As some of you may know, I suffer from panic attacks, and have done since Christmas 2001 when I had my first panic attack in a busy shopping centre in Southampton.
Since then, I’ve been on various different medications, and the current ones are doing a good job, generally.
Recently, I’ve noticed I’d become panicky for even less trivial things than usual. What should be a fleeting thought about work would be a deep seated anxiety, keeping me on high alert for days, ruining entire weekends
I started to think that I shouldn’t be feeling like this despite the cocktail of drugs I’m on, not all the time.
Then one day, I noticed that I started to feel anxious all of a sudden after just one cup of coffee. So for the first time in years, I switched to tea. After a few hours, I started to feel surprisingly, well, OK actually!
The next day I continued on tea and a strange (but pleasant) empty feeling started to develop, where the panic and anxiety used to be.
Nearest I can describe it is, you know when you’ve been crying for absolutely ages, when you stop, take a deep breath in, that feeling just there in your chest, but almost constantly.
So whilst this feeling continues, I sat down and worked out, how much caffeine I was actually consuming, 8-11 cups of (instant) coffee a day. There’s many different readings for instant coffee, from 80-135mg caffeine, so lets take an average of 100mg per cup. That’s 800-1100mg a day, or 11-14 cans of Red Bull, or 16-22 Pro Plus pills!
Now I’m not daft, I know coffee contains caffeine, but I’d never worked out how much I was consuming per day just by drinking a cup of coffee per hour.
So now I’m drinking tea, at around 50mg/cup for a short brew time, I’m down to 300-400mg a day. No anxiety, no sense of impending doom, no awareness of every single pounding heartbeat.
Now I’m not saying this was the cause or solution to all my problems, but it’s certainly letting the drugs do a better job of keeping things in check.
Strange how it had never struck me earlier, even stranger not a single healthcare professional has ever mentioned it.