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Cutting coffee to help anxiety and introduction

Joined
Mar 15, 2019
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#1
I have decided to join an anxiety forum to help me through my recovery and to also help others. I am hoping that I can find a good group of people here to talk to and with!

Just a little background on me. I suffered my first breakdown due to anxiety 7 years ago in my mid twenties and have had one other major breakdown since.

I knew I worried a lot as a kid. I used to worry about getting cancer and also about being drafted into the military during war time. Those were my two biggest fears but I grew up with little problems other than an occasional period of overblown worry. I am an introvert but I like people and really like to be with close friends and family.

My first breakdown was my worst. I ended up with clinical depression for the first time in my life and it really changed me forever. I had never felt hopelessness at that level before And had never understood what that was like till then.
I went to seek help and was diagnoised with GAD and depression. I was able to use medication and self help to get through it.
I went through a similar spell a few years ago when I was in a super stressful job and had just moved away from home for the first time. I ended up having to leave the position but it all work out.

Needless to say since these experiences rarely does a day go by that I don't think about them. But I honestly think in some ways they are blessing in disguise. I have made a lot of positive changes in my life since going through them. I started exercising daily and eating better and I am now at 185 lbs and falling, starting at an unhealthy 240 lbs (I am 5'7). And I have made big strides in my career. I moved to a big city and despite having a bad experience at first, I have adapted and found a much better job than I have ever had. Personally I got married since and have a great wife.

Had I never went through a breakdown I would probably be a middle aged man living at home with my mom, working crappy jobs, and playing video games constantly.

I still struggle with the ups and downs of anxiety and minor depression. I haven't truly accepted it yet. I find myself being overly optimistic every time I go through a good stretch, which just makes set backs a little harder to stomach.

I am doing well though, currently off all medications, and still making progress!

My next step that I want to do is cut out coffee from my diet. I have started to keep track of my cycles and what habits lead me back into bad anxiety spells and I have noticed that coffee seems to be a contributor. When I go through a bad spell I'll cut back to one cup a day (to avoid headaches) but as soon as I start feeling great again I'll go back to having two to three a day. On weekends I'll drink a whole pot throughout the day. While I know this isn't the cause of my anxiety I really think cutting it out will help me in accepting as my mind seems to race more with worry on days that I have too much. Racing negative thoughts are what pulls me back into my bad spells so I think eliminating coffee completely will prolong my good spells and help me cut off the bad ones once they start. I will do so well at acceptance until I have a day that my brain is going faster than I can keep up with (if you know what I mean) this typically happens to me at work after I have had my morning coffee or on weekend night when I can't sleep due to drinking too much.

I have already cut my consumption in half and I started feeling slightly depressed and moody as expected. So cold turkey is not going to be an option. I am slowing going to ween down and then substitue with other less caffienated drinks over the next month or two. Then stop caffeine completely in 3 or 4 months.

Anyone else out there find a huge benefit in cutting out caffeine? I think this might be a huge step in my recovery. I feel like I am so close to accepting but just need to find a way to slow my thinking down in moments that I get overwhelmed with worry.
 
Joined
Mar 14, 2019
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#2
Hey Brad welcome to the forums. I’m also new here and trying to make my way to recovery and get help. As for the caffeine thing i personally almost never drink caffeine so i don’t have much to say on that. But i can see why coffee/caffeine can make these thoughts worse so i can see why changing that habit is a postitve.
 

triceps

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Aug 7, 2018
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#3
Hi Brad. Sounds like you've got a pretty good handle on things right now. I went through one of your biggest fears, getting drafted during wartime. Luckily I got through that ok. I know coffee contributes to my GAD and depression but I'm just too hooked on it. Welcome and best of luck getting off that coffee.
 
Joined
Mar 15, 2019
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#4
I have cut back to about half of a cup of coffee a day and have stopped drinking my daily afternoon Bai drink (which has as much as a cup of green tea)

My anxiety and depression are both definitely up. I feel on edge most of the day and really can't relax, have no interest in what other people are saying and don't care much about my hobbies. Worried a lot yesterday about a bunch of nothing. Also had about a 5 minute cry when I was laying in bed with my dog yesterday for no reason other than to help release a little stress. This is expected though so I am trying to just let it be till it gets better. I was probably consuming close to 400mg most days and have cut back to less than 200mg.

I know this much. This is the final time I go through this. No more caffienated drinks after I get through this for the third time. I can't even have a the occasional cup of coffee I have to be done completely.
 
Joined
Mar 15, 2019
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#6
Thanks it will definitely be worth it once I get through. It's not easy though even just cutting down from my normal amount.

It's going to take longer this way but at least I can still function.
 
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