Bipolar Disorder Community
4.99k Members
1134609 tn?1269275800

Vitamin D!

So, I woke up this morning in a terrible mood; down, depressed, anxious.. Just felt awful.. My shrink, family and I have been debating about long term in-patient care; I've been unstable for the past few weeks.

Anyway, I have a friend who takes 50,000 IU of vitamin D, on his doctor's orders. I have been doing research into the subject and it's had me wondering. I generally take 2,000 IUs of Vitamin D a day, but I hammered back 10,000 IUs this morning; it totally turned my mood around. It was the strangest thing; it was totally overcast, my mood is normally in the toilet on days like these, but supplementing with big doses of vitamin D pulled me out of it..

Honestly, no medication has ever pulled me out a funk the way this has; I am convinced that I am severely deficient in vitamin D. When the sun has been down, my mood has just been terrible, but the vitamin D actually got me feeling normal again. I have basically been in a calorie deficit my entire life; I really watch what I eat and I don't take in a whole lot of cholesterol or fat. This could have made me really deficient in vitamin D.

Does anyone else have any experience with this? I am the most optimistic that I have been in months.. Could this simple solution help me get back up and running?
18 Responses
585414 tn?1288944902
I have not heard of Vitamin D being used for bipolar. Many studies in the field of orthomolecular psychiatry proved inconclusive. There are forums for alternative and complementary medicine where you might better ask that question. I do know that a person should not take above the reccomended dose for all vitamins but especially vitamin d as being only fat soluble in above doses it can prove toxic.
1154462 tn?1327437979
2000 IU should be good if your Vit D levels aer really low. My recent blood  tests revealed that and that's what my PCP advised me to take. Vitamin D is really meant to help calcium absorption so don't know how it would help mood swings?  if your mood swings are really THAT bad have you talked to your specialist about Seroquil?
Calcium dampens neuron excitability.
1154462 tn?1327437979
I just read this interesting article through Google, it might answer portion of your response to higher dosage of Vit D:

Avatar universal
My chiropractor and then approved by my psych added 4000 mg vitamin D a month ago and it has helped. In the weeks before adding it, my husband had a severe accident in which he will need surgeries and my Momma died. Plus I am sliding down hill. The D has been good, not great but good for me.
1134609 tn?1269275800
Well, all I can really say is that I was prepared to seek long term, inpatient care treatment 600 miles away all weekend and yesterday morning. But, that big dose of vitamin d pulled me out of it and did so in a hurry. Because it was so overcast, I would've been in a funk all day long; a simple fact from past experiences. I have tried all kinds of various medications (adverse reactions to Lithium, Seroquel, Zyprexa) and am not willing to try anymore until we give this one a shot. Part of the reason why I have been so laid up is because of the fact that I was bounced around on medication for two and a half weeks and paid for it. Abilify and Geodon are on the table, but, given my reaction to the other anti-psychotics, I can imagine that they'll be hard on me. Medications with EPS and akathesia side effects are murder on me.

I have always been super-sensitive to what I take in; medications, multi--vitamins, etc..And, this is starting to make sense. I have always felt better when I take my vitamins, but this was ridiculous yesterday. I basically went from suicidal to normal in the space of minutes after taking the vitamin d.

Also, there has been a lot of studies into this lately; with folks with BP, SAD, and clinical depression and many of them have really proven that vitamin D supplementation can be effective. We all know that light therapy treatment can be very beneficial; works on the same lines. Increased sun equates to increased Vitamin D levels.

Also, the ceiling for vitamin d levels has been tough to establish; it is lipid soluble, but the toxicity levels of it are pretty subtle. Increase in blood calcium is really one of the only things they have to go by. My friend has had to take 50,000 IUs a week in order to raise his Vitamin D levels just a few points; so it's tough judge what is going to make people go toxic. And, honestly, I don't particularly care if I push those toxicity levels; it's a far better trade off than feeling the way I have.

I cycle so hard with the sun, this seems to be a very plausible answer. For whatever reason, my body may not be sustaining enough vitamin D to keep the depression from sinking in. I guess my view is simple; I have another weapon outside of having to hammer back different meds in order to remain stable; I know this one works. It's just a matter of getting the blood levels tested and going from there. Even if the blood levels are normal, my shrink and I have agreed that I might as well take the Vitamin D in bigger doses; if it works, it works.
1134609 tn?1269275800
Also, if I have SAD it's an extremely treatment resistant form; many of the medications, including the mild ADs drive me up a wall. And I do teeter far more towards BP; before the Lamictal, I would have a lot of hypomanic and manic phases, along with bad mixed episodes.

And, IMO, the psychiatric community has just scratched the surface with respect to the spectrum of BP disorder. They're just now starting to figure out that the ADs and their side effects don't necessarily 'mimic' BP disorder; they trigger episodes. And, that is something that a lot of BP folks figured out a long time ago.

I also don't think that simple, homeopathic treatments have been investigated enough; especially because SOO many people do respond well to the ADs. My wife is one of them; a small dose of Zoloft helped her out with her GAD like nothing else. It's not like I am going to ditch all of my medications and start taking big doses of vitamins and fish oils; but if they compliment them well, then it's well worth a shot.

But, I also think that this country does expect the 'quick fix' when it comes to everything. Especially mental illness; one little pill fixes a lot of problems (which is good), but I think that the very same attitude has prevented the medical community from looking into some things that could be also be beneficial.

Avatar universal
It was exciting to see your post. I couldn't put in a comment box all that we have learned in our family about vitamin d and bipolar or mood disorders. My youngest daughter and I jokingly said we were going to start a reality show with our family to make a doctor take notice. I have a son in law off of long term anti psychotic drugs for bipolar because he started taking vitamin d. He is a professional in a medical field and was a skeptic. Vitamin deficiencies in our family from what cause we're not sure have caused a host of medical and emotional problems that we are now getting on top of.
700590 tn?1279945879
Most days are sunny but I have to cover up because of my fare, freckled complexion so I take 4000 i.u. of vitamin D daily. I would absolutely agree that it helps with mood.
Avatar universal
I'm glad the vitamin D made you feel better.  I know that a deficiency in B12 vitamins can cause feelings of depression and guilt, but too much cause me mania.  Also taking Omega 3 Fish Oil helps with bipolar depression.  

I'm sensitive also to vitamins and medication.  Recently I got some calcium/vitamin D from Trader Joes and it made me feel like an angry nutcase.  I stopped taking them and started taking Children's gummy bear vitamins which don't cause me any adverse reactions.  

It was a gloomy day here too. There are special light lamps that are made for people who get SAD.  One of my friends has one they release something that is similar to sunshine.  
Avatar universal
I take 15,000IU of vitamin D a day.  Since I have starting using it, I have no need for seroquel or any of my other meds.  I suffered terribly from depression, suicidal idealization, and self harm.  The effects of Vitamin D were immediate...like a dark cloud was lifting and I could suddenly breathe.  My moods have been absolutely stable.  I have never known life to be so good.  I am not a doctor; this is just what works for me.  I also take alot of good omega 3, which also has made a huge difference.  Between, vitamin D, omega 3, and the Paleo Diet, I am able to handle bipolor disorder without medication.  My doctor, psychiatrist, and psychologist are all amazed at the change.  I hope you find this helpful.
574118 tn?1305138884
this post is old. i realised this after PM you. now on one side i remember you said you cycle in the sun and the SAD etc.. whereas here you say that vitamin D proved good for you. Your recent posts say you are not well so what happened from march since then did you stop taking vitamin D or what. I read several times that BP pts should stay out of the sun. can you provide me or someone else with a clarification on this issue.
1237757 tn?1323146719
I've been tested and have come up with a deficiancy of Vitamin D was told that Vitamin D is like the mortar between the bricks of your colon wall, if you have a deficiancy then the toxins can easily slip through the gaps out your colon and into your blood stream.  First stop your liver, then onto your heart and mind.  Once your liver starts to drop then it's harder for you to metabolise other vitamins also only making things worse.  Curious to know if anyone else has heard anything similar.
Have an Answer?
Top Mood Disorders Answerers
Avatar universal
Arlington, VA
Learn About Top Answerers
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
15 signs that it’s more than just the blues
Discover the common symptoms of and treatment options for depression.
We've got five strategies to foster happiness in your everyday life.
Don’t let the winter chill send your smile into deep hibernation. Try these 10 mood-boosting tips to get your happy back
A list of national and international resources and hotlines to help connect you to needed health and medical services.
Here’s how your baby’s growing in your body each week.