Posted by: Idioma Extra | June 17, 2013

Topical Tuesdays

Coffee intoxication and withdrawal now considered mental disorders by psychiatrists


By Alexander Besant / GlobalPost

Coffee intoxication and withdrawal are now considered forms of mental disorder by psychiatrists.

The latest edition of the the psychiatrist’s handbook, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (the DSM), describes the symptoms created by the caffeinated beverage as “intoxication.”

A coffee drinker who experiences five or more of the following symptoms after a cup of coffee may have a mental issue: restlessness, nervousness, excitement, red face, gastrointestinal upset, muscle twitching, rambling speech, sleeplessness, rapid and irregular heartbeat.

In sum, the symptoms must cause distress or impair the drinker’s ability to function.

All of this adds up to a psychological and physiological dependence on caffeine, the most widely used drug in the world.

It also may explain the endless lines for coffee each morning in Starbucks and other retailers around the world.

Caffeine withdrawal might be unpleasant, but luckily the symptoms don’t last.

“The symptoms of caffeine withdrawal are transitory, they take care of themselves,” saidRobin Rosenberg, a clinical psychologist and co-author of the psychology manual.

“It’s just a natural response to stopping caffeine, and it clears up on its own in short order.”

Researchers defended including withdrawal in this year’s text, with caffeine use pervading society more and more and consumers starting to drink coffee at a younger age.

“We feel that there is enough data to support a caffeine-withdrawal syndrome. There are enough people who go into withdrawal — that if they don’t get caffeine, it becomes a real syndrome and can affect work, sleep, or whatever they need to do,” said Alan Budney, who served on the DSM-5 working group for substance-use disorders.

“So we’re suggesting that it ‘make the big leagues’ and become part of the DSM to make sure everyone is aware of it.”

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Taken from Inside Costa Rica.


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