Caffeine increases anxiety in people with anxiety disorders. To
determine whether caffeine exerts a similar effect in depression, the
authors compared retrospective reports of caffeine intake and symptoms
produced by caffeine ingestion in patients with panic disorder, patients
with major depression, and control subjects. Panic patients consumed less
caffeine and reported more symptoms than depressed or control subjects.
Although depressed patients did not differ from control subjects in
caffeine intake or most symptoms, more depressed patients reported that
caffeine induced anxiety. These data support prior reports that panic
patients have increased sensitivity to caffeine; some depressed patients
may also have increased sensitivity.