My b12 levels tested at 691 pg/mL (normal range 200-1000) at 5 years vegan by just supplementing 500 mcgs of B12 drops twice a week. I also eat an occasional fortified vegan yogurt, energy bar, plant milk, plant protein powder, or nutritional yeast, but not every day or even every week. I also did three years of college and also earned two medical coding certifications (RHIT and CPC) all as a vegan. Not only passed those exams but nailed them (93% on RHIT and 88% on CPC).
For those who consume dairy or eggs, there is also b12 in some yogurts and eggs, though a small amount.
I have suffered with various mental illness most of my life....avoidant personality disorder, anxiety and social anxiety, major depressive episodes (with hospitalizations and halfway houses years ago), anorexia nervosa for six years. Being vegan has not worsened or improved any of these conditions. Veganism indirectly helped my social anxiety and avoidance because i was so passionate about animal rights that I went out and leafleted six colleges and high schools and also tabled at a private college all on my own. I participated in a Farm Sanctuary Walk for Animals event, and did some other forms of activism. Though it was hard, it gave me confidence and helped me overcome fears. It also helped immensely get me outside of my own head and obsessive eating disordered thoughts and I did most of my activism when I was in a period of recovery from my eating disorder and putting on weight. It was a very very hard time, but activism in a way saved me. If I could do those things, heck, anything is possible lol. So in that way veganism has improved my mental health. However, it can also be a challenge in social situations that involve food as someone with a long history of an eating disorder because it can further isolate me from social situations around food, especially at work. They love my food at potlucks and that's been a good experience, but sometimes we have staff meetings in conference rooms up to six hours and meals are "provided" which means there will not be anything vegan. So I bring my own food, but it means I stand out a lot because i am eating something different than everyone else. I am VERY self conscious about eating, so this is a huge challenge, but it is more important to me to remain vegan and stand up for my beliefs and live them than fit in for the sake of not drawing attention to myself.
My sister has paranoid schizophrenia and borderline personality disorder. She was vegan for two years but is now mostly vegetarian. Veganism did help her lose a tremendous amount of weight, and she cooked more for herself and was healthier. But it didn't improve or change her mental illness.
In the end, only kindness matters. - Jewel
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