coffee psychosis



None of what i have read in this post comes close to my experience with caffeine. From my teens to age 30 i was a chocoholic and I loved my coffee. coffee ice cream and generally anything with caffeine.
In my early 30's I had a breakdown of sorts. I was diagnosed as obsessive compulsive, schizophrenic, panic disorder anxiety disorder and manic depression.
For ten years I sazw a psychiatrist and tried every anti depressant on the market (and a few that weren't). nothing worked.
My disorders were different somehow because I was aware of what was happening to me. ie: I could think rationally and rationalized my suicide attempts etc.
I finally was refered to the largest most prestigious psychiatric hospital in Toronto where I was told that I was not a "TRUE" manic depressed person and that something else must be going on.
I started searching the web in search of diet and environmental things in my life shich may be causing the mental anguish. I found an artical on Coffee Psychosis, quit all things caffeine and voila I was cured.
It is extremely rare and I have met only one other person with this "extreme sensitivity, an emergency room doctor. It is believed to be heritary. Why it only showed up in my thirties is still a mystery and it was a very trying time n my life. I lost my job and my friends and was almost committed. Only my wife stuck beside me and refused to have me committed. I have been off caffeine since 1998 and am enjoying a normal life.

Dose anyone else out there have any similar experience?


caffeine intoxication

Finally I have found someone else with similar problems with caffeine. I have just resently (three weeks ago) solved my problem with panic disorder and stress. I have been a coffee drinker for 20+ years. I had been successful in my career until nov. 2002 when I had a total hysterectomy. After staying home on leave for 6 weeks i returned to work. Within 2 months I was back on leave with panic disorder and out of work for 6 months. I attempted to return to work several times before I was able to fuction on my job. My husband pampered me with what I loved most - my coffee. I was drinking a pot minus his cup in the morning and at 4 when I came home from work he had another pot waiting. I would drink it up. I also had a co-worker at work who was constantly fixing me coffee because she also knew how much I loved my coffee. I braged on how I could drink a pot and then go right to bed and sleep. From my research i have found that caffeine immunity come before caffeine intoxication. I lost my job, and It has now been 2 years of going to emergency room to doctor to doctor. I have been diagnosed with high blood pressure, diabetes, panic disorder and bi-polar. The only peace I could find was when I was sleeping.... I could not go to the store, work, or drive. I still had my mind and intellegence and often thought it would be better if I went ahead and went crazy. Then I wouldn't know and could at least halfway enjoy life. But I kwen better, I was capable of more. I constantly research panic disorder, thats what my doctor said was wrong. My symptoms didn't quite fit. I started telling my husband and family that they had to get me some help. Life was not worth living. I had always been so independent and now I was so dependant on everybody. I didn't feel like I would kill myself or anybody else, but I was afraid I would break and then I would. They had me admitted to a local mental hospital. When I got to the hospital I could not even talk plain. I slurred and talked like a child. I stayed in the hospital for 7 days and started feeling better. I had took 2 books on panic disorder to the hospital with me. I was reading in one of the books and it stated that if you were diagnosed with panic disorder after the age of 40 to make sure it wasn't something physical mimicking panic disorder. I was not able to drink my coffee while in the hospital because a patient had thrown coffee on another patient and they had removed the coffee pots and access to coffee. I came home from the hospital and immediately started drinkiing my coffee again. When my husband came home from work I was as bad as before I went to the hospital. I even started slurring my speech again and baby talking. I went to the internet and started looking up the diseases listed in the book....nothing fit, except caffeine intoxication. The more I researched the more I found out, but information is very limited and you only find bits of information at a time. I found that it wasn't panic attack that I was having but complex partial seisures (I found the description for that while looking up epilepsy. My symptoms was seisures. That night we went to the grocery store and I picked up a jar of postum- coffee substitute. Yuck! No coffee for me the next day. No seisures, no slurring of speech. I went to my family physician three days later and asked for alergy testing for caffeine. He laughed at me and stated "you can't be alergic to caffeine" and that "caffeine can aggrevate panic and bi-polar but can't cause it. He also gave me a prescription for my newly diagnosed diabetes. That was about three weeks ago. I haven't had anymore coffee, tea, or chocolate except for thanksgiving day when I was so engrossed in watching my sugar I drank about 3 oz of decaf. tea. My symptoms started immediately. I was in the bed for 2 hours. My blood pressure rose, my pulse got faster, my lips went numb and I started couphing and got sensitive to sound. I have now come off of all my medicine including my amaryl for my blood sugar. My sugar had averaged over 200 for the last three months. It averages 110 now. My blood pressure is back down to 120 over 70 and I no longer baby talk , my head is clear and I am ready to find a new career. I can handle stressful sitituations. Four weeks ago I would have thought someone was crazy if they told me to stop my coffee...I loved it. I needed it. Today I love life too much to even try a cup of coffee. Yes! I miss it. But not enough to lose my sanity again. If anyone who reads this is having similar problems, try cutting out the caffeine. If that is your problem you will be able to tell within a couple of days. Oh yeah, cutting back doesn't work if you have developed an allergy you won't be able to tolerate any at all. Hope this helps someone else.


New member
Feb 20, 2005


I am a journalism student at Ryerson in Toronto and saw your story posted in this forum. I have been assigned to do a profile of someone who is addicted to coffee. If you live in the Toronto area, please let me know if you are interested in an interview with me. The article will not be published, but is just for my class. Let me know.



New member
Apr 21, 2005

Hi Paul,

I had your exact experience with caffeine, also in my early thirties. Although I was in excellent health, within a year of starting to drink coffee I experienced anxiety attacks, mania, depression and--horrifyingly--psychosis. In the last few weeks of my coffee habit I was walking around like a zombie and could hardly speak above a whisper.

When I quit caffeine my symptoms vanished.

What worries me most is that I was repeatedly misdiagnosed and came very close to going on medication (a LOT of it), before figuring out the problem. I have to wonder how many people out there are suffering from caffeine intoxication without knowing it, and being misdiagnosed and medicated.

I'm publishing a web site about caffeinism. It's only about halfway done, but it is presentable:

Please let me know if I can post your message on the Caffeine Web message board. I think it may help a lot of people.

Congratulations on your recovery,

Brian Matthews
[email protected]

An excerpt from my site:

"Caffeine-induced psychosis, whether it be delirium, manic depression, schizophrenia, or merely an anxiety syndrome, in most cases will be hard to differentiate from other organic or non-organic psychoses....The treatment for caffeine-induced psychosis is to withhold further caffeine."

Clinical Management of Poisoning and Drug Overdose, 3rd Edition (1998)
Michael W. Shannon, MD, MPH, Director, Lead and Toxicology Clinic, The Children's Hospital Boston; Professor of pediatrics, Harvard Medical School
Lester M. Haddad, MD, Clinical Professor in Family Medicine, Medical University of South Carolina; Attending Emergency Physician, Bon Secours St. Francis Xavier Hospital
James F. Winchester, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of Nephrology, Department of Medicine, Georgetown University Medical Center


New member
Aug 29, 2005
Total alergy as far as I can see with me that is

I get "high" from it, feel great for a short while. But then the trouble starts. After even just a cup of 5mg caf decafe (8oz) (almost nothing) , I feel some scratchiness in my throat. Then after some more coffee, I get worse. Red throat, swellon lymph nodes in my neck, throat pain like a cold. a continuous pain that dont go away and more caffeine seems to numb the pain very breifly until it gets much much worse. I stayed off of it for 10 years, (it took a month before the pain in my throat finally went totally away) I recently been back on it, boy what a mistake that was!!! I find it very very hard to stay away and the throat pain is just like it was before, very bad and totally not worth it!!! I have 2 days without it now, and I feel lousey, but I know I will slowly get better over 2-3 weeks. I have classic alergy-like reaction, so I am a believer. Also, some doctor back in the 1930's or so, determined just what you all are saying, the main stream med field called him crazy, but I think its true. He decribed the symtoms like mine to the tee. I dont think its driven me crazy, but I do believe that I am alergic to it, and that its poison for my system and I need to stay off of it forever, one day at a time as hard as it may be. I welcome any comments. :oops:


New member
Jul 12, 2011
It's thought to become heritary. Why it only turned up during my thirties continues to be a mysterious also it would be a very hard time n my existence. I lost my job and my buddies and was almost committed. Only my spouse stuck with me at night and declined to possess me committed. I've been off caffeine since 1998 and am taking pleasure in an ordinary existence.
here the source: allergy symptoms


New member
Sep 20, 2011
Washington D.C.

Wow...unbelievable story. I'm so glad to hear things are getting back on track for you. I'll never forget the agony of when I tried switching from 10 to 2 cups a day...and that paled in comparison to what you described here.


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