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.