Caffeine is a psychoactive drug that has addictive properties. According to research, caffeine has the potential to trigger anxiety in individuals who are pre-disposed to anxiety related problems. It may even stir up anxiety and nervousness in individuals who have not previously suffered from anxiety related issues. Caffeine temporarily increases energy and mental alertness which can exacerbate insomnia, depression and anxiety. In studies done by various researchers high amounts of caffeine have been shown to increase panic attacks in those who suffer with anxiety disorders.
Effects of Caffeine
Research reveals that caffeine is the most widely used mood-altering drug in the world. No matter where you go caffeinated beverages and food are consumed on a daily basis. In the United States, surveys reveal that nine out of ten Americans consume at least a small amount of caffeine each day. Coffee accounts for 70 percent of our nation’s caffeine intake each day. Some people may overlook the effect caffeine has on the body and mind.
A daily cup of coffee in the morning has become normal for many people. It helps provide energy and a feeling of being alert in the morning when we are still tired, but this routine could be having adverse effects on our health. Caffeine effects everyone differently but there has been a direct correlation with anxiety related issues due to caffeine consumption. Caffeine is also believed to increase feelings of depression in those who suffer from a depressive disorder.
According to Stresshelp.tripod.com, “Caffeine stimulates the release of excess stress hormones via its stimulant effects on the adrenal glands. It stimulates the pancreas to secrete insulin, which lowers blood sugar. Thus, the body must compensate by releasing stress hormones, causing the body to release energy, fat and glucose reserves in order to stabilize blood sugar levels.” Through research it has been found that caffeine has drastic effects on the body and its functions.
Mental Health and Caffeine
Vitamin B6 is used by the body to decrease stress levels through the neurotransmitter called Serotonin. People suffering from depression and anxiety often have a lower amount of serotonin in their brains. Consuming caffeine contributes to the depletion of Vitamin B6 in the body, stimulating anxiety and worsening existing depression. Caffeine induced anxiety can lead some people to experience trembling or shaking in their extremities, heart palpitations and other symptoms associated with low blood sugar levels.
Individuals susceptible to the effects of caffeine may be affected negatively by the stimulant. Once that happens, anxiety can take on a life of its own. Caffeine can induce anxiety, but sometimes other variables play a part in determining whether the person experiences a full-blown panic attack as opposed to a case of the jitters. It is recommended anxiety-prone individuals limit consumption of caffeine to no more than 8 ounces per day.