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  1. #1
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    Caffeinism, Low energy and depression

    Hey caf-fiends , this is my first post here.

    I joined this forum because I definitely have severe caffeine dependency and would like to either quit completely or at least get down to no more than 2 1/2 cups or so a day absolute max because it very much negatively effects my sleep, energy during the day, and also greatly exacerbates the anxiety and depression that I was diagnosed with years back, and I think it may also be really messing with my adrenals, though I don't know how I'd know if that were true, but it might explain why I have no energy...

    I know many people believe caffeine is harmless, but I don't feel that it is for me, and my inability to cut down, along with some other unhealthy habits like poor sleep hygiene, general inactivity and too many sleep meds to knock me out at night, have really messed with my quality of life. (I am always needing my benzo prescription for the nerves caffeine causes me as well and would like to quit them if I can.)

    I currently drink up to 8 1/2 cups a day (I also have an obsession with numbers and drinking a certain amount due to my OCD and an addictive personality...I eat and drink too much booze too...)

    Today is my 3rd day using Phenylalanine to cut down because I read a blog online where a fitness guru suggests taking 1,000mgs a day for a few days to knock out the withdrawal, and on my 3rd day today I feel really bad and never have enough energy.

    I did a sleep study years back where they told me that my low energy is due to caffeinism, and I know that's a lot of it, but I sometimes wonder if a large part is not my depression, and lying around doing nothing so often (I know that's a lot of it too).

    I've tried to quit many times and the only times I was successful it was by using Dexadrine to replace it for days on end (I know, using a more powerful stimulant to break a caffeine addiction seems odd but it worked well) but I no longer have access to that, and even when I pulled it off in the past I always fell back into drinking coffee eventually.

    What I do know though is that when I HAVE gotten off caffeine I have felt WAY better, less anxious, better sleep, less depression, etc, but the last time I tried was about 3 years ago and after 11 days off it I was STILL having SERIOUS lethargy and depression and gave in.


    So with that overly long post, I am wondering if anyone here has any advice on seriously cutting down on/or quitting coffee and if anyone here has experienced something similar??

    I'd like to ideally get to just one cup a day for the morning because I am not sure I can completely quit altogether.

    I recently read that too much caffeine use can often produce problems difficult to differentiate from an anxiety disorder and OCD and in my case, it has.

    Any help would be appreciated.

    Thanks
    Last edited by Curemycaffeinism; 11-20-2017 at 10:04 PM.

  2. #2
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    Let me start off by saying that I am by no means an expert but it sounds like caffeine is not the root cause but a coping mechanism. You should first look at your depression, what is causing it and how to control it.
    I would suggest seeking therapy. Address the main issue (your depression) and then go from there.

    The amount of coffee you are drinking is a bit much even for a healthy person and when combined with the alcohol use, you are setting your body up for failure.
    I would suggest adding decaf to your coffee regimen. You say you drink 8-9 cups, drink four cups of caffeinated coffee and decaf for the other half.

    But seriously, seek some counseling first before anything. Depression is serious business and should not be taken lightly.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by KBM3 View Post
    Let me start off by saying that I am by no means an expert but it sounds like caffeine is not the root cause but a coping mechanism. You should first look at your depression, what is causing it and how to control it.
    I would suggest seeking therapy. Address the main issue (your depression) and then go from there.

    The amount of coffee you are drinking is a bit much even for a healthy person and when combined with the alcohol use, you are setting your body up for failure.
    I would suggest adding decaf to your coffee regimen. You say you drink 8-9 cups, drink four cups of caffeinated coffee and decaf for the other half.

    But seriously, seek some counseling first before anything. Depression is serious business and should not be taken lightly.

    Thanks for the response.

    Well I do get lots of therapy of various kinds for my anxiety and depression and also take medications, and while I partially agree that caffeine is not the root cause of the problems, it greatly exacerbates them.

    I have had panic attacks, one really bad one in particular, that I actually believe I'd never have had if I didn't drink coffee, or at least if I drank a moderate amount, and that particular attack was 14 years ago after having 5 cups of coffee and being in public with some people I didn't feel comfortable with, and I still think had I only had 1 cup that day the attack would never have happened, and it led to me taking Klonopin for 14 years with is not a good thing to take regularly, which I also want to quit.

    My last doctor who prescribed it told me that my caffeine usage was directly interfering with my Klonopin because I had worse anxiety from drinking so much coffee and then need to take more Klonopin to calm myself down and then need the Klonopin again to knock me out again at night, and then wake up tired from that and need more coffee, so it's been a vicious cycle for years with both caffeine and Klonopin messing up my sleep quality.

    What I do know is that when I have managed to cut out my coffee or even cut down, then I no longer need nearly so much Klonopin and sleep better and feel better all around in terms of energy, anxiety and depression.

    So far, for the past 4 days I have managed to only drink 2 1/2 cups while taking 4,000mgs of Phenylalanine daily which some online fitness guru said can help people cut down on coffee, and only took Klonopin once in the past 4 days, so I am doing better, but I haven't had work so there has been nothing I needed energy for so that made it easier.

    Today I felt much better than the past 3 days, so that might mean I'm on the right track, and I think 4 cups would be too much for me.

    I'm wondering how other people here who have quit or significantly cut down on coffee managed to do it??

    Every time I have tried in the past I just couldn't deal with the withdrawals which lasted nearly two weeks last time, so any more advice anyone has would really be appreciated.

    Thanks

  4. #4
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    Yes!

    When I quit coffee the first time I used green tea for the caffeine. Caffeine is very addictive

    The withdrawl for caffeine generally lasts a few weeks, but if you can find an alternative (decaf or green tea) to drink while you wane off of it, it is not nearly as bad.

  5. #5
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    A lot of the answer is going to involve your own self motivation and will power. Sure, caffeine is physically addictive. So, there will be withdrawnal symptoms. But that's why you have to do it gradually. Note the number of cups you are drinking each day now. Then start to reduce the amount by one cup. So, if you are drinking 8 1/2 cups now, cut out the 1/2 cup to start. Drink 8 cups for a three days. Then cut out a full cup so you are only drinking 7 cups. Do that for three days. Then cut another cup and drink 6 cups for three days. Keep doing that until you get down to the number of cups you feel comfortable drinking. I have somewhat of an addictive and obsessive personality. But I've always known that coffee can interfere with sleep and can do other negative things to our systems. So I've limited myself to only drinking coffee in the morning as a way to jump strart myself. And I only have two cups max. I don't drink coffee durign the rest of the day. One other thing you can do is substitute some of the cups of coffee that you may want to drink later in the day with decaf. This way you can satisfy that mental craving of drinking coffee without adding to your caffeine dependence. Just be aware that even decaf has some caffeine so, if you can do this without falling back on decaf, that would probably be more ideal. Good luck.
    Absurdity is the only reality - FZ

  6. #6
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    There's no proper link between caffeine intake and depression. However, caffeine intake and depression may be linked indirectly to people who are particularly sensitive to the effects of caffeine or who have too much caffeine. Caffeine can cause sleep issues that affect mood. Lack of sleep can worsen depression.

  7. #7
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    coffee makes me fell panic attacks when I drink a lot of coffee per day

  8. #8
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    Caffeine does awful things to sleep. Even the people that say "I can drink a glass before bed and sleep like a baby". I use to say that to people until I dug in a bit deeper. Since caffeine has a half life of around 5-6 hours, most people that drink throughout the day end up going to bed with a lot of caffeine in their system. Not only that, but you are also waking up the next day with a lot of that caffeine in your system. I won't go all sciencey here, but caffeine causes less and shorter REM cycles during sleep. Whether you notice it or not, it happens. That causes drowsiness and all kinds of bad things that lead to short lives. Yes, 8 1/2 is way too much caffeine. I drink 2-3 and then switch to decaf. It sucks at first when you cut back, but it is needed. Since caffeine has a half life, I try to drink all of my caffeine in the morning so that it is mostly out of my system by bed time.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlackInkCoffee View Post
    Caffeine does awful things to sleep. Even the people that say "I can drink a glass before bed and sleep like a baby". I use to say that to people until I dug in a bit deeper. Since caffeine has a half life of around 5-6 hours, most people that drink throughout the day end up going to bed with a lot of caffeine in their system. Not only that, but you are also waking up the next day with a lot of that caffeine in your system. I won't go all sciencey here, but caffeine causes less and shorter REM cycles during sleep. Whether you notice it or not, it happens. That causes drowsiness and all kinds of bad things that lead to short lives. Yes, 8 1/2 is way too much caffeine. I drink 2-3 and then switch to decaf. It sucks at first when you cut back, but it is needed. Since caffeine has a half life, I try to drink all of my caffeine in the morning so that it is mostly out of my system by bed time.
    I haven't been here in forever, but these days I drink about 4 1/2 cups and I'm trying to get it to 3 1/2. One of the problems was that I was often dehyrdrated without even realizing it so I always drink water first thing in the morning before I have any coffee and that helps. Then if later in the day i start to get UNNATURALLY tired I'll drink more water to see if that's the problem and if it is that will cure it.

    But otherwise, yes I know all this info about caffeine staying in the system and effecting my sleep, and what effects it even worse and in addition is my klonopin, so I'm working to cut down on that as well.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Curemycaffeinism View Post
    I haven't been here in forever, but these days I drink about 4 1/2 cups and I'm trying to get it to 3 1/2. One of the problems was that I was often dehyrdrated without even realizing it so I always drink water first thing in the morning before I have any coffee and that helps. Then if later in the day i start to get UNNATURALLY tired I'll drink more water to see if that's the problem and if it is that will cure it.

    But otherwise, yes I know all this info about caffeine staying in the system and effecting my sleep, and what effects it even worse and in addition is my klonopin, so I'm working to cut down on that as well.
    Does drinking the water in the middle of the day usually help you to feel less tired? I've never heard of that, but it makes sense.

    By the way, welcome back to the Forum.

    ~ Rose

 

 
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