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Debt, Coffee, and Mental Health Issues including ADHD

ADHD Coffee Cup
Keep smiling!

There was a recent response about the cost of coffee / those with mental health issues.  I thought it was pretty insightful so I would explore it some more. Are people that have problems paying bills buying coffee? Are we sacrificing our mental health or our electric bill for a $5-7 cup of coffee from Starbucks?  And what, exactly, are the effects of coffee and debt on our mental health?

So I think I will first look at some statistics: We know that about 1 in 4 people are struggling with a mental health issue at any given time. And an article on MSN Money points out that over 43% of households are spending more money than they make, and have an average of $8,000 of credit card debt. In regards to coffee consumption, 54% in the U.S. drink coffee regularly, and 18.4% of those drink gourmet coffee daily.

I guess bottom line is consumers spend a lot of money, and it isn’t all done responsibly. We are spending more than we are making, for a number of reasons, including lack of leadership and misunderstanding of money management. Mental health issues can also play a role in mismanaging money — as shopping is a form of escape for many people, so instead of handling problems they escape via spending money.

So how is this all affecting our health?

In terms of coffee drinking, there is mixed research according to a recent article from Harvard Women’s Health Watch. There are certain suggested benefits of coffee, including a possible lowered risk in type 2 diabetes, a possible reduction in potential to develop gallstones and colon cancer, and an increase in mental alertness and endurance. However, the main ingredient in coffee is caffeine, and it is an addictive stimulant. It can also increase your heart rate, blood pressure, and possibly cause irregular heartbeat. So where does that leave us with ADHD?

I’ve looked around and there are mixed results on coffee with ADHD. On the one hand, some suggest that it is calming / helps kids and adults focus. That would make sense as it is an only small does of stimulants, stimulants being the primary medication type for those with ADHD. However, the amount of caffeine in coffee is so varied, and lasts for such a short time, it would seem a dangerous way to try to work with your disease symptoms.

Personally, I love coffee and it does give me the ability to focus / run longer (and actually at times can help me sleep). However, it does not take the place of my medication, my therapy, or my doctor visits. I personally make my own at home and consider it a real treat if I buy it out.

I’d love to hear your experience with coffee, and will get more in to the debt aspect later in the week so if you see any interesting articles on ADHD and debt, please e-mail me at [email protected] or post links to them here. Thanks, all!

Debt, Coffee, and Mental Health Issues including ADHD

Kathryn Goetzke

I own a company called the Mood-factory (, a company that creates products based on how sensory experiences effect moods. I also run a nonprofit for depressio, iFred (, we are working to change the brand of depression. And yes, I have ADHD, along with PTSD, major depressive disorder, and a host of other challenges, opportunities, and gifts.

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APA Reference
Goetzke, K. (2010). Debt, Coffee, and Mental Health Issues including ADHD. Psych Central. Retrieved on July 13, 2020, from


Last updated: 11 Mar 2010
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