I think that coffee is an effective antidepressant. More than that, I think it’s at least as effective as the prescribed antidepressants.

So far the information is anecdotal  – I’m not entirely confident about this. On the other hand, both my housemate and my office manager also think that coffee works as an antidepressant for me.

I’ll need to do a 4-8 week test to see if coffee does work. But here at least are some of the initial feelings.

  • The coffee intake needs to be fairly high. My current ‘dosage’ is two double espressos a day.  Since a single espresso has around 75-100 mg of caffeine, I’m taking in about 300-400 mg of caffeine a day (in comparison, a Starbucks Grande Cappuchino has about 150 mg of caffeine). And that doesn’t include the odd cup of regular coffee by my parents, etc.
  • It has to be spread through the day, including evenings. So I’m sipping coffee all day, everywhere. Including cold coffee. Mind you, I’m fine with cold coffee but the coffee taste in my mouth all day can be a bit much. Sometimes too much…there are moments where I really don’t want to smell coffee for a while.
  • About the drinking of coffee on evenings – yeah, it can keep you awake at nights. Do it a few nights in a row and you can look haggard and sleep deprived.
  • The problem with coffee, and unlike medication, is that I tend to take it for granted. As a result I might miss my ‘dose’, particularly on afternoons and evenings when I am busy doing chores and odd tasks. And especially if I think “If I take some coffee now, I won’t sleep”. So I skip the coffee – and by the next morning I’m depressed.
  • Caffeine makes me hyper / manic. It turns out that my mania / hypomania is very well controlled so I can risk this. I wouldn’t suggest this to someone who becomes manic easily.

So. What do you think?


Disclaimer: Do NOT replace your meds with coffee. Coffee acts as a real drug – talk to your psych before make any substantial changes in your intake of coffee.



11 thoughts on “Coffee

Add yours

  1. Jinnah,
    hi there, thanks for ur sharing, for me coffee and ceffeine are my worst friends, it causes me palpitations and hand tremors, I had bipolar 7 years ago. I work as a nurse so you can imagine what happens when other see your hands tremors…I kinda omit coffee and tea in my list.
    good day.


    1. LC,
      Aha. One of the people for whom this is not a good idea. Other readers take note.

      Feedback is much appreciated and thanks for sharing.


  2. I’ve researched this a bit myself and it appears that caffeine is in fact a mild antidepressant. I too have been seeing how I can keep myself in a mildly elevated state with coffee all while taking advantage of my medication stabilizing the highs from getting too high. So far the results have been good.

    As for when I’m manic, an odd thing happens. Sometimes I need coffee to calm me down. After I drink a bit, 30 minutes later I stop shaking and actually focus. I don’t know exactly what is the operating mechanism here, but it’s crazy to take such a strong stimulant and feel calmer afterwards. Manias are crazy.

    By the way, glad to see you’re back blogging again.


  3. I have heard there are cafeine pills/tablets, if coffee is so useful for you, then you could try that so you don’t get sick of coffee taste, I don’t know if there are those pills in your country though.


  4. I do not have Bipolar Disorder, but have lived with a daughter who does suffer from it. I have noticed that she cannot start her day without it and drinking it into the night does not make her manic. Of course, she still takes her meds. In the last two years she has given up drugs, alcohol and smoking. She is also finally raising one of her 6 children. There is hope. If you are interesting in following her ongoing story, catch it at I have listed your blog as a favorite on mine.


  5. Coffee has triggered manic episodes for me in the past, and whilst I can cope with it for a couple of days, after about a week I start getting shaking hands and become seriously irritable.

    For me, it works as a short-term fix when I need to keep going even when I’m exhausted, but it’s hell to get back on track if I’ve been on a caffeine binge!

    Be careful 🙂


  6. I just found your blog and I sure hope you keep it up and are doing OK since your last entry Sept 11th. I found your writing very upliftinhoodg and was able to relate to most everything you said. I have had some type of depression/melancholy since childhood and have been on anti-depressants since 21 years old…just now thinking I may have Bipolar (soft Bipolar) like my grandfather had so was researching the mood swings and found you—please keep up your writing and take care.


  7. I like my coffee with a ton of half-and-half! I’m bipolar, and I become manic rather easily so I have to watch my caffeine intake. I also have anxiety attacks, so caffeine isn’t the best thing for me. However, I do drink a Diet Mountain Dew for breakfast every morning (which is about as bad). If I drink one in the afternoon, I tend to have a harder time sleeping at night. But I am interested in seeing how your experiment turns out. Keep us posted.


  8. Coffee sends me manic.If it doesn’t send me manic it gives me severe anxiety,paranoia,prevents me from sleeping which makes me manic.Or,sometimes,horrendously depressed.
    Coffee causes stimulation which is short lived,it elevates mood unsustainably.My psychiatrist,who is of the rare sort that you can trust because she is actually involved and interested in her work and her patients,has told me to avoid coffee.My med’s sometimes make me drowsy and sleepy so sometimes I ignore my psychiatrist.This is ALWAYS a mistake for me!I end up sitting awake all night as paranoid as hell feeling agitated.It also stimulates appitite causing me to overeat which prompts depression…
    The whole coffee idea reminds me of the theory I once had about drinking,which I long since discovered ‘mends’ nacient highs.Trouble is drinking prompts lows and has a negative effect of eating,sleeping and other bodily function.
    A better balance of mood is found through healthy,sensible eating,regular exercise and good sleep patterns along with whatever meds you need.Boring but true!


  9. I need to show my husband your website. I see a lot of your traits are very similar to what he is going through now. I think it would be helpful to see that there are people out there that are going through what he is. He is just newly diagnosed with bipolar, not sure which one, I know there are a couple. I can relate to him in the depression stage because I’ve suffered from depression since I was 9, so I know the ins and outs of it, but as far as the manic part goes, during his phases of this, he seems really weird to me (no offense), but I can’t deal with his flip floppy actions. Good info in here, and I love the fact that this is a first hand account of symptoms, not just the usual “common symptoms” that you see in health websites. Thank you, I now have a better understanding of my husband.



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