Is Caffeine Linked To Depression?
Depression can be linked to family history, triggered by medication, drugs and alcohol or an illness and health issues. The one thing most people won’t consider is that their daily coffee habit might be making depression worse.
Can Caffeine Cause Depression?
Caffeine does not cause depression.
But someone prone to depression will usually have low serotonin levels. Coffee has been shown to boost serotonin – temporarily.
That will keep you reaching for another cup of coffee to raise those serotonin levels again and feel better.
But here is the bad part…
Caffeine Causing Depression One Cup At A Time
Drinking excessive coffee will trigger caffeine dependence. When you are caffeine dependent, you’ll have to drink coffee to not feel bad. Not feel bad from depression. And not feel bad from caffeine withdrawal symptoms like:
- Difficulty Concentrating (Brain Fog)
- Muscle Pain
- Even Flu-Like Symptoms In Extreme Cases
How Does Caffeine Withdrawal Cause Depression
One study demonstrated how your brain responds after getting hooked on caffeine and found that caffeine dependence actually altered the way serotonin was transmitted.
This lead to impaired cognitive performance and depression in animal subjects of the study.
The study showed that consuming caffeine for 6 days was enough to alter brain function related to memory and depression.
How Does Caffeine Affect Depression By Dose?
If caffeine dependence is linked depression then it is something that could happen quickly. Some research indicates you can get hooked on caffeine after as little as 100mg.
For comparison, an average 16oz coffee (the most popular size) usually has about 145mg of caffeine. But the same size Blond Roast will give you 360mg of caffeine.
Caffeine content in coffee can vary widely based on the beans used and how it is brewed. That makes it extremely hard to tell exactly how much caffeine you consume from coffee.
And very easy to overconsume and risk trigging depression.
Most Energy drinks will also contain enough caffeine to easily trigger depression. A 16oz can of Monster (regular) contains 230 calories, 54g of sugar and 160mg of caffeine. A 16oz can of Monster Zero Sugar has 10 calories, 0g sugar, and 140mg of caffeine. Well over double the caffeine you would need to trigger depression.
Caffeine And Anxiety
The relationship between caffeine and anxiety has been deeply explored over several years and the results are all the same: caffeine also increases anxiety.
That morning coffee you can’t do without could be a major contributing factor in your anxiety levels as well as depression.
“If you are anxious, you are living in the future. If you are depressed, you are living in the past. If you are at peace, you are living in the present”
It’s a great quote, but the reality is, anxiety and depression have many causes. Some are related to mental health issues; some are chemical imbalances in the body. While others can be related to external factors and how you are able to cope with those situations.
Each case of anxiety and depression is as unique as you are.
When Does Caffeine Make Depression Worse?
When you overuse caffeine and trigger caffeine dependence you will absolutely put yourself in a worse position.
However, self-diagnosis and treatments via the internet is never a good idea. If you are concerned your depression or anxiety levels have reached the point where they interfere with daily life it’s time to seek the help. Act quickly. Start with your doctor. But never accept one opinion and always advocate for your own health and wellbeing.
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