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Getting addicted to caffeine, what to do?

Discussion in 'Other Substances' started by 003, Jan 14, 2015.

  1. 003

    003 Community Champion

    The past weeks were among the worst, during which most of the days I really have no sleep even a nap, so I have become completely reliant to caffeine to be able to stay up all night, all day, all week of several weeks. Now that those weeks are over, I still have those cravings for coffee, for very strong one, concentrated one. I don't seem to function so well without them. In fact, it's frequent that I would wake up at night feeling thirsty but all that I'm wanting to taste is coffee, to drink it. I don't feel at ease without it in my day. It feels like I'm going to die or I'd rather die. It may look like I'm overreacting, but it's really how I feel, and I feel bad that I have a weak control over it. I couldn't just ignore the pull. What to do? Is it so serious that I should get to a shrink?
    pandabear1991 likes this.
  2. Tournique

    Tournique Senior Contributor

    Well the transition to coffee daily to no coffee at all is a bit harsh. Continue with the input but at smaller doses. That way you can control the amount you are drinking and get less and less daily.
  3. JulianWilliams

    JulianWilliams Active Contributor

    You should give caffeine patches a try. They're supposed to work very well from what I hear and they're not that expensive either. The idea is to use them in ever decreasing quantities which should lead to you getting rid of your addiction. Best of luck with everything, and please keep us updated about your progress!
  4. blur92

    blur92 Senior Contributor

    You can switch to half caffeinated/half decaffeinated, black tea, and green tea. It will be easier to quit gradually as stated by tournique and julianwilliams. Another helpful tip is to try L-Theanine. It is a natural occurring substance in green tea. I take capsules of about 200 mg. The equivalent you would need to drink is 20 cups, so the supplement is indeed more convenient. L-Theanine provides energy that is jitter free along with focus. Moreover, research has shown it has anti-anxiety properties.
    pandabear1991 likes this.
  5. amethyst

    amethyst Community Champion

    If I may make a suggestion, start with daily breathing exercises. All the caffeine that you consume makes you more high strung and anxious. Not to mention, that it has a big impact on your sleeping patterns. Before your nerves start feeling even more raw, take a little break, open the window, take a deep breath and count "one"... and another "one"... and "one". One breath after another is all you need. Count "one" until you reach 50 or 100... and see how your body has slowed down. You can get on top of this slowly.
    VitaMuse and pandabear1991 like this.
  6. sklauda1

    sklauda1 Member

    I also suggest you switch to black tea or half-calf coffee. I got addicted to caffeine when I was in high school until about a year ago (so around 10 years). My stomach could no longer take my daily ritual of coffee and I went through withdrawal pretty quickly. Expect some massive headaches and irritability.

    As for waking yourself up, an apple always works for me. I have no idea why.
    pandabear1991 likes this.
  7. blur92

    blur92 Senior Contributor

    As amethyst said, do the breathing exercises. They are so helpful; I cannot stress that enough. I do mine differently, though. Inhale through the nose, hold for a second or two, then exhale through your mouth. The inhale should be shorter (about 4 seconds) than the exhale (about 7 seconds). Focus on breathing with your abdominal muscles.

    Sklauda1, apples are a great suggestion. I have no idea why they work either, but they offer a variety of health benefits. Peppermint also eases headaches as well as stomachaches.
    pandabear1991 and sklauda1 like this.
  8. Mackmax

    Mackmax Active Contributor

    You sound more dependent than addicted. But yeah, the coffee withdrawal can hit you like a truck. But the fact that you've acknowledged it and are willing to get any help you need is outstanding, and you should really be proud of yourself for that. If you feel the need to see a shrink, do so. Everyone is different, and we don't know you personally, so we are in no place to tell you which help you should seek.
  9. calicer1996

    calicer1996 Community Champion

    Go cold turkey maybe? If all else fails, that's it. Ask someone in person to watch over you! Or destroy all the coffee in your house. Good luck. This is your life and you control it. No body else!
  10. Charli

    Charli Community Champion

    I recommend trying to ween yourself off it by having some coffee candies handy. I'm sure that after a while you wouldn't crave coffee anymore since you have a substitute in candy and at the same time I suspect these candies are. Lot easier to get off of since I don't think they are that addictive. The only thing you'd have to watch out for is over indulging and possibly causing your sugar levels to spike so be warned.
  11. Tournique

    Tournique Senior Contributor

    Caffeine patches are also a good try, and so is finding a good substitute. Try to reduce the amount of coffee intake daily, if not weekly.
  12. Gelsemium

    Gelsemium Community Champion

    Coffee can be addicting and even cause headaches when we don't have it and fortunately I don't have that issue because I don't like the flavor. The less addictions we have the better IMO, the cleaner we are.
  13. rainbowguard

    rainbowguard Senior Contributor

    If your addiction is more related to coffee instead of caffeine in general, you can try to substitute your coffee to decaf just like the other posters here suggest. If you are fine with drinking decaf coffee with the same frequency as your current frequency, then you are set.

    If you think you are addicted to caffeine in general, I guess you can gradually reduce the caffeine intake. I would calculate exactly how many milligrams of caffeine you consume daily and gradually reduce it on a weekly basis. I know this is complicated but this also helps your mind focus on your goal of reducing consumption without getting those withdrawals.
    blur92 likes this.
  14. OhioTom76

    OhioTom76 Senior Contributor

    I would consider trying out brewing your own hot tea with loose tea leaves. There are mail order places online now that can ship these to you. Some of them even send you a special cup that brews the tea right into your teacup. A few of my coworkers drink this, and love it.

    One of them was explaining to me that the caffeine in tea goes through your system faster and is metabolized quicker so you don't have that lingering strung out feeling all day from it, for hours on end - especially in the evenings when you should be trying to get some sleep.

    You could also control the levels of caffeine by mixing regular with decaf leaves.

    Blending decaf coffee might work, but I wonder if you might end up having "placebo" effects from it, with your body getting anxious for the rush from the caffeine it's expecting from the coffee.
  15. missbishi

    missbishi Community Champion

    Don't go cold turkey, you'll probably feel terrible, with a pounding headache. Instead, cut your consumption gradually. You could try drinking less coffee or switch to something like strong black tea.
  16. Nate5

    Nate5 Active Contributor

    I don't think you're at the level when you need to see a psychiatrist yet. However, I definitely think it's time you eased off the caffeine a little bit, and the fact that you recognize that you might have an addiction is already a terrific first step. Anyways, as a college student who has just had a very stressful year, I can say I've been in your shoes. I don't know what kind of person you're like, but the things that got me out of my caffeine dependence was a good sleeping schedule and a slow ease off. I slowly drank less coffee, and by reverting back to a normal sleep schedule, I don't need caffeine to stay awake.
    blur92 likes this.
  17. Gelsemium

    Gelsemium Community Champion

    Pretty much, even if caffeine and tobacco for example are addicting, they can't be compared to other stronger drugs. It's certainly unhealthy though and can totally dis-regulate our system.
  18. Charli

    Charli Community Champion

    I agree. This happened to me once I quit coffee after drinking it regularly for so long. I wasn't terribly addicted to it but I did drink a fair amount and by the time I got tired of it and quit I just got headaches that I didn't know where it was coming from. Only later did I find out it was probably the big shift in my habits that caused it.
  19. Tournique

    Tournique Senior Contributor

    Cold turkey is pretty dangerous for everyone, body can react pretty severe to the cutoff.
  20. blur92

    blur92 Senior Contributor

    I guess nicotine has already been compared to harder drugs. Supposedly, it is as addictive if not more addictive than heroin. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states it is comparable to not only heroin but also alcohol and cocaine ( I don't think the same goes for caffeine, though.