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Thread: Cutting out caffeine = good for reducing anxiety?

  1. #1
    LightbulbSun

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    Cutting out caffeine = good for reducing anxiety?

    Right now, I'm so wired that I can't sleep, and it's 3am. I've had three cups of coffee, and two sodas (coke), and I feel so jittery. My eyes also hurt, and I generally feel unwell.

    My doctor has suggested to me that I reduce or eliminate my caffeine intake completely. I love coffee, to me it's one of the greatest inventions, but I'm seriously considering cutting coffee out of my diet completely.

    Another thing is, I've noticed my hands have been shaking a lot lately. This, combined with the jittery feeling and the stress, makes me believe that I'm exacerbating my anxiety condition, that I take medication for. And what is medication good for, if I'm putting drugs in my body that counteract the calming feeling I get from them?

    Anyway, any thoughts on this? Should I get rid of the caffeine completely?

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    greywolf
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    Yes. If you can't quit coffee then switch to decaf.

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    waveseer
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    Many people have reduced or eliminated their caffeine intake with very positive results. In order to avoid the headaches associated with cutting down or stopping abruptly I suggest you eliminate one caffeinated beverage per day for a week or two depending on how much you drink. You can substitute water, juice, or sports drinks for the missing ones.

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    LightbulbSun

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    Thanks waveseer.

    I think it'll be easier to just cut out the soda tomorrow, and drink one cup of coffee. And then the next day, stop completely.

    I also suffer from tinnitus, and lately my ears have been buzzing like crazy. I think it's because I've been drinking a lot of caffeinated beverages.

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    waveseer
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    You're welcome. If you do get a headache and decide to take something for it check the label because many over the counter pain medications contain caffeine.

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    dragon lady
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    lightbulbsun, I feel your pain. I have recently become a coffee drinker and I am completely addicted to the positive effects. I love that it makes me feel alert, positive, confident and social, but it doesn't last long! A few hours later I feel like complete crap- cranky, anxious and depressed. I have a tendency toward anxiety, but it's definitely far worse with the caffeine.


    Good luck.

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    greywolf
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    Quote Originally Posted by LightbulbSun [Register to see the link]
    Thanks waveseer.

    I think it'll be easier to just cut out the soda tomorrow, and drink one cup of coffee. And then the next day, stop completely.

    I also suffer from tinnitus, and lately my ears have been buzzing like crazy. I think it's because I've been drinking a lot of caffeinated beverages.
    I tend to go deaf in my right ear if my body is under stress either emotionally or physically; Caffeine just makes it worse.

    Are you sure it's not a side effect of any of the meds you're taking though?

  8. #8
    /Jake/
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    Coffee is basically a substitution for your adrenalin glands. "Supplementing" your body with caffeine after years will literally make you dependent on it to get that "lift" in the day because your adrenalin glands will be none existent. My Uncle can attest to that, he's in his 50's and drinks the "pure black stuff" that can take paint off of cars.

    I'm not diagnosed with any anxiety disorder that I know of as I've never gone to the doctor. Having said this, I know I'm not "well" and I probably would be dignaosed with something if I got checked. I personally don't drink coffee, I love the taste but quit just from my own experiences & seeing family who have been on it for years.


    The worst experience I ever had was 3 weeks ago. I was carpooling with 2 family members in a 18 hour long drive back home from LA. I slept maybe 4 hours in the car while my uncle drove. The sun came up & it was my turn to drive. After 6 months of no coffee of any kind I had a Frappuccino since I was driving.... a big Frappuccino.


    The "buzz" I got was so bad I couldn't even hold my cell phone right to read my text messages. My brain felt like someone opened up my skull and filled it to the brim with oil and my brain was just floating in it.

    I'm a college student, I'm not a morning person and I crave caffeine but based off of my experience you couldn't pay me to drink coffee!


    Overall, the choice is yours LightbulbSun on what you want to do. My suggestion is you drop the coffee and the soda as those two combined with you medication is probably not a good combination whether you even have anxeity or not.

    PS: I also don't drink soda.

  9. #9
    corrin
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    Caffeine has a half life of 6 hours. This means about 6 hours after you drink a cup, half of the caffeine will have been eliminated from your body. If your concern is just being wired when you sleep, try not to take in too much caffeine in the late afternoon. Besides coffee and tea, the big culprits are soda and chocolate.

    While the caffeine is probably not helping, chances are there are other things going on in your life that are making you anxious and keeping you up at night. Sometimes the anxiety becomes self-sustaining as you make yourself anxious about being so anxious -- you start stressing that there is something wrong with you.

    Next time you find yourself suffering from anxiety, just remind yourself --

    -- everyone has anxiety from time to time.
    -- some people are just better able to deal with it.
    -- anxiety can't hurt you - no one ever died because of anxiety.
    -- eventually it will pass and you will be normal.
    -- if you can't sleep, know eventually your body will sleep out of necessity; it might not be tonight, or even tomorrow night. But eventually you will sleep.

  10. #10
    Mercurial Girl
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    I had to cut coffee sodas and teas (except for mint and chamomile) out of my diet cold turkey because the acid was killing my bladder. I have interstitial cystitis which is basically feeling like you have a UTI and pretty much constantly. Blessing in disguise...

    It was an incredibly rough week. Constant withdrawal headaches and fatigue for about 8 days. I was so irritable and would sleep for more than 10 hours a night. It probably didn't help that I had to cut out all fruits except blueberries and pears (I dislike both) and pretty much every food that I loved to eat.

    ANYWAY - yes it was * * * * ty, yes it was very difficult to let go and switch to only water...

    BUT! I feel great now. My sleep is soooo much more sound. I even have better, more vibrant dreams. It is great not to be a slave to caffeine. I remember getting anxious in the morning if I hadn't had my coffee yet, cause I knew I would get a headache soon. No more! It's really freeing.

    I also drink a boatload of water now, even though before I used to hate it. It has really made me feel better, physically and mentally. Yes it has calmed my anxiety. Try it!

    I do have a *small* iced coffee maybe once or twice a week now if I have a headache due to neck pain. Now that caffeine isn't a constant in my life, I can use it for pain relief. I let the ice melt a bunch though to dilute it and follow up with lots of water. I know I wont get sucked back into the daily habit because I remember the hell it took to kick it in the first place and I'm kind of angered by the real addiction I had to it.

    btw watch that chocolate!

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