Caffeine intake has become such a common thing that its pharmacological effects on mental conditions are often overlooked. Because caffeine is so easy to obtain, everyone can consume it at their own pace at any time and at any dosage. Every day, millions of people depend on caffeine to drive their activities. In fact, this natural stimulant is one of the most commonly used in the world. Caffeine, especially in coffee, is often discussed about its negative effects for sleep problems and anxiety.
Not only that, several studies have revealed a link between the habit of drinking coffee and mental disorders that may be experienced. Currently, the term caffeine intoxication is a disease that has been included in the list of mental disorders from the DSM-5 manual available in the field of psychiatry. The symptoms experienced from this excess caffeine are frequent feeling anxious, tired, too excited or too excited, flushed face, experiencing indigestion, muscle twitching, choked up speech, lack of sleep and experiencing an irregular heartbeat.
Dangers of Caffeine for Mental Conditions
Caffeine is found in drinks such as tea, chocolate and coffee. Although coffee consumption is claimed to reduce the risk of cancer, if it is done excessively it will cause a buildup of caffeine which is harmful to the body. Not only the body, the mental health of someone who has excess caffeine can experience problems. The reasons caffeine is harmful to mental health include:
- Caffeine Causes Addiction
The reason caffeine is harmful to mental health is because it can cause addiction to chemicals in the brain, just like illegal drugs. Quitting caffeine can cause withdrawal symptoms, especially if you previously consumed caffeine excessively. These symptoms include headaches, drowsiness, irritability, anxiety, which arise when chemicals in the brain adjust to caffeine consumption.
- Aggravating Mood Disorders
Excessive caffeine consumption will make mood disorders such as anxiety, depression, irritability and attention disorder problems will be exacerbated by caffeine consumption. Excess caffeine will not increase mental activity as coffee addicts believe, but it will reduce blood flow to the brain by as much as 30 percent and have a negative impact on a person’s memory and mental performance. Mental disorders can occur after the stimulant effects of coffee wear off, often about 3 hours later and also during the recovery period after caffeine withdrawal.
- Increase Stress
The reason caffeine is harmful to mental health is because it triggers the release of stress hormones, namely the hormone cortisol, from the adrenal glands. The result can increase levels of anxiety, irritability, muscle pressure, gastrointestinal problems, insomnia and decreased immunity. Continuous stimulation of the adrenal glands can result in fatigue in these glands so that a person becomes susceptible to disease disorders such as autoimmune or inflammation. A drastic increase in stress hormones can also make a person unable to make logical responses to certain stressful situations in everyday life.
- Causes anxiety
Caffeine is a stimulant which can be bad news for someone experiencing anxiety. The effects of caffeine on the body will be similar to the effects that the body experiences in scary situations. This is because caffeine triggers a fight or flight response in a person’s body and research shows that this response can exacerbate anxiety and trigger anxiety attacks. And along with these anxiety symptoms, consuming too much caffeine can make you even more nervous, moody and awake all night.
- Cause Sleep Difficulty
Caffeine can also make falling asleep and staying asleep more difficult. Lack of sleep can make depression worse. If you have trouble sleeping, don’t drink caffeinated drinks at the end of the day. Some people need to limit their caffeine intake in the morning or stop consuming caffeinated drinks completely to avoid sleeping problems, and avoid triggering the anxiety problems that often co-exist with depression.
- Causing Decreased Mood
If you regularly consume caffeinated drinks, stopping drinking them can cause your mood to become depressed until your body adjusts. Quitting caffeine can lead to a depressive mood until the body adjusts to it. In addition, various symptoms can also appear, including headaches, fatigue and irritability. Find out how to deal with anxiety disorder , cataconic schizophrenia and how to treat depression in yourself .
- Affects Neurotransmitter Balance
Caffeine achieves its effect by blocking the activity of adenosine, a neurotransmitter that makes us sleepy and tired. By boosting the brain chemicals of dopamine and acetylcholine, caffeine provides the desired feeling of increased motivation, productivity and brain power. But for those with anxiety, this will have the opposite effect. The reason caffeine is another mental health hazard is that it can inhibit the formation of the neurotransmitter GABA, which calms the mind. GABA stops brain activity when needed and is often considered natural valium. Low levels of GABA are associated with anxiety and panic attacks. Likewise, the depletion of serotonin that can occur if you consume caffeine regularly.
- React With Certain Medications
So natural is the existence of caffeine that we forget that caffeine is a psychoactive drug and consequently does not always react well with other drugs. There are about 90 different drugs that should not interact with caffeine. Sometimes caffeine will increase the effect of some drugs, but will increase the risk of side effects of asthma medications, antidepressants and some antibiotics. Sometimes it even negates the effectiveness of medications for anti-anxiety, sleeping pills, and lithium for people with bipolar disorder.
- Affect Anti Depressants
A number of studies have found that caffeine can cause tremors, panic attacks and insomnia when taken with SSRIs ( selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors ) antidepressants . Caffeine should also be avoided when taking medications that contain stimulants such as xanthine , because when used together they can cause anxiety, palpitations, shortness of breath and arrhythmias . When used with medications for ADHD such as Adderall and Ritalin it increases nervousness, irritability, insomnia and abnormal heart rates.
- Cause Psychological Deviation
It has long been recognized that the symptoms of too much caffeine are similar to many psychological disorders. Adequate levels of caffeine can create symptoms of anxiety in healthy people that are indistinguishable from those of other anxiety sufferers. Stopping caffeine intake in schizophrenic patients has been shown to improve their anxiety, irritability and hostility. Know how to cure bipolar disorder , how to deal with insomnia and how to treat sleep disorders in the elderly .
- Causes At Least Four Mental Illnesses
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 5 (DSM 5) is the standard guide from the American Psychiatric Association for mental disorders. In DSM 5, four mental disorders related to caffeine are listed, namely caffeine intoxication , caffeine – induced anxiety disorder , caffeine induced sleep disorder and caffeine withdrawal . WHO and various other health practitioners state that caffeine addiction is a clinical disorder.
- Eliminating Essential Nutrients For The Brain
The reason caffeine is harmful to other mental health is because it causes nutrients to be excreted from the body, even some types that are essential for brain health and mood. One of the nutrients wasted is magnesium, a mineral that has profound effects on mental health. Magnesium plays an important role in disorders related to the brain including anxiety / anxiety, depression, addiction, ADHD, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and Alzheimer’s.
- Causes Loss of Vitamin B
Caffeine also causes the wasted B complex vitamins which are often referred to as anti-stress vitamins. Anxiety is a common sign of vitamin B deficiency. Taking extra B vitamins can correct the imbalance of brain chemicals such as GABA, serotonin, dopamine, and epinephrine that cause anxiety.
- Worsens Blood Sugar Control
In one study, about 50 percent of test subjects experienced depression at about the time they were given caffeine and sucrose. The reason is because caffeine worsens blood sugar control and when combined with sugar, it can cause a blood sugar mess that puts stress on the brain.
- Causes insomnia
One of the effects of caffeine consumption is insomnia. Even difficulty sleeping due to caffeine is a common psychiatric disorder. If restless thoughts keep you awake at night, caffeine can aggravate the condition. Caffeine in particular decreases deep sleep levels at a time when you should be experiencing deep sleep. Know the psychological causes of insomnia and how to deal with the side effects of depression medications .
The reason caffeine is harmful to mental health is if it is consumed in excess. Light to moderate consumption of caffeine intake will usually show health benefits for some people. But on the other hand, very high doses of caffeine can lead to side effects that can affect everyday life and can even cause serious health problems. Although the effect will be different for people, the effect of high caffeine consumption shows that a lot of caffeine does not always have a better effect. To get the benefits of caffeine without experiencing unwanted effects, do a thorough assessment of your sleep patterns, energy levels and other factors that could be affected and reduce your caffeine intake if necessary.