web analytics
August 1, 2015 / 16 Av, 5775
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post


Cup of Joe: A Cure For Anxiety And Depression?


Schonfeld-logo1

Coffee.
Java.
Café.
Brew.
Cappuccino.
Joe.
Espresso.
Mud.

 

 

We have so many words for coffee, and for so many of us, it is an essential part of our day. It wakes us up in the morning, and gives us a jolt of energy during an afternoon slump. We add ice and milk for a refreshing drink in the summer. But, what is coffee exactly? And, should we really be drinking it?

Coffee is made from the roasted or baked seeds of several species of an evergreen shrub. Once they are ripe, coffee berries are picked, processed, and dried to yield the seeds inside. Depending on the heat of the roasting, the seeds have different flavors. Those roasted seeds are then ground and brewed to produce coffee.

Coffee is acidic and has caffeine, which is the key ingredient we will be focusing on. Caffeine is a naturally occurring stimulant called trimethylxanthine. It stimulates the central nervous system and temporarily wards off drowsiness. A German chemist, Friedrich Ferdinand Runge, discovered caffeine in 1819. He called the compound “kaffein,” which later became “caffeine” in English.

Numerous studies have been performed to figure out whether caffeine has a positive or negative effect (or no effect at all) on those who drink it in moderation. For those who have anxiety or depression, the studies’ findings are particularly relevant.

 

Caffeine and Anxiety

There are multiple types of anxiety disorders. Two of the most common struggles with anxiety are panic disorder and generalized anxiety disorder.

Panic disorder is accompanied by panic attacks, which include feelings of fear and dread that come with no warning. Those feelings are associated with sweating, chest pain, irregular heartbeats, and trouble breathing. Many times, the sufferer mistakes these panic attacks for heart attacks.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder is the least specific, but perhaps one of the most prevalent. People with generalized anxiety disorder feel severe tension and worry even when there is little or nothing to provoke that fear.

When it comes to caffeine and anxiety, caffeine has often gotten a bad rap. For years, people assumed that caffeine causes anxiety, perhaps because it causes increased heart rate and “the jitters,” which people can confuse with a panic attack.

Caffeine in excess can cause problems such as upset stomach, muscle tremors, and insomnia. But, in moderation, caffeine might even have some benefits – to those who suffer from anxiety as well! A quick caveat: in this article, when I refer to anxiety, I am referring to the most prevalent anxiety disorder – generalized anxiety disorder – not those with panic attacks.

The New York Times health section recently outlined caffeine’s benefits on one’s state of mind. In moderation (under 200 milligrams per day – the amount in a 16-ounce coffee), participants in several caffeine-related studies, including studies done by the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and by Harvard University reported:

  • Enhanced sense of well-being, happiness, and energy, alertness, and sociability.
  • Improved memory and the ability to problem solve.
  • Greater endurance when exercising.
  • Decreased risk of getting Type 2 diabetes and Parkinson’s Disease.

 

The first three points are all easily correlated with anxiety. If you have an enhanced sense of well-being and sociability, you are less likely to be anxious. If you are better able to problem solve, you will be less anxious. And, research clearly shows that exercise decreases anxiety.

The bottom line: If you suffer from generalized anxiety disorder, it might be a good idea to have your morning coffee. Aside from that temporary lift, your body might experience surprising benefits that combat anxiety.

If you are experiencing panic attacks, that is another story. Since caffeine speeds your heart rate and stimulates your central nervous system, these side effects can feel like triggers for those who suffer from panic attacks. Therefore, for those suffering from panic attacks, caffeine can be a very bad idea.

About the Author: An acclaimed educator and education consultant, Mrs. Rifka Schonfeld has served the Jewish community for close to thirty years. She founded and directs the widely acclaimed educational program, SOS, servicing all grade levels in secular as well as Hebrew studies. A kriah and reading specialist, she has given dynamic workshops and has set up reading labs in many schools. In addition, she offers evaluations G.E.D. preparation,, social skills training and shidduch coaching, focusing on building self-esteem and self-awareness. She can be reached at 718-382-5437 or at rifkaschonfeld@verizon.net. Visit her on the web at rifkaschonfeldsos.com.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

2 Responses to “Cup of Joe: A Cure For Anxiety And Depression?”

  1. Coffee ! I have used it for years now , and it has not hurt me at all !

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Matt Lee of the Associated Press at the State Department press briefing.
ObameDeal Exposed: It’s not ‘Secret’ from Congress but not in Writing
Latest Sections Stories

We studied his seforim together, we listened to famous cantorial masters and we spoke of his illustrious yichus, his pedigree, dating back to the famous commentator, Rashi.

Singer-Saul-Jay-logo-NEW

Jews who were considered, but not ultimately selected, include Woody Allen, Saul Bellow, David Ben-Gurion, Marc Chagall, Anne Frank, and Barbra Streisand.

Personally I wish that I had a mother like my wife.

What’s the difference between the first and second ten-year-old?

What makes this diary so historically significant is that it is not just the private memoir of Dr. Seidman. Rather, it is a reflection of the suffering of Klal Yisrael at that time.

Rabbi Lau is a world class speaker. When he relates stories, even concentration camp stories, the audience is mesmerized. As we would soon discover, he is in the movie as well.

Each essay, some adapted from lectures Furst prepared for live audiences, begins with several basic questions around a key topic.

For the last several years, four Jewish schools in the Baltimore Jewish community have been expelling students who have not received their vaccinations.

“We can’t wait for session II to begin” said camp director Mrs. Judy Neufeld.

More Articles from Rifka Schonfeld
Schonfeld-logo1

What’s the difference between the first and second ten-year-old?

Schonfeld-logo1

So, what do we do about grammar? Should we do grammar drills? Should we hope that the students pick it up from reading?

Most experts agree that with specialized coaching, a person’s social “intelligence” can be significantly raised.

Children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) or Executive Function Disorder (EFD) have trouble keeping themselves organized and on-task.

We never cease to be students, even when we are no longer in school. Therefore, everyone can learn from these elements of thought.

The warm parenting style indicates to children, “I love you and will take care of you” and the firm parenting style lets children know, “I expect something from you.”

When we are faced with danger, our body goes into what scientists call “fight or flight” mode.

This doesn’t mean that anyone who occasionally has a piece of chocolate as a pick-me-up is an emotional eater.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/family/parenting-our-children/cup-of-joe-a-cure-for-anxiety-and-depression/2014/05/09/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: