Hello,I would be very interested to hear your views on caffeine and its role in anxiety.I drink a lot of coffee,call it an addiction if that's possible but I could not tell you how many cups per day.I know I should cut down and I have started mixing in decaff but whenever I feel anxious I turn to coffee even when I cant sleep which I know wont help at all.Do you think that caffeine could be a major issue regarding anxiety.For your information,my coffee consumption increased dramatically 6 years ago when I quit a serious drinking habit,i replaced alcohol with coffee.Also,one day 3 weeks ago I decided to drink decaff all day instead of regular coffee.That very night I had my awful panic attack in bed, hence the fear of now going to bed and inability to sleep.Any thoughts,thanks.


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14 Replies

  • I was told by a psychologist that there is an actual caffiene anxiety order, when people drink too much coffee.i don't really know what to suggest to you except maybe try to cut down a cup a week. Good luck.

  • hi, I think coffe can increase anxiety and I have read in an article by a gp that coffee can cause ectopic heartbeats ( something that some with anxiety experience). I wonder if the panic attack that came after drinking decaf all day could have been a kind of withdrawal effect from the caffeine? may be an idea to cut down slowly, not go completely cold turkey. isn't caffeine a stimulant so I assume it wouldn't exactly be good for anxiety?

  • Hi. I can't do without my morning coffee from my favourite coffee place, but when I had my panic attacks, I found that coffee didn't help with my skipped and quickened heart beats (probably just the anxiety with me worrying about every little thing) I stopped drinking coffee for around 2-3 months. My anxiety calmed in that time and I started drinking coffee again and although I have the odd rattle with anxiety, I don't feel any symptoms by drinking it. I do only have one large strong latte in the morning though. I would say it's fine in small amounts. Could you replace a few of your cups of coffee with something else? I somtimes drink hot milk or lemon water. xx

  • Hi, I used to drink coffee every day and suffered from palpitations which were occasionally very bad. My doctor suggested I stop drinking coffee and avoid other products with caffeine. I took his advice and it definitely had an impact on the palpitations. I only suffer from occasional odd heartbeats now, which in the long run makes me feel less anxious. I think you have to withdraw from caffeine gradually if you drink a lot of it. Stopping it suddenly can make you feel worse apparently. Best to get advice from your GP about it. I do have the occasional decaff coffee though!

  • ~Morning castelnaudry

    Well done for quiting the alcohol, that is a very impressive achievement.

    It is the most common drug used to try and forget about anxiety, and the most destructive, if you do nothing else, leave that one well alone.

    Coffee, tea, sugar, salt, chocolate, smoking are all drugs too though, that alter our emotional state, and thats why they are inticing to you and me :)

    Sounds like you have an addictive personality like me :) but that doesn't mean we have to feed it. I have gradually, and I mean gradually, cut down all these things, and have them in moderation. I drink decaf now, and have tea as well, including herb teas :)

    Symptoms, of a caffeine rush include, the shakes, papitations, light headedness, anxiety, and rushing about, which is exactly what anxiety suffers love to do. Running to the next thing, our minds being in the future not the present.

    When we stop, sit back and look inside ourselves, we find we dont have to live like that. Be kind to yourself, have a coffee, sit down and drink it in the moment, savour it, enjoy it, dont just do it and want another directly afterwards because ywe cant even remember drinking the last one. :) I'm an expert too, haha.

    I do mindfullness and relaxation techniques which help a great deal with all things anxiety related, try it, its free on the NHS.

    All the best

  • I can't drink coffee as it sends me potty - shaking, constant peeing, feeling very anxious. Same as Coke - the caffeine in it is not a good thing.

    Luckily I don't actually like coffee so I don't have a problem never drinking it.

    Personally I'd say coffee and anxiety are a no-no as the caffeine will make it worse.

  • I have always eaten what I want, drank what I want, basically swallowed, snorted, injected what I wanted for the last 30 yrs. 14 yrs working, not touched anything, now I feel like this. Mmmm do I blame it on my past, no I don't, I blame it on the here and now. So what if I'm a mess at the moment, doesn't mean I'll stay this way. Coffee makes your heart rate faster and so does going for a jog, don't sweat the small stuff. It would kill me going for a jog lol xxx

  • i personally go decaf every time cos it really does make me extra gittery esp at bed time. i think when your body is so used to something you should cut it out slowly which is probably why your decaf day ended badly. its like meds we cant just come straight off them and starve the body of what so used to. x

  • Yeah but decaf tastes disgusting, like that stuff with chicory in it yeuch xxx

  • maybe, but unfortunately a lot of stuff that makes us feel good or tastes fantastic is bad for us!

  • OMG it's contradict cookie day lol crack on xxx

  • I definitely think caffeine and anxiety are related ! I started keeping a diary on what I done day to day to see if I could see what was fueling my anxiety attacks . I noticed that in days I went to a coffee shop ot had coke or something ( anything more than one cup) my anxiety would go through the roof. I have now cut out caffeine completly and am managing my anxiety much better.

    I am starting to wonder tho if it is now just psychological that I think caffeine will make me bad so it does ????

  • I know what you mean but even my Doctor thinks it may be caffeine related,all I know is yesterday I reduced my intake and no coffee after 7.I felt calmer and slept much better,coincidence maybe but I am trying every angle and as our anxiety is a mental issue then telling yourself its this or that may well help.

  • Perhaps there's an element of the psychological in there bit I think it's a fact that too much caffeine can cause a racing heart etc, and symptoms of what we recognise as anxiety. But does it matter if its psychological or the actual caffeine .... If you feel better not drinking it, carry on! or if you miss it perhaps try introducing it back slowly and see if it makes a difference?

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