Psychological effects of caffeine
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Table of Contents
Caffeine is one of the commonly accepted and used drugs, while it is not identified as a powerful stimulant to the central nervous system, it causes a variety of psychological effect because of its drug-like chemical action. Caffeine first excites the central nervous system, but as the dose go up its impact go to the medulla, spinal cord and the cortex. The amounts of psychological effects that caffeine can cause are contingent on the concentration and the person. Caffeine intake should be reduced drastically in the case of children since they are more vulnerable to it effects.
A caffeine intake of a mere 100 mg can cause symptoms like anxiety, dizziness, irritability and agitation, insomnia, headaches and restlessness in certain individuals. People who frequently use caffeine in the form of beverage, pills or food are less vulnerable to these symptoms when the concentrations are low; however, they face other caffeine-related issues. Caffeine has also been associated with increased alertness and fatigue reduction. Do the advantages of caffeine and its effect outweigh its disadvantages?
Adverse Psychological Effects of Caffeine
Negative Effects of Caffeine
Negative effects of caffeine in the general population are connected to excessive intake. Exceedingly high doses of caffeine consumption might prompt a condition called ‘caffeinism.’ The condition’s signs comprise nervousness, anxiety, restlessness, excitement, among others that simulator a clinical situation called ‘mixed mood state’ (Smith 1243-1255). The bulk of caffeine effects appear to happen in sensitive people. In this case, psychiatric patients make most of the members of this segment. For example, panic disorder patients and widespread panic disorder. Comparable conclusions have been drawn with patients suffering from performance social disorder. Increased caffeine uptake has also been associated with intrusion on manic-type episodes and bipolar disorder recovery.
Young consumers also fall under the category of another potentially sensitive subgroup, and some psychiatric indications appear to happen at a distressing frequency in this segment. For instance, the occurrence of the key depressive disorder is acknowledged to vary from 0.4% to 8%, with roughly 30% recording a minimum of one present sign of major depressive incident. Researchers also show that coffee consumption in middle and high school learners will result in high depressive symptoms that can be directly linked to caffeine intake. Caffeine adverse effects on children Depression Inventory have been documented in both adolescents and children. However, some studies have not been as conclusive.
Dependence and Tolerance
Excessive caffeine intake might result in mild physical dependence. Evidently, individuals who consume at least 100 mg of caffeine daily may get a bodily craving that could generate withdrawal signs that comprise, muscle pain and stiffness, headaches, nausea, lethargy, marked irritability, vomiting, and depressed mood. A lot of scholars are of the opinion that caffeine withdrawal ought to be categorized as a psychological disorder. Caffeine withdrawal has been known to start within a day of stopping the consumption and can last more than a week. Sustained intake of caffeine prompts the body to produce more adenosine receptors in the central nervous system (Winston 432-439).
The condition, amplifies adenosine effects to the central nervous system, by reducing caffeine’s stimulating effects by improving tolerance and enhance the symptoms of caffeine withdrawal because the effects of adenosine will more mark after the stoppage of caffeine intake. Unfortunately, tolerance to caffeine grows very fast. For instance, sleep disturbance effects of caffeine are noticed after ingesting 400 mg of caffeine three times a day for a week, while total tolerance is witnessed after ingestion of three hundred mg, three times daily for eighteen days.
Caffeine and Pregnancy
Recent studies indicate that ingesting over three hundred milligrams of caffeine daily will enhance ones’ odds of a miscarriage. Studies done on animals’ reveal that high level of caffeine have been linked to preterm delivery, congenital disabilities, low birth weight and reduced fertility. Children whose mother consumes over five hundred milligrams of caffeine have been observed to have faster breathing and heart rates in the initial days after birth (Kuczkowsk 695). Although different studies continue to bring up mixed findings, it is certain that caffeine has a powerful effect that may ultimately affect and confound pregnancy. Caffeine is also known to cause headaches, high metabolism, dehydration, and heartburns all which can impact on the baby’s development. Again, as the pregnancy course evolves, the slower women’s bodies break down caffeine, causing a greater and lengthier contact of caffeine on the baby.
Positive Psychological Effects of Caffeine
Performance and Mood Effects of Caffeine
Studies of the impacts of caffeine on behavior and mood show that modest levels of caffeine ingestion have constructive effects on some kinds of performance and mood and certain individual consumers of caffeine can self-regulate intake to exploit the positive effects and reduce the negative ones. Studies have shown that caffeine produces a positive effect on fatigue reduction and alertness. Caffeine also leads to enhanced performance on a chore that needs a continued reaction and on observance tasks (James 1-8). However, caffeine effects on complicated jobs are harder to evaluate partly because the results have a likelihood of being a collaboration of caffeine and other factors like time of day and personality.
It is noteworthy to appreciate that caffeine withdrawal has scanty of no impact on performance apart from it having a negative effect on the mood. For the individual that can regulate their intake of caffeine, regular consumption looks to be beneficial, since it leads to better mental functioning. Caffeine continues to be explored as a likely treatment for hyperkinetic children because central nervous system stimulating substances have been shown to be effective in this condition. However, most results from various studies continue to come up with conflicting findings. While certain studies claim that that the findings point to beneficial effects with little side effects, others hold that there is scant if any benefit.
Caffeine’s impact on the body, psychology, and mind is real. Though there are certain advantages of caffeine consumption, it is limited to self-regulated use. However, the definition of self-regulation and the safe dose remain vague, and one cannot know the threshold. It is true that caffeine in high doses is a potent drug that can inflict an array of illnesses that include mental illnesses and disorders. From these findings, caffeine abuse in more common than previously thought. The finding ought to be brought to the medical community and the public attention for everyone to be informed of the danger that one encounters when they subject themselves to caffeine. Caffeine is particularly dangerous to pregnant women because it not only affects the woman but the fetus as well. The psychological disadvantages of taking caffeine outweigh its benefits.
- James, Jack E., and Peter J. Rogers. “Effects of caffeine on performance and mood: withdrawal reversal is the most plausible explanation.” Psychopharmacology 182.1 (2005): 1-8.
- Kuczkowski, Krzysztof M. “Caffeine in pregnancy.” Archives of gynecology and obstetrics 280.5 (2009): 695.
- Smith, Andrew. “Effects of caffeine on human behavior.” Food and chemical toxicology 40.9 (2002): 1243-1255.
- Winston, Anthony P., Elizabeth Hardwick, and Neema Jaberi. “Neuropsychiatric effects of caffeine.” Advances in Psychiatric Treatment 11.6 (2005): 432-439.