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Caffeine Withdrawal Added as a Mental Disorder

Update Date: May 31, 2013 01:01 PM EDT
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Several studies have tied coffee to preventing certain diseases, such as staving off breast cancer from returning when consumed moderately. Even though there are several health benefits from drinking coffee, people are mostly drinking this product everyday for the caffeine boost. Some people even state that they cannot go about their daily routine until they have had their coffee fix. This addiction to caffeine has been monitored as a potential threat to people's mental health and now, the American Psychiatric Association's newest edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) has added caffeine withdrawal as a mental illness.

According to the DSM-5, people who suffer from caffeine-buzz will experience at least five or more of the symptoms listed in this manual after drinking 250 mg of caffeine, which translated to two to three cups of brewed coffee. The symptoms listed under "Caffeine-Related Disorders" are restlessness, nervousness, excitement, insomnia, flushed face, gastrointestinal disturbance, muscle twitching, rambling flow of thought and speech, tachycardia or cardiac arrhythmia, periods of inexhaustibility, unintentional motion, and diuresis, which is the need the pee frequently. This latest version of the manual added on the category of caffeine withdrawal, which includes symptoms, such as fatigue, loss of focus and headache.

"Caffeine is a drug, a mild stimulant, which is used by almost everybody on a daily basis," Dr. Charles O'Brien said via NY Post. He chairs the Substance-Related Disorder Work Group for the DSM-5. "But it does have a letdown afterwards. If you drink a lot of coffee, at least two or three [eight ounce] cup at a time, there will be a rebound or withdrawal effect,."

Despite the fact that several people do report excruciating headaches that result after they stop drinking coffee abruptly, several experts are critical of the DSM-5's inclusion of caffeine withdrawal as a mental illness. These experts state that even though the headaches could be painful, they often resolve on their own. Caffeine withdrawal does not lead to long-term consequences that consistently disrupt work and social relationships like other mental illnesses do.

In the meantime, suffering from caffeine withdrawal could get you tagged with a mental illness. 

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