Caffeine: Anxiety’s Enemy

SpookySiren January 25, 2012 5

Do you drink a cup of coffee in the morning? How about soda? Maybe you want to game all night and pack down a few energy drinks. Being a gamer myself, I consume a lot of soda. (My soda-drug of choice is Dr Pepper) I can consume a 2 liter in a day. Whether you like coffee or soda, it’s packed with caffeine and that can increase your anxiety or even give you a panic attack.

Caffeine keeps you awake and is worth the risk, right? No! If you want to be in a better mental health and physical health state, you can’t make excuses to do unhealthy things. Caffeine can cause insomnia, nervousness and you can become ADDICTED. Ever suffer from caffeine withdrawals? Notice that some migraine pain killers add in caffeine because of this?

“The use of and withdrawal from addictive substances, including alcohol, caffeine, and nicotine, can also worsen anxiety.”WebMD

Caffeine cost me a job. I was handling my anxiety really well for awhile and got a job at McDonald’s, being a cashier. Which is insanely hard on my anxiety by having to deal with people. My bosses were hard on me being new and made it so that I didn’t get much sleep. However, I was managing. One morning, I was very tired and wanted to keep myself up for work so I drank an energy drink. It did just enough to give me a very bad panic attack on the way to work. I ended up in a “flight” response and literally ran away. Ditching work and costing me a job. Now I don’t work at all because of this. I see that I was not ready to take on something so stressful as a job. Especially when I’m not making healthy decisions, like consuming so much caffeine.

Don’t make the same mistake as me and cut it out as much as you can. It’s not worth your mental health, no matter how tasty it is. Drink decaf, even some sodas come without caffeine! (Dr pepper has a caffeine free brand!)

If you are looking to boost your energy find healthy ways to keep yourself up. Listen to loud, energetic music to help wake you up. Take B-vitamin supplements, exercise, splash cold water on your face, and eat food high in protein and iron. These are just some of the ways to stay awake.  Don’t be lazy and take the easy, unhealthy route. It could worsen your anxiety or panic disorder.

If you want to win your fight against anxiety, say no to caffeine.

If you can’t take it out of your diet, limit it.


  1. Mel the Office Gamer Girl January 29, 2012 at 6:45 pm - Reply

    I’m a caffeine junky. I could drink probably 2 pots of coffee throughout the day and many more shots of espresso. I sleep like a log. Not sure how though. lol. I have no intention of ever stopping consuming stuff with caffeine in it. It’s not bad for you, it just effects different people in different ways. Just because someone consumes caffeine, doesn’t mean that it’s not healthy, nor is it lazy. As a matter of fact, I find that statement to be extremely offensive and uneducated/biased. I consider myself a caffeine junky and there’s nothing wrong with it at all. Here, maybe you should check out this quick article; then also look up some of the actual studies done before making wild accusations.

    • Dustimus_Prime January 29, 2012 at 7:05 pm - Reply

      I don’t think the idea that caffeine is bad for you is too much the point here, but like you are saying, effects people in different ways. It’s interesting how caffeine works too. It’s not the caffeine itself that makes you hyper, but it blocks certain receptors in your body that tell it to release more adrenaline into the body. Which in turn can have both positive and negative effects. On the positive, your energy levels shoots straight up and turns up your metabolism. On the negative, you can become anxious or in extreme overdoses, cause your heart rate to sky rocket into cardiac arrest. There’s no calorie worries, but you definitely want to monitor your Intake for sure. Just my two cents. ^_^

    • SpookySiren January 30, 2012 at 5:33 pm - Reply

      sorry that this article upset you, wasn’t my intention. But it was my intention to warn people that could be sensitive or have anxiety like me. It can cause people to become nervous and make anxiety worse. If you are lucky enough to not have this happen for you, then that’s awesome! But people that could be feeling extra nervous might not know that caffeine can help cause that. I’ve read a lot of studies with anxiety and caffeine, most people are hurt by it. Not all. (Environmental factors: Trauma and stressful events, such as abuse, the death of a loved one, divorce, changing jobs or schools, may lead to GAD. GAD also may become worse during periods of stress. The use of and withdrawal from addictive substances, including alcohol, caffeine, and nicotine, can also worsen anxiety.)

      Also, in the link you sent me it says this “Regular coffee, of course, also contains caffeine. Caffeine can raise blood pressure, as well as blood levels of the fight-or-flight chemical epinephrine (also called adrenaline), Lane says.” flight or fight response is something that most people with anxiety have trouble with.

      Maybe I should have said it doesn’t affect everyone the same. This is posted on the side that it’s not worth it. But, hey, I’m new to this stuff. :3

  2. Dena January 29, 2012 at 10:29 pm - Reply

    Funny thing about caffeine is that it wakes me up in the morning and keeps me awake if I drink it late at night … but it also has a wonderful calming effect on me when I’m stressed. It’s my “comfort food” when I’m at work. But then again, this is really just coffee I’m talking about. Energy drinks to make me more hyper and even a little jittery.

    I’m not arguing with the article, tho–as Mel said, it effects different people in different ways–just figured I’d add my 2 cents.

  3. SpoonyRuncible October 10, 2012 at 2:45 am - Reply

    Funny, I have a panic disorder as well and I’m the exact opposite. I become a nervous wreck without my coffee! One week the cafeteria at my workplace ran out of regular and just put decaf in the regular carafes without telling anyone. I thought I was seriously ill because I was a jittery exhausted mess! When they explained it I was almost ready to lead a lynch mob against the guy in charge!

    It’s amazing how the same chemicals can affect two people so very differently. I learned that lesson the hard way when my p-doc tried me on anti-psychotics. The long and short of it is that anti-psychotics can actually induce psychosis in some people and I’m one of those lucky few!

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