Ireland Baldwin: ‘If you are an anxiety sufferer, coffee isn’t your friend’

Ireland Baldwin suffers from anxiety. She’s been open with her struggles with it since it was reported that she entered rehab for emotional trauma at the age of 19. Lately, Ireland has really been giving her fans a snapshot of what it’s like to live with anxiety. A few months ago, she posted some photos of herself holding a blood pressure monitor. The reason was to tell those reading that when she’s in the throes of an anxiety attack, she’s terrified of having a heart attack, which is known as cardiophobia. So she uses the machine to monitor her blood pressure and it helps soothe her. She also admitted she doesn’t take medication and listed some of the triggers for her anxiety. Many of those commenting were grateful for Ireland openly discussing cardiophobia and the suggestion of a bp monitor to help them manage during an attack.

On Sunday, Ireland was back on IG with another unfortunate anxiety tip. This one was a warning about coffee. She posted two photos of herself on her bathroom floor and told her readers that a cup of coffee on an empty stomach had triggered an anxiety attack and she was now unable to leave the bathroom.

Ireland Baldwin is once again getting candid about her mental health after suffering from an anxiety attack.

On Saturday, the 26-year-old model shared photos of herself sitting on the bathroom floor to Instagram as she tried to calm herself down.

“It’s ✨anxiety attack time✨,” she began her post. “This morning I had one cup of coffee on an empty stomach which turned into an anxiety attack! I am currently writing this from the bathroom floor.”

“I usually sit here like this or lay in fetal position until I can’t cry or throw up anymore. Coffee is [a] major esophageal irritator and reflux trigger for me which leads to anxiety. If you are an anxiety sufferer like myself, coffee isn’t your friend,” Baldwin continued.

She then confessed to being “a silly goose” by drinking the beverage before encouraging her fans to open up if they have endured similar issues. “Writing this and being open with y’all about my struggles helps it pass. If coffee makes you s— your pants and makes you experience this, please share below,” Baldwin wrote.

Ireland has always been open about her panic disorder. In 2015, she revealed she suffered from anxiety and has “relearned what it truly means and what it feels like to be truly present.”

[From People]

I don’t suffer from anxiety and I had no idea coffee triggered attacks. I’m glad I know this now, maybe I can help someone in my orbit someday. A lot of the people replying left helpful suggestions. Brittany Furlan Lee suggested icing her chest if she could. Another person said adding fat to coffee like cream or full fat milk helps the coffee from triggering an attack. A couple of people suggested magnesium and iron. And others said decaf is the only way to go. The point is, it generated a good discussion and probably shared many tips others didn’t know. I can’t give an anxiety story, but I once showed up at a client’s office just after a migraine had come on. She’d suffered from them for years but she didn’t have any medication on her. I told her to eat an apple or drink a Coke so she could get to the nearest drugstore. She’d never heard about an apple or caffeine helping a migraine – even though over the counter meds are caffeine pills. Ireland is helping people share information and these discussions are a great way to help others out.

Oh, and Ireland’s dad, Alec Baldwin, replied with a simple, “I love you.” I don’t know if it helped her out of the anxiety attack, but I bet it made her feel better.

Photo credit: Instagram

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23 Responses to “Ireland Baldwin: ‘If you are an anxiety sufferer, coffee isn’t your friend’”

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  1. minx says:

    I feel for her, been there, and yes even a small amount of coffee can kick off a panic attack.

  2. Zantasia says:

    1) I wish nothing but the best for her. 2) That’s one of the first things you learn when training to be a therapist for people with anxiety—you talk about how your brain can interpret inputs from uppers (like caffeine, chocolate in a large enough quantity) and excitement as anxiety.

  3. Susan says:

    TMI but I completely agree on the “aggressive bowel movement” impact. I’ve always wanted to be a coffee person but it makes me…head to the bathroom. I’ve always wondered if that is the case for others or if they just get used to the impact and still drink it. It also makes my heart race a bit. Thought it was just me.

    • JJS says:

      Same. I find my heart races a bit too with full caff coffee so I try to drink decaf but my husband loves a lot of coffee so he’s always sneaking back in the caffeine 😐 (Also TMI) for both of us it makes us run to the washroom within 30 mins of drinking it. Because he’s such an avid drinker he just plans for the bathroom issue.

  4. Different strokes says:

    I am sending her love and support today xoxoxo
    The only thing I would differ with is the “your” in her quote in the headline. Everyone’s different, yo.
    I have anxiety mixed with depression and coffee is the only thing that got me out of bed some days, especially after my horse died and I didn’t have him to take care of in the morning any more [after 30 years!] Like I would literally say to myself, ‘If you’ll get out of bed, I’ll make you a nice cup of coffee. SUPER strong, super black. Coffee is my lifeline and lifesaver.
    Just that ONE cup a day, tho. No more caffeine for me! no matter what. So I do limit it.

    • MsGnomer says:

      Plus one from me. Coffee can be a life saver when you cant face the day. (((hugs)))

    • deplhi says:

      *hugs to both of you*

      Yeah…diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder at 16, then diagnosed this year with attention deficit disorder at 41. Caffeine is my only non-pharmaceutical motivation to get anything accomplished some days. Plus I just love the smell and taste of coffee. But if I am having an especially “on edge” day (which is typically evident the moment i get up in the morning) it’s chamomile/lavender/bergamot tea and crossed fingers. My problem is if I am skirting a panic attack, I drink coffee because of the comfort factor it provides. Then I have too much caffeine, I start getting the twitchies, and then panic about that. It’s a spiralling thing for me.

  5. Leonelda says:

    As someone who suffers from anxiety coffee can absolutely trigger my anxiety if I’m not careful. It’s weird though because some days I know I can handle it – like if I’m centered, have exercised my mind isn’t racing – I’m probably okay with having some coffee with a lot of milk. But if it’s a higher anxiety day for me – then yes coffee isn’t my friend it makes my body feel like I’m experiencing even more anxiety – my mind races even more, I’m sweaty, and it’s too much. Other times it can just make me act like a overhyped chihuahua. I enjoy coffee though, but even on low anxiety days I try to stink to just one cup a day. Then I switch to green tea.

    Also I’ve been paying attention to my body and sometimes it seems sugar can have the same affect on my anxiety? Curious if sugar can affect others the same way.

  6. Marla singer says:

    I feel for her. I suffer from it too and caffeine definitely amplifies my anxiety so I don’t drink it often. Therapy and anxiety meds have also helped in great ways too.

  7. Snuffles says:

    I developed anxiety and had anxiety attacks in college. I’m also just naturally high strung. My college counselor told me early on that caffeine wasn’t my friend and I should minimize or avoid it. I’ve never liked coffee, but I loved tea. One time I went to an afternoon tea service and downed a whole pot of delicious Tahitian vanilla tea. That night I thought I was going to die my heart was pounding so hard.

    Years later, a DNA test indicated that I had a low tolerance for caffeine (and alcohol) and that my body can’t process it well. So my counselor was right!

    • SK2 says:

      Snuffles, I feel I’m so similar – anxiety starting at university and coffee/tea affecting me badly- even though I love both drinks ( vanilla tea is divine!).
      Please could you tell me which DNA test you did? I’m sure I have low tolerance to caffeine and alcohol actually. One strong coffee causes my heart to race, me to break into a cold sweat and hands to shake. It’s so unpleasant.

      Btw, ‘your mind on plants’ by Micheal Pollan is a fantastic book with information about caffeine and how potent it is

  8. Lightpurple says:

    I have been experiencing anxiety and depression over the past year and my therapist asks me about my caffeine intake at the start of every session before she asks about my alcohol intake. I don’t drink coffee but I do drink tea, both hot and iced, Coke, and I do eat chocolate. Even still my caffeine intake is pretty low but she and my doctor want it even lower as it affects anxiety and blood pressure

  9. FHMom says:

    Ok, so I have anxiety and am successfully weaning myself off meds. I also drink coffee and never, ever was warned about the link between the two. Honestly, though, I couldn’t get out of bed without coffee. I’ve been drinking it for over 30 years. I have 3 or 4 cups a day, and I don’t see that changing. Plus, it fills up my stomach when I’m hungry. It’s my only vice.

  10. Emma says:

    You know, this is very interesting. Appreciate her sharing and hope she finds a treatment program that works for her. Some people are fine with coffee and even love it, but I am one who is not, sadly. Can’t usually even drink black tea on an empty stomach. Been taking CBD oil daily because it does help me.

  11. Mireille says:

    I suffer from an anxiety disorder and an allergic reaction to caffeine. Staying away from caffeine is second nature to me — but outside factors like Covid, the lockdown, and seeing your friends suffer exacerbates the anxiety. It’ just been a difficult 2 years.

  12. Kelsey says:

    She’s so right- my stomach and nerves HATE coffee, but I love the taste so I’ll allow myself one decaf sometimes. Even if I drink too many cups of those it will give me horrible anxiety and mess with my sleep, even if I don’t drink it in the afternoon. I’ve been just trying to cut it- it’s not worth the internal panic that comes with taking a sip.

  13. Margot says:

    Same here, i haven’t had it in years because it makes my anxiety go through the roof.

  14. MsGnomer says:

    I have crippling anxiety and complex PTSD that has altered my brain function, but even this doesn’t sound the same as what Ireland is managing. Coffee for me is a lifesaver, thanks. Will keep my daily cup of joe…. Managing mental health issues in public can also be triggering. Can I please wrap this young woman with a blanket and take care of her? Good grief. I can only imagine what her life is like. If anyone wants my two cents on mental health issues, I did not like cognitive behavioral therapy for my own healing; this treats only the tip of the iceberg. I have done very well with somatic therapy. Look into Tara Brach, RAIN.

  15. DaphneOG says:

    I have PD and a panic attack is 40 minutes of pure agony. I can’t give up my espresso in the mornings but have given up alcohol. I’ve had success with Effexor and CBT. Hugs to anyone else suffering with PD.

  16. jferber says:

    I have anxiety problems too, but have never given up on my coffee, which is one of the small pleasures I need to get through. I feel bad for her. I know her mom suffered from anxiety, too. I’d say her dad is anxiety-producing, but she seems to have a good relationship with him (and they’re on opposite coasts, which must help).

  17. Linabear says:

    I had several panic attacks last week including 1 that occurred right after I woke up. I realized later that some coffee granules were getting mixed into my tea; when I stopped drinking that coffee tea concoction, my panic attacks stopped as well.