Does Caffeine Contribute to Anxiety?

by Anonymous

I am curious about how people experience caffeine as effecting their anxiety level. I like coffee but I am in the process of cutting it back. I drink coffee in the morning and I notice I am more restless and anxious in the morning. I tried giving up coffee about 17 years ago and went back to it after I got very tired. Coffee can also give me a pleasant high. I may try giving it up again.

However, regular Tea and chocolate DO give me the jitters. when I drink tea I feel like I am getting a full blown nervous attack. Coffee does not have this effect on me. I asked an MD about this and she said tea has some other stimulants that coffee does not that I may be sensitive to. Hot chocolate also give me the jitters. I have also noticed some jitters after what for me are large amounts of chocolate. However, small amounts chocolate have not effected me.

While coffee has not given me the obvious bad side effects tea and hot chocolate, I am beginning to wonder whether some anxiety I feel in the morning is due to coffee and I am slowly tapering it. I almost also restless in the morning and I wonder if could be the caffeine.

I am curious what other people experience has been with caffeine.

Comments for Does Caffeine Contribute to Anxiety?

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Jan 30, 2010
Caffeine Probably Does Make Anxiety Worse
by: Anonymous

I have been told that caffeine increases anxiety because it makes the heart beat faster and can make people feel "jittery."

I don't have much caffeine in my diet, so I can't speak from personal experience, but I know people who feel anxious when they consume caffeine.

Feb 08, 2010
by: Anonymous

I get terrible jitters from coffee. Hot chocolate and tea don't bother me. (one cup that is)
If I had either of these in large amounts I'm sure they would too but with coffee it only takes one cup.

I definately see how caffeine could contribute to anxiety.
There are probably people right now that drink excessive amounts of coffee that have anxiety problems and don't even realize that may be contributing to the problem.

What a vicious circle that could be. They drink coffee because they think it helps them relax, it doesn't but if they don't drink it they suffer from withdrawals and anxiety.

Feb 16, 2010
I have given up coffee
by: Anonymous

Hi-I was the original poster. I have given up coffee(I am someone that finds easier to give things up than to moderate use).

I think I am less anxious. However, I miss the performance enhancing(steroid) effect coffee has.

Many years ago I gave up coffee and found it made less anxious but broke down when I was feeling very tired and went back to it.

I am hoping as the days get longer I will start feeling more alert.

I doing stretches in the morining to wake me up. I had stopped using caffeine at night for years and don't miss it.

I have noticed that I do somethings too fast and caffeine is a stimulant.

I noticed that when I was drinking coffee I needed to drink some to avoid getting a headache in the morning.

Jul 16, 2010
Link to article on Caffeine
by: Celia

I found this interesting article on the effects of caffeine on the web.

Jul 16, 2010
Link to article on Caffeine
by: Celia

I found this interesting article on the effects of caffeine on the web.

Nov 03, 2010
is this withdrawal?
by: Jay

I was wondering as you said you had actually given up the coffe are you maybe experiancing the withdrawals of that rather than the tea and hot chocolate reacting badly with you? Coffee is adictive and most recovering addicts from alcohol and drugs find that they suddenly start drinking massive amounts of coffee! Granted probably not as bad as doing the other stuff but then they find they can't cope without caffine and their already anxious states are axasperated. I do know that there are withdrawals from caffine and wonder if you give it a wide birth for long enough your symptoms may disapate. Personally I switched to herb tea's like camlamile for relaxation, ginger for warmth and pepermint for digestion. My anxiety did get better. good luck

Dec 13, 2010
back on coffee
by: Anonymous

Hi-I am the original poster. I am back on coffee-but New Years I will try to go off it again.

I think for me coffee is my cigarettes. It probably does make me anxious but when it makes me feel good it gives me this incredible high.

I think it would be helpful to hear of tips of how people stay alert without coffee

May 29, 2011
Caffeine Jitters / Shakes
by: Michael

After stop drinking coffee over 20 years ago,which i drank it straight with no sugar,or cream.Now if i tried to drink it,it is inpossible,even if i was to milk it down,or half cup i would get the shakes,Jitters to No end.My hands,arms,just keep moving.I tried many times to drink it but samething.Now for most of the years i drink General Foods/Maxwell cans of Coffee with it seems it does not have Caffeine aditives.Which these are the small cans next to the coffee.Cost about $2.50 - $4.50 in some stores.Walmart stores cost less then all stores.1- can usaully is good for one week and one cup for 7days x 4 weeks in amonth is expensive.But i pay the price to have Hot Cup in the morning with No pep,but i drink it slow and iam find.Pop i can only drink Sprite with No Caffeine,Shasta Cola,pop i drink half acan and give the to my wife to finish.Chocolates does not bother me like hard candies,where sugar i break out in sores on my head and back.Sorry of giving you abook to read,but hope this may of help you,thanks for all your infomation i was able to read.

Jun 11, 2011
A nice alternative
by: deb

Coffee can sometimes add to my I will often mix decaf and caffeinated ground coffee together and perk it that way. I don't think I drink any more as far as quantity -- but get less of the stimulating effect.

Hope this is helpful!

Oct 25, 2011
by: Anonymous

I started taking coffee in the mornings before uni to wake me up properly. However after around 2 weeks of starting, I noticed my heart started racing in the middle of a lecture. It evolved into a feeling of panic that something terrible was going to happen as I sat in my class, until I felt I really just had to get out of there. It was a definite fight/flight response, and I'm putting it down to the coffee I was consuming at the time. Haven't drunk coffee in the mornings for over a year now, and the problem has never resurfaced.

Maybe some people just can't handle the altering effects of caffeine!

Aug 29, 2012
restless arms and palpitation after coffee
by: Anne

After I drink coffee, I feels restless arms. i'm not sure if its because of coffee since I haven't ask a doctor yet about this.
But I feel restless arms and palpitation after I drink coffee.

Dec 19, 2012
Panicky feeling
by: Anonymous

I definitely notice a difference when i drink coffee - more so strong coffee! One cup makes my heart race and i feel shakey and panicky. It's horrible. So im trying to drink more herbaql tea but still need my caffeine boost in the morning.

Jan 06, 2013
by: Anonymous

I am glad I found your post. I was wondering the same thing. I was thinking I had a intolerance to coffee to a certain extent. Coffee makes me anxious, down, tired and it also reacts with my bowel movements.

Jun 28, 2013
Update on Corffee
by: Anonymous

I am the original poster. I went up on coffee and am now trying to cut back to maybe on cup of pure coffee a day. Physicians insist that I may be caffeine sensitive and not know it.

Jun 28, 2013
Update on Corffee
by: Anonymous

I am the original poster. I went up on coffee and am now trying to cut back to maybe on cup of pure coffee a day. Physicians insist that I may be caffeine sensitive and not know it.

Jan 17, 2014
by: Patrick

When I was in college, I used to drink insane amounts of coffee and Red Bull during the day without any problems.
That was thirteen years ago.
Today I get horrible jitters and feelings of extreme insecurity even from 1 cup of coffee, or a can of Red Bull.
And it's been going on for 7-8 years now.
Sometimes I get so insecure that I can't utter a single word.
Smoking has the same effect on me.
I noticed that when I quit smoking and taking caffeine for a while, my symptoms go away.

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