Caffeine Induced Anxiety Disorder

Do you have “Caffeine Induced Anxiety Disorder”?


Coffee is one of the healthiest beverages of all. Research shows that coffee decreases the risk of neurological diseases such as Parkinson’s and probably Alzheimer’s. Coffee drinkers also enjoy a decreased risk of heart disease; stroke; diabetes; chronic respiratory, liver and kidney disease; and certain cancers.

But caffeinated coffee has downsides for some people. Some experience stomach or intestinal upset, and others have jitteriness and problems sleeping. Some become more anxious and irritable. Many people might not be aware that it is coffee that is a contributing factor.

A person might drink coffee for breakfast, then begin their daily commute in traffic. They may think the traffic is making them anxious, but the caffeine could be a larger factor.

Caffeine is a drug

Caffeine is the most widely used psychoactive substance in the world. It is classified as a drug, since it works on the central nervous system, can have side effects, and even be deadly in high doses (estimated to be more than 75 cups of coffee at one sitting). Similar to other drugs, many people develop a mild dependence on coffee.

Caffeine effects

Caffeine, found in coffee, tea, chocolate, energy drinks, chocolate, and some headache medication, stimulates many systems in the body. It gives us more energy, temporarily raises blood pressure and heart rate, and may cause sweating. It makes us more alert by blocking the action of the chemical adenosine. Adenosine makes us drowsy, but caffeine attaches to the “adenosine receptors” in our brain, and blocks the drowsiness. Many people note better concentration and memory after coffee.

Caffeine induced anxiety disorder

This is a recognized medical diagnosis, and your susceptibility depends on your genetic makeup. You will feel, more than most, the stimulating effects of coffee. The fast heartbeat, sweatiness, irritability, and agitation make some people feel they are having a panic attack, but it could just be the caffeine.

People prone to anxiety or panic, when experiencing these symptoms, may become even more irritated and agitated when they think they are having anxiety or panic.

What to do

If you are prone to anxiety or panic attacks, you should be very careful about caffeine, from any source. The current recommendation for the average, non-anxious, person, is to limit caffeine intake to 400 mg. per day (about 4 cups).

However, if you are prone to anxiety, you should keep the amount under 200 mg. per day. If even this is too much, drink less, or drink decaffeinated. Fortunately, the good health effects from coffee can be attained from decaffeinated or instant decaffeinated coffee. (Note decaffeinated coffee still contains a small amount of caffeine.)

To figure out if you have “caffeine induced anxiety disorder”, you may want to keep a food diary for 5 to 7 days. Mark down any caffeine you take in from any source, and chart this against your symptoms. Finally, don’t forget tea as an alternative. It is also very high in antioxidants and health benefits, with about half or less the caffeine contained in coffee.

To find a doctor, of any specialty, anywhere in Brazil, check out our website:

See also in ProcuraMed:

How coffee helps protect your brain

New studies about coffee and health

Esta postagem também está disponível em: Portuguese (Brazil)

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