Caffeine Addiction: A Closer Look

GinaMarie Guarino, LMHC GinaMarie Guarino, LMHC

Published on April 11th, 2019

Updated on December 13th, 2021

Caffeine Addiction: A Closer Look

Have you ever wondered if you drink too much coffee? Or cannot even consider what a morning would be like without your first cup? Do you get pressure headaches in the morning, or find that your quality of sleep has declined since starting coffee drinking? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may be suffering from caffeine addiction. Caffeine addiction is real and can affect people without them even realizing it.

Caffeine addiction is a common addiction among people. Most people do not even realize that they are addicted to coffee or daily energy drink. Many people unwittingly develop a caffeine addiction. Some even may suffer health consequences at some point from their caffeine intake.

An addiction to caffeine can significantly impact a person’s day-to-day life. It is a treatable condition for people who cannot cut back on their own. The term caffeine addiction refers to the excessive use or misuse of caffeine. It can have negative health effects on a person if not taken seriously. Caffeine addiction can cause mental and physical health issues. These issues can become a challenge to cope with each day.

Caffeine is a stimulant, which means it is a drug that boosts energy and alertness. In small doses, caffeine can be harmless. It can even be useful when needed. Consuming caffeine daily and in excess can cause many symptoms that can be difficult to manage on a day-to-day basis. While it is possible to enjoy a daily cup of coffee or caffeinated drink without much consequence, there is a point in which caffeine consumption becomes excessive and unhealthy.

Symptoms of Caffeine Addiction

Many people who have symptoms of caffeine addiction do not realize that their caffeine use is causing their symptoms. They may find themselves uncomfortable or irritable in the mornings. They may also have difficulty concentrating without an energy boost throughout the day. People can develop a caffeine addiction out of habit, which causes the body to expect a certain amount of caffeine during the day.

Caffeine addiction can cause symptoms that impact a person’s functioning during the day. Since drinking caffeine is so common, many people do not expect that their discomfort is due to symptoms of caffeine addiction.

Common physical and mental health symptoms of caffeine addiction include:

  • Anxiety
  • Jitters or restlessness
  • Nervousness
  • Cardiovascular issues
  • Racing heartbeat
  • Racing thoughts
  • Difficulty focusing
  • Irritability
  • Drowsiness
  • Dependence on caffeine to function
  • Excitability
  • Insomnia
  • Muscle tension
  • Stomach pain
  • Heartburn

These symptoms are quite uncomfortable and can cause more harm than good during the day. The discomfort that comes from nervousness and jitters can affect work performance. Physical symptoms like muscle tension and stomach pain can also cause medical issues.

Causes of Caffeine Addiction

The cause of caffeine addiction is simple: drinking too much caffeine. To varying degrees, people who are addicted to caffeine depend on caffeine to get them through the day.

The general rule is the more caffeine you drink the higher your risk of caffeine addiction. Everyone who drinks caffeine is at risk if they are not mindful of how much they drink.

People who drink coffee every day should stick to 1-2 cups of coffee per day. If they struggle to get through the day without more than 2 cups in a day they may be suffering from caffeine addiction.

Those who use caffeine to cope with stress, depression, or other emotional challenges are also at risk of caffeine addiction. Caffeine is a mood-altering substance that can affect the emotional and nervous systems.

A challenge with caffeine addiction is that it is socially acceptable and often encouraged to be a coffee drinker. Drinking coffee or other caffeinated drinks is a normal part of life for many people. This affects how seriously people take the need for healthy caffeine habits.

Treatment for Caffeine Addiction

Caffeine addiction should be addressed if it is impacting a person’s quality of life. It may not be the primary reason for a person being in treatment. Addiction to coffee or other caffeinated drinks may be incorporated into a treatment plan if it is affecting mental health. Caffeine use may be addressed in treatment for the following mental health issues:

  • Substance abuse
  • Anxiety
  • Stress management
  • Depression
  • Insomnia

After the affected person is properly educated, they will work with their therapist on a plan to reduce their caffeine intake. The client and therapist work together to set therapy goals. Sometimes the goal will be to quit drinking caffeine. Sometimes it will be to stick to a limited amount of caffeine daily. When a person’s medical health is impacted by caffeine addiction, their doctor may be involved in treatment and goal planning.

Treatment for caffeine addiction typically begins with education about the condition. An affected person needs to know how they are affected by caffeine addiction. Understanding the impact that caffeine addiction has on their quality of life helps to boost motivation in treatment.

Link To This Article

Leave A Comment

PsychPoint

It looks like you currently have an ad blocker installed

You may view this content and help us to keep the lights on by disabling your ad blocker or white list PsychPoint.com