Coffee is probably the most socially accepted drug in the Western world. Yes, it does intoxicate.
The bitter brew that kickstarts so many early mornings and fuels so many drawn-out workdays causes withdrawal and cravings. Some of them debilitating. It?s safe to say that if you can?t last a day without juicing up on java (or Diet Coke or some other caffeine-infused stimulant), you may be an addict.
That?s why the latest edition of the American Psychiatric Association?s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders lists caffeine withdrawal and intoxication as mental health disorders that hurt someone?s ability to function.
Critics say the manual makers shouldn?t medicalize every little issue, stick a label on every anomaly to the point where we?re all labeled in some way (which doesn?t sound like a bad idea in the name of understanding how we tick). After all, doesn?t caffeine have some health benefits?
Perhaps. Not unlike a glass of wine. But, let?s be honest, who stops at the recommended daily allowance?
Those in support of the caffeine addiction classification say the signs are too evident to ignore. People tell their doctors of withdrawal headaches, irritability and fatigue often enough that it?s ?clinically significant? and, in some cases, debilitating. A legit diagnosis might go a long way in helping doctors advise patients with other disorders (like anxiety, insomnia, high blood pressure and diabetes) to steer clear of the substance.
Your thoughts? I have to say, I actually laughed out loud at this screen shot that accompanied the article: