As MedicineNet explains, the caffeine in coffee can affect the drinker’s mood. With regard to depression, however, caffeine has been said to have both positive and negative potential effects.
On the one hand, there is research supporting the idea that caffeine in certain amounts might lower the chances of developing mental health disorders. Studies have found that the higher caffeine content in coffee yields better results in this area compared to that of tea. Moreover, coffee also contains chlorogenic, ferulic, and caffeic acids, which might be beneficial for someone with depression. Nerve cells can become inflamed in depression patients; these acids might help with this inflammation. Conversely, there is also research suggesting that caffeine can worsen depression, especially for patients with mood disorder who get panic attacks. Caffeine might lower serotonin and increase dopamine, both of which could be factors in depression. Lastly, large amounts of coffee could result in inflammation.
If you begin to experience what feels like depression after either drinking coffee or giving it up completely, don’t try to self-diagnose. Instead, consult a medical professional and tell them about your symptoms, as well as any recent changes you’ve made to your regular caffeine intake.
If you or someone you know needs help with mental health, please contact the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741, call the National Alliance on Mental Illness helpline at 1-800-950-NAMI (6264), or visit the National Institute of Mental Health website.