While avoiding junk food and being active when you are depressed is helpful, a lot of people question if that includes avoiding coffee as well. There have been a lot of studies done in the past few years to examine the potential relationship between drinking the right amount of coffee and avoiding depression.
One 10 year study that was published a few years ago showed a possible connection in women. They noticed that of the 50,000 participants, the 2,6000 who became depressed drank very little or non-caffeinated coffee. The other subjects, who drank at around two cups a day, seemed more resistant to becoming depressed. One scientist from the study suggested that the possible reason the women did not drink as much coffee was out of fear it would cause sleeping problems. As caffeine is a stimulant, too much of it, too close to bed time can cause or agitate troubled sleeping conditions. If you are depressed, you are likely already having trouble getting a good nights rest and don’t want to endanger it. That fear aside, the end result of the study was clear, and showed a trend of reduced chance of depression with more coffee consumption. Other studies including men have shown the similar results as well, so as a preventative, it is quite possible.
Does drinking coffee help after you’ve become depressed?
Once you’ve become depressed you have to cope with all the various issues it creates. Insomnia and unstable moods are part of depression and too much caffeine can make them worse. No study has been widely published yet to prove if starting a strict addition of coffee to your diet while being depressed has proven helpful. One reason why this remains an unknown potential is that caffeine can have severe interactions with some medications that are commonly taken to treat depression. If you are looking for more natural treatment options, then having a couple cups in the morning and mid-day may be a possible addition to your regimen.
The bottom line is that it depends on the person
As with anything involving the human body, no two people with exactly identical reactions. Studies have shown that as a preventative measure, around two or more cups or coffee per day seemed to dramatically decrease the changes of becoming depressed. The chemicals found in coffee, including caffeine, can all have a positive effect that helps uplift mood and focus. However, as the same ingredients that produce these effects is a stimulant, it is possible to have too much and produce quite negative reactions.
If you are unsure, especially if you are taking medications, always talk to your mental health doctor before adding something new to your treatment plan. If they agree it is safe to try, then slowly introduce it to you diet and remember to keep it limited to the early daytime hours. Be sure to monitor how you feel in comparison to before you began drinking it ,and after using a journal or log. Note how much coffee you drank, at what times you drank it and any noticeable changes in mood or possible effects on sleep.