Caffeine and Bipolar Disorder
I used to be an avid coffee drinker, like, for years I had my morning latte or cup of hazelnut coffee and perhaps a pick-me-up in the afternoon. I drink my coffee slowly at home, filling the cup only half full at a time, adding cream, then usually pouring the cool remainder out before refilling it again. I like my coffee hot or iced, not lukewarm. No sugar, please. I enjoy my coffee dates.
But a few years ago, when I was less stable, I noticed that when I had caffeine it caused my moods to cycle. I would become irritable or hypomanic. I stopped drinking as much coffee or drank decaf and, though never a huge fan of energy drinks, avoided those, too. I noticed my moods were a tad more predictable.
These days I rarely experience manic symptoms (for which I am thankful). I think I am on a good dose of meds including antipsychotics and mood stabilizers. Because of that, I don’t notice the effect of caffeine that much anymore. That said, I also only drink a few caffeinated beverages a week.
I mention this because if you have bipolar disorder and drink caffeinated beverages they could be partially to blame for mood swings. Now, this is not true for everyone, but if you are still experiencing swings try to be conscious of whether or not they correlate to your caffeine consumption. If you think this may be a trigger for you, try limiting yourself or switch to decaf. This is just a small change that can make a huge difference.
Image courtesy of zirconicusso / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Martin, E. (2014). Caffeine and Bipolar Disorder. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 13, 2015, from http://blogs.psychcentral.com/being-bipolar/2014/01/19/caffeine-and-bipolar-disorder/