Depression, anxiety, panic, hostility, paranoid behaviors, mania, and forgetfulness only begin the long list of symptoms that can be caused or exasperated by vitamin deficiencies. If you are experiencing any of these types of problems, you owe it to yourself to get tested. A supplement may be all that you need to take control of your own mind and body. Vitamins and supplements aren’t likely to solve all of your problems, but they can often make medicinal treatments more effective, or help you to gain control of your emotions so that you can better handle life’s challenges.
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)
Thiamine deficiency is very common in psychiatric patients. It is associated with anxiety, depression, fearfulness, agitation, emotional instability, irritability, and night terrors. It is most common in alcoholics and patients that are malnourished. Agoraphobic patients and patients with anxiety disorders are often thiamine deficient.
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)
Riboflavin deficiencies can affect mood, behavior, sleep, memory, and concentration. Patients commonly are aggressive, depressed, anxious, and suffer from panic attacks and migraines. Reduced levels of riboflavin inhibit the body’s use of a lot of medications and oxidative stress is often a problem.
Vitamin B3 (Niacin)
Niacin deficiencies are noted in many cases of schizophrenia, chronic fatigue, insomnia and chronic headache. Memory problems are also common in patients with this deficiency.
Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid)
Vitamin B5 deficiency is rare. Sufferers may experience excessively hot feet, recurring upper respiratory infections, fatigue, insomnia, depression, irritability, vomiting, or stomach pains. Vitamin B5 is sometimes referred to as the “anti-stress” vitamin because of its regulatory effect on stress hormones.
Vitamin B6 deficiency can cause irritability, severe PMS, fatigue, depression, anxiety and confusion. Many people have electric shock sensations, paresthesias (tingling, burning, pricking, or numbness), and extreme anxiety. About half of agoraphobic patients are usually B6 deficient.
Vitamin B7 (Biotin)
Deficiencies in biotin are most common in those taking anti-seizure medications, long-term antibiotics, or people with trouble absorbing nutrients. Symptoms include numbness, tingling, strange pain sensations (usually in extremities), weakness, fatigue, lethargy, and hallucinations.
Vitamin B9 (Folate)
Folate helps to regulate your pain response, mood, and sleep patterns. If it’s low, you may experience hostility, chronic headaches, paranoid behavior, panic, forgetfulness, irritability, and apathy. Folate deficiency is usually accompanied by low serotonin levels and depression. In contrast, high levels have been shown to sometimes induce mania in some patients with bipolar disorder, and can interfere with some mood stabilizing medications.
B12 deficiency usually starts with depression, and can be followed by psychosis, slow mental processes, mania, confusion, forgetfulness, and memory loss. Lower B12 levels are not always present in depressed patients, but are almost always present in depressed patients with psychosis.
Magnesium deficiency is often accompanied by low serotonin and dopamine levels. Symptoms of a deficiency can be apathy, irritability, anxiety, personality changes, and behavioral changes. Low magnesium levels are associated with an imbalance of lactate to pyruvate in the body, which is indicative of many psychiatric conditions, like schizophrenia. Studies show that most patients with chronic pain have low magnesium levels, and show that the most disturbed patients have either high or low magnesium levels.
Vitamin C (Sodium Ascorbate)
The first symptom of vitamin C deficiency is usually depression. Other symptoms may be fatigue, reduced arousal, apathy, and reduced motivation. Because vitamin C, or sodium ascorbate, is necessary to produce serotonin, people deficient in it may experience severe depression and extreme anxiety. Vitamin C calms the nervous system and helps to regulate the stress response of the body.