've read, some people may have inadequate conversion rates. All the sources seem to agree that DHA is critical to good brain health, although there is some disagreement over just how easy it is for the human body to synthesize enough from dietary ALA.



http://www.veganhealth.org/articles/fat
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