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Caffeine is a fairly common or seemingly harmless drug, but can a person be consuming too much? Caffeine has an amphetamine like-effect, which means it is psychotropic in nature. Caffeine can cause: insomnia, muscle twitching, rapid heart rate, and even cardiac arrhythmia. Also, caffeinism can mimic chronic anxiety states, restlessness, and rebound depression.

In an article, “Caffeinism Complicating Hypersomnic Depressive Episodes” (1978), a study evaluated 186 patients on caffeine intake form coffee, tea, sodas, etc. They evaluated the depressive states along with anxiety and sleep discontinuity of the patients. Some of the patients consumed as much as 890-1250 mg per day! (To give a frame of reference, n average a cup of coffee has about 100 mg per cup, and energy drinks like Jolt has 250 mg per 16oz.) When the patients with depression and anxiety decreased their caffeine consumption, they experiences significant reductions in anxiety, irritiability, and nonpurposeful pyschomotor agitation.

So what is the point here? Is having a cup or two of coffee in the morning a “bag” thing to do? No, absolutely not. However, most people do not stop there! Think about all of the available energy drinks and sodas that children are drinking and how much caffeine they are consuming each day!

I believe that overall, we, as a nation, are consuming too much caffeine and that this could possibly effect a person’s mental health state. Caffeine is something that should be consumed in moderation.

Reference: “Caffeinism Complicating Hypersomnic Depressive Episode,” Neil JF, Himmelhoch JM, Mallinger AG, et al, Compr Psychiatry, July/August 1978; 19 (4): 377-385.


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