November 28, 2014

Can caffeine cause anxiety and panic attacks?

Can caffeine cause anxiety and panic attacks?Over the past decade, there has been a substantial increase in the consumption of caffeinated drinks. These include coffee, sodas, tea, and energy drinks like Red Bull, Monster, Rockstar and 5-Hour Energy. All of these include stimulants that can increase your heart rate, blood pressure, triggering that fight or flight condition in your body.

Without a doubt, caffeine is one of the key culprit in triggering anxiety and panic attacks.

Here are four things to keep in mind about caffeine:

Association

Many people associate caffeine intake with anxiety, fear and panic attacks. While there can be some physical association, it must be understood that caffeine is not the root problem for anxiety and panic attacks. Root causes are often tied to emotional wounds and traumas that need a much deeper healing than simply eliminating this stimulant.

Caffeine is just a trigger of other deeper issues that need to be addressed. True freedom comes when you find healing from the inner trauma.

Desensitization

People who have experienced anxiety and panic attacks are often overly sensitized to certain sensations, feelings and emotions. The stress put on the body increases your central nervous system’s sensitivity. Desensitization is essential for healing. You must find ways of reducing stress and working through those things that increase your stress levels.

One of the ways you can desensitize yourself is…

Elimination

Since caffeine is a known trigger for anxiety and panic attacks, elimination can be one of the most beneficial steps in finding freedom. By removing this stimulant from your daily routine, it can help bring down your adrenaline and cortisol levels, making it easier for you to work through the root issues that cause anxiety and panic.

It’s recommended that you do not quit caffeine cold turkey. The sudden elimination of caffeine is widely known to have certain withdrawal symptoms. Headaches are the most common symptom. If you are unsure on how to best eliminate caffeine, then talk to your doctor.

Moderation

So, are those morning cups of latte bliss and mocha joy forbidden forever? For a few people, maybe. But, I don’t think everyone has to quit caffeine indefinitely. Once those root issues are dealt with accordingly, and the emotional triggers are gone, then most people can moderately introduce caffeine back into their daily life.

In my life, there was a season I could not drink any caffeine. No sodas, no coffee and no tea. Today, however, I enjoy a couple cups of coffee in the morning and maybe a glass of iced tea in the afternoon. I completely avoid energy drinks because most of them have lots of stimulants and chemicals designed to get your heart racing. For me, it’s just not worth it. I moderate my caffeine based on my sensitivities.

Prayer: Father, show me if my caffeine intake has been a culprit and then give me the wisdom and strength to cut back or eliminiate it.

About Russ Pond

For most of my life, I battled crippling anxiety and panic attacks. For the longest time, I had no hope. My world was closing in all around me. Today, I am free and living a life full of peace and abundance. Freedom is real. You can be totally set free for the bondage of fear.

  • Yolandaevensbrown

    The message needs to get across to more people about the effects of caffiene because many think they have heart conditions or suffer from panic attacks.
    I am 50 years old and my son has been to docs several times re heart racing, sleepless nights and dizziness. Stopped coke a cola after years of trying to get to root of problem. Job done!
    Daughters boyfriend suffered 10years with insomnia and panic attacks. Yep! He has been drinking energy drinks for 10years! He is fitness instructor.
    Hope someone benefits from this.

  • Bill Burniece

    Caffeine is one of the three most common triggers for panic attacks along with sugar and alcohol. I agree with your opinion that they’re all OK – in moderation. Great advice… altho I really like coffee so I still sometimes overdo it

    Sincerely – Billhttp:www.panicyl.com

  • Louise

    I love the tastes of sugary caffeinated drinks such as coke, red bull and relentless etc, however after having a panic attack and reading this, I am cutting down, the panic attack has made me realise

    • http://russpond.com Russ Pond

      Thanks for sharing. I hope this information has been helpful.

    • christophersmom

      same here same thing happened to me tonight

  • niki

    2 Timothy 1:7 ESV

    for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.

    That which God has said will address the spiritual cause of our anxiety not a pill!.. And by eliminating the physical causes. Like our vices of caffeine that get us through the. Then we can have true health and peace.

    I’m so glad I saw this article! It’s not the first time looking this up but reaffirms that being sensitive to caffeine is more common and causing needless fear.

    Thanks so much for a prayer based article with medical knowledge. :)

  • Beth

    I suffer from severe anxiety and have cut back on coffee and quit smoking which also causes anxiety . I found this article to be very informative and a big help. God bless.

    • http://russpond.com Russ Pond

      Thanks Beth!

  • Charlie ray

    Hi I’m 23 and have really bad anxiety, I’m on medication for this as my mood is so low and it changes my personality a lot, I’m trying to find out why I have this because I thought it was my past from growing up, iv had CBT treatment and nothing happen so now I start watching what I drink and eat in my day to day life and I thought ay up I drink 4 to 6 cans of red bull a day, I’m all ways really tired in the evening and my anxiety is at its max.. When I come of red bull for a couple of days my anxiety stop, then I went back to red bull and I got anxiety again. So I’m hoping this is the course of my problems, I hope it is because I have felt so low in my self I though of self harm and anxiety is so over powering I just can’t handle it.

    • http://russpond.com Russ Pond

      Sorry to hear about your experience with anxiety. It sounds like the caffeine in Red Bull could be triggering the anxiety. I’m sure there are some physical connections. I have found that there are certain levels of caffeine that can trigger those experiences in me. I would encourage you to taper down and not quite cold turkey. Cutting it out instantly can trigger some headaches as well.

  • Tia

    Im 18 years old, i suffer from a really bad case of anxiety. Ive suffered for over 5years, thinking to myself “whats the point” i sit alone, dealing with this on my own, no one to help…
    I cant take meds cause that brings it on, i can hardly open up to people…

    I wish there was another why

  • Liz

    I just found this website today, and I’m glad that I’m not the only one going through the samething. And to have it be from a Christian prespective is better. Since the beginning of September, I have been getting panic attacks and have had this fear of death. I think part of my issue with the fear of death is that I lost my last grandma in December and my last grandpa in January. I also lost my dad when I was 12 years old, and I am now 26 years old. So maybe I just haven’t grieved in the right way or dealt with their deaths in the right way. But I have never had a panic attack or an anxiety attack before or had this fear before. There were times when I would worry to much about something (doing well in school or worry about some minor ache or pain that might be worse than just some minor ache or pain), but never full out anxiety. But in September, I started getting this fear that something bad was going to happen shortly. I told my mom about this feeling, and she told me that caffeine can play a role anxiety. I have been drinking at least a cup of coffee (if not more) a day for the past two or three years, and have been drinking pop since I was a kid. Since my first attack, I have been testing myself. One day I won’t drink any caffeine and another day I might have something. It seems like if I drink coffee (just one cup), I get more anxious or feel bad after drinking it than if I drink tea or pop. But today, I drank some earl gray tea with breakfast, and had a bottle of some other type of tea a few hours later. Big mistake. I started getting really anxious and nervous. Now I am going to try to stay away from caffeine of any type for a while so I can get my mind under control. Is it really the caffeine that is making me feel anxious? And why would I just start having these attacks after so many years if drinking caffeinate in some form?

    • http://russpond.com Russ Pond

      You asked: “Is it really the caffeine that is making me feel anxious? And why would I just start having these attacks after so many years if drinking caffeinate in some form?”

      In my experience, caffeine is like throwing gas on a fire. It definitely magnifies the fear and anxiety. It’s a very common trigger for anxiety and panic attacks. I always encourage people to get off caffeine till they can work through the root issues with fear.

      But, in most causes there’s still a deeper cause or belief that the fear is rooted in. The goal is to put out the fire altogether so that you don’t experience the fear and anxiety. And, I believe you can with all of my heart. Read through some of the Freedom from Fear messages that appear along the right side of this blog. These are very helpful in finding that root issues.

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