While several antidepressants contain stimulants, Harold Koenig, professor of social psychology at Tulane University School of Medicine, said he is "concerned" if people read about the study and decide to use coffee as self-medication. Antidepressants likely have different chemical compositions than coffee, and would likely have a different effect on the brain.
"No doubt, caffeine can temporarily increase mood and energy, but the problem is that the effect does not last, and the dose has to be continually increased to maintain the same effect," said Koenig. " Many people experience a caffeine withdrawal when they cut down on their caffeine intake, and this can cause dysphoria and fatigue.
"Think about how you feel after you drink a high-caffeinated drink and think about how you feel after about two to three hours," Koenig continued. "Common sense says that the caffeine effect doesn't last, and that people have to pay for whatever improved mood they experience in terms of withdrawal."