Caffeine Addiction: Signs, Causes, and Treatment
Symptoms of Caffeine Addiction
- Unsuccessful efforts to cut down or quit caffeine.
- A persistent desire to cut down on caffeine use.
- Continued caffeine use despite experiencing physical or psychological problems that are likely caused or exacerbated by caffeine (e.g. headaches, shakiness, difficulty sleeping, anxiety, etc.)
- Consuming more caffeine than intended.
- Feeling grouchy if you don’t have access to caffeine.
- Failure to fulfill responsibilities due to excessive caffeine use.
- Developing a tolerance to caffeine.
- Feeling shaky
- Increased blood pressure
- Racing heart, or other heartbeat abnormalities
- Sleep issues
- Muscle pain
- Depressed mood
Causes and Risk Factors of Caffeine Addiction
How Do You Know If You’re Addicted to Caffeine?
Caffeine addiction is not a formally recognized condition in the DSM-5, a manual used by clinicians to classify and diagnose mental health concerns, however, the manual does mention a few caffeine-related issues, including intoxication and withdrawal.
Generally speaking, you can tell you’re addicted to caffeine if it disrupts your life in a negative way, yet you’re unable to reduce or eliminate your consumption. Another telltale sign of addiction is experiencing withdrawal symptoms, such as the ones listed earlier in this article.
It’s important to note, however, that caffeine addiction can look and feel like other disorders. For example, the symptoms of caffeine addiction can overlap with those of attention deficit disorders, anxiety disorders, viral illnesses, sleep disorders, and medication side effects. Therefore, it’s important to visit your doctor if you’re experiencing unusual symptoms. Through an evaluation and testing, your doctor will be able to determine whether or not your symptoms are the result of caffeine or some other condition.
How Caffeine Addiction is Treated
Traditionally, the only method of treating caffeine addiction is to stop consuming it. Quitting caffeine suddenly, or “cold turkey,” however, is not recommended, as withdrawal symptoms can be severe. Rather, people are generally encouraged to gradually decrease their caffeine consumption, which can help reduce or eliminate withdrawal effects. For example, a person could reduce their caffeine consumption by a quarter cup every one to three days until they’ve eliminated it completely.
While some people can successfully wean themselves off caffeine, many have trouble discontinuing use, or can’t resist the urge to drink it after they’ve quit. This is because they likely haven’t addressed the neurological component of caffeine addiction. Without addressing this portion of the addiction, your brain will continue to send messages that you need coffee to function, and it will be difficult to abstain.
Moving Beyond Caffeine Addiction
How to Live and Cope with Limbic Cross-Wiring
At re-origin, we believe that nobody should have to live or cope with the effects of limbic cross-wiring. We want you to eliminate your symptoms and conditions and re-establish peace, happiness, and health.
By applying our step-by-step method, you’ll learn to decouple and destroy old neurological associations that may be keeping you stuck and replace them with positive neural pathways that propel you forward. This is done gradually with a process called incremental training. With dedication and repetition, you can break free from the shackles of your limbic system impairment and regain the freedom to live life on your terms.
Frequently Asked Questions
A Final Word from re-origin
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- Meredith, S. E., Juliano, L. M., Hughes, J. R., & Griffiths, R. R. (2013). Caffeine Use Disorder: A Comprehensive Review and Research Agenda. Journal of caffeine research, 3(3), 114–130. Available From: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3777290/
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- Barone, J., & Roberts, H. (1996). Caffeine consumption. Food and Chemical Toxicology, 34(1), 119–129. https://doi.org/10.1016/0278-6915(95)00093-3
- Lovallo, W. R., Whitsett, T. L., al’Absi, M., Sung, B. H., Vincent, A. S., & Wilson, M. F. (2005). Caffeine stimulation of cortisol secretion across the waking hours in relation to caffeine intake levels. Psychosomatic medicine, 67(5), 734–739. Available From: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2257922/