Caffeine withdrawal now a mental health disorder

13 posts / 0 new
Last post
Spacers's picture
Joined: 12/29/03
Posts: 4099
Caffeine withdrawal now a mental health disorder

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.

Caffeine withdrawal is now a mental health disorder | Hot Topics | an SFGate.com blog

Your thoughts? I have to say, I actually laughed out loud at this screen shot that accompanied the article:

Joined: 08/17/04
Posts: 2226

hmmm I don't know about this. I admit to be addicted to coffee. I love it. I have withdrawals. It takes me one day to get through the headaches and I did it while pregnant. I enjoy it though so I continue to drink it. I don't consider it the same withdrawal as drug detox.

Joined: 05/31/06
Posts: 4780

I think this is a great example of why like some ridiculous number of children (was it like 40% or something?) of children are diagnosed with mental disorders in the USA vs. I think it was .05% (I think, I read this a while ago) in France.

Ridiculous. Let me guess, the next step is prescribing costly medication? Yawn.

Joined: 08/17/04
Posts: 2226

I hope I don't get an intervention since I am in denial at how easy it would be for me to stop drinking coffee.

I completely agree with what you said Melissa. Medications are coming I'm sure.

FLSunshineMom's picture
Joined: 06/07/06
Posts: 3859

So THAT'S what's wrong with me! I should have known. Wink

mom2robbie's picture
Joined: 01/20/07
Posts: 2541

I laughed when I read that... caffeine withdrawal can be not fun to go through but a mental health disorder? I don't think so, but I am not a psychiatrist so what do I know.

SID081108's picture
Joined: 06/03/09
Posts: 1348

So ridiculous and I fully agree...medication will follow.

This is a side note but did anyone see on Anderson Cooper's the Ridiculist last week that mom from Toddlers and Tiaras that has been giving her daughter coffee since she was 9 months old? She drinks it every day (out of a sippy cup of course) and no, it's not decaf. My husband was absolutely floored by the story....I didn't find it too surprising given what show it was from.

GloriaInTX's picture
Joined: 07/29/08
Posts: 4111

All it does is damage American Psychiatric Association's credibility. So we are supposed to take everything else they say seriously when they come out with something like this?

KimPossible's picture
Joined: 05/24/06
Posts: 3309

Soon "Not Feeling Fantastic" is going to be a mental disorder.

KimPossible's picture
Joined: 05/24/06
Posts: 3309

"Jessica80" wrote:

hmmm I don't know about this. I admit to be addicted to coffee. I love it. I have withdrawals. It takes me one day to get through the headaches and I did it while pregnant. I enjoy it though so I continue to drink it. I don't consider it the same withdrawal as drug detox.

Me neither. I surely have a caffeine addiction, but I'm totally fine with it. Doesn't bother me in the least. I have stopped before and just like you, it took me about 24 hours to get over it and it wasn't agonizing by any means, just not the greatest of days.

Joined: 03/08/03
Posts: 3183

I've had horrific headaches from caffeine withdrawal but I still wouldn't call it a mental disorder. Oy vey.

Joined: 05/31/06
Posts: 4780

"freddieflounder101" wrote:

I've had horrific headaches from caffeine withdrawal but I still wouldn't call it a mental disorder. Oy vey.

Yes, to me those are physical symptoms. ITA W gloria about it discrediting the APA

Joined: 03/08/03
Posts: 3183

"Potter75" wrote:

Yes, to me those are physical symptoms. ITA W gloria about it discrediting the APA

Agree and agree. It certainly wasn't a mental disorder anymore than a really bad headache is. Which, you know, it isn't.

Log in or register to post comments