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Does caffeine cause anxiety?



Caffeine is a central nervous system stimulant and consuming it too much can lead to symptoms of anxiety.

Caffeine is the most widely consumed psychoactive drug around the world. At 1.6 billion cups per day, it is the second most widely consumed drink after water.

A survey conducted in the US shows that around 85% of the population drink at least one caffeinated drink every day.

While many people drink caffeine to “wake up” and stay alert, too much caffeine can negatively affect people and lead to numerous side effects, including some symptoms of anxiety disorders.

An anxiety disorder is a mental illness in which a person becomes overwhelmed with feelings of fear and discomfort that affect daily life. The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) estimates that 31.1% of all adults in the United States will have an anxiety disorder at some point in their life.

Readers should note that there is a huge difference between having a formal anxiety disorder and experiencing some anxiety-like symptoms that can be made worse by drinking coffee.

Read on to learn more about the relationship between caffeine intake and anxiety, including symptoms, and how to safely consume caffeine to avoid triggering or worsening anxiety symptoms.

A literature review describes the many effects caffeine has on the body. One of its main mechanisms of action is to block adenosine receptors, which leads to increases in dopamine, norepinephrine, and glutamate. In the cardiovascular system, this increases a person’s blood pressure and heart rate. In the central nervous system, lower doses of caffeine can improve motor activity and alertness, while higher doses can induce symptoms of anxiety.

Evidence from genetic studies has shown that adenosine receptor genes play a role in the development of anxiety. This suggests that some people are at increased risk for anxiety disorders, and caffeine can make them more susceptible. More studies are needed in this area.

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) published by the American Psychiatric Association recognizes caffeine-induced anxiety disorder as a condition in which caffeine interferes with daily functioning. To meet the criteria for this diagnosis, a person must have symptoms of anxiety that are directly caused by caffeine consumption.

The DSM-5 has also proposed criteria for a caffeine use disorder that requires all three of the following criteria to be met:

  • persistent desire or unsuccessful attempt to control caffeine consumption
  • Caffeine consumption despite harm
  • Caffeine withdrawal symptoms

While this is not yet an official DSM diagnosis, it does provide a framework for researchers to conduct further studies.

Symptoms of caffeine excessive consumption and symptoms of anxiety can overlap.

Symptoms of consuming too much caffeine include:

  • Nausea
  • dizziness
  • Dehydration
  • headache
  • Restlessness
  • fast heartbeat
  • insomnia
  • anxiety

Symptoms of anxiety typically include:

  • Feelings of fear, anxiety, and discomfort
  • excessive worry
  • sweat
  • Restlessness
  • Tension
  • fast heartbeat

Excessive consumption of caffeine can cause symptoms of anxiety, and on the other hand, the symptoms of anxiety can worsen with consumption of caffeine. If a person is concerned about their coffee consumption, they should speak to a doctor.

Learn more about anxiety symptoms here.

Studies show that moderate doses of caffeine have health benefits. Some of these benefits include improvements in mental alertness, focus, fatigue, and athletic performance. Other benefits can include weight loss, reduced risk of diabetes, reduced risk of Parkinson’s disease, and reduced risk of cancer.

The FDA issued a guideline in 2012 stating that caffeine consumption less than 400 mg / day in healthy adults is not associated with side effects.

Results from a 2014 US survey found that the average intake of caffeine from all beverages was 165 milligrams (mg) / day for all ages. This is roughly the same as the amount in 1-2 cups of normal coffee. The FDA states that an intake of up to 400 mg of caffeine per day should not cause any health problems. This corresponds to about 3-4 cups of coffee.

Some groups of people or people with certain health conditions should speak to their doctor to determine if they should limit or avoid caffeine. This includes people who:

  • are pregnant
  • breastfeeding
  • have insomnia
  • Have migraines or chronic headaches
  • be scared
  • Have stomach problems such as ulcers
  • have an irregular heart rate or rhythm
  • Have high blood pressure
  • Take certain medications, including stimulants, some antibiotics, asthma medications, and heart medications
  • are children and adolescents

Health and regulatory agencies have warned against the use of caffeine in these populations.

Of particular concern is the popularity of energy drinks among young people, with their high caffeine and sugar content. There are also concerns about the effects of combining alcohol and caffeine.

The best way to provide more information about safe caffeine consumption needs to be determined.

The first step in making informed decisions is to be aware of the caffeine content of beverages. Reading labels and planning on a daily basis can help avoid the negative effects of excessive caffeine consumption.

People who want to reduce or limit their caffeine consumption should do so gradually. This will help avoid symptoms such as headache, fatigue, irritability, drowsiness, difficulty concentrating, and nausea.

Learn more about caffeine withdrawal here.

The caffeine content of beverages was measured in the 2014 survey cited above. Investigators divided them into several general categories:

It is important to note that there were limitations in determining the amount of caffeine in the beverages included in the table. The study’s authors state that the caffeine content of most commercially available beverages is listed on the label, but teas and coffees made to order can vary widely in caffeine content. The caffeine content can depend on the origin of the harvest, processing and preparation.

Many people rely on the boost of energy provided by caffeine to get them going in the morning. This can sometimes have negative consequences, such as the development or worsening of symptoms of anxiety.

Decaffeinated coffee or tea can be a great alternative for many people. These drinks usually taste similar, but may not provide the energy boost that caffeine does. However, once a person has successfully weaned off caffeine, these can be a comforting choice.

There is a wide variety of herbal teas available. They are popular around the world and have numerous health benefits.

Some people find exercise can be a great way to start the day. Walking or running outdoors, or jogging on the treadmill indoors can be great ways to boost blood circulation and clear up brain fog. Drinking water can also help people wake up.

Find out more about healthy caffeine substitutes here.

There is a link between excessive caffeine consumption and anxiety. The effects of too much caffeine can mimic or worsen symptoms of anxiety.

People who suffer from caffeine-induced anxiety should avoid or reduce their caffeine consumption.

It is important to be aware of the caffeine content of many commonly consumed beverages. With careful planning, people can make informed decisions to reduce or avoid caffeine consumption.

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Communication disorders can have lifelong health impacts – where is the commensurate response? – Croakey Health Media



According to Tricia McCabe, professor of speech pathology at Sydney University, communication disorders have far-reaching health implications and greater efforts are required to help children, families and others.

“Imagine paying for more and better services for children and young people with communication disabilities,” said McCabe when he recently ran Croakey’s rotating Twitter account @WePublicHealth. Below is a summary of their tweets, including links to many helpful resources.

Tricia McCabe writes:

I’m going to cover the interface between communication disorder and public health using the hashtag #CommSDoH, starting with sharing some information about what we mean by a communication disorder and jumping from there.

Communication disorders (impairments, limitations) occur when people have difficulty receiving a message from others. This may be due to a sensory impairment (hearing loss, deafness, visual impairment) as they have difficulty interpreting the message.

The difficulty in interpreting someone else’s message can arise for a number of reasons including illness, injury, development, or the environment. Understanding what you are being told depends on understanding the content, structure, and purpose of the message.

To understand content, you need to know the vocabulary and sounds of the language. We also need to understand the order of words and the structure (grammar) of what is being said.

Finally, we need to understand the tone, pitch, tempo, and volume of speech that give us the emotion and purpose of what is being said (or written). This is a simple explanation of the understanding as we shall see.

Human communication involves not only understanding, but also the ability to construct a message that others can easily interpret. This may require an effective use of voice, language, language (vocabulary, grammar, etc.), facial expressions, gestures, signs or writing.

To be an effective communicator, we also need to understand how others interpret our message. These skills of understanding and expression develop over the course of our lives and are an integral part of our social and economic success (more on this later).

After all, a person’s environment must enable them to communicate and interpret their communication as meaningful and important.

Thought experiment

So let’s do a thought experiment: what happens in your life when you cannot communicate effectively?

Children with speech and language delay (for whatever reason) hear fewer words spoken to them; hear more instructions and have fewer opportunities to start conversations. The words and phrases they hear are simpler, often “dumbfounded”.

If you start out in life with a communication delay or disorder, you are often at a higher risk of lower literacy and are therefore more likely to drop out of school.

The combination of not understanding instructions in the classroom or being teased or bullied for not understanding them or not communicating in the same way as their classmates can cause it to have an impact in class and lead to exclusion from school.

Children and adolescents with communication disabilities are more often involved in juvenile justice than their peers.

Children and adolescents with communication disabilities are also at higher risk for mental health problems than their peers.

In recent years, health economists like Dr. Paula Cronin from UTS showed that mothers of children with speech delay earn less than parents of children with typical development. I should note that this is the case when all other variables are taken into account.

Back to our thought experiment: what happens in your life when you have a communication disability?

In my own work with people with severe language disabilities, they report as adults:

  • Earn less than their friends
  • They are less educated and less literate than their siblings
  • Adults with a history of lifelong language disorder are more likely to have clinical anxiety, and the worse their language is than adults, the worse the anxiety they report.


Above I described a communication disability that has many faces. One of these is the difficulty of understanding the intent of a person’s communication and drawing conclusions from their choice of words, tone of voice, and facial expressions. This is a kind of pragmatic obstruction to communication.

And pragmatic communication disabilities do not interact well with the legal system.

For people with communication disabilities, there are a number of additional factors that make their ability to participate in society even more difficult.

  1. Self-advocacy can be a challenge. If you have difficulty communicating, understanding how to present your case can be problematic.
  2. People with communication disabilities find it difficult to interpret forms, bureaucratic language, or the language of the legal system.
  3. If you are a parent with a communication disability, you may find it difficult to stand up for your children. This can be a double blow when dealing with organizations like the NDIS.
  4. Unfortunately, services for people with communication disabilities, such as speech pathology, are unevenly distributed with a well-known “zip code lottery”.
  5. This is where the Matthew effect comes into play. Families in more affluent areas have better access to services and there the effects of communication disabilities can be mitigated compared to families in poorer areas who share fewer resources and benefit less from limited services.
  6. Speech pathologists use service rationing as a strategy to handle large numbers of cases. The effect in richer communities is a migration to private services, the effect in poorer communities is a long delay before aid is provided.
  7. The cumulative effect is delayed access to services in the early years, resulting in lower academic success and a lifelong increased risk of socio-economic precariousness.
  8. Hearing health is affected by overcrowded or unstable housing, access to clean water and sanitation. Poverty causes ear diseases. Ear diseases cause poor understanding, attention, and participation in school.
  9. And like a language disorder, poor ear health leads to decreased literacy, early school leaving, and greater interaction with the justice system. #CommSDoH not understand = disadvantage.

  1. It is estimated that one in three people in the justice system has a communication disability (see:
  2. Imagine paying for more and better services for children and young people with communication disabilities.

Another useful resource is the @ orygen_aus Guide to Mental Health and Communication Disorders.

And @SpeechPathAus has a number of fact sheets on these topics for download.

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Anne Hailes: We need to talk about our mental health



I have encountered suicide several times DURING my life. The first time was when I was a teenager and involved the lady across the street.

Then I remember the day, years later, when I went to Banbridge to meet a mother who had called me in distress; her son had committed suicide.

We met in a quiet corner of a roadside hotel. Her son was 19 and happened to be mine, and we were two mothers who shared something unfathomable.

On another occasion, one evening after my TV show, the security guard stopped me at the door: “There’s a woman who wants to talk to you, she sounds very upset.”

That’s how she was, she told me she felt that there was nothing to live with. We talked for almost two hours. At the end of our conversation, she assured me that she would not do anything.

That was over 20 years ago when suicide was less common and even recognized. Today there are a number of end-of-the-phone or even online supports and services including Samaritans, Lifeline, and Pips.

September 10th was World Suicide Day – did you notice? – but that is a topic that one should be aware of every day.

In a research paper from the NI Assembly Research and Information Service dated April 14, 2021, Dr. Lesley-Ann Black on the complex subject of suicide.

For example: “Research shows that one in eight children in Northern Ireland has suicidal ideation or attempted suicide. Men are more likely to die from suicide than women, although more women attempt suicide. The suicide rate in the most deprived areas is three times “higher than in the least deprived areas.”

Northern Ireland is also believed to have particular problems: “The strong link between suicide and mental illness is well established. Mental illness is a leading cause of disability in Northern Ireland.

“In addition, research suggests that Northern Ireland, a post-conflict society, is 20-25 percent more likely to be mentally ill than the rest of the UK, with approximately one in five adults having a diagnosable mental illness at any given time.

“Northern Ireland also has significantly higher rates of depression than the rest of the UK, higher antidepressant prescribing rates, higher incidences and presentations of self-harm (although, in many cases, people who harm themselves do not see a doctor) attention and are for healthcare professionals not visible) and high rates of post-traumatic stress disorder. “

Elsewhere, the report notes that alcohol and drug abuse may be a factor: “A significantly higher percentage of young people who have died of suicide in Northern Ireland had a history of alcohol and / or alcohol compared to the rest of the UK Substance abuse. “

The Department of Health’s suicide strategy, Protect Life 2, aims to reduce the suicide rate in Northern Ireland by 10 percent by 2024 and to “ensure that adequate suicide prevention services and support are provided in deprived areas where suicide and self-harm rates occur will”. are the highest “.

Online publication

Author Declan Henry published his online brochure Suicide: Reasons To Live earlier this month. He interviewed people from the UK and Ireland, including survivors, suicide attempt survivors and those who had strong suicidal thoughts at some point in their lives.

He discovered that there is one suicide death roughly every 40 seconds in the world, while there is an average of 19 people a day in the UK and Ireland – likely a conservative figure given the effects of Covid-19 and the effects of lockdown on the psychological People’s wellbeing has yet to be calculated.

His research highlights the complexities that lead to suicide or attempted suicide.

He writes of young people who talk more openly than previous generations.

“Children need to be educated about emotional health and given vocabulary that will enable them to describe their feelings,” he says.

“Society often wrongly feels that the life of the current generation of young people is much simpler compared to their predecessors. Young people have many things, so it’s easy to see why their mental health is being affected.

“They are constantly fed negativity by the media and confronted with graphic and violent images through online games. Many young people hardly speak at home anymore because they are busy with their ‘virtual life’ on their cell phones.

“Is it therefore surprising that some of them develop a sense of hopelessness for the future?”

Where is the help?

In general, Declan underlines the fact that the mental health system is in a state of disorder.

“Patients often feel like they are being pushed aside. GPs have limited time and the patient is usually given an antidepressant prescription and says to come back in a few weeks. Physical needs are met, but psychological needs are not.”

One interviewee named Frank says to Declan, “If someone tells you they feel suicidal, they ask for help. Some people post on Facebook saying they intend to kill themselves because they have no other place to talk.

“Many such people wear masks in public, including at home – where there is no sign that anything is wrong.”

Covering a wide range of suicide prevention strategies, Declan emphasizes the importance of speaking out loud and starting a discussion in general but specific and empathetic with the person you suspect is having suicidal thoughts.

You can download Declan’s brochure for free from

When life is difficult, Samaritans are here – day and night, 365 days a year. You can call them on 028 9066 4422 or 116 123, email, or visit to find your nearest branch and local support groups.

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Over 90% surveyed with depressive disorders in China fail to seek treatment: study



Depressive Disorders Photo: VCG

More than 90 percent of people with depressive disorder surveyed in China are untreatable, and only 0.5 percent have received adequate treatment, according to a new mental health survey of Chinese citizens.

The results of the study on Mental Disorder Exposure and Health Service Use in China, also known as the China Mental Health Survey, were announced at a conference and expert forum in Beijing on Sunday. The study, which lasted three years, examined the prevalence of mental disorders and their distribution characteristics among adults in the Chinese community, highlighting the current situation of low use of health services and poor access to adequate treatment for people with depressive disorders in China.

The study found that in China, the prevalence of depressive disorder is higher in women than in men; higher among housewives, pensioners and the unemployed than among the employed; higher for separated, widowed or divorced persons than for married or cohabiting persons; and more common in older age groups, in a cross-sectional epidemiological study of mental disorders in Chinese adults of 28,140 respondents (12,537 men and 15,603 women) completed at 157 nationally representative disease surveillance centers in 31 provincial-level regions in China.

The lifetime prevalence of depressive disorder in Chinese adults was 6.8 percent below that of the world, including 3.4 percent for depression, 1.4 percent for dysphoric disorders, and 3.2 percent for unspecified depressive disorders. The 12-month prevalence of depressive disorder was 3.6 percent, including 2.1 percent for depression, 1.0 percent for premenstrual dysphoric disorder, and 1.4 percent for unspecified depressive disorder, the research shows.

The study provided the first nationwide representative epidemiological data on depressive disorders in China and is expected to play an important role in formulating and adapting national mental health policies and in advancing the treatment of patients with depressive disorders. The results were published in the leading international medical journal The Lancet.

This study is groundbreaking research as it provides the first national data on the epidemiological prevalence, distribution characteristics, and access to treatment status of depressive disorder in adults in China, which is an important reference for determining mental health strategies from clinical health service use is perspective, Wang Yu, former director of the China Center for Disease Control and Prevention, told the forum.

Lu Jin, lead author of the paper, told the Global Times during the forum that the prevalence of depressive disorder in China is low by global standards, due to many factors.

“The fact that many Chinese people have difficulty expressing emotions (alexithymia) could be one of the causes of this status,” said Lu. “There is also a link between socio-economic development and depressive disorders, a condition associated with psychosocial disorders.”

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